Category Archives: Cheese

Savory Pastries Save the Day

I’ve previously posted a recipe inspired by the use of random veggies in need of attention wrapped in a croissant roll. I continue to hear friends ask about that recipe and even ask if I would post it again. Since I’m not¬†exactly fond of reposting a previous recipe without changes, I thought I’d look up some photos from the numerous meals that have went unposted to date, and include NEW IDEAS of how to use what’s in your current box (or fridge) to create your own Savory Pastry. ūüôā

Variation #1 Savory Turkey and Savoy Cabbage Pastries

1. Combine left over chopped turkey with sautéed cabbage, mushrooms, onions, garlic or other vegetables and herbs of choice.  (The smaller each ingredient is chopped the better.)

2. Add cottage cheese (or cream cheese).
3. Place two scoops of filling into center of square-shaped croissant roll dough.
4. Bake at 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

Variation #2: Savory Chicken, Cabbage and Carrot Pastries
1. Combine chopped cooked chicken breast with sautéed cabbage, carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic.

2. Add cottage cheese and stir thoroughly.
3. Place two scoops of filling into center of square-shaped croissant roll dough. 4. Bake at 325-350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

Original recipe is titled Savory Italian Pastries.


Broccoli Christmas Tree Appetizer

This gallery contains 1 photos.

One of our members recently shared this adorable appetizer online. What a great idea! I admit, I’ve tried creating a similar center piece using edible fruit but it never turned out as well as this one. Have fun with it! … Continue reading

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant

You’ll Need:
1 Box Lasagna Noodles
1 Jar Marinara Sauce
1 large container of Small Curd Cottage Cheese
3 Egg Whites
1 cup Roasted Eggplant Puree
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella
0.33 cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Mix cheeses, eggplant puree and eggs in mixing bowl. (Note, only use half of the shredded mozzarella in this step.) Set aside.
2. Spray a baking dish with oil.
3. Spread ~0.5 cup of marinara sauce on bottom of pan.
4. Place 3 lasagna noodles (uncooked) on top of sauce.
5. Spread 0.33 of cheese mix on top of noodles, completely covering noodles.
6. Lightly cover cheese mix with some marinara sauce.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 two more times.
8. Place 4th layer of noodles on top of lasagna.
9. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the noodles.
10. Sprinkle the second half of the mozzarella on top of the lasagna.
11. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 375 F.
12. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes at 375 F.
13. Remove from oven and allow to sit and cool for 10+ minutes.
14. Serve.


Homemade Reduced Fat Mac ‘n Cheese

You’ll Need:
1 box of Dry Shell, Penne and/or Elbow Macaroni Pasta
1 cup of Skim Milk
1 TBSP Corn Starch
1 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
0.3 cup of Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Dash of Paprika (or Smoked Paprika)
Dash of Salt
Dash of Pepper

1. Cook the pasta, drain and set aside.
2. Make the cheese sauce by adding all remaining ingredients to a sauce pan. While cold, thoroughly mix ingredients with a wire whisk.
3. Bring the cheese sauce to a gentle boil, continuously stirring/mixing with whisk. Remove from heat shortly after it reaches a boil.
4. When mixture is smooth, pour it over the pasta and mix.
5. Serve.


Fettuccini Alfredo with Zucchini Ribbons

Simply follow the directions from this Food Network recipe. If you’re in a pinch for time, substitute the homemade sauce for a jar of your favorite alfredo.


Easy Baked Ziti

You’ll Need:
1 Box of Dry Penne Pasta
1 – 2 Jars Marinara Pasta Sauce of Choice
12 oz Cottage Cheese
1 – 2 Sprigs Fresh Basil, chopped
0.5 Onion, chopped
1 – 2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 cup Water

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot or casserole dish. Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours (until pasta is tender). Enjoy.

Other ingredient ideas include sauteed chopped mushrooms, red peppers or greens of choice, red wine, etc.


Easy Summer Sandwich

Sandwiches needed a new twist in our home, so we pulled out the hummus and cheddar cheese, sliced a tomato, cut the red onion and washed some romaine. Everyone customized their own lunch. Some wanted hummus and no cheese with all the works. Others wanted cheese and no tomato. Honest, the options are endless and the kids are enjoying a break from peanut butter and honey or almond butter and jelly. Roasted/Grilled eggplant works well on these sandwiches too.


Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells don’t have to be the traditional ‘stuff them with cheese’ type of recipe. My wonderful husband offered to make dinner the other night and created the healthiest stuffed shells we’ve ever had! He basically rounded up all of the veggies that were aging in our fridge as a means to help clean and clear it out for our next box. LOL. Ever have one of those nights? ūüėČ

Keith¬†found potatoes, carrots, roasted beets, onion, tomatoes, celery, garlic, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, green/red/yellow bell peppers, parsley and mushrooms. He chopped everything up really small and mixed it together in a pan. After veggies were lightly cooked, he proceeded to stuff precooked shells just like you would with a traditional recipe. Topped with sauce, they baked for ~30 minutes. He added some cheese on top as an insurance policy so our youngest would want to eat it. (Anything new and unusual is a huge hit if we sprinkle cheese on top… sigh.) We went into this adventure knowing it could be a hit or a flop. We were impressed (and a little surprised) that everyone had seconds and the pan was nearly empty by the end of the meal. Nice!

My only comments for this dish would be to leave the beets out… as I presume most families would NOT venture into beets with their shells. I would add artichokes, maybe roasted asparagus, a lot of mushrooms, basil, maybe some super savory¬†smashed white beans… you get the idea. I’d avoid the super strong flavored veggies. Jen’s roasted tomato sauce would be amazing with this dish too.

Have fun with it and THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. You never know what NEW and creative dish awaits your family.


Little Quinoa Patties with Orange Avocado Sauce

Jen Marvin, one of our members and dedicated volunteers, introduced me to Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks and recipe blog (101 Cookbooks). I’ve been hooked ever since.

In Heidi’s latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, she introduces The Little Quinoa Patty. With a quick search online a friend of mine found another recipe blogger has been raving about these little delights on Sparrows & Spatulas.

I follow Heidi’s recipe pretty closely, using my own bread crumbs from our previously posted Multi-Grain Bread, choosing only egg whites, and adding 1 to 2 TSP of smoked paprika to the mix before forming and cooking the patties. (See Heidi’s book or Sparrows and Spatulas’ site for the recipe details.) My only kitchen note¬†is¬†that forming the ball/patty is tricky. I’ve found the best method is to scoop two large spoonfuls of mix into the oiled pan and then use a spatula to flatten and form the patty. An additional note for reference,¬†I use a cast iron skillet with a metal spatula, on medium-low heat.

The new creation with this dish¬†is the Orange Avocado Sauce. I simply mix a little of this and a little of that… ūüôā Here’s a summary:
1 Avocado, smashed
0.5 Orange, juiced
1 TBSP Fresh Parsley, chopped
0.5 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
0.5 TBSP Honey
Dash of Salt
Dash of Pepper
1 TSP Smoked Paprika

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and add a sprinkle of Smoked Paprika on top.

Additional Notes:
*This is a great basic recipe to build on.  You could easily add mushrooms, peppers, herbs, various cheeses, black beans, etc.
*These are great with a variety of sauces. The kids tend to enjoy them with ketchup and barbeque sauce. Heidi recommends a spicy sauce.
*Quinoa is high in protein (14g per 100g)… making them a great meat alternative.
Our Best Bites highlights¬†many of¬†quinoa’s benefits and how to incorporate it into your every day dishes in a May 2011 post.
*Heidi has several other quinoa recipes on her blog. Check them out.


Spinach Fettuccine White Wine Alfredo with Asparagus and Fresh Spinach

You’ll Need:

8 oz. Spinach Fettuccine, cooked
1 TBSP Butter
3 Scallions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 cup White Wine of choice (optional)
0.5 to 1 cup Heavy Cream
1 TBSP Flour
0.25 to 0.5 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
0.5 lb Asparagus, steamed
2 cups Baby Spinach, raw
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cherry Tomatoes to garnish

1. Make Alfredo Sauce: Brown garlic and scallions with butter in a skillet. Add wine and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to ‘low’ and add cream.¬†Using a wire wisk,¬†stir¬†¬†in flour, parmesan, salt and pepper until lump free.
2. Pour sauce over pasta and veggies.
3. Allow pasta to steep so that spinach will steam.
4. Garnish with tomatoes if desired.
5. Serve.

Note, by adding the flour, you will have a thick alfredo sauce instead of a thin white wine sauce in this recipe.