Margherita flatbread pizzas

Pizza is such a Friday night staple, but ordering in can be so bad for you. So to still enjoy our favorites without too much guilt we made these great flat bread pizzas! (Recipe below based on several recipes we’ve tried and combined to what we enjoy!)

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1/2-1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2-1 tbsp evoo
1-2 cloves garlic minced
4 plum tomatoes sliced thinly
Mozzarella cheese shredded or sliced to your liking
Fresh basil leaves lightly chopped
2 flatbreads

Directions:
Heat grill.
Combine crushed tomatoes, evoo and garlic in chopper and chopped well.
Grill flatbreads a few minutes on each side until toasted lightly.
Spread sauce on top of flatbreads and top with tomatoes, cheese and basil.
Grill until cheese is bubbly and tomatoes cooked. This will be quick. Keep an eye on the grill.
Serve immediately!


Shrimp and pasta with creamy goat cheese sauce

My H and I love goat cheese. We love it on grilled cheese, salads, pastas, breads, etc…so when I saw this recipe from Epicurious, I had to make it. It was great. The creaminess of the goat cheese and strong tomato flavor was perfect with the shrimp and pasta! HUGE HIT!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:

1 lb pasta2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package sliced mushrooms

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
pinch each of kosher salt and red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 ounces goat cheese (or a combination of goat cheese and cream cheese)
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

Boil pasta in water until al dente.
In a ziplock bag, combine shrimp through tomatoes and marinate in refrigerator for an hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan and cook mushrooms until they release their liquid and are browned. Set aside.
Keeping the same saute pan at medium-high, add shrimp and marinade ingredients and saute until cooked through, about six minutes. Set aside.
In the now empty pan, turn heat to high and deglaze with wine, scraping up any browned bits. Add chicken stock and reduce the liquids by half. Slowly stir in the goat cheese until melted and smooth. Add the butter at the end, and melt.
Add the mushrooms and shrimp back to the sauce and warm through. When just about finished, add the drained pasta and toss to combine. Add a little bit of reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick or doesn’t cling to the pasta.

Meatball subs

I have never ever been a meatball sub lover. Even the thought of it turns me off, but for some reason when I saw this recipe from Annie’s Eats, I had to try it. Maybe it was the pesto or the cheese or the sauce but whatever it was I did enjoy these. Are these my new favorite subs? Probably not, but I really did enjoy them and that’s huge for a non meatball sub lover. H on the other hand loved them! So this will definitely go on our rotation of meals! The sauce and meatballs were perfect leftover on spaghetti noodles! A hit in our house!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
For the sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
Water (optional)

For the meatballs:
½ cup breadcrumbs, divided (I like panko)
¼ cup milk
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. dried basil

For the pesto:
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 small cloves garlic
2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sliders:
About 2 dozen white dinner rolls-I used hoggie rolls and made these into subs for our dinner
Spray olive oil
Sliced provolone cheese (about 12 slices, depending on size)

Directions:
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pot and sauté until tender, 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.  Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and sugar.  Add water to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours.
To make the meatballs, combine ¼ cup of the breadcrumbs with the milk in a medium mixing bowl.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Add the remaining breadcrumbs, ground beef, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil to the bowl.  Mix well until thoroughly combined. Form into meatballs, about 1¼ inches in diameter.  Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 45 minutes before the sauce is finished.  Cover and let simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 35-45 minutes.
To make the pesto, combine the basil, garlic and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the grated Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the sliders, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Slice the dinner rolls in half and lay open on a baking sheet.  Spray the rolls lightly with olive oil.  Bake for 5 minutes, just until lightly toasted.  Slice a cooked meatball in half and place both halves on the bottom portion of a roll, flat side down.  Spoon a small amount of sauce over the meatball.  Top with sliced provolone.  Repeat with the remaining rolls. Bake again, 5 minutes more, just until the cheese is melted.  Spoon a small amount of additional sauce over the provolone, and finish small spoonful of the pesto on top.  Serve immediately.


Spaghetti and meatballs??????

Is it? Or is it not? I loved this cupcake idea in the Hello Cupcake book. I have tried a few of their ideas, but this by far is my favorite. I love how cute and cleaver this is. it would make for a great dessert after an Italian meal, for April Fools Day or for any fun reason!! This was easy to make and only required a few extra ingredients.

