Tag Archives: Simple

Simple and Delicious-Vegetable Baked Ziti

9 Mar

The other day a friend told me that she had no time to go the gym because she had to make dinner for her husband.  Understandably, working a nine to five job and cooking can be time consuming, but with a little imagination and careful planning,  you can do it all.

I made this recipe after spending 30 wonderful minutes on the treadmill. I used whatever vegetables I had in the refrigerator, washed and chopped them in a matter of 10 minutes, threw everything in one skillet, and waved my magic wand… Cleanup was a breeze and dinner was delicious and healthy. Here is a similar recipe below.



  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1-2  cups  chopped green, yellow, or red bell pepper- be adventurous and use more than one kind
  • 1  cup  fresh broccoli, frozen spinach or anything else your heart desires
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped or use garlic powder to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil or 1  teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3  cups  hot cooked ziti (about 2 1/4 cups uncooked short tube-shaped pasta)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, black pepper, add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick.

In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray add pasta, vegetables and sauce. Dollop with ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella. Stir together, cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned if desired.

Note: To make ahead, assemble casserole as directed. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, and bake as directed.


Simple Homemade Salsa

4 Jan

My fiance’s mother makes the most amazing salsa. So, when I attempted to make it for a New Year’s Eve party I knew I had stiff competition.  Although she has never revealed her secret recipe, I had an idea of which ingredients she favored and found a simple recipe that incorporated the basics.

I used the recipe below from The Pioneer Women Cooks and crossed my fingers that my first attempt wouldn’t turn into soup instead of salsa.   

I am pleased to report the end result was a huge hit at the party. 

Restaurant Style Salsa
{from thepioneerwomencooks.com}

The Ingredients

■1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
■2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel -Diced Tomatoes And Green Chiles (I mixed a can of  hot and original)
■¼ cups Chopped Onion
■1 clove Garlic, Minced
■1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
■¼ teaspoons Sugar
■¼ teaspoons Salt
■¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
■½ cups Cilantro
■½ whole Lime Juice

The process

Preparation Instructions
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like.  Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. 

You can prep and prepare this recipe ahead of time and serve it with your favorite tortilla chips.

The results