Tricolor Rotini with Broccoli Rabe, Spinach and Chicken Sausage

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Tricolor Rotini with broccoli rabe (rapini), spinach, mushroom, cilantro, and chicken sausage. Sprinkled with parmigiano regianno.  Oh …so…gooood!

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (454 g) Chicken sausage encased with cheese and garlic (or any other sausage);substitute hard tofu for vegetarian meal, but add cubed tofu to cook last ten minutes

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 scallions (chalots)

1lb spinach

1 lb rapini

1 cup of your favorite mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

two 340g (12oz) boxes of tricolor rotini

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PROCEDURE

Set a large pot with water to boil for pasta; set the rotini to cook when add the cilantro below or whenever ready to eat.

In a large (8-Qt.) sauce pot, add oil and braise the sausage links on all side before cutting

add the garlic, scallions and onion

add the rapini and add 1 cup water, cover pot to let the rapini whither and cook, stirring occasionally

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add the spinach and mushrooms after the rapini has cooked for 15-20 minutes

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add salt and pepper to taste

add the cilantro and let simmer for 10 more minutes

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Sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano or some Pecorino Romano on top & ENJOY!

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Spinach and Vegetable Soup

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb spinach washed and ready to use

3 carrots, sliced lengthwise, quartered, and finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise, and finely chopped

3 scallions

1/2 cup of diced mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)

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1/3 cup of fresh dill or 2 TBSP of dill pasre

¼ cup olive oil

curry powder, salt and pepper to taste

3/4 to 1 cup of Acini Di Pepe Pasta (optional for extra energy/carbs)

PROCEDURE

In a large (8-Qt.) soup pot add the oil, the garlic, the onion, carrots and scallions and simmer until golden brown.

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Add the wet spinach and cover to let shrivel, stir occasionally.

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When spinach is reduced, fill with 6 – 8 cups of cold water (vegetarian) or chicken stock; if use water you can add a chicken boullion.

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Bring to a boil.

Add the mushrooms and cilantro.

Add  fresh dill or 2 TBSP of paste

Add salt and pepper to taste. (I like to add some curry powder too!)

Lower flame and cover, allow to simmer for  45 min to 1 hour, add salt and pepper as needed

At the last ten minutes bring to a boil and  add the optional Acini Di Pepe and cook for ten minutes

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Once cooked, allow to stand covered for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with a Caesar salad and/or a nice crusty French or Italian bread that can be dipped in the soup!  Invite a friend over and share life over a hot meal.  Nothing better!

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Grace’s Deep Fried Whole Zucchini Flowers

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Ingredienti 

30 zucchini flowers washed and pre-soaked in water

1.5 cups regular unbleached flower

0.5 tbsp Baking Powder

2 to 3 small zucchinis shredded (optional)

Grapeseed Oil, it Cannola Oil for deep frying

Parsley (fresh), salt and pepper to taste

Handful of parmagiano reggiano gratagiato

Procedure

Wash the whole flowers (including stamens) and drain free of water

Add 0.5 cup of water to start to the flour and baking powder mixture

Add the still wet zucchini flowers and optional shredded zucchini and kneed by hand

Add 0.25 Tsp of salt

Use a TBSP to add the zucchini flower/flour “paste” to the oil

Coat a dish with a paper towel to soak up residual oil when removing the fritters from the oil
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Easy As 1-2-3 Baked Sweet Potatoes/Yams

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Sweet potato offers a nice substitute from regular spuds.  They are rich in beta-carotene and lower in starch than the regular stock:

Sweet potato
Plant
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Wikipedia
Nutrition Facts

Sweet potatoSweet potato leavesSweet potato, bakedSweet potato, boiledSweet potato, mashedSweet potato

Amount Per 100 grams1 sweetpotato, 5″ long (130 g)1 cup, cubes (133 g)1 cup, cubes (133 g)

Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 73 mg 3%
Potassium 448 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9%
Dietary fiber 4 g 16%
Sugar 6 g
Protein 2.1 g 4%
Vitamin A 377% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 4% Iron 4%
Vitamin B-6 15% Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2

Recipe:

1)Clean and peel the skin from a sweet potato or two

2)Spray a baking sheet with olive oil

3)Slice the yams 1/4″ thick in cross sections along the potato and place on sheet

Spray over top with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 30 minutes at 400F to 450F in a convection oven (ovens may vary).

Remove, check if cooked and let cool.  Serve as a side dish or a nutritious snack –ENJOY!

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Artichokes With Fava Beans

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis

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Springtime brings a wonderful new variety of fresh produce heralding the season ~ the colors and the textures are a plus to both the eye and the palette.

My grandmother traditionally kept pace with the calendar, in shopping the market early in the morning, selecting the vegetables that she intended to prepare into that day’s meal. One of her favorites for spring were the small tender artichokes, that unlike their larger counterparts are much easier to prepare and cook, as well as eat. The potpourri of this vegetable mix is deliciously fragrant, as the garlic and dill permeates the kitchen air. The sauce itself is rich in flavor, that a crust of bread is wanting to be sopped. This “stew” can be served as is, making it a wholesome and hearty vegetarian entrée, or it may be served as a side dish accompanying broiled lamb chops and a fluffy white rice pilaf. Sprinkling crumbled feta cheese over it, adds an extra zing of flavor! A glass of red wine is highly recommended as well.

INGREDIENTS

6 artichokes

2 lbs small red new potatoes

3 medium yellow onions

3 Roma plum tomatoes

1 lemon

6-7 cloves garlic

(2) 15.5 oz cans of fava beans (pre-cooked), rinsed

(1) 8oz can tomato sauce

1 quart water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine

7 sprigs fresh dill

Course Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

Wash artichokes under cold running water.

Cut off the stems to the base of each artichoke.

Quarter the artichokes and place in large stock pot filled with 1 quart cold water and the juice of one whole lemon.

Cover pot and bring to a quick rapid boil under high heat. Allow to boil for 5-8 minutes and then reduce to low heat.

Wash all potatoes under cold running water. Do not peel. Quarter all potatoes and add to pot, atop of artichokes. Continue cooking under low heat.

Peel and coarsely chop 6-7 garlic gloves.

Peel and cut in half, length-wise 3 medium onions. Once halved, cut evenly creating demi-lune slices. Add the garlic and the onions to the pot, and continue to cook under low heat.

To the vegetable mixture, add one small can (8oz) tomato sauce, and ¼ cup olive oil into the pot and continue cooking under low heat.

Check water level and add more water as need be, by 1 cup.

Using a large wooden spoon lift the vegetable mix from the bottom up, continuing so, around the entire circumference of the pot. In this way you do not shred the quartered artichokes or mash the potatoes.

After 30 minutes slow cooking over low heat, add the butter beans together with the coarsely chopped plum tomatoes.

Again, stir gently with wooden spoon.

Add ¼ cup red wine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for and additional 10 minutes, then shut off heat, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving.

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Artichokes with Fava Beans