Category Archives: Vegetables

Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Beans


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Hi everyone. 

I just wanted to share a recipe with you that I put together last night.

It was very easy and came together fairly quickly in case you are looking for something to have for a school night. The rice can be made ahead of time.

As much as I love to cook, sometimes I just don’t know what to cook for dinner and I need a few changes from the usual favorites.

I had previously posted my traditional stuffed pepper recipe with ground beef on the blog (September 20, 2015); but for this recipe I changed the beef to black beans.

Very good for my vegetarian members too.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Have fun cooking and enjoy!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


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Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Beans


2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 medium onion –sliced

3 garlic cloves –minced

5 bell peppers- whole

3 TBSP olive oil

2-3 cans “no salt” 8 oz. tomato sauce … (3 cans will make it juicier)

2 cups cooked brown rice – (follow package directions)

1 TBSP Italian seasoning

4 TBSP plus of grated cheese

8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper


  • Cut the tops from 5 green peppers; discard the seeds and the membranes
  • Dice the tops in pieces for the rice filling – set aside
  • Cook the whole green peppers, uncovered in boiling water for about 6 minutes; invert to drain well
  • Start to prepare the rice in either a steamer or stovetop
  • In another saucepan over medium low heat, add the olive oil
  • Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes and then add the diced peppers and onions, a pinch of salt and cook for approx. 7 minutes stirring occasionally to soften
  • Add the minced garlic to the peppers and onions and cook for 1 more minute
  • Add the 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained – cook 1 minute
  • Add the 2-3 cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 2 TBSP of grated cheese
  • Allow this to cook on a lower temperature for 15-20 minutes with the cover ON until the sauce is done
  • Add the cooked rice, mix well and add the remaining grated cheese
  • Stuff the peppers with this mixture and top with additional grated cheese and mozzarella cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to melt the cheese then serve

Depending on the size of your peppers, you will have leftover filling for a quick lunch the next day.



Next up, Cauliflower!

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Hi everyone,

I am still searching for new recipes and I came across two recipes on Pinterest that I had to share.

I have already been through the kale phase of the culinary world with kale added to quiches, soups and kale chips and now I am moving on to the next trend, Cauliflower.

I have made cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crusts but I found two more recipes I think you will like.


The first recipe is “General Tso’s Cauliflower”

courtesy of the website,

I am sure many of you have been to a Chinese restaurant and ordered General Tso’s chicken with it’s deep fried chicken and a sweet and spicy sauce, one of my favorites. Well, here is a new cauliflower version. Not fried, baked.



Step By Step…


To serve, I added rice, an egg roll and wonton soup.


General Tso’s Cauliflower



  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 c. sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Green onions, for garnish

COOKS NOTE: Of course I had to tweak something so I added bell pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Dredge cauliflower in flour, milk, and bread crumbs and transfer to a baking sheet lined with a rack or a parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake until deeply golden and crispy, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small saucepan over low heat, heat oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant and softened, 2 minutes, then add sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Simmer 5 minutes until thickened.
  4. Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl and add sauce. Toss gently until completely coated.
  5. Serve over rice with sesame seeds and green onions.



The second recipe is a cauliflower substitute for “tater tots”

Courtesy of the website,

Who hasn’t at one time or another bought a frozen package of tater tots for your children?  I was guilty of that myself when my son was small and we had to get to soccer practice.

This recipe caught my eye because they are baked, not fried and only have FIVE ingredients. (Well, I added parsley, so I used six) Serve them with ketchup and you are all set.



