Bean and Chicken sausage stew

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There’s nothing like a hearty warm stew (read here other news) to fill you up and bring you back to those old nights by the fire at home.

Bean and chicken sausage stew is just one of those soups. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced, 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, 1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed, 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth, 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces, kosher salt and black pepper, and 1 loaf country bread.

To prepare first heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven over a medium flame. Next add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes as well as their liquid and bring to a boil. Next add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted for 2 to 3 minutes. Warm the bread and serve with the stew.

For this recipe you may also use a variety of pork or beef sausages.

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Ravioli, magnific italian food

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To make the pasta use 6 cups all-purpose flour, 6 eggs, 3/4 cup water, and 2 teaspoons olive oil.

For the sauce use 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup tomato puree, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup tomato paste, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons minced basil, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon minced oregano, 1 garlic clove, minced, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

For the filling use 1 carton of ricotta cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 2 teaspoons minced basil, 1 teaspoon minced parsley, 1 teaspoon minced oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Place flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add beaten eggs, water and oil. Stir to form a ball. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a pot combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In a bowl, combine the filling ingredients and refrigerate until ready for use.

Divide pasta dough into fourths, place teaspoonfuls of filling 1 inch apart over half of pasta sheet. Brush around filling with water, ffold sheet and press down to seal. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel.

Boil salted water and add ravioli. Simmer and cook until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain. Cover with sauce and serve.

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Pasta primavera

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Pasta primavera is a dish made from pasta and fresh vegetables. Sometimes chicken is added but the meal is usually vegetables only. Ingredients such as broccoli, carrots, peas, onions, and green bell peppers, and tomatoes can be used. The pasta used can be bowtie or penne.

To make pasta primavera you will need 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips, 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips, 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips, 1 onion, thinly sliced, 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips, 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs, 1 pound bowtie pasta, 15 cherry tomatoes, halved, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Next preheat an oven to 450 degrees F and on a large heavy baking sheet, toss all the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.

Put half of the vegetable mixture onto a large baking sheet and arrange evenly. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in a separate bowl of water until al dente for about 8 minutes. Next toss the pasta with the vegetables in a large bowl and combine.

Add the cherry tomatoes and enough of the left over cooking water to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

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Vegetarian Pizza, a way to eat healthy

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The great thing about a good pizza is that you can choose your own toppings. If you’re not a fan of meat then you can also pile on the vegetables. The basic pizza dough 2 x 7g sachets dry yeast, 2 teaspoons caster sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 cups plain flour, and 1/2 cup olive oil.

To make the dough combine the yeast, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups warm water in a bowl. Cover and let it stand for 20 minutes or until the mixture is foamy. Then add flour and oil in a bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture. Knead onto a lightly-floured surface.

When the dough has risen, use fist to flatten and knead until smooth. Divide into quarters; roll to form four, 30cm round pizza bases and place on greased baking trays.

For the toppings use 1 small onion, finely chopped, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 small zucchini, grated, 200g of diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon shredded basil, 1/2 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced, 1/2 medium green capsicum, thinly sliced, 4 (120g) bocconcini cheese, sliced, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

In a saucepan heat oil and add onion, garlic and zucchini. Stir until onion has softened then add tomatoes. Bring to the boil; reduce heat until sauce has thickened. Add basil. Then spread pizza base with tomato mixture and add capsicum, bocconcini and mozzarella. Bake until cheese has melted and base is crisp.

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Beef Pot Roast, taste in a pot

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When we think “roast” we often think “oven” but one of the tastiest roast meals is pot roast beef which can be done simply and easily on the stove top.

Pot Roast is an excellent meal to serve for an evening entertaining friends for a dinner party. It can be served with baked potatoes and gravy and a side salad of lettuce and tomatoes.

The ingredients required are 2 teaspoons olive oil, 4 pounds boneless chuck roast,1 onion, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Meat should be seasoned and left to marinade prior to cooking.

First preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Heat a Dutch oven on top of the stove over a medium high heat. Then add meat and sear for around 4 minutes, searing all sides for 3 to 4 minutes each. Remove from the pan and sprinkle salt and pepper, add garlic, and 1 bay leaf. Replace meat in the pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for a further 1 ½ hours. Garnish with onions and gravy.

A variation on this dish involves searing the meat. Once browned, add water, and boil until tender over a low flame. 

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Chef’s Salad for you

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Salads can be an interesting way to enjoy a healthy meal with a difference. The Chef’s Salad combines a variety of protein with vegetables.

It needs 4 cups torn iceberg lettuce, 4 cups torn fresh spinach, 4 ounces cooked ham, chicken, or turkey, cut into bite-size pieces, 4 ounces Swiss or American cheese, cut into bite-size pieces, 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced, 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges, 1 small red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips, 1 cup croutons, and 1/2 cup bottled French salad dressing

Toss the greens in a large bowl, dividing them into four salad bowls. Arrange the meat, cheese, eggs, tomato, and sweet pepper on top. Sprinkle with croutons. Drizzle with salad dressing.

For variations there is the Italian Chef’s Salad made with 2 ounces cooked chicken and 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, no eggs, 2 ounces sliced pepperoni, one 6-ounce jar quartered marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained; and 1/4 cup sliced, pitted ripe olives.

For dressing, use a creamy Italian salad dressing. A Mexican Chef’s Salad will require cooked chicken, beef, or pork and cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, no eggs, one 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained, and 1/4 cup sliced pitted ripe olives. Use corn chips instead of croutons. 

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Thai shrimp, spicy exotic

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Spicy, tasty, exotic. Thai style shrimp is ideal for a quick dinner with spunk. It can be made in half an hour as shrimp is easy to prepare. Just add steamed broccoli and white basmati rice.

To prepare you need 1 cup basmati rice, 1/2 broccoli, 4 cloves of peeled garlic, 1 piece of fresh ginger, chili peppers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, vegetable oil, 1 medium onion finely chopped, 1 stalk scallion, 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and de-veined, 2 tomatoes, diced, 1 cup coconut milk, and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves.

To prepare rice, place in a small pot and cook according to directions on the package. In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add broccoli. Steam for five minutes. For shrimp: In a blender, mix garlic, ginger, chili, salt, and turmeric to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and scallion and cook, stirring frequently. Add paste and stir. Add shrimp, and cook for a few minutes until they turn pink. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cover, and simmer for a few minutes.

Stir in the basil in the last minute of cooking. Serve rice and top with shrimp.

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