What’s for Dinner?

By Jodee Weiland

“What’s for dinner?” is a common refrain in many households. With that particular question, “What’s for dinner?” is usually directed to the person who cooks for the household. That same person either has no idea until they check what they have on hand and what they may need to get, or they know for sure what they’ll be cooking on that particular day. Either way, if you’re the person who does the cooking, you will always have those special recipes you turned to when asked, “What’s for Dinner?” on any given day!

There are so many meals for me to choose from, but here are just a few of mine:

http://learnfromyesterday.comFresh Homemade Margherita Pizza

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Homemade Barbecue Sauce from Mom

Delicious Sirloin Meatballs with Jalapenos or Not

Salmon with Sweet Bourbon Glaze

Italian Basil Pesto…a Classic Italian Meal

Aunt Rose’s Eye of Round Roast Italian Style

Rolled Italian Meatloaf…With Spinach, Mozzarella, and Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice

Seared Sea Scallops with Parmesan Prosciutto Risotto

Deciding “What’s for Dinner?” is not always easy, and sometimes it takes a little creativity to make a dish that’s both delicious and healthy for your family. But the above list may help you come up with just the right dinner for your family and if not, take a look at some of the other recipes I have on the site. There are so many wonderful dishes you can make for dinner, but first you need to find the one that’s right for your family, so take a look! Once you decide, enjoy!

Healthy Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce

By Jodee Weiland

Zucchini spaghetti is a great way to stay healthy and have your “pasta”, too. I love the versatility of zucchini spaghetti and with a veggie spiralizer, it couldn’t be easier. There are several ways to make zucchini spaghetti, but since I bought my veggie spiralizer, I couldn’t imagine making this dish any other way. Since I had some fresh tomatoes to use, I decided to make Healthy Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce for dinner, and it was absolutely delicious and definitely healthy!

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A while back, I found out that you can prepare the zucchini spaghetti with a julienne peeler, a mandoline with a julienne blade, or with a veggie spiralizer type product. I chose the veggie spiralizer type product for a number of reasons after reading reviews and checking prices. The one I chose was at a store that gives 20% discounts with their coupons, so the price was under $25 with tax. Also, the product I chose was made basically the same as a more expensive version at another store and both had similar reviews. Last of all, after looking into it, this product made preparing the zucchini so easy, it cut the time of preparation down tremendously.

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For this dish, I began my preparation the same way I did when I made my Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes. I prepared my zucchini and set it aside to drain, while I prepared my tomato basil sauce using my fresh tomatoes from the garden. The recipe is similar to my marinara sauce with a few differences. In this sauce I use the addition of fresh tomatoes, and I eliminate the tomato paste and water, but for the most part, they are very similar. The main thing is my Healthy Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce is awesome, and you will definitely want to have it again.

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Healthy Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce

For zucchini spaghetti:

3 medium zucchini cleaned and skin removed (skin may be left on if preferred)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove chopped
Sea salt

Prepare the zucchini first by peeling it and cutting it into long thin spaghetti like strands with a veggie spiralizer, a julienne peeler, or a mandoline with a julienne blade. Lightly salt the zucchini strands and put them into a colander for about thirty minutes or longer, placing the collander in a large bowl, so the moisture in the zucchini can drain off. Toss and squeeze lightly every once in a while until ready. You will use the olive oil and garlic when you lightly heat the zucchini later.

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For the tomato basil sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 medium onion chopped or sliced
1 teaspoon basil or use 1 tablespoon fresh basil cut up
1/2 teaspoon dried or ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar (some people prefer to use 2 carrots finely shredded or chopped for sweetness)
1 cup pureed fresh tomatoes (puree in a blender or food processor)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
Freshly grated imported Parmesan Reggiano cheese

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

Sauté onions, garlic, basil, and oregano in olive oil and stir together. Then add your fresh tomato puree and the can of crushed or puree tomatoes.  Add in the sugar if you do not use carrots.  If using carrots, sauté the carrots with the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Let the sauce begin to bubble and then cover the pot lowering the heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or longer, stirring every so often.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

When the sauce is just about ready, drain and squeeze the zucchini spaghetti. Then put the zucchini in your serving bowl or dish, being sure to drain off any excess liquid.  There may be some left, but this will not hurt the flavor of your dish. Last of all, add your sauce to your zucchini and when ready, toss lightly.

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My Healthy Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce is so delicious, while definitely healthy! Serve this dish with freshly grated imported Parmesan Reggiano cheese for those who like it, a crusty loaf of bread, and a glass of red wine. Some people think this meal will not be filling, but they are wrong. Not only is it filling, but if you want some frozen yogurt for dessert, you won’t feel the least bit guilty about it. So try this wonderful dish, and enjoy!

