Roasted Eggplant and Vegetable Ragout

Easy to make in your crock pot all day! Just have to roast the eggplant first to bring out the delicious flavors of the eggplant.Add whatever veggies you have on hand.  Serve it up with whole wheat pasta..or stay all veggie and make Spaghetti Squash instead of the pasta! 🙂

1 eggplant, sliced in half. Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit on counter for 10 min. Pre heat oven to 400. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 min. Set aside to cool.then dice it up!

2 zucchini diced

2 yellow squash dices

1 small yellow onion diced

1 small package of portabella mushrooms sliced

3 plum tomatoes diced

4 cloves of garlic diced

3 carrots peeled and a quick whirl in food processor…so its smaller than diced

1 large can of tomato sauce

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Set crock pot on low. Add in all vegetables. Pour sauce in pot with seasonings. Mix well. cover and cook for 6 hours on low. Serve with whole wheat pasta and Parmesan cheese


Meatballs and Chicken Sausage

Mix together 1lb of lean ground pork and lean ground sirloin, 1 egg, 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, 1.3 cup fresh grated Parmesan, 1 tsp nutmeg, 2 slices of whole wheat bread picked into small pieces, 3 cloves of garlic minced..Form into meatballs and place on broiler pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 min at 350 degrees. Place in slow cooker with sauce, cover and cook low for about 4 hours.

I bought these beautiful italian Chicken Sausages with Fennel at Joesph’s Classic Market ( where I buy all my meats, fish and fresh and inexpensive) , that I also placed in a separate baking dish, pierced with a knife and baking along with the meatballs. When sausages done cooking slice into 1-2 inch pieces and throw them into the sauce.

I am “semi” baking the meatballs and chicken sausage, so that I can put them in a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot with sauce and cook on low for about 4 hours to incorporate all the flavors….

I also bought these nests of whole wheat linguine, which i will just add to boiling water later to cook the rest of the way..And of course extra Parmesan cheese.

Whole Wheat Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

Lasagna is one of those dishes that takes some time to make, but the rewards are great. You can really make them low fat and healthier these days . Make great leftovers too!  I always mix spinach in with the Ricotta mixture to sneak in additional veggies 🙂 And I use the whole wheat lasagna too!

1 box whole wheat lasagna, cooked and drained

1 16 oz container fat free ricotta

3 cups of part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup greated parmesean cheese

1 frozen spinach thawed and drained ( this time I used the fresh spinach I had on hand and chopped it up and added to a heated pan with olive oil and diced garlic cloves, seasoned with salt and pepper…Drained it in colander afterward and gave it a few good squeezes to get rid of the excess water)

2 package of portabella mushrooms sliced…heat pan with olive oil and cook for about 4-5 min, also set aside to drain.

1 egg

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

1 32 oz can or jar sauce ( I make sauce in batches and freeze them just for days like these)

Pre heat oven to 350.  In bowl mix together ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, italian seasoning, egg and season with salt and pepper. Fold in drained spinach. Set aside

In the bottom of your lasagna pan spread about a 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom and layer with lasagna. Spread some of the ricotta mixture on top, then some of the mushrooms and a little sauce..Next another layer of lasagna and repeat the layers…Finish with last  layer of just pasta and spread the remainder shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake for 50-55 minutes in oven. Let sit out on the counter for 10 minutes before cutting and serving..

You can add a layer of ground turkey too, just brown in pan on stove top first, drain on paper towels and then add into the layers of the lasagna 🙂

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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Italian Style Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Cucurbita pepo (spaghetti squash). Location: M...

Image via Wikipedia

This dish is has an Italian taste to it that is low fat and healthy for you!

1 medium sized spaghetti squash (cut in half and place face down in dish, add in 2 tbsp of water and cover with plastic wrap . Cook for 8-10 min…Let cool and then take a fork and scrape out the squash from the inside into a long and shallow baking dish…Looks like spaghetti. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.)