Step By Step…


Ready to serve…


5-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots

Yield: About 35 tots   Prep Time: 30 min   Cook Time: 45 min


  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup small diced onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg

COOKS NOTE: I added some parsley to the mixture, next time I’ll try chives.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a nonstick baking sheet liberally with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the water and cook them just until fork tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Thoroughly drain the florets and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower for a few seconds just until it breaks down into small pieces (about the size of grains of rice). (Do not overmix the cauliflower or the mixture will be too wet to form.)
  3. Measure out 3 packed cups of the cauliflower and add it to a large bowl. (See Kelly’s Notes.) Stir in the diced onion, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mixing until thoroughly combined. (The mixture should be roughly the consistency of mashed potatoes.) Using your hands, scoop up 1- to 2-tablespoons of the mixture and mold it into a tater tot shape. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the shaping process with the remainder of the mixture, spacing the tots about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake the tots for about 20 minutes then flip them and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until crisped. Remove and serve with ketchup, pesto, hummus or your preferred dipping sauce.
  5. Kelly’s Notes:
  6. The onion should to be cut small enough so that it’s not too chunky and can be easily mixed into the cauliflower mixture.
  1. Any extra puréed cauliflower can be turned into my go-to mashed potato substitute, Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives.


I hope you look over both these recipes and give them a try if you’re looking for something different to serve.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share”  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Vegetable Stew (Giambotta)

2015-01-22 21.43.24 - giambotta pic

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Hi everyone,

I am back from my holiday break. I hope 2016 is treating you well so far.

Bob and I had a wonderful three week visit from our son and we all had a terrific time together.

The weather held out on our day trip to NYC, so we were able to visit Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in all it’s splendor, the light show at Sak’s Fifth Avenue and we even had time to have Holiday Tea at The Plaza Hotel.

(Enjoy the slideshow)

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The three weeks still gave us time together to try some new restaurants near home, see some movies, spend some family time relaxing and time to celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year.

Of course I cooked ALL my son’s favorite foods during his visit and trust me, it was a labor of love. I was so thrilled that he was home.

Now our son has gone back to school, holiday decorations are put away, life is getting back to our usual routine and the weather has changed here in the northeast to bitter cold.

Bitter cold to me is a reason for comfort food. Besides the three bean chili, mac & cheese, chicken soup and beef stew; I have another favorite comfort food. It was one of my mother’s favorites too.

It is a southern Italian vegetable stew called Giambotta.

(pronounced: jam-BAUNT)

When I was growing up, my mother made Giambotta at the end of the summer/early fall with all the remaining vegetables from the garden and then occasionally during the winter months. I just love it and make it all year.

Giambotta can be a side dish or a main course. You can add cannellini beans or chick peas too. Add your favorite vegetables and have fun experimenting with flavors.

(This is a great dish if you have guests that are vegetarians).

I usually serve Giambotta with either appetizer size sandwiches of “Mozzarella en Carozza”. Simply put, Italian fried mozzarella cheese sandwiches. 


 Polenta, either sliced into rounds or soft polenta. 

(The photo shows the homemade polenta rounds).

So let’s get started…



2015-01-22 21.43.24 - giambotta pic


3 TBSP olive oil

2 – 4 garlic cloves- minced

1 small onion-sliced

3 carrots- diced

3 stalks of celery-diced

4 small red potatoes- washed & diced

Fresh parsley (approx 2 TBSP)

1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes

1 can (14 oz) of low sodium chicken broth

2 cups green beans – fresh and blanched is best or frozen is fine

1 eggplant –diced in cubes

2 zucchini- diced in cubes

1 (10 oz) box or bag of frozen peas

Red & green bell pepper or 4 Italian frying peppers, sliced

1 Cup grated cheese

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp. dried oregano 

Fresh basil (approx 5 leaves-chiffonade)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning

(1 can chick peas or cannelini beans- rinsed and drained -optional)

(Parmesan rind- optional)

(1/2 cup white wine – optional)


  • Sauté onion in olive oil with garlic for 5 minutes, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
  • Add garlic, carrots, parsley, celery, peppers and potatoes and sauté for 10 minutes
  • Add tomatoes, broth and green beans, season with oregano, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, fresh basil and Parmesan rind & white wine (if using).  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to cook the sauce (taste for seasoning – additional salt & pepper can be added)
  • After 30 minutes—Add eggplant, peas and zucchini, cannelini beans or chick peas (if using) and simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes
  • Remove bay leaf and Parmesan rind before serving

Sprinkle with grated cheese. 