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin

By Jodee Weiland

One of the many ways I express my love for my family is through my cooking, but more importantly, cooking delicious food that is healthy as well, such as my Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin. Raised by a health conscious Italian mother, just like my beautiful mother, I want my family to enjoy long healthy lives.  By eating healthy, I mean eating well without sacrificing flavor. I believe eating healthy does not mean giving up great tasting and delicious meals.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.  My belief has always been that I can cook delicious meals for my family that are both healthy and satisfying, leaving us to savor the rich flavors while sharing good times. Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin is both delicious and healthy.

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For that reason, I began making my Bolognese sauce with lean ground sirloin years ago.  My mother used lean ground round for her meatballs, and I followed her lead, but later I chose to go leaner still by using lean ground sirloin when I made both my meatballs and my Bolognese sauce, a choice I have never regretted.  When my mom and dad ate Bolognese in my home, they both loved it, so I knew I made the right choice.  Knowing my Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin is more heart healthy makes my choice a winner for my family. As an added bonus, when I make my sauce in a crock pot, I always make enough for several meals, so with this recipe you will have enough to freeze for later meals.

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Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin (This recipe makes four quarts of sauce, enough sauce to freeze servings for later)

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds lean ground sirloin
2 medium to large onions sliced or chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 teaspoon basil or use 2 tablespoon fresh basil cut up
1 teaspoon dried or ground oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
3 to 4 cups fresh mushrooms slice or two 4 ounce cans sliced mushrooms
Two 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
One 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoon sugar (some people prefer to use 2 to 3 carrots finely shredded or chopped for sweetness)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (1/2 cup red wine is optional)
Freshly grated imported Parmesan Reggiano cheese
Pasta of your choice

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

After putting the olive oil in and spreading it around the bottom of the crock pot, put the ground sirloin at the bottom of your pot. Turn the crock pot on high, so the ground sirloin will start to cook slightly while you add the other ingredients. Put the onions, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper (optional), and mushrooms on top of that. Gently stir together the ingredients added so far, breaking apart the ground sirloin. Then add tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and water as needed, usually about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, depending on desired consistency. Add in the sugar if you do not use carrots.  If using carrots, put the carrots in with the onions, garlic, seasonings, and mushrooms.  Carefully stir everything together and then cover the crock pot setting the heat for 4, 6, or 8 hours, whichever you prefer, stirring at the end.

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Be ready to boil the pasta of your choice once the sauce is ready or nearly ready. By the way, if you lay a wooden spoon across the top of your pot of boiling water for the pasta, usually it will not boil over. Keep an eye on it nonetheless, so as not have any unexpected problems. I was surprised myself, but this works well. When the pasta is ready, drain your pasta and add your sauce, gently mix the two together. Then serve with freshly grated imported Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Any leftover sauce can be stored in freezer containers and frozen for later use. This recipe makes four quarts, enough for four meals.

http://learnfromyesterday.comCrock Pot Bolognese Sauce with Ground Sirloin is a wonderful meal to share with your family. At our house, we share this meal with a crusty loaf of bread and a glass of good Chianti. Growing up, my mother always added a simple fresh salad to this meal as well. Whether you decide on pasta with bread and salad or just pasta, you won’t be disappointed. One thing for sure, this delicious meal always leaves everyone feeling satisfied and usually is accompanied by great conversations, shared laughter, and feelings of love. Bringing a family together for a great meal is so important in making shared memories. I hope you have an opportunity to try this meal and make some memories of good times with your own families! Enjoy!

Healthy and Delicious Kale Basil Pesto with Pasta

By Jodee Weiland

Being Italian, it was hard for me to imagine kale in a pesto when I first used it in my Baby Kale Pesto.  Before that I used it to make kale chips, a kale salad, a kale and bean soup, and since then I have used it in my pesto and more. I‘ve used it in omelets, smoothies, and even made it with olive oil and garlic as a side dish. Prior to that time, putting kale in a pesto to use with pasta was something I just couldn’t imagine, especially since I love Italian Basil Pesto. Nevertheless, with all the kale I have coming from my garden this year, I decided I had to do something more with it all, and my Healthy and Delicious Kale Basil Pesto with Pasta is what I came up with for dinner tonight.

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I was pleasantly surprised when this dinner turned out to be even tastier than my earlier version of kale pesto. I think the reason for that is because it combines two pesto recipes, kale pesto and my all-time favorite, Italian Basil Pesto. Not only do I get the rich taste of basil, which I love, but I also get the great flavor of kale and all the healthy nutrients from the kale. If you ask me, this gives me the best of both worlds, and I’m all for that! So here’s my Healthy and Delicious Kale Basil Pesto with Pasta recipe and how I did it!

