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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: Southwest Chicken & Rice Bowls

Recipe: Southwest Chicken & Rice Bowls

Ingredients

2 cups long grain brown rice, cooked to package directions
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 medium chicken breasts cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper (more if you love extra spicy)
juice from 1/2 lime
½ red bell pepper diced
½ yellow bell pepper diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup canned or frozen corn, drained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
Optional Toppings
chopped fresh cilantro
crumbled queso fresco
pico de gallo
fresh lime wedges
sour cream

Directions

Cook the rice to package directions.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, seasonings and lime juice. Cook 3-4 minutes each side until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate. DO NOT rinse the skillet.

Add the remainder of the olive oil to the skillet (2 tbsp) and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and saute another 4 minutes. Add the corn, black beans and olives. Cook another 3 minutes until hot. Mix in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Add the chicken back into the pan and cook 2 minutes.

Plate the rice into bowls. Top with the chicken mixture. Top with any additional toppings you desire. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Vegetarian Enchiladas

Recipe: Vegetarian Enchiladas

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 crown of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 lime, juiced
5 cups baby spinach
1 (15 ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups mexican blend shredded cheese, divided into 1/2 and 1 1/2
½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
8″ whole wheat tortillas
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions

Make the enchilada sauce.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Spray a 9X13″ casserole dish with olive oil.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the chopped onion. Cook until fragrant about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cook 5 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green. Mix in the bell pepper, smoked paprika and lime juice. Mix in the baby spinach, allow it to wilt about 2 minutes. Mix in beans. Cook another 2 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.

Assemble the enchiladas. Pour 1/4 cup enchilada sauce into the casserole dish and spread it around. Top each tortilla with some of the veggie mixture. Lay it down the center of the tortilla and roll the sides up over it. Place each stuffed tortilla with the seam side down into the casserole dish until you have used up all the veggies. You will end up with 8 or 9 enchiladas.

Top with the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Pour the sauce down the middle of the enchiladas keeping the edges bare. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

~ 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: 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: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Recipe: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp soy sauce or tamari (if you are gluten free)
2 tbsp peanut, grapeseed or canola oil
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 lb ground chicken, turkey, pork, lamb or beef
cup chopped cilantro
1 head butter lettuce or romaine hearts (you will need about 8 small to medium leaves)
Serve with
sliced green onion
chopped peanuts
lime wedges
chopped cilantro

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the water. Next, whisk in the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha and soy sauce (tamari). Set aside.

Heat the oil in a 10 inch cast iron or your favorite skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook a few minutes, until they become fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger cook another 1 minutes. Add the carrots, cook 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high and add the ground chicken. Mix in the chicken and make sure to chop it into small pieces as it cooks. Once the chicken is white and has almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes, pour in the sauce and mix well to combine. Cook for 1 minute until the sauce thickens a bit. Mix in the cilantro.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large serving plate. Spoon the chicken filling into the lettuce leaves. Top with any of the serving suggestions. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: One-Pot Tuscan Chicken aka: Marry Me Chicken

Recipe: One-Pot Tuscan Chicken aka: Marry Me Chicken

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
34 large chicken breasts
Kosher salt
ground pepper
For the sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
¼ cup capers
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
splash dry white wine
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped basil

Directions

Heat the oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Transfer to a clean plate.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium add the butter. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté for 2 minutes. Mix in the thyme and oregano.

Mix in the tomatoes, sauté for 4 minutes. Mix in the spinach, cook 2 minutes until wilted. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Cook for 3 minutes.

Mix in the cream, broth and wine. Bring the sauce to a boil then to a simmer. Simmer for 7 minutes. In the last 2 minutes, mix in the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken into the sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Top with fresh basil and any extra sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Serve immediately with pasta, rice, garlic bread or baguette.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Very Veggie Lasagna

Recipe: Very Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

1 lb brown rice lasagna pasta
1 (10 oz) package frozen, chopped spinach
1 (16 oz) container 4% milkfat cottage cheese
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese (non fat or whole milk)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bell pepper (any color)
25 oz whole white mushrooms, sliced
1 32 oz jar your favorite tomato sauce
Kosher salt & pepper
1 chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarela and cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain then rinse in cold water.

Thaw the spinach in the microwave. Squeeze out excess water and place in a large bowl. Mix with the ricotta and cottage cheese. Season with some salt and pepper.

Add olive oil to a large skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and bell peppers. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies soften. Mix the veggies as they cook. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir the tomato sauce into the skillet and 1/4 cup parsley. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.

Start with a thin layer of sauce in a 9X13 inch casserole baking dish. Add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles. On top of the pasta add a layer of the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, then a layer of sauce and the noodles again. Continue layering finishing with a layer of the pasta then finally the sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the sauce.

Bake the lasagna for 35 minutes then broil on low for 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Top with 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Serve while hot.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Pantry-Only Tex Mex Mac ‘n Cheese

Recipe: Pantry-Only Tex Mex Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients

10 oz macaroni, rotini or fusilli
salt for pasta water
16.25 can whole kernel corn
11 can Ro*tel (diced tomato & chili)
3.25 can sliced black olives
1 lb Velveeta cheese block
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp smoked spanish paprika
¼ tsp ground red pepper
minced dried onion for topping

Directions

Cook the pasta to package directions.
Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
Drain pasta.

Open the canned ingredients and drain.

Chop the Velveeta into 1 inch pieces.

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Add the canned ingredients. Heat for about 5 minutes.

Mix in all the dried seasonings excluding the dried minced onion.

Mix in the reserved cooking water.
Mix in the Velveeta until the sauce is creamy.

Mix in the cooked pasta.
Top with the dried minced onion and serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith