Recipe Redux’s October challenge theme is “Spooky Spices”: “You know they are lurking there: Way in the back of your spice drawer. There lie the herbs, spices, or rubs that are getting dusty because you’re afraid to use them… you simply don’t know what to do with them! Well, pull them out and show us a recipe you created to deliciously conquer that fearful spice. (Or maybe the recipe was a flop – and the spice still give you nightmares?!)”
So as instructed, I went digging in the back of my spice cabinet and found this container of “SlapYaMama” Cajun seasoning my grandpa gave me a while ago.
My grandpa is one funny guy. He’s a pretty simple man but also has certain favorite things he labels as “the best”, whether it’s a particular brand of pajamas or type of mustard. He goes on and on why it’s “the best” and will stay very loyal to it.
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Today I am going to share my 4th and final pasta recipe for National Pasta Month sponsored by Pasta Fits. Kale, Mushroom and Zucchini Stuffed Shells + Easy Red Wine Tomato Sauce. I felt like I was channeling my inner Italian while making this dish and sipping wine as I made the tasty tomatosauce. Yes, I am supposedly ¼ (or less?) Italian. I say “supposedly” because one of my great-grandfathers claimed to be from Palermo, Italy, although he was adopted and the story keeps changing. I hear that multiple birth certificates for him were found, so it seems that he may have actually been born in Milwaukee, WI (where my family is originally from) and possibly had Italian parents who set him up for adoption? Or his adoptive parents were Italian? Interesting… Maybe I will work on my family history some day to solve that mystery.
We just ‘d this pasta dish! I think it would also be wonderful to make for a holiday dinner. Christmas Eve maybe? It has incredible flavor and elegance, without being too complicated! Not to mention, it’s packed with nutritious kale, mushrooms and zucchini. I haven’t cooked much with kale yet, besides making kale chips, so I thought I’d give it a go. I would definitely recommend using kale in your pasta recipes (cook just like you would fresh spinach). In this recipe I finely chopped it up so it was evenly spread through out the ricotta stuffing. Yum! What a fantastic way to get in some extra vitamins K, A, C and many other nutrients.
I also made this dish slightly healthier by using part-skim ricotta and 2% milk mozzarella along with heart healthy homemade tomato sauce and olive oil. The noodles provide a delicious and nutritious base to the recipe alongside the wholesome fresh ingredients.
This recipe is another unique way to incorporate pasta, like the Easy Thai Peanut Noodles I posted a few days ago which uses spaghetti noodles. Instead of filling these peppers with rice, I decided to stuff them with orzo! And if you haven’t noticed by now, I have a thing for southwestern food and cilantro So here is my take on Mexican inspired orzo stuffed bell peppers.
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
‘Tis the season for pumpkingalore! Whether you like pumpkin or not, you pretty much can’t escape the frenzy. For those of you who happen to be pumpkin obsessed like me and also happen to enjoy a comforting bowl of alfredo pasta, you will this dish!
This is my all time favorite alfredo sauce. It’s so addictive, I could pretty much just eat it off a spoon 🙂 And better yet it’s much healthier then the typical high fat and salt alfredo sauce from a jar. It uses olive oil instead of butter to provide some healthier fats, non-fat milk and low-fat cream cheese (I think this is what really makes it yummy!). By adding the pumpkin puree and a few extra herbs, it makes a fantastic seasonal dish and provides an extra dose of Vitamin A. Combine it with some fresh steamed veggies and grilled chicken to make it a balanced and wholesome meal.
What better way to start celebrating fall then enjoying a cozy bowl of Savory Butternut Squash Soup? And then top if off with the most amazing delicious homemade croutons! Yeah, I’m still pretending we’re having fall weather over here in Arizona (it’s still 100 degrees). But a girl can dream right? It was actually the perfect day for soup when I made this because we were having a cooler rainy day. Hence the light looking rainy-ish in my photos. Maybe it worked out in my favor though?
This soup has such an amazing flavor. With the onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs it has more of a bold and savory taste vs. a sweeter apple or pear butternut soup. Plus, the added chopped vegetables heighten the flavor and give it a little more texture.
I recently joined a blogging group founded by registered dietitians called Recipe Redux. They believe that all healthy meals deserve to taste delicious, as do I! The main idea of the group is to challenge members to share a recipe every month based around the monthly theme, and post on the 21st and 22nd of the each month. Well, today is my group’s day and do I have a tasty dish for you! The September theme is “Get Your Dehydrator On”, which can be a recipe on how to dehydrate produce or use it in a recipe. I have a fabulous recipe I’d like to share using dried cranberries.
Soft, chewy pumpkin granola bars with out any butter or oil. Your house will smell amazing like cozy fall spices when these are baking in the oven.
Well it’s officially pumpkin season in my house, even though the first day of autumn is next Monday! It is my favorite season! Maybe because it follows our long hot Arizona summers. Wish we had a real fall season here in AZ with colorful leaves and chilly weather. But if it is at least cool enough to go outside, it’s all good with me! I suppose we can always take a 2.5 hr trip up to Flagstaff for some fall weather in a month 🙂
I am so addicted to these no bake energy bites! Imagine being able to eat peanut butter cookie dough without all the guilt 😉 Well this isn’t exactly cookie dough (no flour here), but they do have a similar nutty, sweet and scrumptious taste. These energy bites require no baking, can be made in minutes and put in the freezer for a quick snack when needed (or to help satisfy that sweet tooth). There’s just enough healthy fat, protein and fiber to give you long lasting “energy” and help curb your appetite.
They also make a great and healthy snack for your kids or babies. Our little Noelle just loves munching on them. 🙂 I typically give her some that are easier for her to chew with less nuts and she does great with them. Easy to pack up in a snack bag and go! They’re also perfect for the lunch box and much cheaper than packaged bars. What makes them fun is how versatile they can be with whatever flavors and fillings you like. Get creative! I’ve seen some other recipes for Nutella, Almond Joy or Trail Mix energy bites. Yum yum!
Oh do I have a treat for you! Let me introduce you to these ooey gooey, double dark chocolate zucchini brownies.
With dark chocolate being one of my favorite sweets, I knew I had to give this recipe a try! Plus it makes you feel a little better indulging in them when you know they’ve got some hidden zucchini, wholesome whole-wheat, dark chocolate and no butter or oil! Honestly I can’t even tell the zucchini is in there, although if I did I probably wouldn’t care because zucchini bread is delicious as well!
Here is another light and summery recipe for you! I’ve been making this summer fruit salsa for a few years now and it is SO fresh, juicy and yummy. It’s the perfect refreshing snack to munch on while lounging out by the pool on a hot day. Well at least I imagine I’d be doing that if I had my own pool. 🙂 It also makes a fun and unique appetizer, instead of your typical salsa, to bring to your next gathering. Some fruit salsas are also made with homemade cinnamon chips, but I actually prefer it with regular chips because of the tasty sweet n salty combination. Pair it with a tasty marg and you are good to go!