Sausage and Shrimp Cioppino

My requirements for dinner tonight were as follows: red wine and soup. Many soups are immediately out of the running with the red wine requirement. I hit the internet looking for a rustic Italian soup and found this recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for in that it was different, and would pair well with zinfandel. I found the recipe on the Foodnetwork by Giada De Laurentiis.

Some notes about the recipe that I did a little differently. I couldn’t find turkey sausage (bummer) so I used regular Italian sausage that wasn’t in casings. I added red chili flakes to make up for it not being spicy. I used more garlic than it called for and I used imported tomato paste in a tube. This in itself had more depth and flavor than the traditional small cans I grew up with and have always used. I’m a convert to the imported tomato paste in a tube. Last note, I’ve never made a recipe that had two cups of wine in it however, it won’t be the last as it created a lot of incredible flavor with the other ingredients.

A crusty loaf of bread and the zin made for a terrific, “I’m so full but want a little more” dinner. I loved the fennel in it. Delicious and easy to make. This came together pretty quickly so it would make for an easy week night dinner also.

Sausage and Shrimp Cioppino


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 cups white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves


  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the fennel, garlic, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and break into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add wine and scrape the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, and bay leaf.
  8. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Uncover the pan and add the shrimp, beans, basil, and thyme.
  10. Simmer, uncovered, until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  11. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  12. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  13. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.



Crisp Cauliflower Fritters

I saw this recipe while flipping through my Cooking Light magazines and couldn’t wait to try it. I used fresh cauliflower instead of the steam bag but followed the rest of the recipe pretty closely. One addition I made for styling, adding dill for the picture, had me running out to my garden to pick more. It really was a nice addition and I pinched a bunch more over the fritters. I had a number of veggies in the fridge that I roasted with some salt and pepper and olive oil and had that on the side. Yum.


Crisp Cauliflower Fritters Recipe

Terrific, easy recipe that I’ll definitely make again.


1 (10-ounce) package steam-in-bag fresh cauliflower florets or 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed
1/2 cup chopped onion – I used  little more
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/4 cup refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
2 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise


  1. Steam cauliflower until tender (or prepare cauliflower according to directions if you’re using a steam in bag).
  2. Place in a bowl; mash with a potato masher.
  3. Stir in onion, flour, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, rind, potatoes, cheese, and eggs.
  4. Form into 8 patties.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add oil; swirl.
  7. Cook patties 4 minutes on each side.
  8. Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, yogurt, and remaining ingredients.
  9. Serve sauce with fritters.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 fritters and 1 tablespoon sauce)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 212
Fat 11.9 g
Satfat 3.9 g
Monofat 3.8 g
Polyfat 1.6 g
Protein 10.9 g
Carbohydrate 16.7 g
Fiber 2.9 g
Cholesterol 109 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Sodium 521 mg
Calcium 156 mg

Celery Root Soup

What do you do with a left over celery root? (I roasted some for a new salad recipe.) You make Celery Root Soup. I looked at several recipes and this is what I did and it was super yummy.

The recipes I read varied on how to top the soup. So, I roasted some assorted mini bell peppers (40 minutes wrapped in foil on 400, turning every 10 minutes or so). Removed the seeds and skin. Pureed with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. The other recommended topping was truffle oil, which we have so I’m going to try a little of both.

I didn’t have an leeks. Very un-French of me, so I pretended with onions.



2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large celery root, peeled and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 – 8 celery stalks, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth..or water
1 large potato (I used that to thicken it naturally), chopped


  1. Saute onions, celery and carrot in 2 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced garlic and saute for about a minute more.
  3. Add the chopped celery root and potato.
  4. Simmer (high or hard simmer) for about 30 – 40 minutes…I wasn’t watching the clock…until tender.
  5. Puree in food processor or blender.
  6. Return to pan and simmer.
  7. Add some milk or fat free half and half if needed.

Thai Grilled Chicken Salad with Mango and Coconut-Lime Vinaigrette by Wolfgang Puck

Every recipe from this book is a winner! Wolfgang Puck, Makes It Healthy Cookbook is a winner! This is time a consuming recipe but worth it. Fresh and full of flavor.

Thai Grilled Chicken5

Makes 4 servings.
Thai Grilled Chicken:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped scallion, white parts only (reserve green parts for salad)
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
Juice of one lime
1 lime, thinly sliced
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound total weight)

Coconut-Lime Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 cup coarsely chopped ginger
2 (1 inch) pieces tender inner leaves of fresh lemongrass
1/4 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
1/4 cup plum wine
2 tablespoons sake
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used reduced fat)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium head Napa cabbage, leaves separated, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
1 large ripe but firm mango
1 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup very thinly sliced white onion
1/2 cup very thinly sliced scallion, green parts only (reserved from above)
2 red radishes, very thinly sliced
To assemble:
1/2 cup Coconut-Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely crushed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


