Tag Archives: Italian

Speedy Marinara

 

You know when you get home after a long day and all you want to do is relax. But oh, you have to make dinner too. Some days I wish I didn’t mind processed food as it would make the time from fridge (or freezer) to table so fast! Then again, YUCKY! Have you read what’s in frozen meals?! Even “healthy” ones can be scary. That’s why I make meals like this. Okay so the tomato is from a can, but it’s organic, healthy, and FAST!

Speedy Marinara
(Servings: 5)

  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tablespoon(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) basil (use freshly torn leaves if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) baking soda
Directions:
Heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat until garlic starts to brown.
Pour tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, and baking soda into pot. You will notice baking soda starts to bubble and mixture will taste acidic. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes over low to medium low heat.
Over time, the baking soda will cause the sauce to sweeten naturally and will stop bubbling due to it’s interaction with vinegar from the tomatoes.Serving Suggestions:
Pour over pasta or use as a pizza base. This quick and EASY sauce is so simple and good with everything!
 
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories 65
Total Fat (g) 2.85
Saturated Fat (g) .4
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 535
Total Carbohydrates (g) 8.45
 

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I love, love, love stuffed mushrooms! Mushrooms are a great meat substitute due to their rich texture and savory taste. Unlike mushrooms stuffed with sausage though, these mushrooms are light and relatively healthy. I won’t claim they’re the best way to get your vegetables since the spinach is combined with dairy, but veggies are always better to eat than sausage!

Stuffed Mushrooms

(Servings: 5)
  • 10 small Portobello mushrooms, stems removed (baby bellas)
  • 9 ounce(s) spinach, (1 large bag), washed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 ounce(s) mozzarella cheese, a ball of mozzarella works best, not shredded 
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil, extra virgin
Directions:
Turn on oven to 350F.
Heat olive oil and garlic on medium low until garlic begins to sizzle and toast. While waiting, dice mozzarella into small cubes.
When garlic is lightly browned and sizzling, add the spinach. Regular stirring allows spinach to cook evenly. Once cooked, add the mozzarella cubes and turn heat to low. Mozzarella should lightly melt, but not liquify.
When mozzarella is completely softened and mixed into the spinach, fill each cap with the mixture. Make sure you ovetop the mushrooms as the spinach mixture will settle slightly while cooking.
When all the mushrooms are filled, place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. I chose to line mine with aluminum foil because the mushrooms will release water during cooking. I sprayed lightly with olive oil to allow easy removal of the mushrooms.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories 128
Total Fat (g) 8.01
Saturated Fat (g) 3.41
Cholesterol (mg) 18
Sodium (mg) 128
Total Carbohydrates (g) 6.27

I really tried to make sure there was some cheese on the tops of the caps to brown nicely. This also helped to make sure the spinach didn’t burn.page1image19840

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Remember, the mushrooms will release water. Don’t be surprised by the liquid under them when you remove from the oven.

Last, these make a great side dish or a party dish. Eat up and enjoy!

Mama Mia’ Orzo

I love Italian food! Seriously, I eat at least two meals of pasta every week. Thus, I can’t just eat marinara sauce and spaghetti noodles. I like to spice up my Italian food and make it robust and full of color!

I have no clue why spaghetti and penne are so popular in the US. There are so many different shapes of pasta to have fun with! One of my favorites is orzo. I think I like it so much because it’s a cross between pasta and rice. Okay, not really. But it’s shaped like rice and is pasta, what could be better? As a veggie girl, I have to make sure I get lots of grains- usually being rice or pasta. So orzo has to be the grain for me!

I also love that you can eat orzo hot or cold. It’s perfect for making pasta salads. This dish, not only is full of color, is great for eating as a cold summer picnic lunch.

Remember to pull apart your basil instead of cutting or chopping it into pieces. This allows the flavor to gain more depth and strength.

Vibrant Summer Orzo

  • 4 serving orzo cooked as directed by packaging
  • 2 Tbs olive oil (or butter if desired)
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs capers
  • 1 Tbs caper juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • Handful of freshly cut and pulled basil
Heat up the olive oil and garlic in a pan on medium heat. When garlic begins to brown, add capers, caper juice, sun dried tomatoes, and raisins to oil and stir. Once mixed, add the white wine. Turn down to medium low and let white wine cook off. Once boiling add the diced tomatoes. I find it best to drain the tomatoes (different than rinsing!). Cook for another minute to allow the tomatoes to warm up. Sprinkle pan with basil and stir. Pour mixture over cooked orzo and toss lightly. 
This makes a really great and healthy lunch! Or dinner with a glass of white wine