Ramblings of an amateur enthusiast

A collection of recipes from all over the place jumbled together in one place

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 pkg of soy beef (or regular beef for the meat-eaters)
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
1.5 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese
3 green onions
Sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a frying pan cook soy beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.  While soy beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

Potato and Rosemary Pizza

Potato Rosemary Garlic Pizza
1 pkg of pizza dough (I used the Garlic and Herb dough from Trader Joes)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, very thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, slightly smashed but still intact
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Arrange potatoes in one layer on a baking tray. Bake in oven until edges begin to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Increase oven temperature to 475 F.
Lightly brush pizza crust with olive oil. Rub all over with smashed garlic cloves. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Arrange one layer mozzarella cheese over crust. Top with one layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with one tablespoon rosemary leaves over crust. Top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Bake on pizza stone or on a tray on lowest rack in oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves and drizzle with more olive oil.

Mac and Cheese Lasagna

Mac and Cheese Lasagna
  • 2 (7.5 oz) pkgs. of Kraft Thick and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 lb. soy beef (or regular beef for the meat-eaters)
  • 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
  1. Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. I prepare it using half the amount of butter and use fat free milk to reduce the fat.
  2. While the macaroni cooks heat the spaghetti sauce and soy beef and stir to combine.
  3. In a 9x 13 or 11 x 7 dish, spread half of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan.  Follow with a layer of half of the macaroni and cheese.  Repeat the layers with the remaining meat mixture and mac and cheese.
  4. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the layers and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Christmas Morning Casserole


  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 pkg of Gimmie Lean (vegetarian sausage)
  • 1 C. biscuit baking mix
  • 2 C. milk
  • 1 tsp. oregano


Mix all ingredients and pour into a 13x9 baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered in 350-degree oven for 1 hour.

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream


  • 1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
  • 1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Jalapeno Popper Quiche

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, pre-baked
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 jalapenos, diced (seed them is you prefer less heat)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Spread the cream cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and sprinkle on the diced jalapenos.
  2. Heat the milk and cream over medium heat until just before it boils, about 5 minutes and pour it into a large bowl.
  3. Pour the eggs into the heated cream while stirring constantly.
  4. Mix in the paprika and salt.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie plate and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, arrange the jalapeno slices on top, sprinkle with cheese and bake until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Enchiladas

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

5 ounces cream cheese, softened 

1/4 cup Greek nonfat yogurt
2 cups prepared salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese, divided
1 can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
8 8-inch flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven 325 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa. Stir in 1/2 cup of each type of cheese.

3. In a second bowl toss together the beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and half of the scallions. Add the bean mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

4. Spread about 1/2 cup salsa in the bottom of a baking dish. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup filling on a tortilla, roll up and put in dish seam side down. Repeat process for remaining tortillas.

5. Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas, spreading to coat all of them. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. Transfer to preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve warm.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Bake

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
9-10 corn tortillas, halved
1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium onion, halved and slivered
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 T heat-safe oil like grapeseed or coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-Monterey Jack blend)
sour cream and thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for garnish, if desired
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting.  Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, 1/3 of the beans and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, beans and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, beans and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.
Serves 4-5

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lasagna Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound soyrizo
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the soyrizo, onion, garlic, broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan.
Serves 4
Serving size- about 2 cups

Cowboy Casserole

** Looks Gross, Tastes Delicious!

Cowboy Casserole
adapted from a recipe at Taste of Home
1 1/2 pounds soy beef (or regular ground beef for the meat-eaters)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 package of frozen hash brown patties (8 total- I got mine at Trader Joes), thawed


In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat for a few minutes (or until no longer pink. Drain the mixture if using real beef) and place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the hamburger mixture in and then place the hash browns on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Taco Cupcakes


1 lb ground beef (obviously I use soy)
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
36 wonton wrappers
your favorite taco toppings - salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown the meat in a skillet.  Return the meat to the skillet; add the taco seasoning, water and black beans.  Mix and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Spray 18 regular muffin pan cups with cooking spray.  Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin cup.  Divide half of the taco meat between muffin cups.  Sprinkle half of the cheese over the cupcakes.  Repeat layers - wonton, taco meat and cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.  Top with your favorite taco toppings.

