Tomatoes

Deep-Dish Breakfast Pizza

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I’m sitting here in disbelief that today is the unofficial first day of autumn. It’s a bittersweet feeling really. With autumn comes many things that I love. In no particular order:

  • Cooler nights
  • Crisp air
  • Colorful leaves
  • Pumpkin everything
  • No mosquitos!

Although when these things start to happen, that means the end of summer is near.

This Labor Day weekend, I did a lot of Netflixing, sleeping in and of course, gorged on many delicious meals – including this bad boy: Deep-Dish Pizza!

 

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Originally I intended to make this for dinner, but after we received pound after pound of leftover brisket and pulled pork from a friend’s BBQ (YUMMM!!!) breakfast seemed like a suitable replacement.

This crust is awesome. Chewy and crunchy in all of the right places. Toppings are up to you, but there’s something about the combination of ricotta and fontina that made my tastebuds sing with every bite.

La la la la!

Happy end of summer and happy days of autumn to you! Bring on soup season 🙂

Deep-Dish Breakfast Pizza

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6 small slices

Serving Size: 1-2 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 fresh large eggs
  • Fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F with the rack in the lowest position. Heat 1 Tbl oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add spinach, red pepper flakes, and garlic and cook until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Stir together ricotta, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour remaining oil in a 10-inch spinboard pan or cast iron skillet and spray the sides with cooking spray for extra protection. Stretch dough into the bottom of the round. Carefully press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet (as best as possible - mine slumped down quite a bit but it didn't really matter). Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Top dough with ricotta mixture, fontina, spinach, bacon, and tomatoes. Carefully crack the eggs and gently place on top of the pizza, yolks intact. Bake until the crust is golden brown and egg is cooked over easy to medium, 12-14 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut around edges of crust with a knife and remove from pan with a spatula (or two).
  4. Serve sprinkled with parsley and cut into wedges.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/deep-dish-breakfast-pizza/

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Lemon

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In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Okay, I didn’t quite fly over the sea, but I did fly a plane today. I had a lot of help from my instructor, but he let me take off and land the plane on my own. He even commented that most people don’t turn as quickly or as sharply as I did on their first flight. I think I’m a natural. He probably thought I was crazy.

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Either way, I’m hooked. I will get my pilot’s certificate. And then maybe my glider pilot license. I can see myself soaring through the air without the noise of an engine – just peaceful, serene, and practically weightless flight.

Heroes Reborn is premiering on television right now. I am so excited for this show! I watched the original and was practically heartbroken when it went off the air (mid-season too)! Seems good so far. I guess we’ll see.

heroes-hiro

Save the cheerleader. Save the world.

Anywho, my grandparents are settled in their new home and my mom and I have been sorting through their things. We’ve found some pretty interesting stuff already. It’s amazing what Polacks in their 90’s have held onto over the years. For example, I found an opened Pillsbury crust mix box that read, “New! 6¢.”

Made me smile.

Lots of updates in one post. I’ll write again soon. For now, I leave you with this easy, one-pan meal. Chicken, tomatoes, broccoli and lemon. Shove it all into a cake pan, bake for 20-25 minutes, and inhale. Chewing is optional.

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Lemon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 5 oz.
  • 4 oz. cherry or whole tomatoes, halved or cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz. broccoli tops, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 thin slices

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking dish with 2 tsp. of the olive oil.
  2. Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap until each piece of chicken is the same thickness, about 1/2-inch thick. Place the chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes, and broccoli around the chicken. Drizzle everything with the vinegar and 2 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Top each chicken breast with 2 lemon slices. Drizzle the remaining 2 tsp. olive oil over everything.
  4. Bake until the chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-chicken-with-tomatoes-broccoli-and-lemon/

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

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Do you ever find yourself with a huge pile of leftover tortillas?  Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tendency to purchase way too many tortillas at the grocery story.  I don’t know why I do this – heck, maybe my subconscious is preparing for a Mexican apocalypse.  At least tortillas are delicious, versatile rounds of flour and lard.  You can use them to make cheesy quesadillas, wrap them around burrito fillings, or fry them up and make a nacho plate or crispy tortilla strips.  You can even replace the bread chunks in your breakfast casserole with tortillas.

Brilliant!

Like many breakfast casseroles, I prepared this casserole the night before to allow time for the tortillas to soak up the egg mixture.  The mixture will seem very runny at first, but fear-not my friends, the casserole bakes to light, eggy perfection.  If you don’t want to wait to eat this, I would allow everything to soak for at least a couple of hours before baking.

