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Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage & Spinach

Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage & Spinach

Ingredients

1 lb Orecchiette, cooked to package directions
1 lb ground sausage (breakfast, sweet Italian or Andouille)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ chopped red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups baby spinach
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
splash dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 oz high quality crumbled feta (I prefer sheep feta for it’s deep, tangy flavor)

Directions

Cook the pasta to package directions in plenty of salted water. Drain and return the pasta back to the cooking pot, set on the counter.

While the pasta is cooking make the sauce. Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about 7-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and onions to the skillet. No need to rinse the skillet, leave a small amount of sausage grease in the pan to enhance the flavor of the onions. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic at the last 30 seconds of cooking the onion. Add the spinach, wine and lemon juice to the skillet. Cook a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Transfer the sausage back into the skillet. Cook until all is hot, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the sausage mixture into the pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving dish and top with crumbled feta cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: One-Pot Beefy Lasagna Soup

Recipe: One-Pot Beefy Lasagna Soup

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups (40 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) petit diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
½ cup (4 oz) dry white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
¾ tsp dried oregano
10 dry lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
extra chopped fresh parsley for serving

Directions

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and crumble in the ground beef, stir occasionally. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the meat is browned. Season with some salt & pepper. Mix in the garlic.

Add the chicken broth, diced & crushed tomatoes, puree, wine and herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until the noodles are cooked to your liking.

While the soup is cooking combine the ricotta and parmesan. Slice the mozzarella.

Spoon portions of soup into oven safe bowls. Top with a dollop of the ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Broil for 3 minutes or until browned to your liking. Serve hot, topped with parsley and basil.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Soup

Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil
1 (1 1/2 cups) yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ cup celery, chopped
¾ cup carrots, chopped
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten free tamari
1 ½ lbs fresh mushrooms, sliced. Mix of Cremini and white button mushrooms.
½ lb Shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 (13.5 ounce can) full fat coconut milk
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp sweet paprika
ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook another 2 minutes. Mix in the celery and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring so the veggies don’t stick to the pot.

Stir in the broth, wine, lemon juice, soy sauce. Add the mushrooms. Bring to a boil then a simmer. Mix in the coconut milk. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper.

Serve hot topped with some fresh chopped parsley.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Vegan Minestrone Soup

Recipe: Vegan Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped sweet potato
2 cups chopped brussels sprouts
1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 15 ounce can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp chopped italian parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
7 oz orzo or small pasta, cooked to package directions

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, sweet potato and Brussels sprouts. Cook 6-8 minutes (until fragrant and softened) stirring occasionally so veggies don’t stick to the pot.

Add in the broth, diced tomatoes, wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. In the last few minutes stir in the beans, rosemary and parsley.

Place some pasta in each bowl and ladle soup into bowls.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb whole wheat spaghetti
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
freshly grated parmesan for serving

Directions

While the pasta is cooking. Roughly chop 2/3 of the tomatoes. Over a large bowl, grate the rest of the tomatoes using the large holes of a box grater.

Combine the chopped and grated tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, sugar, garlic and pepper in the large bowl. Let rest 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Immediately place the pasta back into the pasta pot.

Add the tomato sauce into the pasta with the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat until hot and the cooking liquid is absorbed. Mix in the 1/4 cup chopped basil during the last minute.

Serve immediately with more basil and parmesan cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked to package directions
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
½ chopped red onion
1 pt cherry tomatoes, quartered
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 (15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook quinoa to package directions with the 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

Dressing: Whisk lemon juice and garlic powder in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Toss the cooled quinoa with the dressing veggies, chickpeas, feta, mint and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients

12 oz Cavatappi, macaroni or bow tie pastacook to package directions, rinse in cold water when done
1 (8.4 oz) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 (8 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, no need to drain the oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
5 oz shaved parmesan cheese
Champagne Vinaigrette
cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch granulated sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and toss with cold water. Set aside.

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.

Toss everything together in a very large serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb cleaned and deveined shrimp, 45 count
8 oz linguini
8 oz ground chorizo sausage
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2 each yellow, red & orange bell peppers, diced
olive oil
chopped chives

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Rinse & toss with olive oil.

Cook chorizo in a large saucepan until cooked through, chop it up with a spatula. Remove Chorizo from pan.
Leave chorizo oil in pan, melt butter. Add peppers & garlic, Saute over medium high heat until softened, slightly browned & fragrant about 5 minutes.

Toss shrimp with southwest seasoning. Add shrimp to pan. Cook another 5 minutes. Add chorizo & stir. Add pasta into pan. Toss well & serve hot. Top with chives.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: The Best Red Enchilada Sauce

Recipe: The Best Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp red chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
a few pinches ground red pepper to taste if you want this spicy

Directions

Be sure to have all of the ingredients measured out and near the stove. This sauce comes together very quickly.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together for a few seconds. Whisk in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk in the tomato paste. The mixture will darken a bit, cook a minute until fragrant.

Gradually add in the stock, whisking the entire time. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring the sauce to a boil and then to a simmer. Mix in the vinegar. Cook 5-7 minutes. Whisk often to remove lumps and to make a smooth sauce. Sauce will appear thin at first and will thicken as it cooks. Add ground red pepper now to taste if you want a spicy sauce. Test the thickness with a spoon. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Transfer the sauce to a heat proof container to cool or use immediately for enchiladas. Enchilada sauce can be refrigerated and used within 5 days or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Vegan Toasted Barley with Broccoli Salad

Recipe: Vegan Toasted Barley with Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
Kosher salt
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 red onion, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (or more to taste)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions

Toast the pecans: heat a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the pecans for a few minutes until slightly brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Toast the barley: In a 10 inch skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Over medium heat, add the barley to the skillet. Toast 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water to the skillet, bring to a boil then simmer for 25-30 minutes until the barley is tender.

Heat the remainder of the oil in another 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, broccoli and lemon juice. Cook 8-10 minutes until the broccoli is bright green. Transfer this mixture to a large serving bowl.

Add the cooked broccoli to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Mix in the vinegar, cliantro and pecans. Serve warm or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Ingredients

1 lb linguine, cooked to package directions
1 lb large shrimp, cleaned, peeled (leaving tails) and slightly butterflied
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ cup dry white wine
¼ fl oz olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pinch red pepper (or more to taste)
a few pinches salt and pepper
3 tbsp unsalted , divided

Directions

Clean and peel the shrimp. Make the marinade. Combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, wine, lemon juice, parsley and seasonings in a large bowl. Place the shrimp in the bowl and marinate for 20-30 minutes.

While the shrimp is marinating. Cook pasta to package directions. Toss with olive oil.

Preheat the flat top grill or skillet on medium high. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter on the grill then place the shrimp and marinade on top. Cook for 2 minutes then flip the shrimp and cook for another minute or until cooked through. Toss with the rest of the butter.

Serve on top of the linguine. Top with more parsley.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Fresh Raspberry Margaritas

Recipe: Fresh Raspberry Margaritas

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) reposado or añejo tequila
1 ½ fl oz (3 tbsp) simple syrup (or add to taste)
ice
coarse or Kosher salt for rimming the glass
Simple Syrup
½ cup granulated white or light brown sugar
½ cup water

Directions

Make the simple syrup. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes making sure all the sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

Using a wedge of lime, rub the rim of rocks or margarita glasses with the lime. Dip the edge of the glass into the salt. Fill 1/2 way with ice.

Muddle the raspberries with the lime juice in a cocktail shaker.

Add the tequila and simple syrup. Fill with ice. Shake until well combined. Strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and more fresh raspberries.

~ Marla Meridith