  1. Prepare the Thai Grilled Chicken:
    1. Start marinating the chicken 2 hours ahead.
    2. In shallow, nonreactive dish, stir together soy sauce, garlic, scallion, ginger and sliced lime. Add chicken breasts and turn to coat evenly.
    3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
  2. Preheat outdoor grill, an indoor counter top grill,a ridged stove top grill pan or a broiler.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Salad:
    1. Reserve 12 medium cabbage leaves.
    2. Stack the remaining leaves, cut them crosswise into thin strips, and put the strips in a bowl.
  4. Peel the mango and cut off the fruit in thin slices parallel to and around the pit.
    1. Stack the slices, and add to the bowl with the cabbage.
    2. Add the carrot, onion, scallion and radishes to the cabbage and mango.
    3. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside.
  5. Cook the Thai Grilled Chicken:
    1. When the grill or broiler is hot, remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
    2. Grill or broil the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. (Carefully cut into the center of one breast to check for doneness.)
    3. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
  6. Assemble the dish:
    1. Arrange 3 of the reserved cabbage leaves like spokes on each of four large serving plates.
    2. Drizzle about 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients in the bowl and toss lightly but thoroughly.
    3. Mound the salad mixture in the center of each plate.
  7. Transfer the grilled chicken breasts to a clean cutting board.
    1. With a sharp knife, cut each breast crosswise into thin slices.
    2. Arrange one sliced breast on top of each salad.
    3. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of the cashews and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro.
  8. Lightly drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the chicken.
    1. Place 2 lime wedges on each plate for guests to squeeze over their salads.
  9. Serve immediately.


Nutritional Facts Per Serving:

Calories: 514
Calories from Fat: 140
Total Fat:14.53g
Saturated Fat: 4.80
Monounsaturated Fat: 6.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.28g
Cholesterol: 151mg
Sodium: 607mg
Total Carbohydrate: 34.96g
Dietary Fiber: 8.16g
Sugars: 18.39g

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach Pesto

I’ve made this twice and it was delicious both times. The recipe is from Cooking Light, January/February 2013. It’s a cheat since you’re using wonton wrappers instead of making pasta but the texture of the wrappers is different and fun and the flavors work so well together, you don’t miss the pasta. It pairs so nicely with a Marlborough region Sauvignon Blanc.

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
36 wonton wrappers
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped, and divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 quarts water


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until tender.
  4. Cool. Scoop out pulp; discard peel. Mash pulp.
  5. Combine oregano, squash pulp, and butter in a large bowl.
  6. Stir in 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  7. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper.
  8. Moisten edges of wrapper with beaten egg; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle.
  9. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, squash mixture, and egg.
  10. Cover ravioli loosely with a towel to prevent drying.
  11. Place garlic in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.
  12. Add remaining 1/2 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) cheese, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, spinach, basil, and 2 tablespoons walnuts.
  13. With processor on, slowly pour oil, broth, and juice through food chute. Process until well blended.
  14. Place pesto in a large bowl.
  15. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven.
  16. Add half of ravioli; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
  17. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli.
  18. Add ravioli to pesto; toss gently to coat.
  19. Arrange 6 ravioli on each of 6 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon walnuts.

Serving: 6 ravioli and 1 teaspoon walnuts

Nutritional Information:
Calories 344
Fat 15.7 g
Satfat 5.2 g
Monofat 5.8 g
Polyfat 3.5 g
Protein 11.1 g
Carbohydrate 41.8 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 57 mg
Iron 3 mg
Sodium 586 mg
Calcium 189 mg

Original post February 1, 2015

Creamy Chicken Pasta

The title of this dish should be “Marscapone Creamy Wild Mushroom and Chicken Pasta”. Doesn’t that sound more interesting?

This is from Cooking Light, January 2013. I didn’t get a picture of it but I wanted to add it to my blog because I’ll be making it again for sure. It was incredibly tasty…like lick your dish good.

I didn’t have orecchiette pasta so I used shells. I think it would be good with any pasta. Last note, I could have had this without the chicken and been just as satisfied with the dish. The magic is in the sauce.

  • 9 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson), divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces chopped wild mushroom blend
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  5. Combine 1/4 cup stock and flour.
  6. Add flour mixture, 3/4 cup stock, and half-and-half to pan; bring to a boil.
  7. Cook 2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mascarpone, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
  9. Heat a skillet over medium heat; coat with cooking spray.
  10. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes.
  11. Add thyme and mushrooms; cook 8 minutes.
  12. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, and mustard; cook 30 seconds.
  13. Add pasta and chicken mixture; toss.
  14. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parsley.

Serves 6
Serving Size: 1-1/3 cups
Nutritional Information:

  • Calories 364
  • Fat 14.3 g
  • Satfat 7.1 g
  • Monofat 3.5 g
  • Polyfat 0.5 g
  • Protein 23.2 g
  • Carbohydrate 36.3 g
  • Fiber 2.3 g
  • Cholesterol 67 mg
  • Iron 2.4 mg
  • Sodium 336 mg
  • Calcium 67 mg

Herb Custed Chicken and Parsley Orzo

Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2011…This is the second time around on this recipe and it’s blog worthy as it’s a great, easy chicken dinner. For the herbs I used herbs de provence, oregano, thyme and sage. As you can see, I also served some french green beans. I flashed steamed them with a little lemon zest.

The chicken had amazing flavor, range free and local. (I love that our market carries local meats).


Herb Crusted Chicken and Parsley Orzo

3/4 cup uncooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons dried fines herbes
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Stir in parsley, 2 teaspoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Keep warm.
  2. While pasta cooks, sprinkle chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle fines herbes over both sides of chicken, pressing gently to adhere.
  3. Melt remaining 4 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 7 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand for 3 minutes. Serve chicken over orzo mixture.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half and 1/2 cup orzo mixture).

Nutritional Information

Calories 342
Fat 11.4 g
Satfat 5 g
Monofat 4.3 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 33.9 g
Carbohydrate 24.4 g
Fiber 2.6 g
Cholesterol 89 mg
Iron 2.6 mg
Sodium 428 mg
Calcium 96 mg

Original post January 11, 2015