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Shells and Tomato Sauce with Black Olives

19 Nov

In a hurry for something good to eat.  All you need is some pasta and tomato sauce and you can whip this dish up in no time flat!

Shells and Tomato Sauce

Cook your pasta according to package directions
Top with hot tomato sauce, sliced black olives and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Serve with Red Wine

See how simple that was!

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Garlic Orzo With Olive Oil

9 Nov

Orzo, is a small Italian pasta which is shaped like a grain of barley or rice.  This Orzo dish is prepared using  garlic, olive oil and herbs with a hint of lemon. Easy to make and so delicious. Serve with a salad and a glass of red wine!

2 cups of cooked Orzo

3 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp dried Italian herbs

2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves 1 chopped 1 for garnish

1 tsp lemon juice

pepper to taste

In a non stick pan add 2 tbsp. olive oil,  on medium heat sauté the garlic until slightly golden and then lower the heat.

Add the remaining olive oil and cumin, mix lightly.

Add the cooked Orzo, return the heat to medium and sauté mixing well. Add the Italian herbs, lemon juice, chopped parsley and pepper to taste. sauté for a few more minutes mixing lightly. Turn the heat off and remove the pan from the burner and allow flavors to settle for a few minutes.  Mix lightly once more, add more olive oil if needed, garnish and serve.


Lasagna – Comforting Food

7 May

Lasagna is a tradition in our family. I grew up on my  Mother’s Home-made Lasagna which was always a treat. My mother learned how to make Lasagna from my Italian Grandmother and I learned from my mother. I was always in her kitchen helping out,and when  I think of my mother I make Lasagna, which is  my favorite comfort food. My mother was such  a great cook and I am my mother, after all!

Photo by: Susan T's Kitchen

Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

10 cups of Tomato Sauce

1 box of no boil lasagna noodles

4 cups of ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 /2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs

1/4 cup finely chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

In large bowl mix ricotta, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup onions, 1/4 cup parsley and 2 basil leaves chopped


Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Preheat oven to 375

Spread 2 cups tomato sauce on the bottom of a 8 x 8 baking dish

(Don’t worry about using too much tomato sauce)

Place single layer of noodles side by side to cover the bottom


Photo by Susan T’s Kitchen

Add two spoonfuls of ricotta onto each noodle

Place a single layer of noodles on top of the ricotta

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on top of the noodles


Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Repeat until you have finished 4 to 5 layers with the last layer noodles

Spread remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan and the Basil.


Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Cover with foil and bake on middle rack in oven until noodles tender and bubbling.  approximately 30 to 45 minutes.


Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.

Photo by: Susan T's Kitchen

Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen


Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen.2

Garlic Lemon Linquine with Italian Veggie Sausage

15 Apr

Photo by: Susan T's Kitchen

Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

  • 1 box of whole – grain Linguine
  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • pepper to taste  ( no salt needed, the lemon replaces the need for salt)
  • 2 or 3 vegetarian sausages sliced
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • In large pot of boiling water cook linguine according to package directions
  • Meanwhile in a large fry pan, saute garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil add more if needed
  • Add sliced sausage cook until slightly brown
  • set pan aside
  • Drain pasta
  • Add Cooked linguine to the garlic and sausage mixture
  • Add 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of water, add more as needed
  • Squeeze lemon juice onto the pasta, add pepper to taste
  • Toss to coat the pasta
  • Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese

Vegetarian Stroganoff made with Seitan

13 Mar

Here is my version for Vegetarian Stroganoff that I came up with  after seeing a picture of  Beef  Stroganoff  in a magazine.  I replaced the beef with Seitan because it has a meaty texture that can mimick beef and  I added broccoli and carrots to make it more healthy.  You can find Seitan and the Vegetarian Gravy at Whole Food’s Market and  most  Food Stores.  Trader Joe’s sells Beefless Strips which can also be used in this dish.  You can also find Vegetarian Gravy  at  your local supermarket, look  for mushroom gravy in a can, read the ingredients to make sure no animal products are used.  If you can’t find the gravy you can always make your own. I will post a recipe real soon.

  • One package of Seitan
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • packaged vegetarian gravy
  • Noodles
  • Oil to stir fry


Cook Noodles according to package directions

Stir Fry Seitan in lightly oiled large  pan with onions, broccoli and carrots

prepare gravy according to package directions

Drain and rinse noodles

Add noodles to Seitan Mixture and mix.

Add gravy to noodles


Refrigerate leftovers.

Vegetarin Stroganoff

Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Home-Made Pizza Dough

8 Oct

Did you know that Pizza is the number one favorite food in America?  You can never go wrong by serving pizza to a whole crowd of picky eaters!  It is so easy to make and you can freeze portion sizes for future use. This same recipe can be used for bread and rolls.  Enjoy!

Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

  • 1 yeast pkt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6 cups of flour (healthier version – 3 cups unbleached 3 cups whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water

In large mixing bowl, add yeast to warm water, combine flour , salt, and oil.  Mix well, and add more water or flour if needed.

