I decided to add some cookies to my blog and found this cool slideshow feature. I am now working on how to link to recipes!
Bell Peppers stuffed with Risoni, Cauliflower and Vegetarian Sausage and Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
When visiting Naples years ago I dined in a quaint little restaurant that served the most amazing stuffed peppers. The aroma of roasting red peppers still takes me back to that restaurant. I decided to give them a healthy twist with chickpea risoni, veggie sausage, cauliflower and sun dried tomatoes.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
1 lb cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bell peppers, halved
4 oz Explore Cuisine Organic Chickpea Risoni
2 vegetarian sausages, cooked
4 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
4 oz cooked, riced cauliflower
8 tablespoons grated almond 'cheese'
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place garlic cloves on baking sheet. Drizzle oil over tomatoes and sprinkle cumin and oregano over top. Bake for approx 30 minutes or until tomatoes have started to caramelize. Place tomatoes in a bowl. If garlic is not yet soft, continue to cook. When ready, remove outer layer and mash cloves with a fork. Add garlic and tomato purée to tomatoes and mix with a hand blender. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cut peppers in half from top to bottom. Bring a pot of water to a boil then place peppers in water for 1 minute. Place on a parchment lined baking tray and spritz with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until peppers have started to soften.
Pour risoni into the boiling water, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Grind sausage in a blender. Place in a bowl with pesto, sun dried tomatoes and cauliflower. Drain risoni, add to bowl and mix well. Fill peppers with stuffing, top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and parsley.
Percy is amazing! He doesn't seem to realize he is a cat and thinks he is a person. He has one mission in life - to spread love and give kisses to everyone he meets. I have now been fostering him for 5 weeks and I am pretty sure he thinks we are in a serious relationship. The minute I sit down he squeezes between my elbow and my side, looks up at me as if to say, "Did you miss me?" then proceeds to start licking my face and rubbing his face against mine. Unlike most cats he loves to be held close and genuinely seems to think it's his job to make me feel special and loved. He is such an affectionate cat and I really want to find him a home with someone who appreciates his awesome personality. Anyone interested in adding him to their family can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca is one of four amazing young cats I am fostering for the the Humane Society as they all had a spot or two of ringworm and were on the euthanasia list. They are by far the sweetest, most loving cats I have ever met. Becca is a stunning little black panther. Her fur is an exotic smoky grey color and she has the most gorgeous amber colored eyes. As is the case with several of the cats I foster, she loves my husband. Whenever he sits down to watch TV she jumps on his lap, gazes up at him with love in her eyes then cuddles up to him, purring away. She has the cutest little wiggly walk which suggests to me that she feels very safe and happy in her environment. She gets along well with my cats and loves the other fosters. I even found her snuggling with Percy yesterday. Becca is adoptable and is in Keller, TX.
It's that time of year again! There's nothing that beats those winter blues better than a bowl of home made chili. Here's my entry for the Bush's Chili Cook Off recipe contest. Cocoa, molasses and beer are paired with Bush's Kidney Beans and Pinto Beans to create a dish with a velvety, smoky flavor while a combination of roasted red peppers, chipotle pepper and serrano chili peppers provide a pleasant kick. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 2)
1/2 red Bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 Serrano chili peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb 90 % lean ground beef
1/2 lb 85% lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper powder
330 ml India Pale Ale
6 oz jalapeño sausage, casing removed and chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
16 oz Bush's Pinto beans in medium chili sauce
16 oz Bush’s Kidney Beans in a mild chili sauce
14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons molasses
Pre-heat oven to 450F. Place red bell pepper, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Cook for approx. 25 minutes or until skin starts to blister. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Remove skin and chop pepper finely.
In a large frying pan heat olive oil. Add onion, peppers, chili peppers and garlic and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for approx 4 minutes.
Remove ingredients from pan and place in a small bowl. Add beef to pan and brown for approx 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili flakes and chipotle pepper powder. Mix well. Add ale, sausage, coca powder, beans, tomatoes, onion mix, roasted red peppers and molasses. For a spicier chili add extra chili flakes, according to taste. Mix well, reduce heat and simmer for approx. 45 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese.
As I prefer my salads with tangy dressings instead of heavier, creamy dressings, I decided to take a classic salad and experiment with different dressing combinations to see what I could come up with. The recipe below pairs the classic, walnut, celery and apple combo with a sweet and tangy honey, sesame oil dressing. Topped with shrimp and toasted sesame seeds it has already become one of my new favorites.
Waldorf Salad with Shrimp and Honey Sesame Dressing (serves 2)
1 Gala apple
2 stalks celery
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
4 tabs rice vinegar
2 tab lime juice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Salt to taste
4 leaves butter lettuce
8 cooked shrimp
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Cut apple into small chunks and place in medium bowl. Finely chop celery and add to bowl with apple. Roughly chop walnut halves and add to bowl. Pour rice vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and honey into a small jar. Add minced ginger. Tightly close lid on jar and shake vigorously until ingredients are blended. Add salt to taste. Pour dressing over chopped salad. When ready to serve, place butter lettuce on two plates then spoon salad onto lettuce. Top with cooked shrimp and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Looking for something a little different for a week night supper, I created a dish I call Tex-Mex Baklava, my attempt at fusion cuisine. Crispy filo pastry, often used in mediterranean dishes, is delicately brushed with Bertolli Classico Olive Oil and deliciously sandwiches spicy chicken, creamy cheese and beans that are popular ingredients in Tex-Mex cuisine. This meal quickly became a family favorite. Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try it.
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Bertolli Classico Olive Oil, divided
2/3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ yellow onion, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce, chopped
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
15 oz can black beans, drained
1 ¼ cup grated Manchego cheese, divided
½ teaspoon ground cumin
12 Filo pastry sheets, 13” x 17”
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
In a medium saucepan heat 2 tablespoons Bertolli Classico Olive Oil. Cut chicken breast into thin strips and add to oil. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until strips are cooked through. Add sliced onions and red peppers to pan and cook for a further 4 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic, chipotle pepper and pesto and mix well. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix beans with cumin and 1 cup Manchego cheese. Set aside until ready to assemble dish.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 ½ ‘‘ x 6 ‘‘ baking dish. Cut pastry sheets in half. Lay one half sheet inside dish. Pastry should cover bottom and sides of dish. Using a pastry brush dab Bertolli Classico Olive Oil evenly and lightly over pastry sheet. Cover with remaining half sheet. Repeat layering and dabbing process with 3 more full sheets (you will now have a stack of 8 half sheets in baking dish). Spoon bean mixture evenly over final layer. Top with a half sheet of pastry and repeat the layering and dabbing procedure, using up 4 more sheets. Spoon chicken mixture on top of top pastry sheet. Press down gently then top with a half sheet of pastry. Repeat layering process until final 4 pastry sheets have been used up. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of pastry and cook in oven for approx. 25 minutes or until pastry is a rich golden color. Serve with sour cream and avocado.
Nibbles and Fluff