Cooks Note: if the giambotta looks too soupy for you, add half the can of beans to the giambotta and mash the other half of the beans before adding to the giambotta to make the stew thicker.


Mozzarella en Carozza

My family usually made this dish for an easy lunch or antipasto with a green salad and fruit; but I love it with Giambotta.

You must serve it immediately because the cheese will harden. It is very easy but messy and you have to be very careful when turning the sandwiches in the oil to keep the sandwiches together.

Don’t over stuff the sandwiches with cheese. Leave some room around the edges so the cheese doesn’t ooze out.

If you use fresh mozzarella and not slices, let it drain for a few minutes to get rid of some of the liquid.

I watched my mother make this sandwich and never had a written recipe, so to give you an idea of measurements, I am posting the recipe from the cookbook,

“Extra Virgin – Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen”.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar, Extra Virgin, 2011

Total Time: 20 min    
Prep: 10 minutes   Cook: 10 minutes  Level: easy
Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 12 ounces mozzarella di bufala
  • 8 slices soft white bread, crusts removed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil

Slice the mozzarella and divide among 4 slices of bread. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Whisk the eggs with the milk in a small casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the flour to a casserole dish. Dust the sandwiches in the flour, and then dip into the egg mixture.

Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Add the sandwiches to the pan and fry on both sizes until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. The mozzarella should be completely melted and very “stringy” when the sandwich is eaten. Slice the sandwiches in half to make 2 triangles.



Use instant polenta, otherwise you will be at the stove for 45 minutes stirring old style polenta. 


  • 1 (16 oz) box of instant polenta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)


Follow package directions. When polenta is done, take the pot off the the heat and then add butter and cheese, AND heavy cream and mascarpone cheese (if using).

Serve soft polenta in a shallow bowl and add Giambotta on top.

Or serve polenta rounds…homemade or store bought.

For homemade: Spread the soft polenta onto parchment paper in a jelly roll pan. Spread the polenta out as flat as possible. Once the polenta has hardened, cut rounds out (with a wine glass or cookie cutter).  

You can either serve as is, fry the polenta slices in a 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large skillet on both sides until golden (then drain on paper towels), or broil for 3 minutes on both sides.

Extra rounds can be wrapped in wax paper in a container in the refrigerator. You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days or store frozen for up to 3 months.

Store bought…I have never used this product myself, but I see the rounds in the dairy case. Pre-cooked, just slice, heat and serve.

81QWybKPPUL._SX522SX522_SY201_CR,0,0,522,201_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_SX522_SY201_CR,0,0,522,201_SH20_- polenta roll(photo courtesy of

I hope you have an opportunity to try these recipes and enjoy.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to follow and share either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

And please continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.




Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

2015-07-16 21.04.27- slice of veggie lasagna- WITH TEXT

Hi everyone,

I have been getting a few requests to post the recipe for

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, so here it is.

I honestly don’t remember where I got the original recipe from and I have just been tweaking it over the years. I can’t take all the credit, but I can tell you it is delicious.

I hope you like the recipe enough to try it; and please send me your comments if you do.

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Have fun cooking!


(Click photos to enlarge)

2015-07-16 20.55.06- vegetable lasagna- WITH TEXT

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna


8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, slice
2-3 orange, red, green or yellow bell peppers, sliced
4 peeled carrots- sliced
6 cloves of garlic, leave the skins on for roasting
1 green zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced

Broccoli florets & part of the stalks diced into coins

(Eggplant, optional)

1 – 2 (10 oz. pkg. ) chopped spinach,  sauteed with garlic & drained. This isn’t added to the veggies to roast, this is used to assemble the lasagna.

Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Dried basil, to taste
Dried oregano, to taste

Garlic powder, to taste

(ALL vegetables can be increased or decreased to taste)

Ricotta mixture Ingredients:

1-16 oz. container of ricotta cheese- (if you use fresh ricotta, must be drained to remove liquid)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1/2 cup Locatelli cheese, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg

Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Dried oregano, to taste
Dried basil, to taste
Dash of nutmeg

Other ingredients:

Lasagna noodles (I used no cook noodles- I found the Delallo imported Italian brand to be the best) 

2-(8 oz. pkgs.) Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Locatelli cheese, grated
Fresh basil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper (for quick and easy clean up) then coat the lined baking sheet with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray.

Clean and slice the veggies and layer all but the zucchini and yellow squash on the sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, season with kosher salt, cracked pepper, basil, garlic powder and oregano to taste. Toss to coat all the veggies and place in the oven for 20 minutes. (After the 1st 10 minutes, I toss the veggies once again).

After 20 minutes, add the zucchini and yellow squash to the roasted veggies, toss and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven. I put the veggies in a colander over a bowl for 5 minutes before I start to assemble the lasagna and let any extra oil drip out so the lasagna is not too wet.

Once the garlic cloves cool down, carefully peel the skin off and slice. Add sliced garlic back in with the rest of the veggies. Add fresh basil and toss.

For the ricotta mixture: Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste and re-season if needed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a large 9 X 13 glass-baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.

  • Pour a bit of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish then place a few lasagna noodles down to completely cover the bottom of pan.
  • Add half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly over the noodles.
  • Next add half of the roasted veggie mixture, half of the sautéed spinach and sprinkle with grated Locatelli cheese and mozzarella.
  • Cover the veggies with lasagna noodles then sauce. Add the last of the ricotta mixture then the remaining veggies, spinach and sprinkle with Locatelli cheese and mozzarella
  • Cover with lasagna noodles, more sauce then sprinkle the top with mozzarella, Locatelli cheese and dried basil.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy


Recipes – Lime Chicken & Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad

2015-06-11 22.34.02- LIME CHICKEN DAY 3

Well, I am here with two more quick Summer recipe from my files. 

The first recipe is for those of you who love chicken but want a new way to prepare it.

Lime Chicken 

A slight hint of lime and nice crispy skin.

Serve this dish with a salad, a few wedges of lime and you are all set.

The second recipe is for a cold Potato, String Bean and Red Onion salad. This is great for outdoor barbecues when you don’t want a salad with mayonnaise. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

I hope you try both recipes this summer.


Lime Chicken


  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approx.. 3 small limes) & the lime zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp. compound butter – any flavor

2 lbs of chicken WITH skin and bones (either 4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs)


In a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and put all ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

Add cleaned chicken (WITH THE SKIN ON), seal the bag and turn to coat all the pieces.

Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once or twice for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up (try not to crowd the pieces), on a broiler pan so the fat drips away from the chicken. If you don’t have a broiler pan a shallow baking pan can be used.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven until just cooked through, 30 minutes.

Change the oven setting to broil and broil the chicken about 2 inches from the heat until the skin is crisp- approx. 2-3 minutes – Watch carefully so the chicken doesn’t burn.

In the meantime, melt 2 tbsp. of compound finishing butter and when the chicken comes out of the oven, glaze each piece.

*I buy finishing butter in “chipolte lime” flavor for a little spice but you can buy or make your own finishing butter in whatever flavor you prefer.

Adapted from Epicurious

Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad


6-8 red bliss potatoes (depending on size)

1 lb. of string beans, trimmed (if the beans are long, halve them crosswise)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Squirt of fresh lemon juice


I steam my potatoes instead of boiling for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the string beans to the same steamer- just keep your eye on them and remove from the steamer as soon as they are tender.

(You can also boil the potatoes if you prefer in 2 quarts of salted water for 20 minutes. Add the beans and boil for 7 minutes longer, until the beans and potatoes are tender)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the onion, and the warm potatoes and string beans. Toss very gently to dress all the ingredients without breaking the potatoes. Add a squirt of lemon before serving. Adjust all the seasonings to your liking.

Have fun cooking this Summer!

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

And send me your comments, I love hearing from you.