provreviewsandrecipes

Food Blog with delicious recipes and also reviews of Providence, RI restuarants

Easy Spaghetti with Ricotta Cheese, Pea Greens and Mushroom Sauce February 22, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 3:11 PM
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This recipe is quick and easy to whip up on a busy weekday night for dinner. I had not tried pea greens until recently and now that I have, I am hooked. They have a slightly sweet taste to them. The picture on the left is what the pea greens look like. I got mine a local farmer’s market, but they can be found at the grocery store in the produce section. The sauce may seem like it would be heavy, but it comes out nice and light.

Prep Time: 10 minutes                    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

16oz of ricotta cheese

16oz container of sliced mushrooms, chopped

1.5 cups of pea greens, chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup of chicken broth

1/2 tablespoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon of pepper

1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of olive oil

16oz package of spaghetti (or other long pasta such as fettuccine)

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water and set on stove to boil to cook the spaghetti. Add a little bit of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. The reason for doing this is to keep the spaghetti from sticking together. The salt alone will not do this, but the small amount of olive oil will. You can do this anytime you could pasta.

 

Once the water has come to a boil, cook according to the package directions for your pasta.

 

While the pasta water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Once the oil has heated, should take about a minute, add the butter and mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are light brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next take the ricotta cheese, egg and chicken broth and combine in an oven proof dish. Add the pea greens and the mushroom mixture from the pan. Stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Place the dish in the oven for about 10 minutes. The reason we are doing this is to make sure that the egg is not raw when we serve the meal.

Once your pasta is cooked and drained, place it in a large bowl. Take the now heated through sauce out of the oven and pour it over the pasta. Mix it all together so that the sauce is evenly distributed over the pasta. If you are using the parmesan cheese, sprinkle it over the pasta and mix it all again. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Quick and Easy Chicken Salad February 20, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 4:51 PM
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I love chicken salad. I make this healthy version all the time have on hand during the week for a quick and healthy meal. Using greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise you cut down on the fat.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of skinless chicken breasts

1.5 cups of plain greek yogurt

4 stalks of celery, diced

1 cup of grapes, halved

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of pepper

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: Boil 3 quarts of water in a large pot. Once the water has boiled, add the chicken breasts. Boil for 25 minutes. Next drain the chicken and let it cool. Once the chicken has cooled enough so that you can touch it, shred the chicken breasts. You can either do this by hand or with a fork.

Next take the shredded chicken breasts and add the greek yogurt, celery, grapes and mix it together in a large bowl. Season the mixture with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix the chicken mixture again so that everything is mixed evenly. Cover and put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Finally, serve however you prefer. I like to serve it on toasted bread or on a bed of lettuce.

 

 

Lasagna With Meat Sauce February 15, 2012

Now I try to typically put easy recipes on this blog. This lasagna is worth all the extra steps and effort. One thing to note is to try and find fresh ricotta cheese. I know that most grocery stores have the ones in the giant white containers in the dairy section. You can use that one, but to make the lasagna extra special use fresh ricotta cheese. If you happen to live near a Whole Foods you can find it there. Also specialty Italian stores will most likely have it as well. Believe me it is worth the extra time, effort and money for fresh ricotta cheese and it tastes delicious in the lasagna. I also recommend making your own tomato sauce from the recipe below, but if you are crunched for time, you can use store-bought sauce.

Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients:

   1 28oz can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1 28oz can of diced San Marzano tomatoes

 1 6oz can of tomato paste

                 1 medium yellow onion, diced

         3 cloves of garlic, minced

          1 cup of red cooking wine

               1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar

 1 cup of water

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of pepper

2 tablespoons of dried basil

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried thyme

1 tablespoon of dried marjoram

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

1.5 pounds of ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 package of lasagna noodles

2 16oz containers of fresh ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 pound of shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: Mix together all ingredients through red pepper flakes in a large pot and cook over high heat until the sauce begins to boil. Once it has boiled, reduce heat to low and cook for 1 and a half hours. Make sure to stir the sauce every now and then. After the sauce is cooked, remove bay leaves.

