Sunday, August 30, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

I have actually made this recipe several times since I first came across it. I have been splitting the baked ziti (well, more accurately, penne or rigatoni since I can never seem to find ziti) between two pans and freezing one. It freezes great! I just leave off the last sprinkle of mozzarella, cover the dish with plastic wrap and press down to keep out air, then add foil on top.

Original source:

1 crown broccoli
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
¾ lb. (12 oz.) uncooked ziti
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
salt and pepper
1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce (or a batch of your favorite recipe)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop red pepper into matchsticks or large pieces, slice the onion, cut the squash into quarter rounds, and cut the broccoli into small florets. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and seasonings.
Divide the chopped vegetables between two baking sheets covered in foil. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly charred on the edges. Stir once, half way through roasting.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente). Once cooked, drain the pasta and return it to the pot with the burner turned off. Add the sauce and toss to coat.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the egg, one cup of the shredded mozzarella, ¼ tsp salt, and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Stir until smooth and even.
Coat an 8x8 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread ⅓ of the pasta and marinara sauce over the bottom. Layer ½ of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, then ½ of the roasted vegetables. Repeat these three layers, then end with one final layer of pasta and sauce, and the final cup of shredded mozzarella.
Reduce the heat in the oven to 375 degrees and bake the casserole for 30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned on the edges.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing

Original source:

15 oz. can black beans
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup corn (I used frozen, thawed)
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed

{For the dressing}
Juice from 1 large orange
Juice from 1 1/2 limes
1/4 tsp. cumin, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. agave (or honey)
1/8 tsp. salt
Optional: cayenne pepper or chipotle for a kick!

Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until agave/honey is incorporated. It should yield about 1/2 cup dressing. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the beans (rinsed and drained), tomato, corn, red onion, bell pepper, and roughly chopped cilantro.
Add the dressing and toss to combine.
Best if chilled 1 hour (can be longer) before serving.
Stir well before serving, as some of the dressing gathers at the bottom.

Yum! I had this as a side dish to a veggie burger, then mixed the leftovers with quinoa to take for lunches for a few days.