This is a great way to get your in your veggies! I served this as a side with the last recipe.
Source: EveryDay Food
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 1 pound chopped trimmed spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo according to package instructions. Stir in spinach until wilted. Drain.

  2. In a large bowl, toss hot spinach and pasta with mint, crumbled feta cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

This is a tough recipe.  I had a hard time pounding out the chicken to be thin enough because the meat started to break down.  I ended up with chicken that was too thick and thus took FOREVER to cook all of the way through.  If I make this again I think I will have to slice very thick chicken breasts in half lengthwise first.   The recipe calls for 6 oz chicken breasts but that's pretty much impossible to buy perfectly weighed out like that. 
Source: Recipe by Fabio Viviani
  • 6  (6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 12 slices Italian prosciutto 
  • 3  tbsp    extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup    fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup    chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine 
  • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Lightly season the pounded chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. 
Place 2 sage leaves on top of each breast, then lay two slices of prosciutto flat on top of the sage leaves. 
Fold the chicken breast in half, so that the sage and prosciutto are inside.  It’s okay if the ends of the prosciutto are peeking out. 
Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick sauté pan on medium-high.  CHEF’S NOTE: For best results, do not use cast-iron or any other reactive pan.
Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through, and remove to a plate to keep warm. 
Add lemon juice, chicken broth and white wine to the sauté pan, and stir to combine. 
Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 
Return the chicken to the pan and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes, basting the chicken frequently. 
To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken. 
Season with black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. 
Serve with lemon wedges on the side. 


We bought a grill!  Woo-hoo!  This was our first dish grilling outside.  It's definitely going to take some getting used to (I had trouble with flare ups) but I can't wait for a summer full of grilled foods.  What could be a better first try than delicious brats? I used two full bottles of my favorite beer - Blue Moon!
Source: Bobby Flay

1 dozen brats
Beer, to cover
1 medium large sweet onion
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter

Place brats in a Dutch oven with onions and butter, cover the brats with beer. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until brats are cooked. Remove brats and set aside beer mixture. Grill brats until golden brown and return to beer mixture until ready to serve. Serve brats on fresh baked brat buns with sauerkraut, onions, green peppers, ketchup, and/or mustard.

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This is delicious.  I love the fresh flavors of cilantro and lime and they go great with noodles and shrimp.  Definitely making this again!
Source: Rachael Ray Mag
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 ounces dried flat rice noodles
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch  scallions, greens chopped and whites reserved for another use
  • 3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Siracha, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and worcestershire until the sugar dissolves.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate; reserve the skillet.
  3. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender but still slightly chewy, 4 to 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil to the reserved skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Crack in the eggs and cook until the whites are browned slightly at the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a nonstick spatula, flip the eggs and break into small pieces. Add the noodles and fish sauce mixture; toss to combine. Add the cooked shrimp and stir until the shrimp are heated through and the noodles have absorbed some of the sauce, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the bean sprouts, scallion greens and peanuts; toss well. Divide the noodles among plates and top with the cilantro. Serve with the sriracha and lime wedges.
This is a great authentic buttermilk pancake recipe from scratch.  If you don't have buttermilk on hand, just add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let stand for 5 minutes.  The second version features only whole wheat flour.  It's definitely not as good as the first,  but fills you up so much more and affects your blood sugar less.
Source: Adapted from "Buttermilk Pancakes II"

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour (in the second recicpe, I used 1 cup of King Arthur's Whole Wheat White flour)
  •  1 tablespoon white sugar
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup buttermilk
  •  1 eggs
  •  2 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir!

Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. 

Serves two three people.
Risotto really isn't hard to make; it just requires a bit of patience and attention.  Make sure to use a non-stick pan for the best results (I used a cast iron skillet). Saffron is one of the most expensive spices on the planet but it very elegant and sophisticated and has lots of health benefits.  Just a little will make your entire dish a rich yellow color. 
Source: Ina Garten

  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

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We should all be eating more legumes like lentils.  Seriously, this is the stuff we're supposed to be eating.  If you need more convincing, read all about them here. _
I will decrease the amount of water by 2 cups the next time I make this; it was painful to wait for the water to be absorbed while the lentils were already cooked.  I served this with grilled Naan, an Indian flatbread made from yogurt. 
Source: Food Network Magazine

  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Combine the lentils, 6 cups water, the tomato, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, vigorously whisking occasionally, until the lentils are broken up and the mixture is thick, about 45 minutes.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute; stir into the lentils along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt.
This recipe calls for sausage but I prefer mostly vegetarian pastas so I left it out.  I LOVE the complimentary flavors of sundried tomatoes and artichokes.  This dish is completed with fresh hand-made mozz.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis

  • 3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

This was a bit of work but worth it if you're into mushrooms.
Source: Food Network Magazine

For the stuffed shells:
Kosher salt
8 ounces (20 to 24) jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
For the sauces:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt
1/4 cup low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Make the stuffed shells: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until slightly softened but still firm, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with olive oil and toss; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 more minutes. Add the spinach and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

Finely chop the spinach-mushroom mixture and combine in a bowl with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the filling; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, then rinse out the can with 1 cup water and add to the skillet; add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the skillet and rinse out the blender.

Make the cheese sauce: Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and egg in the blender and puree until smooth.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil and pour in half of the tomato sauce. Add the stuffed shells, then top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes; uncover and continue baking until bubbly, 15 to 20 more minutes. Turn on the broiler; drizzle the shells with the cheese sauce and broil, about 2 minutes.

This is a delicious French recipe that uses a whole bottle of red wine; you won't find any beef broth here! You will need to increase the cook time to 2.5 hours so that the beef easily falls apart.  I added a small bag of baby red potatoes and it made it more substantial with no need for a side.  I made this with a velvety bottle of Pinot Noir from California.  Good enough to serve to guests on a cold day.
Source: Food and Wine Magazine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
15 cremini mushrooms
15 baby carrots, peeled
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
  4. In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
  5. To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: Robust, dark-fruited Cabernet Sauvignon