No Romaine, No Problem

This tomato salad is one that my sister Jen makes a lot. It is refreshing, simple, healthy and delicious. It’s one of those salads that everyone eats with their fingers out of the bowl before it’s even on the table!

 

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Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • Two containers of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 of a small red onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 basil leaves sliced
  • About half of a block of imported feta
  • A packet of good seasons dressing(will need oil, vinegar and dressing jar)

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in medium bowl.
  2. Break up feta and put in bowl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare good seasons dressing per directions on packet(you could also just use a simple oil and vinegar dressing. But the good seasons tastes so good with the tomatoes. And you can store any leftover dressing in the fridge and use it on your salads throughout the week.)
  5. Drizzle dressing over the salad and mix.

 

Enjoy!

Other salads that we love…

Summer Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

 

 

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Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe is a veggie my mom frequently makes.  It is packed with nutrition and is delicious!  I don’t make it much because half of my family likes it and half of them don’t.  But I love it when it’s made right.  And my mom makes it perfect.  I love it tossed with pasta, of course.  But you can make it as a side dish to sausages or any meat.

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Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • crushed red pepper flakes(add as much as you prefer)
  • garlic, 8 cloves peeled and sliced
  • 2 bunches of broccoli rabe(rinse, cut off the bottom of the stems and chop in big chunks
  • Optional(pasta of your choice)

Directions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large sauce pan with olive oil.
  2. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.
  3. Saute for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli rabe.
  5. Let it sizzle for a few minutes.  Then add in about 1/2 inch of water to the pan.
  6. Drizzle the top with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and steam on medium heat until soft(about 10-15 minutes)

Serve as a side dish or mix with your favorite pasta(you can add a little pasta water if you want more “juice”) and top with grated cheese!

Enjoy!

Other pasta and veggie dishes that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

Bowties with Broccoli

Sunday Dinner

 

Fancy Beans

This is a recipe I originally got from the back of a can of Bush’s Beans.  I have changed it a bit over the years.  It is an excellent side dish that I usually serve with white rice and store bought Rotisserie chickens for a quick, healthy dinner!

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Fancy Beans

Ingredients

  • 2, 15 oz cans of Bush’s black beans, drain and reserve juices
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1, 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 squirt or more of Sriracha-depending on how spicy you like it(My family only likes the Trader Joe’s brand)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.
  2. Saute the onion and green pepper until tender.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, beans and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar, sriracha, and reserved juices from the beans.
  6. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve over rice(I usually serve this with Minute Premium White Rice.  It literally cooks in 5 minutes!)

 

Momma’s Meatballs

 

I can make these every day for a year and they still won’t be as perfect as my mom’s. Not sure what she does to them. But this is her recipe and they are amazing! Sunday dinner usually has these on the menu.

Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of meatloaf mixture(ground chuck and pork)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • A big handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs(You can also use the seasoned Panko or combine them both)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of water or as much as needed until they feel moist.
  5. Mix again.
  6. Roll into medium sized meatballs.
  7. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until brown.
  8. Put in your pot of marinara Sauce and cook on simmer for 2 hours stirring frequently.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

What do you request for your birthday dinner?  In our house this is a big deal.  And sometimes it gets out of hand!  Most of the time my boys and Matt will ask for the same sort of dinner:  steak and mashed potatoes or twice baked potatoes.  My younger son Dominick turned 10 and of course he requested steak and twice baked potatoes.  These twice baked potatoes are delicious and they always request extra paprika!

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Ingredients

  • 8 potatoes(I believe I used Yukon Gold-they are nice and creamy)
  • EVOO
  • 3/4 of a cup of Half and half
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and dry the potatoes.
  3. Rub olive oil all over the skin of the potatoes.
  4. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.
  5. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft. About 45 minutes- 1 hour.
  6. Take out and let cool slightly so you can handle them.
  7. Slice off only a small portion of the top.
  8. Scoop out all the insides of the potatoes leaving just the skins in the pan. Put the insides in a large bowl.
  9. Add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potatoes mashed until smooth. (Do not use an electric mixer. They will be like glue.)
  10. Fill the potato skins with the mashed potatoes.
  11. Sprinkle with paprika.
  12. Bake on 350 degrees for another 20-30 minutes or until hot.

Enjoy!

 

Simple Side

Simple Side

This is one of those side dishes that can be thrown together last minute. We all have some sort of rice in our pantry and veggies that need to be used. As well as rice I always have a bag of frozen peas. I serve this with salmon and it is amazing! But remember you can use any rice or vegetables that you have available.

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Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Basmati rice
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw
  • Half of a small onion chopped
  • 1 small bag of frozen peas
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare rice according to directions on bag.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan.
  3. Saute the onion until tender.
  4. Toss in the broccoli slaw and cook until crisp.
  5. In the end throw in the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Carefully combine the rice and the veggies.
  8. Drizzle with a little olive oil and more salt if needed.

Enjoy!

 

Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are addicting. Can’t stop once you start. Everyone in the family loves them. I make them alongside steak and a salad. To make it easy, you can prepare them earlier in the day and then roast before dinner.

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Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • One bag of potatoes(any type of small potatoes will work well-baby red, fingerlings, etc..)
  • EVOO
  • Half of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • A bunch of fresh Rosemary or Thyme
  • 4 or 5 cloves of chopped garlic

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake or roast on 450 degrees.
  2. Wash potatoes well with a brush.
  3. Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water for about 20 minutes or until tender when you poke with a fork.
  4. Drain and let dry.
  5. Heavily coat a baking sheet with EVOO.
  6. Place potatoes on the baking sheet and press down firmly with a large spoon or the palm of your hand until they are flattened.
  7. Drizzle with a good amount of EVOO. That will help them crisp up.
  8. Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over.
  9. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary or thyme and garlic. (They taste really good with a little extra salt!)
  10. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes. They should be really crispy! I roast them instead of bake because it gets them even crispier.

Enjoy!!