I used flour tortillas because I prefer them.  I have not tried this recipe with corn tortillas.  Let me know if you do!

With the cold weather lately, casseroles just seem like the perfect meal to warm you up.   ‘Tis the season for casseroles and soups!

Stay warm out there!

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 35 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: 345

Fat per serving: 9.6g

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • 8 or so large flour tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Combine the salsa, black beans and corn in a bowl. Line 1/3 of the tortillas along the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/3 cup shredded cheese and 1 cup of the salsa mixture. Repeat these layers (tortillas, cheese, salsa) and top with remaining tortilla strips.
  2. Combine sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and eggs; stir with a whisk. Pour over tortilla strips; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight (is best).
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Remove dish from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/mexican-breakfast-casserole/

Easy Spanish Rice (From Leftover Rice)

SpanishRice

If you’re anything like me, you tend to make way more rice than you need.  I seem to ALWAYS have leftover rice in my fridge!  This Spanish Rice is a great way to spruce up your leftover rice for your next taco/Mexican night.

I like peas and carrots in my Spanish Rice.  Feel free to take a more traditional approach to your own rice and omit the veggies if you’d rather keep it simple.

Spanish Rice From Leftover Rice

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4-6 servings

Spanish Rice From Leftover Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice (any rice really)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1/4 cup frozen carrots and peas (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  2. Add the rice and saute a couple more minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce, water, and coriander. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is absorbed and the rice has lost most of its stickiness.
  5. Add the frozen carrots and peas, toss and recover until heated through. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
http://foodiemcbooty.com/spanish-rice-from-leftover-rice/

Tofu Aloo Matar (Tofu Curry With Peas)

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Tofu is a new protein in our household.  I’ve never been a huge fan of tofu growing up but I have been eating more and more of it to help ease into more of a plant-based diet.  Call it a transitional food for me.  Though there are mixed feelings around soy in the vegan community, tofu seems to be everywhere these days.

Tofu has a reputation for being plain or boring, and frankly, it is… by itself.  But think of tofu as a blank canvas, and think of yourself as an artist who can manipulate that canvas to your heart’s content. Tofu can be a very flavorful addition to your dish if you treat it right.

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Here I took an Indian spin on tofu.  Traditionally, Aloo Matar is a curry dish with potatoes and peas.  I didn’t have potatoes on hand but I did have tofu so I thought I would try it out.  I like the way this dish turned out.  It is vegan-diet friendly, the tofu absorbed all of the flavors of the curry and because I omitted the potatoes and served this on rice, I feel that this dish turned out a lot lighter.  Not a bad way to enjoy tofu if I don’t say so myself!

Cheers!

Tofu Aloo Matar (Tofu Curry With Peas)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or to taste)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of water, separated
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube

Directions

  1. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions and ginger. Cook until the onions begin to sweat, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, curry powder, cayenne powder (if using) and salt. Add about a tablespoon of water and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tofu, peas, 1 cup of water and bouillon cube and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, mix and cook for another minute. Serve ith bread or rice.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/tofu-aloo-matar-tofu-curry-with-peas/

Recipe adapted from Aromatic Cooking.

tofu parmesan sandwich sub italian

Tofu Parmesan Subs {Vegetarian}

tofu parmesan sandwich sub italian

Okay, it’s not the prettiest sandwich you’ll ever see, but as I like to say…

If it’s messy, it has to be delicious!

This sandwich is oozing with basil tomato sauce and melty mozzarella.  You may need some napkins for this one, if you can put it down.

I crisped up the tofu in the oven before I added it to this sandwich, like you would with a chicken parmesan sandwich.  Overall, I am not sure if it made a huge difference since the tofu didn’t stay crispy very long after adding the tomato sauce and cheese.  A personal choice I suppose.

*shrug*

At any rate, if you’re a fan of tomatoes and mozzarella, you will love this sandwich!  Not a word was spoken while Mister and I ate ours.  Heck, it took every bone in our body to not make seconds for ourselves.   A new favorite tofu recipe in our household.

Tofu Parmesan Subs {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Crispy, Oven-Fried Tofu
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup water
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound (about 8 cups) baby spinach
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole grain hoagie rolls
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and let wilt, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Place the bread cut-side up on a broiler pan. Spread the bottom halves with sauce, then top with crispy tofu, more sauce, slices of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/tofu-parmesan-subs/

Recipe adapted from the Food Network magazine.

