Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

The man of this house LOVES Brussels sprouts.  Little does he know the amazing nutrition that is served up every time he eats these little buds.  Crazy amounts of vitamins  C and K.  High five for Brussels sprouts!  This creation was a perfect side dish and will be a regular addition to family dinners.  They take just a little extra work and it totally pays off with presentation.  Turn the blah side dish into a Bravo!  Get to stuffing- Amanda

photo-95

Don’t Judge by the Picture

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts 

15 very large Brussels Sprouts (think…I’m going to stuff these babies!)

1 c Skim Milk Ricotta

1 c shredded parmesan

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T dried Thyme

1 T dried Basil

1 t dried Marjoram

1 t dried Sage

1 t sea salt

a pinch of pepper

1 T Olive Oil

Wash your Brussels sprouts.  Trim the ends and cut into halves.  In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add your sprouts.  Let them cook for 2 minutes, remove, and let them cool.

Now you need to core your spouts.  Simply take a scoop out of the middle leaving a good shell.  Finely chop the cored Brussels sprout pieces.  In a skillet, add olive oil, finely chopped cored Brussels sprouts, and minced garlic.  Cook until the chopped sprouts are tender.

Mix sprout and garlic mixture along with ricotta, panko, parmesan cheese, salt, and herbs.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a small spoon, fill in the Brussels sprouts with the stuffing.  Please over fill them.  Place on your baking sheet.

Bake the stuffed Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  (or until the caps are crispy and browned.)

Cranberry Sauce

Why yes, I know it comes in a can!  So does shrimp but that does not mean it’s okay to serve.  Freshly made cranberry sauce makes the whole meal come together.  It was simple and a hit on our Thanksgiving table.  I predict this little number will be a regular with turkey in the Fuller home. Chunk the Can!-Amanda photo-90

Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t ground ginger

Dash of ground cloves

1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

1 T grated orange rind

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 12 minutes or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat; stir in rind. Cool completely. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Zucchini Fries

It’s that time of year when the grills are heating up with yumminess.  I promised I would be sharing my favorites and some new summery side dishes.  This past week when Chris was grilling hamburgers we thought it was no better time to create a french fry substitute.  In about 25 minutes, I created zucchini fries that were devoured without any guilt.  This recipe is versatile and can compliment any meal.  It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure in the kitchen.  You pick the veggies and seasonings.  Could it be any easier?  Eat your veggies! -Amanda

Zucchini Fries

Choose your Veggies– Zucchini, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Squash (you get the idea)
Choose your Seasonings– Always start with pepper and sea salt.  Just stick with one extra seasoning to make sure your veggies don’t come out crazy! Need some ideas: paprika, cumin, cayenne, crushed red peppers, thyme, rosemary, sage.  You can also use premixed spice blends like Spike, Italian, Mexican, Old Bay.

Cut your veggies into 3-inch sticks.  Try to keep the same thickness to help even out cooking.
Now it’s time to play with your seasonings.  Start with pepper and easy on the sea salt.  Then get creative with a seasoning that excites your palate or compliments the main dish you have planned.  This time I used freshly ground pepper, sea salt and Spike (a favorite premixed spice blend).
Lightly toss your veggie with olive oil (not too much) and the herbs and spices.
Spread your seasoned veggies over a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and a light layer of olive oil.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until golden and slightly browned at the edges.

