Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ziti with Roasted Cauliflower & Red Onions

It is getting a little bit more difficult to get dinner done at a reasonable time lately. By the time I am able to cook dinner and have it on the table, it is almost 8:30PM. So I am really looking for easy recipes that I can make quickly during the week. This pasta recipe looked great in the magazine I ripped it out of and only took 40 minutes to cook. There was only one ingredient that I didn't have handy--fresh sage--so I substituted it with ground sage. As I was reading through the ingredients I noticed it called for raisins. Raisins in pasta? I was going to skip the raisins at first but decided to give it a try. I am glad I did because it really gave the dish a nice sweetness. Also, I love onions so I used 2 red onions instead of one. As for the cooking time, I roasted the veggies for 30 minutes before adding the raisins since I like my cauliflower browned with a little crispiness to them. I then served the pasta with chicken drumsticks. For the drumsticks, I marinated them with seasoned salt and garlic powder. I browned the chicken in a pan with olive oil and then baked them, in a separate pan, with the veggies. Total cooking time was only 40 minutes...perfect! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ziti with Roasted Cauliflower & Red Onions
Recipe from Womans Day
Serves 6
Veggies with sage, salt and pepper before going into the oven.
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1⁄2 lb), cored and sliced  1⁄2 in. thick
1 red onion, cut into 1⁄2 in.-thick wedges (I used 2 red onions)
1⁄3 cup fresh sage, roughly chopped (I substituted this with ground sage)
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used 4 Tbsp)
Kosher salt and pepper
 1⁄2 cup golden raisins
1 box of whole-grain penne
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan (1 oz), plus more for serving

Directions: Heat oven to 425ºF. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower, onion, sage, oil, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; roast for 15 minutes. Add the raisins and toss to incorporate. Continue roasting until the vegetables are golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Add the vegetable mixture and Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve with additional Parmesan, if desired.

My veggies 30 minutes later.
Pasta is served!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I went to the farmers market this weekend with my hubby. While we were there he picks up some brussels sprouts and says "Kenny brought some in the other day for lunch and they were actually really good." So I ask him to put them in our cart so I can try and make a recipe I had just ripped out of Cooking Light magazine. Honestly I never made nor was I interested in making brussels sprouts before. They never really caught my attention but when I saw this recipe and then when my hubby commented on the ones he had, I had to give them a shot. This recipe was really easy and quick to make. Plus, I had all the ingredients I needed at home already. Since we are still trying to cut the carbs for dinner, I served the brussels sprouts with a piece of salmon that I marinated in Italian dressing and then sauteed. I would definitely make these yummy little veggies again with a couple of modifications: more onions and I would quarter the brussels sprouts instead of halving them as the recipe calls for.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Recipe from Cooking Light magazine
Serves 4

3 slices center-cut bacon finely chopped 
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
1 1/2 cups presliced onion 
1/3 cup fat-free
Lower-sodium chicken broth 
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

Directions: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; drain.

Add thyme and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and Brussels sprouts; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with bacon.

Bacon is browned and the rest of the ingredients are prepped and ready.
Everything tastes good with bacon!