Zucchini & Onion Linguine with Olive Oil

I love making a new dish and especially when you make it and you are SO happy with the outcome.  I love sauteing zucchini and onion with a little olive oil.  That’s where this pasta dish comes in. I just turned it into a deliciously light meal.  Perfect vegetarians meal or those meatless Mondays! Give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

Zucchini & Onion Linguine with Olive Oil

Ingredients:

1 lb linguine
3 medium zucchinis, cut in half moons
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T butter
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t oregano
2 t parsley
1 t crushed red pepper, optional
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese

Directions:  Cook pasta according to the package.  Set aside once done with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Add in 1 T of oil and let heat.  Next add in the garlic and onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn. Next add in the zucchini and let cook.  You will want to cook about 10-12 minutes over medium heat.  Stir often.  You want the zucchini to be very tender.

Season the zucchini mixture with garlic and onion powder.  Add in the pasta and season with oregano, parsley and crushed red pepper (if using.) Mix in the olive oil and butter. Let butter fully melt, completely tossing.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese and serve!

Note: You can omit the butter, it just give it a nice smooth finish.  I prefer the zucchini to be super tender. If you want it to have a bit just cook less time.  Cooking time will depend on the heat and size of the zucchini.  You can use fresh or dried herbs. I made this last minute so I used dried, since that’s what I had on hand. Also, I know I added garlic and onion powder as well as fresh garlic and onion….I always use that! 🙂
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Spinach & Mushroom Pizza

I love making homemade pizzas. I personally just buy the pizza dough from a local Italian shop and it cuts the prep time in half. I made this pizza and the dough wasn’t cooperating, so the crust totally came out wonky. I still had to share because the flavors were awesome. This is also my first time making a video while cooking. It’s new to me, so I’m learning as I go! 🙂

Spinach & Mushroom Pizza

Ingredients:
1 fresh pizza dough
8 oz sliced mushrooms, sauteed to remove moisture
10 oz fresh spinach
1 cup Italian shredded cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
1 T grated Romano cheese
1 T + 2t olive oil
1/2 T Italian Seasoning
2 t garlic salt

Directions: Preheat oven 425°. Roll out pizza dough to your desired thickness. Use spray oil on a large cookie sheet and add the dough. Pierce the dough all over with a fork. Par bake the crust for about 8 minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven and assemble the pizza. Drizzle 1 T oil over the crust and use a brush to completely cover the crust. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the crust. Next layer with spinach and then top with mushrooms. Next add the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle the Romano and Italian seasoning over the top. Lightly drizzle oil on top and bake in the oven for another 10-12 minutes depending on how crisp you like your pizza and how thick your dough is.

Once pizza is done remove from oven and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cut and serve.

Classic Tomato Bruschetta

I’m happy the weather is finally starting to feel like spring. As the weather gets warmer I do like to try and eat a little lighter.  Light snacks, or light meals.  Lots of salads and fresh fruits and vegetables.

This classic bruschetta is a perfect example of a light and bright snack or lunch.  You can mix it up with other ingredients but this one is just a classic tomato bruschetta!

Classic Tomato Bruschetta

Ingredients:
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (finely shopped)
3 T shaved parmesan
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t salt
1 t salt

Crostini:
1 baguette (about 10 oz) sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl add in diced tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper (more or less to taste)  Put in the refrigerator and let chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange slices of bread on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes. Once done, let cool.

Remove the tomato mixture and mix in the shaved parmesan cheese.  Next add a spoonful of the tomato mixture to the top of the crostini.  Serve immediately.

Note: You can add the cheese on top of the tomato mixture.  I chose to mix in so then it doesn’t fall off.  You can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar for an extra kick in flavor.

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Chicken Enchilada Pasta

This recipe is 2 amazing dishes mixed into one.  It’s pasta and enchiladas.  This pasta is a great fusion of 2 favorites in my opinion.  It’s simple to make.  You can remove the chicken to make a vegetarian dish and you can add any veggies you have on hand.

This recipe calls for cooked chicken.  I’ve done it 2 different way.  I’ve used a rotisserie chicken that I just removed the chicken from the bone and diced up.  I’ve also made salsa chicken in the crockpot.  (Check out that recipe under crockpot on the table of contents)  Either way is completely fine.  The chicken just needs to be fully cooked.

