Posts Tagged ‘Parmesan cheese’

Any recipe using kale always catches my eye! I adapted this magazine recipe to use this week’s kale. I’m glad I did; it provided a yummy lunch for us.


2 cups uncooked pasta

8 oz. uncooked sausage

4 cups uncooked kale, roughly chopped

1 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. slat

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese


The stars!


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. I used whole grain rotini. The original recipe calls for rigatoni.


Whole grain rotini adds extra nutrients and fiber!

Cook sausage:  The original recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage; I used a pound of Rose Creek Farms pork sausage which made this dish quite meaty (and filling!) IMG_3324

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Once it’s cooked, I elevate the skillet and use a paper towel to absorb the fat.


Elevate to drain off fat.

Prep kale: wash, de-stem and roughly chop.


chopped kale

Add kale to sausage, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.


Kale joins sausage!

Add chicken broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. I used homemade broth from a chicken I had cooked in the crock pot. I refrigerated the broth which solidifies the fat on top. It is easy to remove and discard, leaving the flavorful broth!


Homemade chicken broth!

Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. (I actually stirred the 1/2 cup of cheese into the hot just-drained pasta, tossing to coat as the cheese melts. I learned this trick from Rachel Ray!)


Pasta, sausage, kale, and cheese!

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

I had some leftover salad in the refrigerator, so I used it as a base for this dish. It was delicious!


Salad and pasta!

The magazine recipe includes these suggestions: Make this dish vegetarian by swapping cannellini beans for the sausage and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Try broccoli rabe when kale is not available.

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Here’s a delicious way to use kale! I read this recipe on a blog and knew I’d be making it soon! It did not disappoint.


Kale and Smoky Bacon Quiche


A bunch of green Kale, roughly chopped

Several rashers of good quality, thinly sliced smoked bacon (I used bacon from Rose Creek Farms)

1 medium white onion, diced

1 tbs olive oil

3/4 cup of  Parmesan, grated

5 large eggs

3/4 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of whipping cream

1 tsp of sea salt

1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 sheet of pie dough


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the pie dough. I enjoy making a homemade one, but there are some delicious refrigerated ones in the grocery story.


homemade pie dough!

I did not follow the original instructions to butter the pie tin and coat the inside of the pie shell with olive oil. I chose to forego those calories!

Fry bacon pieces until crisp. I removed bacon to drain and then used the bacon grease (rather than olive oil) to sauté the chopped onion. I used a red onion I had on hand and supplemented with some of the frozen green onions I had put up in the freezer.


Frozen green onions come in handy!

Prep the kale while the onions are cooking. This means wash, de-stem and roughly chop.


KALE: prepped and ready to go!

Once the onions were tender, I added the chopped kale to the skillet and cooked for about 3 minutes or until it had wilted slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.


Kale joins the onions.

Next, sprinkle the bacon across bottom of unbaked pie shell and then spread the sautéed kale.

Now it’s time for the egg mixture. I used eggs from Rose Creek Farms.


Look at those rich yolks!

Beat the eggs and mix in the milk, cream (I used Half & Half) Parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend well and pour into pie shell.


Egg rich mixture covers kale.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 450 degrees. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the center of the quiche is almost firm.


This quiche baked up beautifully!

Remove the quiche from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


Creamy cheese, smoky bacon and kale!


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I really hit the jackpot with the last issue of Real Simple magazine.  There were several recipes in there that I knew I could use with our CSA produce. When I saw the carrots and kale, I remembered this recipe.



1 pound carrots (about 6) sliced

6 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons roasted almonds, plus more, chopped, for serving

1 clove garlic

1/2 small bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn (about 3 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan (1/3 cup) plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

16 to 18 ounces fresh or frozen cheese ravioli


Heat oven to 450° F.

Toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. NOTE: the CSA bunch of carrots weighed right under half-pound, so I added additional carrots.


cover carrots with foil to speed up cooking time

When I roast potatoes or carrots, I gather them into the center and cover with foil. This speeds up the cooking process. It works especially well before adding more tender veggies that cook quickly. I bake them covered for 10 minutes, remove foil, and roast until golden brown. Once the carrots are roasted, set aside. They will be used later.


Roasted and ready!

Meanwhile, prepare pesto ingredients: wash, de-stem, chop kale; toast almonds, and zest lemon.


A microplane makes zesting fun!

Pulse the almonds and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the kale,  Parmesan, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; pulse until finely chopped.

With the machine running, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Process until smooth.


Add oil slowly while the processor does its thing!

Recipe reviews suggested adding basil to the pesto, but I decided to follow the original instructions, and I’m glad I did. The pesto had a fresh flavor due to the lemon zest and garlic.