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
10 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
1 can or 16 ounces of your favorite buttercream
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 drops yellow food coloring
11 hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped
3/4 cup low-sugar strawberry preserves (low-sugar has the best color for this)
2 tbsp grated white chocolate

Directions:
Tint the vanilla frosting with the cocoa powder and yellow food coloring and spread a thin layer over each cupcake. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter so they are touching and close together.
Spoon the remaining frosting into a piping bag (I used a small round tip, but you can just snip the end of the bag). Press out the excess air. Pipe the frosting all over the cupcakes to make the spaghetti, piling it high and allowing some of the spaghetti to hang over the edges.
Place the hazelnut chocolates and the preserves in a medium bowl and toss. Spoon some of the preserves on top of the spaghetti. Place 1 hazelnut chocolate on each cupcake and 1 on the platter. Top the cupcakes with the remaining preserves and sprinkle the grated white chocolate over everything.


Italian Wedding Soup

We are loving soups and stews and chilis around here lately. We have had a lot of colder weather and soups and such are just perfect. Plus they are a bit easier for me to cook as I still heal up my back. So, while searching for another great, hearty soup to make, I found this one. I love the meatballs in this and it comes together easily! Definitely give this one a try. I did use ground turkey and turkey sausage as well as whole wheat bread crumbs and whole wheat noodles. I was trying to clean the soup up a bit! We served it with whole wheat crusty rolls. Perfect hearty, yet healthy meal.

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
For the meatballs:
3/4 lb. ground chicken-I used gr. turkey
1/2 lb. Italian sausage-I used turkey sausage
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs-I used ww panko
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten-I used egg beaters
Kosher salt and black pepper

For the soup:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup 1/4-inch diced carrots
3/4 cup 1/4-inch diced celery
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta-I used ww elbow (all i had on hand)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
7 oz. baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, Italian sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl.  Mix gently with a fork until well combined.  Form the mixture into 1- to 1 1/4-inch meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.  Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5-6 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente.  Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 additional minute.  Taste for seasoning, and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.  Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted.  Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

I love chicken bruschetta, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. It does make a lot so I cut it in half for us! Great weeknight meal as it is quick to make!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 box whole wheat thin spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
Oregano and basil (fresh or dried) to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese, cracked pepper, salt to taste

Directions:
Marinate chicken in 1/2 cup (more or less as needed) balsamic vinegar at least 30 min. (I skipped this part and just brushed some balsamic on the chcipe before cooking)
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until white all the way through, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to plate.
Return skillet to burner, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until golden. Add tomatoes, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and herbs. Heat until sauce is slightly reduced and tomatoes softened (about 2 minutes). Add pasta and chicken to tomato mixture and heat until warmed (about 2-3 minutes), tossing/stirring to fully incorporate. Serve topped with fresh basil.


Lightened up chicken parmesan

This was very good and since I made the sauce ahead of time, it was an easy after work meal. I paired it with whole wheat penne pasta and steamed veggies and it was a great, very filling meal! This recipe was in the latest edition of Clean Eating and I didnt even miss the fattier restaurant version, I could actually taste all the flavors without all the grease!

ENJOY!

Ingredients: Serves 4
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, divided
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4  tsp. ground pepper
4 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1-inch thickness
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz. cooked penne (or your favorite pasta)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft. 
Add 1 tsp. oregano and stir to coat.  Cook 30 seconds, until oregano is fragrant. 
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine panko, Parmesan, remaining 1 tsp. oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper.  Mix with a fork to combine. 
Brush both sides of each chicken breast with the Dijon mustard.  Transfer each breast to panko mixture and turn to coat both sides. 
Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet.  Coat surface of chicken with cooking spray. 
Bake 20 minutes.
Top each chicken breast with 2 to 3 tbsp. of tomato sauce and 2 tbsp. mozzarella. 
Return chicken to oven and bake 10 minutes more, until crush is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Arrange pasta on a serving plate and top with remaining tomato sauce.  Serve chicken with pasta on the side, garnishing both with basil.