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Cooking for 2

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

Better for You Pasta

This tasty dish offers two to three servings. For a bit of kick, use spicier sausage. Pair this with a crispy salad greens and whole grain garlic bread for a meal.

Ingredients:

1 c. rigatoni, uncooked
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 1/2 c. pasta sauce
1/4 c. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. shredded Italian cheese
16 slices mini pepperoni

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 1-qt. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Meanwhile cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no pink remains, drain. Stir in pasta sauce and mushrooms. Toss in cooked pasta and stir to coat.

3. Transfer to the baking dish and top with pepperoni and cheese. Cover and bake for 25 minutes, remove lid and bake for 5 more minutes.


Italian Sausage Nests

This breakfast for two tastes just as good as a dinner entree!

Ingredients:

2 whole grain English muffins
2 tsp. butter or margarine
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
4 large eggs
1/4 c. lowfat sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. chopped green chilies

Directions:

1. Split English muffins and butter cut sides. Coat an 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place the English muffins, cut side up, in the bottom.

2. Cook sausage in small skillet over medium heat until no pink remains, drain. Divide sausage into fourths and spoon onto the tops of the English muffin halves.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour egg mixture slowly into the pan. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the contents and top each nest with a spoonful of green chilies. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

4. Remove from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes or until eggs are set and edges are golden. Remove and let rest about 5 minutes before cutting into servings.


Mini Meatloves for Two

You can shape them into mini loaves or shape them like a heart for your sweetie! This recipe is perfect for two servings.

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. crushed saltines
2 Tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a small baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, beat egg. Add milk, crushed saltines, onion, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Add ground beef and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Shape into two loaves and place in baking dish.

3. In medium bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over loaves. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle reaches 160 degrees F.

Apron String Tips: Use spicy ketchup and add diced jalepenos to the loaves before cooking to kick it up!


Mock ‘rock

This recipe reminds me of a beirock. Serve it on a bun or alone.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. diced yellow onion
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 (14.5-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 c. shredded cabbage

Directions:

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink, chopping into crumbles as it cooks. Add onion and continue to cook for 3 more minutes.

2. Add butter, garlic powder, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Stir in shredded cabbage until coated. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until cabbage is soft.


Grilled Chicken Breast Salad

I added this simple recipe as an idea for a quick light lunch for two. I like to use my panini press to grill chicken breast tenderloins on Sunday evening. I sprinkle various seasonings on them before cooking and have them available in the refrigerator for recipes early in the week.

Ingredients:

2 cups field greens or 1 medium head romaine lettuce torn into small pieces
1 small tomato, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
10 croutons
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. prepared Southwest dressing

Directions:

1. Grill or bake chicken breasts and cut into strips or bite-sized pieces.

2. Toss salad ingredients and plate. Top with cooked chicken breasts and salad dressing.

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