Avocado Pesto Pasta


  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • Directions

    Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
    Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.
    Toss pasta with pesto. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with cherry or sun-dried tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls.

Idaho Sunrises


  • 1 large baked potato
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter if you'd like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 soy sausage patties (or you can use bacon strips or real sausage for you meat-eaters)
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lay the baked potato on its side, and use a knife to carefully cut off the top third of the potato.  With a spoon, hollow out the middle of the potato to make a “bowl”, leaving the potato as thick or thin as you’d like.  (Just remember, the more room you leave, the more room for eggs, sausage and cheese!)
Place 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the middle of each bowl.  Then gently break an egg into each bowl, careful not to break the yolk.  Top with sausage, cheese, parsley, and then season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until the egg whites are set.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Very American Cheeseburger Salad


1 bag Very American Salad Mix 
1C Cherry Tomatoes 
1C Sliced Pickles 
1 packages of Soy Beef 
½ jar TJ’s Organic Ranch Dressing 
½ bag Diced Onion 
Cheddar Cheese, shredded 


1) Brown the beef with the onion (and other spices if desired) until it is no longer pink. Drain & sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of the meat. 
2) Put the salad in a bowl with the pickles (sliced and diced) and tomatoes. 
3) Add the beef and dressing and toss together. Enjoy! 

Serves:  4

Calories:  463
Fat:  23
Protein:  40
Carbs:  27

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chili and Pasta


• 1 box Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese (or similar substitution)
• 1 can Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili (or similar substitution)

1. Make pasta according to directions.
2. Add the can of the chili and mix.

Serves 4

Calories:  540
Fat:  11g
Protein:  22g
Carbs:  86g

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Asparagus and Blue Cheese Pizza

16 oz. of ready-to-bake pizza dough
4 oz. of light whipped cream cheese
4 oz. of crumbled fresh salem blue cheese
12 oz. of asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spread pizza dough over pizza stone or cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the cream cheese over the dough (I let mine sit at room temperature for a bit to make it easier to spread).  Top with chopped asparagus and then sprinkle blue cheese over entire pizza.  

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and the crust is starting to brown.

Serves:  4
Serving:  1/4 pizza

Calories:  428
Fat: 16g
Carbs:  53g
Protein:  21g

Mexican Pizza

1 Package of ready-to-bake whole wheat pizza dough (16 oz)
1 container of salsa- your choice (I used the Salsa Especial from Trader Joes)- (30 g)
3 cups of Mexican shredded cheese
15 oz of black beans- rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Spread pizza dough evenly over a cookie sheet or pizza stone.  Top with salsa, spread evenly over dough extending to almost the edges, sprinkle with the cheese and then top with the black beans.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges of pizza dough are starting to brown.

Serves:  4
Serving:  1/4 of the pizza

Calories:  445
Fat:  13g
Carbs:  67
Protein:  18g

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leek, Chickpea and Orzo Gratin with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 c. whole wheat orzo
2 tsp olive oil
3 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
1 15oz can of garbanzo/chickpeas, rinsed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c. shredded fontina cheese


Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cook the orzo according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas, thyme, salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Serves:  4
Serving:  1 heaping cup

Calories:  408
Fat:  8.4g
Carbs: 67g
Protein:  16.2

Brussels Sprouts:
1 package of brussels sprouts (about 20 sprouts)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375

Chop ends off of sprouts, cut in half and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Spread out on a cookie sheet sprayed with pam.

Roast in oven for about 20-25 minutes or until done.

Serves:  5
Serving:  about 4 sprouts each

Calories:  80
Fat:  4.1
Carbs:  7.5
Protein:  2.5