  1. Sprinkle flour on clean counter and Knead the dough into a ball for Approx 10 minutes. Add flour if too sticky.
  2. Grease sides of a bowl and place your dough ball in it.
  3. Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm place for 1/2 hour.
  4. Knead again cover  and place in warm place for 3 hours until dough ball doubles in size.
  5. Sprinkle counter or large cutting board with flour
  6. Punch your dough down, and with a floured rolling-pin roll your dough flat into a large circle. You can stretch by gently pulling all around.
  7. Lightly sprinkle pizza pan with flour and place your dough on the pizza pan and stretch to fit.
  8. Add pizza sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings. Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour or until crust is slightly brown.
  • Make in advance – double or triple this recipe.  Knead and roll into 2-4 balls.  Coat with oil, place each dough ball  into freezer bag or plastic wrap and place into the freezer.    When needed, remove from freezer and thaw at room temperature place in a greased bowl.  Follow Steps 3-9.

Pasta With Black Olives, Garlic and Olive Oil

1 Sep

Here is another great pasta dish that was passed on to  me by my loving mother, Julia. This dish is infused with garlic, fresh basil , olive oil and mixed with black olives than topped with fresh parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.   Have a Tomato salad on the side and you have a light and refreshing summer dish.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and Give it a LIKE.  Click on the Picture below!

Pasta with black olives
Photo by Susan T’s Kitchen

  • 1 Box of pasta
  • 1 can of black olives chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • olive oil
  • fresh or dried basil
  • black pepper salt to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions
  • drain and rinse pasta
  • In large pan add chopped garlic and oil heat to medium add the pasta and stir fry
  • Stir in chopped black olives and basel
  • Sprinkle salt and black pepper to taste
  • Top with grated parmesan


Garlic Lemon Whole Wheat Spaghetti – it’s Vegan too!

19 Jun

Pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods next to Pizza!  Garlic Lemon Whole Wheat Spaghetti is one of the many wonderful pasta dishes from my mother’s kitchen. There is no need for salt because the lemon, garlic and herbs give it enough flavor!  We all want to cut back on our salt intake so the lemon will fill that void.  You will be amazed at how  easy  this dish is to make and it is vegan too!

If you do not like the taste of whole wheat you can use regular spaghetti, or you can do half whole wheat, half white!  I do this sometimes to mix it up a bit.

  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 5 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 sprig of parsley – chopped
  • 1/4 can of black olives – chopped
  • Olive oil
  • pepper to taste  ( no salt needed, the lemon replaces the need for salt)
  • Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

    • In large pot of boiling water cook spaghetti according to package directions
    • Meanwhile in large fry pan, saute garlic in ½ tsp of olive oil
    • set aside
    • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water

      Photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen


    • Add Cooked Spaghetti to garlic mixture
    • Add 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of water as needed
    • Squeeze lemon juice into the pasta, add pepper to taste
    • Add chopped parsley and black olive
    • Toss to coat the pasta
    • Serve with lemon on the side and a red wine
    • Can be refrigerated and eaten cold or warmed up.

      photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen


Cast Iron Pan Pizza

16 Jun

Here is something different to do besides using the pizza pan!  Cast iron pan pizza!  This is great for an outdoor pizza party and looks rustic on the table!Image

I make my own dough and will post that later.  But you can use prepared pizza dough found in most supermarkets such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods

You can find my Tomato Sauce with the Post Pasta and Vegan  Meatless Balls

Roll out your pizza dough on a floured board

Place in the cast iron pan

Top with tomato sauce


Your favorite toppings

Pace in pre heated 400 degree oven

Bake approximately 20 minutes until cheese bubble and crust browns

Remove promptly

Be Careful the pan will be hot.

Let cool!

photo by: Susan T’s Kitchen

Cut and enjoy!

Let me know if you try this!

Pasta with Vegan Meatless Balls

11 Jun

Sunday is our day for relaxing and enjoying a good Italian Pasta DishImage

Sunday is our day for sitting down to a family tradition of a delicious Italian meal.  The only thing different is that  I prepare mine the vegatarian way.  I use vegan meatless balls, which you can find in the frozen food section of most supermarkets.
I make my tomato sauce in advance, and I keep it frozen in containers so I always have it on hand. Below is my recipe for tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce 

4 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup water

2 cans tomato paste

3  28 oz cans tomato sauce

2 tsp basil

2 tsp parsley

2 tsp oregano

Heat large pot to medium and add oil, garlic, and chopped onion. Cook until golden, add tomato sauce and paste, mix until smooth, stir in 1 cup of water, oregano, basil, parsley and salt.  Bring to boil cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Leftover sauce cool, and refrigerate or freeze.

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions
  2. Prepare meatballs according to package directions ( I bake mine, with a coating of olive oil)
  3. Drain  pasta, cover with sauce, add meatless balls, coat evenly with sauce.
  4. Top with freshly grated parmesan, and basil.


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