Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cream of Asparagus Soup

adapted from Soups, Stews and Chilis

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cleaned and chopped leeks
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoons)
1/3 cup dry white wine, optional add more water, broth or apple juice
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds trimmed green asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash nutmeg
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, to taste
fresh Parmesan, for serving (if desired)

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add the leeks and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.
Stir in the flour, mixing well with the butter, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the white wine. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits. Cook for 1 minute.
Add 3 cups of broth, whisking to eliminate any lumps. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium-heat. Add the asparagus pieces and the bay leaf. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the mixture to a food processor, working in batches if needed, and purée until soup is very smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of broth, if needed.
Pour the soup back into the pot over low heat. Stir in the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice. Heat the soup for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add extra liquid until preferred consistency is reached. If desired, grate a bit of fresh Parmesan on top.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

So How Do You Cook Asparagus?

In short, quickly!

Steaming: First, you need to tie a bundle of asparagus spears together with kitchen string, just under the tips and also near the bottom, making sure the bottom ends are level. Place the bundle in a tall pot of 2 inches of boiling water, unless you have your very own asparagus steamer. Cover and steam for 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. While the ends of the asparagus are being boiled, the tips are actually being steamed. The end result should be bright green, crisp yet tender spears.
Boiling: Lay the asparagus spears in a large skillet with about an inch of water. Boil for up to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears.
Blanching: If you are using the asparagus in salads or for other cold dishes, plunging the boiled or steamed asparagus in cold or iced water as soon as they are done immediately stops the cooking process and helps preserve the color and crispness of the asparagus.
Microwaving: Lay asparagus in a microwave-safe baking dish, with tips towards the center. Add about a 1/4 cup of water; cover and microwave for 4-5 minutes.
Stir Frying: Cut spears diagonally into 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch pieces, and stir fry with a teaspoon of sesame or olive oil for 3 minutes.
Roasting: Place asparagus on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray and roast in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears. Or, instead of using cooking spray, drizzle a little olive oil over the asparagus before roasting.
Grilling: Place asparagus spears on a preheated (medium-high heat) grill sprayed with olive oil spray and cook for about 5-8 minutes until tender, turning occasionally.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup CHEEZ WHIZ Cheese Dip

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
PREPARE stuffing as directed on package, using 3 Tbsp. margarine.
MIX remaining ingredients in 2-qt. casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with stuffing.
BAKE 30 min. or until heated through.

Make Ahead
Assemble casserole as directed. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 45 to 50 min. or until heated through.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cracker Barrel-style Fried Apples

This recipe is from another site and is as close as I have seen to Cracker Barrel. The recipe says you can freeze the cooked apples. I have never done this as there is never any left.

2 cups apple juice , plus
1/2 cup apple juice
4 large golden delicious apples, cored , with peel on ,cut 1/2 inch wedges
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup sugar

1 In a medium skillet, combine the 2 cups apple juice and sliced apples.
2 Simmer gently until apples are fork tender but not mushy, turning apples frequently.
3 Remove apples from juice using a slotted spoon and place in an oven safe dish.
4 In a blender, combine the remaining 1/2 cup apple juice, cornstarch, apple pie spice and sugar.
5 Blend a few seconds until smooth.
6 Whisk mixture into hot apple juice in skillet and cook, stirring constantly on medium high heat until it bubbles and becomes thickened and smooth.
7 Pour thickened mixture over apples and serve.

Please note the cooking time is an approximate.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kat's Lentil Soup

Foodie Friends Friday

Kat's original recipe has 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage in it. I omitted it to keep with the "vegetarian" theme. But if you are a meat eater by all means add it!!

Serve with Romano cheese sprinkled on top of each serving bowl.


1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 (16 ounce) package dry lentils, rinsed
1 cup shredded carrot
8 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound ditalini pasta (optional)


Place sausage in a large pot. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Add onion, celery and chopped garlic, and sauté until tender and translucent. Stir in lentils, carrot, water, chicken broth and tomatoes. Season with garlic powder, parsley, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. Cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until lentils are tender.
Stir in pasta, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

"Almost" Boston Market Creamed Spinach

This is quite similar to the creamed spinach at Boston Market, well so I'm told anyway! --- this is a great side dish, even people that hate spinach love this, it's great to serve along side a holiday turkey or a ham dinner, or at any meal --- I also like to saute about 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper in the butter for about 2 minutes before adding in the flour but that is optional, add in some grated Parmesan cheese too if desired, this complete recipe can be doubled

White Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt (I use seasoned salt)
1 cup half-and-half or 1 cup milk


½ cup sour cream (lowfat is okay)
2 tablespoons butter
2 -4 tablespoons onions , minced
¼ cup water
20 ounces frozen spinach , drained and chopped
½ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional or to taste)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1 In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat until sizzling.
2 If you are adding in the fresh garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper then saute in butter for about 2 minutes but do not brown the garlic.
3 Whisk in the flour and 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (or white salt) until creamed together and smooth.
4 Stir in the half and half, or milk (if using) a little at a time.
5 Increase heat to medium and constantly whisk until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.
6 Remove from heat; set aside.
7 Place 2 tbsp butter in saucepan over med heat; add the 2 tbsp minced onion, and cook until transparent.
8 Add spinach and water to pan, lower the heat, and cover.
9 Stirring several times until the spinach is cooked.
10 When the spinach is almost done, add the prepared white sauce, sour cream and Parmesan cheese (if using).
11 Stir well, and simmer until completely blended.
12 Season with more seasoned salt or white salt if desired and black pepper.

Boston Market-style Squash Casserole

Jennifer S.

4 ½ cups zucchini , diced
4 ½ cups yellow squash , diced
1 ½ cups yellow onions , chopped
1 (6 ounce) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
¾ cup butter
8 ounces cheddar cheese
3 chicken bouillon cubes use vegetable bouillon for vegetarian version
1 teaspoon garlic , minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley , chopped

1 Prepare Jiffy Mix as directed on the box, set aside to cool.
2 Place zucchini and yellow squash in a large saucepan and add just enough of water to cover.
3 Cook on medium low heat just until tender, remove from heat.
4 Drain squash, reserve one cup of water for casserole.
5 On medium low temperature place all of the butter in large sauce pan and sauté the onions until the onions turn clear, add salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley.
6 Add chicken bouillon cubes and garlic to onions, stir.
7 Add drained squash and diced cheese, stir.
8 Crumble corn bread in squash and pour the reserved cup of water and mix well.
9 Place squash mixture in a 13x11" baking pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.
10 *This is the point I freeze mine - can also be frozen in 2 small pans if desired. Then all you have to do is thaw when ready and cook!
11 Cover casserole and place in a preheated oven at 350°F.
12 Bake for 50-60 minutes.
13 Remove cover the last 20 minutes of baking time.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Best Ever Vegetable Soup

Jessica S.

2 Tbs butter
1 onion chopped
1 celery rib chopped
1 carrot sliced thin
1 med zucchini grated
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 10 oz pkg frozen green beans
1 sm head cauliflower cut up
1/4 head cabbage sliced thin and chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 46-oz can chicken broth or veggie broth to keep it vegetarian
1/4 tsp black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Melt butter in large soup pot.
Add carrot, celery, and onion.
Cook 5 minutes or until veggies are tender and onions are translucent.
Add green beans, cauliflower, and broth.
Bring to boil. Reduced heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Add tomato, zucchini, basil, and pepper.
Cook 10 minutes. Add cabbage and cook 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup

Kick the flavor of the Mexican-style soup up a notch with a sprinkling of cilantro and a squirt of lime juice.

2 cups dry pinto beans
5 cups cold water
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 14-1/2-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Snipped fresh cilantro and/or sliced green onions (optional)
crackers or tortilla chips/strips (optional)

Rinse dry beans. In a Dutch oven combine rinsed beans and the 5 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine beans, broth, the 1/2 cup water, the onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Stir in undrained tomatoes; cover and cook for 30 minutes more. If desired, partially mash mixture with a potato masher, leaving soup chunky. If desired, top individual servings with cheese and cilantro and serve with crackers or tortilla chips/strips.

Black Bean Burgers

I love this recipe for black bean patties because its easy to make as well as tasty, two of my favorite qualities in a recipe! They aren't quite firm enough to toss on the backyard grill, but are good for an everyday meal. This veggie burger recipe is both vegetarian and vegan.

1/2 onion, diced
1 can black beans, well drained
1/2 cup flour (you could use rice or potato flour here for gluten free)
2 slices bread, crumbled (also use a gluten free option here)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Sautee the onions till soft, about 3-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mash the beans until almost smooth. Add sauteed onions and the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, adding the flour a few tablespoons at a time to combine well. Mixture will be thick.

Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick and fry patties in a small amount of oil until slightly firm. Make veggie burgers and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cheese Enchilada Chowder

Erin M.

To keep this vegetarian I would suggest using cream of mushroom or cheese soup in place of the cream of chicken.

