Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mushroom and Turkey Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

2 tsp olive oil
5 links of turkey italian sausage, removed from casings
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (plus extra for garnish)
1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
3 cups of mushroom marinara (or store bought sauce)
12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked per instructions (I had left over filling so I cooked for shells)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skilled over medium heat.
3. Once hot, add the turkey italian sausage, and cook until crumbled.  Add the mushrooms and onions then saute until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.
4.  Add the minced garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.
5.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, spinach, fresh basil, nutmeg, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
6.  Mix thoroughly then add the sausage, mushroom, and onion saute then combine.  Taste mixture and re-season if needed.
7.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of marinara in the bottom of a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
8.  Place the 12 cooked shells in the pan.  Stuff each shell with the ricotta mixture.
9.  Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells.
10.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Top with fresh chopped basil and parmesan.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza Braid

Pizza dough
Barbecue sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Roasted chicken, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Red onion, sliced thinly

1. Place the pizza dough onto a floured surface and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Place a silpat mat (or large baking tray) on the counter and coat with cooking spray and sprinkle the top with a bit of cornmeal. Roll (or spread) the dough out on top of the silpat mat into a rectangle. Drizzle a bit of sauce on top of the chicken and mix until evenly coated. Spoon some of the barbecue sauce down the center of the pizza dough, add slices of chopped mozzarella to the sauce followed by the chicken, cilantro, and red onion. Note: Don't use too much sauce or your pizza braid will be a bit soggy.
4. Cut even slits on both sides of the filling with a pizza cutter. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.
5. Once you have completed the braid, carefully place the slip mat onto a baking sheet.
6. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Egg Salad Sandwiches

8 hard-cooked eggs, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp paprika

1. In a bowl, gently mix the eggs, mayonnaise, onion, celery, garlic powder, pepper, dill weed, mustard powder, and paprika.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
3. To serve, spread equal amounts on a slice of bread. Top with another slice of bread to make sandwiches.