Some of My Summertime Favorites!

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With the abundance of summer vegetables, it is a great time to test out lots of different recipes. My neighbors and friend get to be the taste testers for many of my creations or adaptations of some super recipes. Here are some that have been declared winners, hope you will enjoy!!!

Baked Whole Grain Pasta with Summer Vegetables


  • 1 pound uncooked whole-grain penne pasta
  • 2½ pounds yellow squash and zucchini, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds and half-moons
  • 2 pt. red grape tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 ounces Romano cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 (12-oz.) jar marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups)
  • Fresh basil leaves


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. While pasta cooks, preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Toss together squash, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread in a single layer; broil until charred and tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Stir together ricotta, Romano, basil, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Combine pasta, cooked vegetables, and marinara sauce in a large bowl; gently stir to combine. Spoon half of pasta mixture into a 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Dollop 1 cup of ricotta mixture evenly on pasta mixture. Repeat with remaining pasta mixture and ricotta mixture. Top evenly with mozzarella.
  5. Bake at 350° F until lightly browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil.

Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-grain penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, halved
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)
  • 1 pound large peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese, for topping


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, melt unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add cherry tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to burst and lose their juices, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add minced onions, mushrooms, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, just until shrimp are opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the tomato-shrimp mixture with salt and pepper, and stir in heavy cream. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, top with shredded Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

Cajun Style Stuffed Peppers


  • 6 large green bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1½links of turkey Andouille sausage, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain wild rice, or brown rice
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 lemon – cut into wedges, for garnish (optional)
  • Texas Pete hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease an 8 × 12 inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove tops and seeds from peppers. Blanch in boiling water 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Stir in garlic, and season with oregano, Creole seasoning, and black pepper. Stir in shrimp and sausage, and cook until shrimp turns pink, 5 minutes. Stir in rice, and cook 1 minute. Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Cook until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Fill peppers with stuffing mixture, and place in baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 307, Fat 10 g, Carbohydrates 17 g, Protein 17 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Sodium 954 mg.

Tomato Pie with Turkey Kielbasa


  • 1 cup diced cooked turkey Kielbasa
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 (9-inch) frozen unbaked pie shell
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • Garnishes: fresh basil sprigs, tomato slices


  1. Sauté kielbasa, onions, and chives in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until kielbasa is brown and any liquid evaporates.
  2. Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with a single layer of sliced tomatoes.
  3. Beat egg and half-and-half with a fork until blended; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining ½ cup cheese.
  4. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425° F for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve; garnish, if desired.

Crock Pot Zucchini Chili


  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 28-ounce can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 3 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Sour cream, cut-up avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


  1. In a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker, combine the beef, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on high for 4 to 5 hours. Add in cooked rice, spinach, and cilantro, cook an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Serve the chili with the sour cream and avocado.