1 (15 ounce) can black beans , rinsed and drained
1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes , drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped yellow bell peppers or ½ cup red bell peppers or ½ cup green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper , seeded, and finely chopped
1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (10 ¾ ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

1 Add the black beans, tomatoes, frozen corn, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper to a 4 quart slow-cooker; stir to combine.
2 In a mixing bowl, add the enchilada sauce and cream soup; whisk together.
3 Gradually whisk in the milk until mixture is smooth.
4 Pour over vegetables in slow-cooker.
5 Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours.
6 Add cheese and stir until melted.
7 Ladle hot soup into individual serving bowls and top with sour cream, guacamole and broken tortilla chips if desired.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Friday, March 2, 2012

Veggie Lasagna

16 ounces lasagna noodles
6 ounces tomato paste
56 ounces tomatoes, crushed
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or fresh spinach steamed)
1 large carrot, peel and shredded
1 zucchini, finely chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
16 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons dried basil, divided
1 pinch brown sugar
salt to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cool water, drain, and set aside.   Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic, carrot and zucchini in the oil until soft. Stir in both cans of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, brown sugar, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.   Meanwhile, microwave frozen spinach until cooked. Cool, and then squeeze out excess water. Drain cottage cheese. Using a mixer, blend spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, and 2 tablespoons basil until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 cottage cheese/ spinach mixture, 1/3 of remaining sauce, and 1/3 cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon of dried basil.   Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Pasta Sauce to Die For!

Make this homemade spaghetti sauce and then freeze it for later.   It's not that hard to make and your guests (and you) will be able to taste the difference!

1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 ounces tomato paste
4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
16 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Sauté the following in a slow cooker; green pepper, garlic, onion, and oil. Allow it to sauté until the onion is transparent. Then add the following and allow it to cook for about 2 – 3 hours on low heat; parsley, honey, chopped tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir often while it is cooking.   Allow the sauce time to cool when it is finished cooking and pour the sauce into the containers you are going to use to freeze it. Place in your freezer until you get ready to use it. When you get ready to use it, take it out, thaw and stir in a can of tomato paste.

Greek Couscous

1/ 2 cup pearl couscous (Israeli), uncooked
1 cup canned garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1/ 4 cup vegetable broth
1/ 2 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/ 4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/ 4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 1/ 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/ 2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a saucepan, add the water, broth, garlic, and bring it to a boil. Add the couscous, cover and remove it from the heat. Let the couscous stand until there is no more liquid. Usually takes about 5 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.   Lightly toss the following in a large bowl; olives, feta cheese, couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. In a small bowl, you will need to mix the following and pour it over the couscous mix; white wine vinegar, oregano, black pepper, and lemon juice. Toss and serve!

Vegetarian Meatloaf

This recipe is a great vegetarian alternative to meatloaf.   If you have leftovers, use them for a sandwich the next day or eat it in a whole wheat pita.

2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked beans)
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup water, plus 3 Tbs
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup green peas, frozen
½ medium red onion, chopped
10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained and chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
salt and ground pepper to taste

First you will need to coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. It can also be coated in olive oil. The loaf pan needs to be 8 inches long.   Turn your oven to 350 degrees F in order to preheat it.   Now add mushrooms and one tablespoon of water in a skillet and cook thoroughly. Consistent stirring is required and heat needs to be on medium-high. Cook the mushrooms for approximately 7 minutes. After that you will need to add 2 more tablespoons of water slowly as each tablespoon evaporates. Once the mushrooms are cooked put them in a bowl and set them aside for now.
Mix the following ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they are smooth; onion, tomatoes, peas, salt, pepper, bean mixture, parsley, and quinoa. Now add in the smooth mixture to the mushrooms in the large bowl and stir well. Now salt and pepper to taste the mixture.   Now that the mixture is complete you can add it to the large loaf pan and press it down into the pan firmly. Place the loaf pan with mixture and place in the preheated oven. Bake the mixture for sixty to seventy five minutes or until the loaf is firm. The loaf should be a golden brown color. Once done, remove the loaf from the oven and let cool for ten minutes.   You can now slice and serve the loaf.