1 16 oz container of part skim ricotta

1 pacakge of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained

1 large  can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained

1 package of part skim or 2% shredded mozerella

1/4 cup reduced fat greated parmesean cheese

1 egg or the equivalent egg substitute

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

salt and pepper

1 lb ground turkey ( browned with 1 small onion diced and 3 cloves of garlic diced, drain on paper towels and set aside)

Pre heat oven to 350. In a small bowl add 1/2 of the package of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan together.  Add in seasonings, spinach and egg ; mix well. Spread the ricotta mixture on top of the spaghetti squash, top with browned turkey. Spread can of drained fire roasted tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 10:48 am  Comments (3)  
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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Image via Wikipedia

Our Sunday Italiano feast today! 🙂

1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

4 cloves of garlc diced

3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs ( I use pank0 or brown rice bread crumbs or I use 3 -4 slices of whole wheat bread and tear small pieces into the bowl)

1/2 cup reduced fat grated parmesean cheese

salt and pepper

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning ( fresh is best…parsley, basil and oregano)

1 egg

In a large mixing bowl put all ingredients into the bowl. Mix well with hands. Form into medium-large size balls. Place on broiler pan to catch all the drippings which will decrease your fat intake! Bake in oven at 350 for 40 min. Heat sauce on stove top. ( I use 3 cans of Italian Crushed tomatoes and add in fresh Italian herbs) Place meatballs in sauce ,cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 25mins. Serve over whole grain pasta with sauce and additional Parmesan cheese!

Fresh Basil Pesto

Basil plant leaves.

Image via Wikipedia

I love this recipe! Buy big bushels of basil from the farmers market to make this..Or just grow it yourself! So easy to plant and grow. You can use this pesto as a base for a pizza , cover chicken and bake it in the oven, or as a topping for pasta..Perfect alone with crackers as a delicious appetizer

1 large bushel of Basil, rinsed and leaves picked off ( about 2 cups of leaves)

8 cloves of garlic ( oh yes! So good, make sure everyone eats it so you all have the garlic breath 🙂 )

1/2 lemon juiced

salt and pepper

3/4 cup EVOO

1/4 walnuts or pine nuts

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor or blender, puree nuts with a tbsp of the olive oil, add in garlic next and puree. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add cheese and blend. In batches add in basil leaves and olive oil, until all pureed. Mixture will be thick! Season with salt and pepper.

You can make this in big batches, freezes well! 🙂

Published in: on October 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza

fresh pizza dough rolled in flax-seed ( whole wheat is better when you can find it)

1/4 cup  flour for working surface

1 cup pizza sauce of your choice

1/2 package of turkey pepperoni

1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza stone in oven, let heat up for 10 minutes. Prepare dough and place on work surface  dusted with flour. Remove pizza stone from oven and quickly stretch out pizza dough and press down so that dough fits the whole stone.  Using spoon spread the sauce, place slices of turkey pepperoni on top of sauce and then finish with cheese on top. Bake until crust in lightly brown and cooked, about 15 min. Sprinkle with reduced fat Parmesan cheese. Optional: Sprinkle red pepper flakes on as well!

You can add all your favorite veggies and make it “Supreme” too!

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Whole Wheat Lasagna Rollatini

1 package of whole wheat lasagna cooked and drained

1 package of frozen spinach thawed and drained ( ring in kitchen towel over the sink to get all the excess water out)

1 16 oz container of fat-free ricotta cheese

2 cup part skim mozzarella , divided

1/3 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

2 cups of pasta sauce ( you can use any jarred Marinara, if I am out of my own sauce I use Newman’s Own Marinara)

1 egg

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 350

Mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan together. Add in egg and Italian Seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in spinach as well. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a large a baking pan.  Once lasagna noodles have cooled, lay out on your work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of mixture on each lasagna, drizzle 2 tbsp of sauce on top and roll up! Place in baking sheet and place them close together.   Once finished rolling up the lasagna, pour remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Grilled Rommaine Hearts


Image by Muffet via Flickr

Take a clean rinsed rommaine hearts and slice into half lenghtwise leaving the heart intact. Open up and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill on medium high heat 3-4 minutes each side. Serve with a drizzle of basalmic vinegar. ( if you have an Italian meal your serving this with add a little parmesean cheese too)

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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