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Healthy and Delicious Kale Basil Pesto with Pasta

2 cups fresh kale leaves packed tightly, torn into pieces and de-stemmed
2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 and 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic clove or to taste
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 and 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (more or less, depending on desired consistency and thickness)
1 and 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese or more
Pasta of your choice
More Parmesan Reggiano cheese to serve with meal

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

Blend together the kale, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and black pepper until finely chopped in a food processer or blender. Gradually add oil to this mixture to attain a smooth consistency and thickness (your preference). Finally, add the Parmesan cheese into this mixture. You can add more salt and black pepper to taste once it is blended. Kale basil pesto can be made two days ahead or just before it is needed. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate it. With this pesto recipe, you will have enough for more than one meal, so freeze some for later. I usually have enough for three meals, so I use one portion and freeze two for later. Boil pasta per instructions and when done, blend in the pesto with your pasta.

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My Healthy and Delicious Kale Basil Pesto with Pasta is awesome and will soon become a favorite for you as well. Serve with a glass of Chianti, a crusty loaf of bread, and a side salad. Have some Parmesan Reggiano cheese ready to grate fresh over your pasta. Some people may even enjoy some crushed red pepper on their pasta, so have some ready just in case. In Italian households, this is how we serve pasta, along with great conversations and much love. That’s why it’s called comfort food, so enjoy!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes

By Jodee Weiland

For some time now, I have wanted to try zucchini spaghetti. It sounded so healthy, I couldn’t help but be curious about how it would taste. So I sat down and researched the various tools to do this with and came across a wide variety of veggie spiralizers. There are all kinds from hand held to some that are larger, but are easier to use. I found out you can make zucchini spaghetti a number of ways. I chose to make my Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes with a veggie spiralizer I found at a local store by searching online.

http://learnfromyesterday.comWhat I found out during my search was that you can prepare the zucchini with a julienne peeler, a mandoline with a julienne blade, or with a veggie spiralizer type product. I chose the veggie spiralizer type product for a number of reasons after reading reviews and checking prices. The one I chose was at a store that gives 20% discounts with their coupons, so the price was under $25 with tax. The product I chose was made basically the same as a more expensive version at another store and both had similar reviews. Last of all, after looking into it, this product made preparing the zucchini so easy, it cut the time of preparation down tremendously.

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All the products can be used to prepare a number of vegetables, but the one I chose did more. To me, saving money, time, and being able to use a product for more than one thing is worth it. So that’s how I came to prepare my zucchini spaghetti with a traditional Aglio E Olio (garlic and oil) sauce and adding fresh diced tomatoes for additional flavor. My Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes was made with a veggie spiralizer, and I loved it!

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Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes

2 medium zucchini cleaned and skin removed (skin may be left on if preferred)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (add more for more heat, if desired)
2 fresh Roma tomatoes diced
Sea salt
Grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese to taste

http://learnfromyesterday.comPrepare the zucchini first by peeling it and cutting it into long thin spaghetti like strands with a veggie spiralizer, a julienne peeler, or a mandoline with a julienne blade. Lightly salt the zucchini strands and put them into a colander for about thirty minutes, placing the collander in a large bowl, so the moisture in the zucchini can drain off. Toss and squeeze lightly every once in a while until ready.

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http://learnfromyesterday.com

When ready, heat the olive oil in a large pan. When the oil is heated, add the garlic. Be sure to use a splatter cover because heated oil will splatter whenever anything moist is added to it. After you add the garlic to the oil, sauté it over a low heat for a few minutes until tender. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the fresh parsley and crushed red pepper, and then sauté another minute or two. Next, put the prepared zucchini spaghetti in the pan (again use the splatter cover for your pan).

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When it stops sizzling and has cooked slightly, turn off the stove and toss the zucchini gently in the olive oil and garlic mixture. You want the zucchini al dente, so only heat it for a few minutes, or it will become too soft. Transfer it all to a serving dish so it does not continue to heat. Last, add the fresh diced Roma tomatoes. Serve with grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese to taste. NOTE: Another alternative is to leave the zucchini spaghetti raw and put the heated olive oil and garlic mixture over it and toss lightly. It is a matter of personal preference. You choose which way you prefer to do this.

http://learnfromyesterday.comZucchini Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Fresh Tomatoes is so delicious and healthy, you will wonder why you didn’t try it sooner. It has a great flavor that will leave you wanting more. I enjoyed it so much that now I’m wondering why I didn’t try it sooner myself. I have to think being Italian and raised on wonderful pasta meals had something to do with it, but we had great zucchini dishes as well, so I’m not so sure about that. In fact, zucchini in olive oil and garlic has been served often in my home and tastes great. If you decide to give this recipe a try, I know you’ll love it, so enjoy!