Baked Ziti With Spinach and Tomatoes Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce
  • 10 ounces ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
  • 8 cups spinach leaves
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

For directions, visit Epicurious.

Recipe Notes:

I almost always substitute 1 pound of sliced mushrooms (white or baby bella are my favorites) for the sausage and make this into vegetarian dish. Sometimes I make it with both mushrooms and sausage. I’ve also substituted cubed eggplant with delicious results.

I usually use frozen spinach, because I’m more likely to have it around the house.

Recipe Review:

Since stumbling on this recipe on Epicurious years ago, this has become a favorite dinner of my husband and me. It’s delicious, easy to make, and fairly healthy. I especially like the addition of the pesto.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

Pasta al Cavolfiore Recipe Review

pasta-al-cavolfioreIngredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups mixed grated Parmesan and cheddar cheese

For instructions, please check out the Moosewood Cookbook:

The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen’s Classic Cooking) (Paperback)
by Mollie Katzen

Price: $16.68
151 used & new available from $1.35
4.5 out of 5 stars (206 customer reviews)

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is pretty forgiving of substitutions. I rarely have tomato puree on hand, so I almost always use crushed tomatoes or even diced tomatoes. Still good. I often omit the butter in favor of additional olive oil. Still good. I almost always reduce the cheese. Still good. I usually use spaghetti, but sometimes mix it up with shells (as shown here), bowties, or other types of pasta. Still good.

Recipe Review:

This recipe has been a family favorite for as long as I remember. It’s one of my dad’s favorite meals, and since getting married and starting my own family, it’s been in our regular rotation as well. It’s easy, healthy, and delicious. Though it does take a little longer than boiling some noodles and opening a jar of Prego (or jarred sauce of choice), it’s more filling, and has the additional advantage of filling you up mostly on low calorie cauliflower instead of high calorie pasta.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 7/8 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk

For directions, please visit Alexandra Cooks.

Recipe Review:

As soon as I saw this, I knew my daughter would love it, and she did. It was a big hit with the rest of the family, too, and my parents even asked for the recipe after I cooked it for them. It has now entered their regular breakfast repertoire as well, especially when my daughter is visiting. 🙂 As the blogger says, buttermilk seems to make everything moist and delicious.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Lemony Cucumber and Couscous Salad Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • 1½ to 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese

For directions, please visit Budget Bytes.

Recipe Notes:

I skip the feta and add some fresh mint in addition to the parsley.

Recipe Review:

Easy to make, with a fresh and refreshing flavor. A perfect summer salad! Goes great with the Greek Marinated Chicken recipe from the same blog.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Greek Marinated Chicken Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • 3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces

For directions, please visit Budget Bytes.

Recipe Notes:

I dump the marinade into the baking pan with the chicken, which produces a lot of delicious sauce. I recommend cooking some rice on the side to soak all the goodness up. This recipe is also excellent with the Lemony Cucumber and Couscous Salad from the same blog.

Recipe Review:

Easy to make, but super moist and flavorful! Budget Bytes is one of my favorite recipe blogs and great recipes like this are the reason why.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Weeknight Italian Wedding Soup Recipe Review

Ingredients:

* 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 (12 oz) package Al Fresco tomato and basil chicken meatballs
* 1 small onion, diced
* 3 carrots, thinly sliced
* 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 pinch crushed red or green pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 5 cups chicken stock
* 1 cup orzo
* 10 oz baby spinach
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For directions, please visit BevCooks.com.

Recipe Notes:

I’ve never made this recipe with meatballs of any type, store-bought or homemade. I usually use about half a beef kielbasa, but occasionally leave out the meat entirely. I also leave out the crushed red pepper to make it more kid-friendly, though my husband adds it back in to his bowl.

Review:

I’ve never had real Italian wedding soup, so to be honest, I have no idea how authentic (or not) this recipe is. What I can tell you is that it’s fast, easy, and delicious, with a surprisingly rich flavor considering the quick cooking time. My daughter doesn’t like the orzo, for some reason, but the rest of the family loves it.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Salmon With Feta and Capers Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • one salmon filet
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • fresh chopped garlic
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • capers

For directions, please visit The Sisters Cafe.

Review:

To die for. I like to shake up my standard baked salmon preparation (dill with black or lemon pepper) sometimes and this was a fantastic addition to my repertoire. The combination of salty and sour from the capers, feta, and lemon juice is like a little explosion of flavor with every bite. I often serve it to seafood-loving guests and it has been a big hit every time.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Roasted Cauliflower With Cumin Seeds Recipe Review

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Plain yogurt, for serving
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, for serving
  • Pomegranate seeds, for serving

For directions, please visit NPR.org or check out:

Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make (Hardcover)
by Melissa Clark

Price: $21.24
76 used & new available from $3.84
4.4 out of 5 stars (50 customer reviews)

Recipe Notes:

I don’t bother to measure when making this recipe. I most likely use somewhat less salt and pepper than the recipe calls for and slightly more olive oil and cumin seed.

Review:

I’m going to be honest. The roasted cauliflower is so damn good that I’ve never even made it to the part with the yogurt and pomegranate seeds. The combination sounds good to me, but I really have no idea if it is, because I start popping the florets in my mouth as soon as they’re cool enough to not burn my tongue (and sometimes earlier) and have been known to demolish almost the entire head before I even get it to the table. It is that good. I’m fond of whole cumin seeds in general and they add the perfect touch to the already incredible deliciousness of roasted cauliflower.

My husband and the kids also like it, though not with quite the same passion as I do.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)