Rice Pilaf with Cashews and Asparagus

2 1/ 4 cups vegetable broth
2 ounces spaghetti, uncooked and broken
1 1/ 4 cups jasmine rice, uncooked
1/ 4 cup butter
1/ 4 cup minced onion
1/ 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/ 2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/ 2 cup cashew halves
salt and pepper

On medium heat, you will need to melt your butter in a saucepan. Then stir in the spaghetti and allow it to cook until it is well coated with the butter and a bit brown. Add the garlic and onion into the saucepan and let it cook about 2 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour the broth in the pan and season it with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up a bit and allow it to come to a boil. Then cover the pan and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.   In a new saucepan, add the asparagus and add just enough water to cover it. Allow it to come to a boil and cook until it is tender. Now mix the cashew halves and asparagus in with the rice mix and serve.

Wild Rice with Mushrooms

1 cup wild rice, cooked
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup almonds, sliced

On medium heat, heat your butter and olive oil in a very large skillet. Add in the mushrooms and stir until they are well coated. Then add in the garlic and stir. Let this cook until the mushrooms start to color and the juices are released. Then remove the garlic. Stir the cooked rice in with the mushrooms. Salt and pepper it to season it. You can cover it and reheat it if you need to on medium. Top with the parsley and almonds.

Beans and Rice Bowl

1 cup brown rice
1 15-oz can red or pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/ 2 cups cooked beans)
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped tomato
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/ 4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup salsa

To cook brown rice:   Put 2/3 cup of the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.   Add the rice and return to a boil.   Decrease the heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.   Set aside.   Fluff with a fork before adding to bowl.   In a microwave safe bowl, you will need to place half of each of the vegetables (not salsa) and the rice and beans in it. Mix it well and cover the bowl with a lid. Allow the mixture to cook for about 3 minutes on high. Take it out and stir it well. Then return it to the microwave and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and serve.  

Recipe Tips Beans and rice form what many call a "perfect" protein.   You get great nutrition for your body and great taste.   Cook your beans ahead of time and freeze them in 1 1/ 2 cup servings to have a quick meal on hand at all times.     You can also cook your rice ahead of time and freeze it as well.     However, I find that I like the texture of the rice best when it's cooked fresh.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sesame Stir Fry

Lynne, Shelley 33 Delicious and Nutritious Vegetarian Main Entree Recipes

1 1/ 2 cups vegetable broth
3/ 4 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/ 2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the butter, rice and vegetable broth in a saucepan and cover. Allow it to come to a boil on high. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. The liquid will need to fully absorb.   On a small baking pan, you will need to spread the sesame seeds out and allow them to bake for 5 minutes until they are golden brown. Sit this aside when it is done.   Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet on medium. Allow it to become very hot and add the onion, mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, ginger and garlic. Stir fry it for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp. Add the soy sauce and cook for about 30 seconds and remove it from the heat. Then stir in the sesame oil and seeds. Serve it over rice!

Baked Ziti for the Veggie Lover

Jennifer S.

No-Stick Cooking Spray
12 ounces dry ziti pasta, uncooked (12 oz = 5 cups)
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
3 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pkg (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 can (24 oz each)Chunky Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 container (10 oz)Alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until squash is crisp-tender and starting to brown, stirring frequently. Add spinach; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in pasta sauce and Alfredo sauce; cook 1 minute or until hot, stirring occasionally.
Add pasta and 1 cup cheese to vegetable mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into prepared dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is hot.

If yellow summer squash is not available, use zucchini or bell peppers instead.

Fiesta Pasta

Jennifer S.

8 ounces dry spaghetti, uncooked
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans (8 oz each) Tomato Sauce
1 can (10 oz each) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
1 can (15 oz each) Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup canned corn, drained OR frozen, thawed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, omitting salt. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add sauce, undrained tomatoes, beans, corn and cumin. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain spaghetti; add to skillet and toss with tomato mixture

Mexican Veggie Pizza

Jennifer S.

1 can (10 oz each)Mexican Diced Tomatoes w/Lime Juice & Cilantro, drained, divided
1 can (16 oz each) Refried Beans
6 honey wheat pita pocket breads (6-1/2 inch)
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
4-1/2 cups thinly shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 avocado, diced

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place 1/4 cup drained tomatoes in small bowl; set aside. Mix remaining tomatoes and beans in small bowl until combined. Spread evenly onto pita breads.
Sprinkle pizzas evenly with cheese. Place on ungreased baking sheets; bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of breads are lightly browned and cheese melts, rotating pans halfway through.
Top with lettuce, onion, avocado and reserved tomatoes.

Note: you could add diced grilled chicken, shredded or cooked ground beef if you want.

Spinach Penne

Jennifer S.

2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 oz each) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, undrained
2 cups dry multigrain penne pasta, uncooked
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pkg (6 oz each) baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, undrained tomatoes, pasta and olive oil spread in large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes or just until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in spinach and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.