Huevos a la Mexicana

huevos mexicana eggs tomatoes green chiles

¡Hola amigos!

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.  I’m a fan of Mexican food and margaritas so I am a fan of this holiday.  Now, I’ve only eaten authentic Mexican food once, from Tijuana, so I can’t really speak to true authenticity here.  I hear that Mexican food differs throughout all areas of Mexico, but I will say that I do enjoy a plate of Mexican-American food from time to time.  So I thought I would share these Mexican-style eggs with you.

huevos mexicana eggs tomatoes green chiles

These eggs are really easy to put together.  You can make your own salsa like I did here or use your favorite bottled salsa.  The name “Huevos a la Mexicana” comes from the red tomatoes and green chiles in these eggs and represents the colors in the Mexican flag.  You can make your eggs as spicy as you’d like.  Because I usually serve these with black beans and avocados, I tend to add a bit more heat.  ¡Muy caliente!

If you have a great recipe you’d like to share, post the link in the comments below.  I’m always looking for new recipes!

Anywho, feliz Cinco de Mayo mis amigos and enjoy your day.

Huevos a la Mexicana

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 3-4 servings

Huevos a la Mexicana

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs (or egg beaters)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons green chiles (mild or hot)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • Cooked black beans
  • Green onions, for garnish
  • Warm tortillas

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the onions. Saute for a minute or two, until the onions soften. Add the tomato, green chiles, oregano and cayenne (if using) and cook until they soften and create a sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Lower the heat to medium low then crack the eggs into the pan with the sauce. Stir the mixture with a spatula to mix and lightly scramble the eggs. Remove from heat when the eggs are cooked. Garnish with green onions and serve with black beans, avocado, and warm tortillas.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/huevos-a-la-mexicana/

Low-Fat Couscous Salad {Vegan}

couscous, cucumbers, tomatoes, salad, vegan

This is my new favorite, quick and easy snack or side dish.  This couscous salad is packed with bright flavors from the lemon, basil and fresh vegetables.  It’s also light and refreshing, perfect for these warm days ahead of us.  Plus it keeps for awhile, so you can prepare it ahead of time for parties.

I didn’t have any chickpeas or garbanzo beans on hand, but I bet a can of these would make this couscous salad more filling and packed with protein.

Low-Fat Couscous Salad {Vegan}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 162

Fat per serving: 3.2g

Low-Fat Couscous Salad {Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked couscous (any couscous works, but whole wheat couscous is better)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (we like halved grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice of two lemons (about 2 Tablespoons of juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine couscous, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and basil. Whisk the lemon juice and oil together than add to the couscous salad. Stir everything together, cover it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/low-fat-couscous-salad-vegan/

Recipe adapted from About.

Tortellini Vegetable Soup {Vegetarian}

cheese tortellini vegetable soup

Wow, it is snowing here AGAIN in Colorado today!  It’s supposed to keep snowing for the next three days.  Usually I would be ready for Spring to arrive weeks ago, but because Colorado has been so prone to wildfires the last two summers, I am thrilled that we are getting some late minute precipitation before thunderstorm season.  This probably isn’t enough snow to really help that cause, but I can hope!

Because it has been so snowy lately, I made this vegetable soup to warm us up.  This soup is packed with vegetables and reminds me that Spring is right around the corner.  I can’t wait to pick out fresh produce from our local Farmer’s Market.  It’s one of my favorite things to do on Saturdays when it’s sunny and warm outside.

Anywho, I added some cheese tortellini to our soup pot because we love tortellini in soup (plus it makes this soup that much more filling).  If you are trying to keep this Vegan, simply use Vegan tortellini or noodles to add a bit more body to this soup or omit the noodles completely.  Your choice!

Stay warm and safe everybody!

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 chopped chives
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas or shelled edamame
  • 1/3 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups cheese tortellini

Directions

  1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, saute the carrots in the olive oil over medium heat. After a couple minutes or so, add the onions and celery. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the garlic, stirring for a minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the broth, thyme, basil, poultry seasoning, chives, salt and pepper, and red pepper if using. Add the corn, peas or edamame and spinach. Bring the soup to a boil then lower the heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are softened.
  3. In the mean time, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt the water then cook your tortellini according to the package directions (boiling for 2-5 minutes).
  4. Add the can of tomatoes to the soup and the cooked tortellini. Gently combine, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary and serve hot, preferably with freshly baked bread for dipping.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/tortellini-vegetable-soup/

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Have you ever wanted to make sun-dried tomatoes but you didn’t want to deal with insects, furry critters or any other outdoor elements?  Maybe you’re like me and you’re afraid that your kitty will run off with all of your gorgeous garden tomatoes.  This is a simple solution – oven-dry your tomatoes instead. Your precious tomatoes will be safe and sound in your oven and they’ll be ready to pop in your mouth by the end of the day.  Sometimes I really love technology… unless my phone freaks out on me.  Those moments really make me dislike technology.  It’s a love/hate relationship.