When there is 15 minutes left of cooking time left on the tomato sauce, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper. Cook the ground beef in the saucepan until all the pieces are brown. About 8-10 minutes. Then add the meat to the tomato sauce and stir it all together. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and cool.

Take the fresh ricotta cheese and add the egg to it. Mix it all together until well blended.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Now for the final steps, assembling the lasagna. Take a lasagna pan and put a thin layer of the meat sauce at the bottom of the pan. The reason why you do this is to keep the bottom layer of lasagna noodles from sticking to the pan. Next take three lasagna noodles and lay them down next to each other in the lasagna pan. Put another layer of meat sauce on top of the lasagna noodles. Now make sure that each of the ends and sides of lasagna noodles has sauce on it. If you do not do this your lasagna noodles can burn and become overcooked. Finally put three small spoonfuls of the fresh ricotta cheese on each of the noodles. Evenly space each of the spoonfuls of ricotta cheese as the cheese will spread out when cooking. Repeat the process of putting down the noodles, meat sauce and ricotta cheese until you have four layers. Put down the final layer of noodles. This time though, instead of putting down sauce and ricotta cheese on the top layer, spread the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the noodles.

Cover the assembled lasagna with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Take off the aluminum foil and put the lasagna back in the oven for an additional five minutes. This will make the cheese on the top melt completely and start browning slightly.

Now you have a delicious completed lasagna. Serve and enjoy.

 

Quick and Easy Breakfast Burritos February 9, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 3:02 PM
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I personally love breakfast burritos. Now most of the ones that you can buy at the grocery store are loaded with sodium. While the ones that you can buy at a restaurant or bagel shop may not have the nutrition information available as well. I have come up with a quick and easy recipe. It is also healthy as I use low sodium black beans and do not add any salt to the eggs.

Makes 2 breakfast burritos

Prep Time: 4 minutes               Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons of hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot

1/4 cup of low sodium black beans, rinsed and dried

1/4 cup of corn

1/4 cup of salsa

1/8 cup of pickled jalapeno slices, diced

1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2 medium-sized soft flour tortillas

Directions:

Crack the two eggs in a bowl and add the two tablespoons of hot sauce. Whisk it all together to combine. Cook the egg mixture in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 6 minutes. I usually scramble the eggs as they are going in the burritos. For the last-minute of cooking add the shredded cheddar cheese to the eggs. Remove from heat.

Put half of the egg mixture into each of the flour tortillas. Next add the half of each of the following ingredients to each tortilla, black beans, corn, salsa and jalapeno slices. Finally wrap each of the tortillas into a burrito and enjoy.

Now I know I am not the best at wrapping a burrito. I have included this instructional video to help anyone wrap a burrito. It is not my video, but one that I found online. Check it out below.

 

Panzanella Salad

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 2:28 PM
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Salad is one of my favorite things to eat. Incorporating bread, which is another of my favorite things, into a salad makes me devour every single bite. This salad is easy to make and because of the limited ingredients I would suggest buying tomatoes when they are fresh and ripe. I found heirloom cherry tomatoes on a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s and they went great in the salad, but any type of tomato can be used in the salad. This salad is large and very filling.

It can serve 2-3 people as a main dish and 4-6 as a side dish.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes                     Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound (16 ounces) of tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 a large red onion, chopped

1 pound (16 ounces) of mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup of fresh basil, chopped

3 garlic gloves, minced

1 small loaf of Italian or French bread, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup of olive oil

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of wine vinegar

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of fresh thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of pepper

Directions:

Heat a 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Once the oil is nice and hot add the garlic and the cut pieces of bread to the pan. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 a tablespoon of pepper. Cook the bread and garlic for about 6 minutes, or until the bread is has a nice toast on the it. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, mozzarella cheese, thyme and basil in a large bowl. Add the rest of the olive oil (3/4 cup), balsamic vinegar and wine vinegar. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Add the red pepper flakes, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of pepper. Again mix to combine all ingredients.

Finally add the toasted bread and garlic mixture to the bowl. Mix it all together. Now the salad can be served immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.