Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stuffed Pasta Shells

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar (26oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
1 container (8 oz) chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded italian cheese blend (6oz)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Heat oven to 350 F. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package. In 10 inch skillet, cook beef over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish. In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the Parmesan cheese, egg and cooked beef. Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely.
Cover with foil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup italian cheese. Bake about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

**This recipe came from my good friend, Stefanie, and we all love it. Very easy, a great recipe to make a lot, freeze for later or for a friend.

Herbed Artichoke Cheese Tortellini

2 (14.5 oz) Italian diced tomatoes
2 jars (6.5 oz) quartered artichoke hearts
18 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried
2 tsp basil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
1 can black olives, sliced and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated

*Drain tomatoes; reserve 2/3 c. juices. Set aside. Drain artichokes, reserving 3/4 c. liquid. Chop and set aside.
*Cook tortellini according to package.
*Saute onions, parsley, basil, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes in oil for 4-5 min. or until onions are tender. Add reserved tomatoes, tomato juice and artichoke liquid.
*Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered 10-12 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drain tortellini add to tomato mixture. Stir in olives, salt and reserved artichokes.
*Heat through; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

**This is one of Kristi's recipes that we all LOVE. It's super easy, delicious, and healthy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)


  • 4 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 10 ounces)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


Simmer 2 cups broth and potato in a small saucepan. Cook 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Transfer potato mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid spills). Blend until smooth. Set mixture aside.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, celery, and carrot to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, and milk in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick; stir constantly with a whisk. Add potato mixture, sharp cheddar cheese, and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to pan; cook for 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Add beer to pan; bring to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:363 (30% from fat)
Fat:12.2g (sat 7.7g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.6g)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 c. flour
2 T. packed brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. ricotta cheese

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over med. heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinn., and nutmeg. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle.

**This recipe is amazing! I doubled it for 4 kids and 4 adults and had quite a few left over. Add a little more milk, as they are a little thick. Thanks to Jill f0r sharing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy Mexican Rice

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 c. diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of long grain rice
3/4 cup of tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. cumin
fresh cilantro, if desired

*In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute' onion and fresh garlic until onion is clear.
*Add rice and cook until lightly browned.
*Add tomato sauce and let simmer for 1-2 minutes.
*Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.
*Cover and simmer until rice is tender; about 20 minutes. Uncover rice, fluff with fork, turn off stove, cover again and let sit covered for another 5 minutes or so.

**I found this online, added and removed some ingredients and came up with this awesome recipe! Great Mexican side dish!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon basil)


  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage links
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Arrange sausage on a small baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

4. Place tomatoes in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Add sausage and cooked pasta to pan; toss well. Top with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Nutritional Information

Fat:16.9g (sat 5.1g,mono 8.1g,poly 2.8g)
**I made this last night and it really is a SUPER quick recipe! I actually felt very rushed and didn't get the salad done in time-so, great as a last minute dinner! It was very tasty, a little spicy for the kids, however. Pureeing the tomatoes made the sauce really thin, but again, very tasty!