This is definitely a quick weeknight recipe.  Perfect for left over chicken and can be put together rather quickly and the results are delicious!  Give it a try, let me know how you like it!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Ingredients:
1lb chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
1 lb pasta, I use penne
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce
15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz cheese
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 T taco seasoning
2 t salt, optional
2 t pepper, optional
2 T olive oil

Optional Toppings:
sour cream
green onion
avocado
cheese
chives

Directions: Boil water for pasta.  Don’t forget to season water with salt.  Cook pasta according to package.  While water is boiling and pasta is cooking. Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat 2 minutes.  Next add in the onion and pepper and let cook 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken into the pan and mix well.  Next pour in the enchilada sauce.  Season with the taco seasoning and salt and pepper if using.  Let cook for 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the cheese until it’s fully melted.

Next remove from heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and cilantro.  Add in cooked pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with your favorite taco toppings.  Enjoy!

Note: My picture is topped with a dollop of sour cream, avocado, chives, onions and cotija cheese.

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Italian Chicken Cutlets

I love a nice chicken cutlet.  Coming from an Italian family chicken cutlets were definitely something we ate often.  It’s a nice thin piece of chicken breaded and fried (or baked) to a nice crispy exterior.  It’s so simple but so delicious.

When I make chicken cutlets it takes me back to sitting in my grandparents house and smelling the oil and chicken cooking. Yum!

Italian Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast, cut 1/4 inch thick (or thin chicken cutlets) (6-8 total)
3/4 cup flour, (seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t pepper
2 t salt
2 t garlic and herb seasoning (see Shop Items I use, on top of page)
1/2-3/4 cup oil

Direction: Make a breading station with 3 bowls. In one bowl mix together breadcrumbs with cheese, and all seasonings, in a 2nd bowl add the beaten eggs, the last bowl should have the flour with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

First put the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Covering completely.  Set aside on a plate. Continue with remaining chicken.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat up completely.  To check if oil is hot add the end of a wooden spoon and make sure it starts to bubble.  Preheat oven to 300.

Once heated completely, add a few chicken pieces at a time to the pan, maybe 3 depending on size of the pan.  Do not over crowd the pan.  (Note you may need to add more oil to the pan after cooking some pieces.

Cook chicken for 2-4 minutes on one side and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken breast the temperature of the oil.

Once cooked, drain the chicken cutlet on a paper towel to remove all the excess grease. Then place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. Continue with remaining chicken breast.

Serve the chicken cutlet with pasta, a salad, veggies or a nice carb.  Enjoy!

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Eggplant Parmesan Roll- Ups

I have been craving eggplant parmesan for weeks.  With this quarantine I decided to make it as it’s a little more time consuming, and hey nothing but time on my hands right now.  So, I made this into roll ups.  It came out super yummy.  Feel free to do this and just cut the eggplant in discs and stack in the pan with the sauce, sheet and ricotta.  Literally you can’t go wrong with however you decided to put it together.

Eggplant Parmesan Roll Ups

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise (skin removed or left on)
1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1/2 T Italian seasoning
2 t salt
2 t pepper
3 eggs, beaten
3 T olive oil

Filling:
2 cups riccotta
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
4 basil leaves, chiffonade

1-2 cups marinara (more or less to taste)
1 cup mozzarella

Directions: Pre-heat oven 400.  Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.  Place slices on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and let slices drain 30-45 minutes. After the time is up rinse eggplant and pat dry. (This step will help draw out some moisture in the eggplant.

Next, get 3 shallow bowls for the breading station.  Add flour to one, breadcrumbs  and seasoning to another, and eggs to the last bowl. Season the flour mixture with salt and pepper as well.

Start the breading process, dip the eggplant slices in the egg, then the flour mixture and in the breadcrumbs, making sure to completely coat the eggplant slice.  Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and add eggplant.  Continue with remaining slices. (Note: Add extra breadcrumbs if needed)

Once you have completed all your eggplant, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. You want the breadcrumbs to be crispy.  (Note: once this is baked it will soften up anyway)
Remove from the oven once done.

While the eggplant is cooking you can make the ricotta mixture.  To a medium mixing bowl add in ricotta, seasoning, cheeses, garlic an basil and mix well.  Set aside until ready to use.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. To assemble add a spoonful of the ricotta mixture to the eggplant slice and roll up, place in in the baking dish. Do this with all the eggplant slices.  Once completed top the eggplant rolls with sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Let sit a few minutes and serve with a nice chunk of bread or garlic bread.

Notes: Use as much or as little of the marina as you like. Personally for me I prefer less sauce.  You can also make this dish without breading the eggplant. I prefer the taste of it breaded so this time I breaded it.  Also, you can fry the eggplant in a pan on the stove if  if you wish. I was trying to make it easier and trying to keep it slightly healthier.

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