This is a great way to use up leftover tomatoes that are about to turn.  It’s a nice change from making marinara sauce.  Plus sun-dried tomatoes may be the only dehydrated item out there that you could consider gourmet.  Gettin’ fancy now.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yields: 2 cups

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Roma tomatoes
  • fine sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F, or the lowest setting possible. Remove oven racks. Trim and discard the stem ends of the tomatoes. Halve each tomato lengthwise. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, side by side and crosswise on cake racks set on the oven racks. Do not allow the tomatoes to touch one another. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Place in the oven and bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and feel dry, anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Check the tomatoes from time to time: They should remain rather flexible, not at all brittle. Once dried, remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to thoroughly cool on cake racks. (Smaller tomatoes will dry more quickly than larger ones. Remove each tomato from the oven as it is dried.)
  3. Transfer the tomatoes to zipper-lock bags or submerge in olive oil with garlic and other Italian spices.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/oven-dried-tomatoes/

 

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Veganism is something that Mister and I are both currently exploring.  We are meat lovers at heart, but from time to time I find an amazing vegan recipe that I have to try (and Mister is typically my guinea pig).  Plus a good friend of ours is vegan, which provides even more opportunities to create some of these dairy and egg-free dishes.

Mister whipped this up for our last potluck and it turned out really good.  We took the leftovers and baked them with layers of leftover marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese as well.  Simply use vegan mozz if you’d like to do the same (which, I highly recommend).

This puppy made a ton of leftovers for us!  Great to make on the weekend to enjoy for  lunch for the next few days.

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: About 8-10 servings

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box of ziti (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup chopped oil-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup firm silken tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped basil (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small can marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • soy parmesan (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the ziti al dente. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the tomatoes, tofu, garlic, basil, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Process to a smooth consistency. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and artichokes. Sprinkle with the parsley and soy parmesan, if desired.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/vegan-ziti-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-artichokes/

Recipe adapted from 366 Simply Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes by Robin Robertson.

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Now, there are recipes and then there are RE-CI-PES!  Man, this one is out of the ballpark.  I don’t know what it is — the creaminess of the pasta and cheese or the heat from the sausage, but boy this is a winner in my book.

One thing I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make.  Plus it’s super versatile too.  You can use just about any kind of sausage and replace Pecorino or Grana Padano in place of the Parmesan.  Heck, I even replaced the orzo with tiny star-shaped pasta.  Okay, I named more than one thing that I love about this recipe… but who’s counting?

I like to think that because you can substitute just about everything in here, this dish could be a healthier version of an Italian meal.  Substitute turkey Italian sausage for a lower fat content and low-sodium broth for the pasta water.  You shouldn’t lose much flavor because of all of the spices that are waltzing around on your taste buds.

This recipe is originally taken from the beautiful Giada de Laurentiis, who, is not my favorite Food Network personality, but cranks out some great dishes from time to time.

Sorry Giada.

I adapted this recipe from Serious Eats.

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: About 6

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large links of mild Italian sausage
  • 1 raw garlic clove, 2 if you're using roasted garlic
  • 2 or 3 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 or 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. This will depend on your pasta so read the directions on the box, approximate 8 minutes or so. Drain your pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage links, cover and saute until cooked through. You will need to turn these over after a couple of minutes to brown each side. Remove the sausage once they are cooked and cut them into coins. You may want to cut the coins in half to disperse the sausage throughout the pasta more. Place the sausage back into the pan and add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Stir for about two minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to form a bit of a watery sauce.
  3. Add your cooked pasta into the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, most of your Parmesan and toss well to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid to loosen the pasta if necessary. Top with Parmesan and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/healthier-italian-orzo-with-sausage-peppers-and-tomatoes/

Best schnausage from a grocery store!

Big helper, ready to toast… ANYTHING.

Only stops for food.

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