Monthly Archives: February 2012

Of This and That

Rotini with Greek Feta Dressing


Things are starting to slow down in the wedding world, which would result in more blogging if my work decided to go along that path.  Unfortunately things at work are picking up even more speed, but I keep telling myself that in this economy I’m blessed to have a job regardless of how many hours I’m working.  I’m also fortunate that I have coworker who are more than willing to be co-workers when it comes to recipe ideas…and even more so when it comes to taste testing cookies and other desserts.  This recipe is a modified version of my mom’s standard pasta salad.  I decided I wanted to switch up the dressing and after bouncing ideas around with the others in my fish bowl office, decided to try using greek yogurt as a base.  The result was a hit and since the original experiment I have been mixing the greek yogurt with other Mediterranean flavors in a quest to find the perfect dressings and dipping sauces.

Rotini with Greek Feta Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 lb tri colored rotini - cooked per box and cooled
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 2 basil leaves
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups canneloni beans (if using fresh pre-soak before adding)
  • 1/2 cup black olives, diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small blender mix the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, feta cheese, basil leaves, and salt and pepper until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture over the slightly cooled pasta then add the onion and beans. Mix well and allow to cool for at least one hour.
  3. Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/02/of-this-and-that.html

Did I mention this recipe is also really quick to make and perfect for bringing to pot lucks and picnics?  To give the dressing a pop trying adding black olives to the dressing and pasta or some sun dried tomatoes.  The dressing also keeps well on it’s own with very little separating which is always a plus in my book.  I am going to try a greek yogurt/pesto fusion this week and fingers crossed it will be a success!

You Are

Mushroom Stuffed Shells

with

Pomodoro Sauce

I apologize for the lack of posting, work and wedding have been kicking my ass and unfortunately my time in the kitchen has been suffering.  While I’m still cooking, I’m falling back to my old faithfuls.  This recipe is one that I’ve been making for years but I decided to try something different this time and stuff it with more than just yummy cheese.  I also pulled out one of my favorite sauce recipes and splurged for some fresh basil since my summer supply has long since been depleted.   I did use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, but that was a judgement call after seeing the sad tomatoes at the store.  I try to avoid using canned produce as much as possible, but sometimes it has to be done.   Fingers crossed my vegetable garden will do great this year and I’ll be able to try canning some of my own vegetables.  Those are some canned vegetables I could certainly get behind!

Stuffed Shells

Serves: 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb large shells pre-cooked and cooled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb wild mushrooms (I used a mix of shitake and cremini)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, evenly separated
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, separated
  • 3 basil leaves, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5minutes, before adding the mushrooms. Cook for additional 5minutes, the mushrooms should be tender but firm and the garlic/onion should be a dark golden color. Set aside and allow to cool
  2. In a large bowl mix together the cheeses and basil. Once the mushroom onion mixture has cooled, stir it into the cheese mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Gently stuff the shells with the cheesy mushroom mixture, each shell should get about 2tbsp of the mixture. Place them in a single layer at the bottom of large baking dish.
  5. Bakes covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and then top with the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is brown around the edges.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/02/you-are.html

Pomodoro sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 basil leaves, finely diced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, low sodium if possible
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 7minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden.
  2. Add the basil and tomatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour over the shells (or any other pasta dish)
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/02/you-are.html

In wedding news, things are coming together and I thin I have everything figured out at this point.  We did our tasting this past Monday and it was amazing!  Fingers crossed my guests will enjoy everything as much as we did, tho I’m not worried since we have such a wide variety of thing for them to try.

Twist Again

Italian White Beans

Secret Recipe Club is BACK BABY!  Took one month off to celebrate the holidays but now that 2012 is in full swing it’s time to explore new recipes and make new blogging friends.  This month I was assigned Kitchen Trial and Error and immediately started bookmarking all the amazing recipes I wanted to try.  Eventually I settled on the deliciously simple Italian White Bean recipe, and with a few tweaks turned it into a great mid-week dinner.  This is easily one of those recipes that can modified and adjusted to create a number of different dinners.

Italian White Beans

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 30 ounces canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups couscous, cooked

Instructions

  1. Blend the onion, garlic, and rosemary together to create a puree and then add the salt.
  2. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and saute the onion mixture over medium heat. cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and and beans. depending on how dry the mixture is, add a tablespoon or two of water. cook until the beans are hot through and coated with sauce, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve over couscous
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/02/twist-again.html

I have a hunch these beans would also go create over a spinach salad or inside of a pita with some fresh slices of tomato and onion.    This recipe is about as simple as it gets but it really shows how much can be done with a few basic ingredients