Basic (Greek Yogurt) Coleslaw

There is something about coleslaw.  It seems every family has a special way of making their slaw.  Regions have inspired types of coleslaw and generations have perfected the creation.  I am always typing new coleslaw recipes.  Everyone has their own way of doing it.  This basic coleslaw was a hit with our family.  I thought the greek yogurt changed the elements plus you didn’t have to add all that mayo.  The complimentary touch was the cider vinegar.  Serve this slaw up with your favorite barbecue.  I promise no great-great grandmother will bat an eye at you trying something new! – Amanda


Basic (Greek Yogurt) Coleslaw 

½ cabbage, sliced thin
¼ cup red onion, minced
¼ t salt
1 t cider vinegar
½ t sugar
½ t Dijon mustard
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 carrot, shredded
2 T fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 (7-ounce container) plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani- Fat Free)
2 T mayo

In a large bowl, stir together the cabbage, onion, salt, vinegar, and sugar. Set aside. This allows time for the cabbage and onion to slightly pickle.  When ready for the meal, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.  It’s ready to serve!  If you want to make ahead of time, feel free to add all ingredients at the same time.  Both ways are still delicious!

Meatless Monday: Skillet Chard, White Beans, & Gnocchi

On this Meatless Monday, we cooked up a delicious one skillet dinner.  Gnocchi is one of my favorites.  The combination of chard, tomatoes, and white beans gives this whole wheat gnocchi just the right shock. Then top it all with gooey mozzarella.  YUM!  Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette. If you are worried about chard exchange it for spinach.  Enjoy Meatless Monday!- Amanda

Skillet Chard, White Beans, & Gnocchi

1 T plus 1 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided

16-ounce package whole wheat gnocchi

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup water

6 cups chopped chard leaves, about 1 small bunch

15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

15-ounce can white beans, rinsed

1/4 t freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and slightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 t olive oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft for 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.


Look at that Beautiful Rainbow Chard 

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

We are continuing on our Meatless Monday adventure.  I hope you have taken a little time to investigate the advantages of Meatless Monday.  (Check out my Tomato Pie recipe for more information about Meatless Monday).  This week we created Spinach Lasagna Rolls.  This is a perfect meal for family dinners or sharing with others.  Use your favorite spaghetti sauce to give this meal the perfect kick. Our Meatless Monday was completed with steamed broccoli and a mixed salad.  Go Meatless once a week!- Amanda

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained

15 oz fat free ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

salt and fresh pepper

28 oz spaghetti sauce (use your favorite)

1 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese

Combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Dry the lasagna noodles.  Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.  Makes nine rolls.

Pour remaining sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top evenly with mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Sauce should be bubbly and cheese melted.

Our First Meatless Monday: Tomato Pie

Yesterday was Earth Day.  William and I read an article about Meatless Monday.  The article was very convincing and my six-year-old declared our family needed to take the challenge.  So, here it is Monday evening and I’m proud to say that we met the challenge.  I know you may have a few questions.  There is a ton of great information you can find about Meatless Monday but I answered the top two questions:
Why Meatless?: Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Why Monday?: For most Americans the week begins on Monday. On Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health.  Monday is the call to action built in to every calendar each week. And if this Monday passes you by, next week is another chance to go meatless!
Our first Meatless Monday dinner was fun.  I whipped up Tomato Pie, sautéed asparagus, and a fresh mixed green salad.  I’m thinking going meatless once a week is an easy challenge. Will you give Meatless Monday a try?–Amanda

Tomato Pie

3 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 (9-inch) unbaked refrigerated piecrust

salt

pepper

Italian seasoning

dried basil

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 C mayo (I used light Hellmann’s)

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and turn down to 325 for baking.  Drain sliced tomatoes on paper towels for 15 minutes.  Roll piecrust out on baking pie plate.  Pinch crust to sides and work out all air bubbles.  Poke a few small holes into crust and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust and let cool.

Cover bottom of pie crust with the tomato slices.  Cover tomatoes with chopped green onions.  Sprinkle liberally with seasonings, salt, and pepper.  In a small container, stir mayo and cheese.  Spread mixture over layers.  Use Roma tomatoes as top layer, slightly overlap tomatoes to create complete layer.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil.

If you want meat, this meal can accompany any chicken or beef dish.  Another idea, add 6 strips of cook, crumbled bacon.

You can always add different types of cheeses or different types of veggies.  If you decided to use red onions or bell peppers, sauté them first.