Kale pesto: vibrant color!

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. The recipe calls for fresh or frozen ravioli, but I used dried and it worked fine.


dried ravioli from Trader Joe’s

Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the ravioli and return them to the pot.  Add the carrots, pesto, and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss gently to coat.  (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).


Into the hot pot!


Reserved water helps mixture come together.

 Serve warm, sprinkled with the additional chopped almonds and Parmesan. We really enjoyed this new way to cook with kale. The cheesy ravioli, flavorful sauce, roasted carrots, and almond crunch all came together in a delightful dish!

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I am always on the lookout for new ways to cook up our CSA veggies, so when I saw this recipe in the newest Penzeys catalog, I ripped it right out. Our grandchildren (ages 5 and 3) were with us the next day, so I whipped up a pan for lunch. They gobbled them right up and declared the recipe to be a keeper!


Summer Squash Squares: cheesy goodness!


1/4 Cup oil

1 small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

4 small shredded squash (about 4 Cups)

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup fine bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 Cup sesame seeds

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, optional


Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

Shred the squash. I used zucchini since that is what I had on hand.


Quick tool, but a hand-held grater works as well.

Heat the oil (I used grapeseed) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring often, (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and squash and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes.


Grated squash is sautéed with onion and garlic.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, bread crumbs, salt, basil, oregano, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Mix well. Add to the squash mixture and stir.


Combine cheese and squash mixtures.

Spread in the pan and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and sesame seeds. If desired, sprinkle with paprika. I wasn’t sure the little ones would like sesame seeds and paprika, so I added them to one half of the pan. After tasting both sides, we all agreed that the side WITH the sesame seeds and paprika looked and tasted better!


Half with paprika/sesame seeds and half without.

Bake at 325° until set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and then slice into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Golden, cheesy goodness!

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Tomatoes! It’s been a wonderful summer for deep red, juicy tomatoes! We’ve chopped them for salads, sliced them for sandwiches, simmered them for fresh sauce, canned them for salsa! And still there are tomatoes!


It’s been a wonderful summer for tomatoes!

My daughter suggested I try this Ina Garten recipe, saying it has a deep, rich flavor and uses….tomatoes! So, I did. The recipe has 136 reviews, nearly all overwhelmingly positive. I did make a few changes to the recipe based on those reviews.

I was a bit confused as to what makes this recipe “scalloped.” I’m only familiar with scalloped potatoes. It seems I’m not the only one confused. I read several articles claiming “scalloped” means cooked in a cream sauce or food that is thinly sliced or a dish requiring a topping of bread crumbs.  However you define it, this recipe for scalloped tomatoes is a tasty way to use your garden surplus!



  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

The recipe calls for a boule, but any heavy bread will work.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare bread cubes: Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.


An electric knife makes quick work of cubing bread.

The original recipe calls for plum tomatoes which are firmer than the tomatoes I wanted to use, so I used a strainer to remove the excess liquid. Several reviewers complained that the baked dish was very soggy, so I wanted to avoid this problem.


Use a strainer to remove excess liquid from tomatoes.

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.


Tomatoes and bread are combined and cooked briefly.

At the end of five minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the basil.


Julienned basil is added to hot tomato mixture.

Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup)  baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.


Drizzle olive oil over cheese topped tomato mixture!

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.


Scalloped tomatoes with cheese topping!


Enjoy this dish hot or warm.


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Here’s a quick and delicious way to use up some of that summer squash!

I was looking through old cookbooks for ideas when I spotted this recipe for “Marinated Squash” and knew I had to test it out soon. We were not disappointed.



Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Bottled Italian salad dressing


Three simple ingredients!


Wash squash and slice thinly. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick.


My new Pampered Chef “Simple Slicer” made quick work of this squash!

Place squash slices in a sterilized jar, packing as tightly as possible. Cover with bottled dressing to about ½ inch of top of jar. Romano or Parmesan cheese may be added with dressing if desired.


Parmesan cheese is added to one jar; the other jar is plain.

I wasn’t sure if we would like the Parmesan cheese, so I decided to make one jar with and one jar without. All of my “taste testers” agree that the one with cheese is better!

The recipe states: “Refrigerate for about two weeks. The squash will be firm and crunchy.” I’m not sure what that means…..Does it mean the squash should be eaten within two weeks? Trust me. That jar will be empty long before then. I let mine marinate about 2 days before we tried them. We ate almost half the jar at that meal. The next day, we put them on our turkey sandwiches. So good! They’d also be good on a green salad since the salad dressing is already there!


Three medium size squash yielded 2 1/2 jars of marinated squash.


I’m pretty sure I’ll be using this recipe quite a bit this summer!

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