Mac & Cheese Impossible Pie

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This sounded incredible when I picked up the recipe card.  My husband and son love mac & cheese.  This felt like it was going to be a slam dunk.  And it was alright, but I think there are some adaptations I’d make next time around– more cheese of a different kind, less potato, and maybe some other veggies with a bit more flavor… like zucchini or broccoli.  But here I give it to you unaltered from how I originally prepared it and encourage you to make it per the instructors or try your own fixes.  Let me know how it goes!

Serves 6
Adapted from WimpyVegetarian.com

Ingredients:
1 Tb butter
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c uncooked large elbow macaroni
2 1/4 c milk
4 eggs
1/2 c baking mix (Bisquick)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c potato, shredded

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and coat a 10 inch pie dish with butter. Place on baking sheet.
2. Mix together the cheese and macaroni in the pie dish. Thoroughly mix the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over the macaroni and cheese. Push down any macaroni to make sure it is entirely covered with liquid.
3. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is puffy and the macaroni are completely cooked. A knife inserted into the pie should come out clean.
4. Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points = 10

Precooked.

Precooked.

Blueberry Apple Cobbler

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Every year we try to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall by going blueberry and apple picking on Labor Day. We did that again this year and I decided to adapt a Blueberry Cobbler recipe I found by making use of both of the delicious fruits we’d picked fresh. This was super tasty, potentially just the tiniest bit too sweet. At some point we had the great idea to add vanilla ice cream and that rounded out the flavors perfectly.

Serves 5
Adapted from an adaptation of ThePioneerWoman.com

Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter, melted plus more for greasing pan
1 1/4 c plus 2 Tb sugar
1 c flour
1 c milk
1 1/2 c fresh blueberries
1 large apple, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking dish with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter.
3. Rinse blueberries and pat dry.
4. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle blueberries and apples evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with 1/4 c sugar over top.
5. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about an hour. When 10 minutes of cooking time remains, sprinkle remaining 2 Tb of sugar over top.
6. Optionally, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 12 (without whipped cream or ice cream)

Pre-sugaring. Pretty delicious looking still.

Mm… yup.

Italian Zucchini Pie

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Want dinner tonight and dinner for later? This is a great recipe for that! It’s already enough for 2 zucchini pies, which taste a million times better than they sound. My two year old is still talking about Zucchini Pie. And we have another one in the freezer ready to go whenever we need it. Here we go.

Yields 2 pies; Each pie serves at least 4 (Weight Watchers Points based on 4 servings per pie)
Adapted from Simply in Season

Crust Ingredients:
1/4 c warm water
1 Tb active dry yeast
1/4 c milk
1 Tb olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
2 c bread flour

1. Mix warm water and dry yeast until it dissolves. Set aside.
2. Combine milk, oil, and egg in a mixing bowl. Add dissolved yeast and stir.
3. Blend in wheat flour, cheese, salt, and basil.
4. Add 1/2 c bread flour at a time to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
5. Place dough in a well greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place in a warm place while preparing zucchini filling.

Filling Ingredients:
1/4 c butter
8 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1.5 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tb fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 large eggs, beaten
4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 tsp specialty mustard
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a very large bowl.
2. Stir into large bowl the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Combine eggs and mozzarella in a separate bowl, then stir into zucchini mixture.

Back to the crust and putting it all together…
1. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
2. Set each into a lightly greased 10 inch pie dish and crimp edges as you would a pie crust.
3. Spread the bottoms and sides of pie crusts with mustard.
4. Divide the zucchini mixture between the two crusts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 375 until center is set, about 18-20 minutes. (To test if set, jiggle pie after time. If it is mostly solid, you should be good.) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I recommend eating one and freezing the other, unless you’ve got lots of mouths to feed. If you let it cool completely and have greased the pan well enough, it should be sturdy enough that you can pop it out of the pie pan and slip it into a gallon freezer bag. It’ll hold its shape and be good for you whenever you need a quick meal to just reheat.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 10

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The crust is amazing!

The crust is amazing!

Roasted Red Peppers with Sausage & Ricotta Meatballs

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We had this one tonight. It was pretty dang delicious and had such an interesting depth of flavor. I saw the recipe for Pork and Ricotta Meatballs in Cook’s Country and saw lots of potential in it, including ways to use those pesky sweet red peppers we had hiding in the veggie drawer. So here is my wildly adapted version of this recipe, broken into a few parts.

Sausage and Ricotta Meatballs
Serves 4-5

2 slices bread, torn into small pieces
4 oz (1/2 cup) ricotta
5 sweet italian sausage links (total about 20 oz), removed from casings
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated
1 1/2 Tb dried parsley
1 egg
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tb salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (1/2 lemon)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set wire rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or baking pad. Spray liberally with Pam.
2. Combine bread and ricotta in a large bowl and mix with a fork, let stand, and mix again, until a smooth paste forms, up to 10 minutes.
3. Add sausage, Parmesan, parsley, egg, shallot, garlic salt, pepper, and lemon zest to bread mixture and mix with hands until thoroughly combined.
4. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions. Roll meat between wet hands to form meatballs and sapce evenly on prepared wire rack.
5. Roast meatballs until browned and cooked through to about 155-165 degrees. Check after about 35 minutes. If not hot enough, put back in for another 10-15 minutes.

Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 4-5

4 sweet red peppers
1 Tb olive oil
pinch salt, pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Cut out the stems and remove the seeds from peppers. Slice length-wise.
2. Brush olive oil on peppers on all sides. And sprinkle with lemon juice.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast along with the meatballs and take out right as you notice the edges turning dark. These should be soft when poked with a fork.

Sauce
Serves 4-5

1/8 c olive oil
5 garlic gloves, smashed and peeled
2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

1. While meatballs and peppers are in the oven, combine oil and garlic in a dutch oven set over low heat and cook until garlic is soft and golden on all sides, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in tomatoes. Cover with lid slightly ajar. and bring to simmer over medium high heat.
3. Squeeze lemon juice into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce has thickened somewhat. Turn off heat and let sit.
3. When you take the meatballs and peppers out of the oven, pour this into a food processor and process until smooth.

To plate, with an extra 1/4 cup grated Parmesan:
1. Lay down two roasted red pepper halves.
2. Sprinkle some Parmesan over peppers.
3. Place 4 meatballs on top of the peppers.
4. Ladle sauce over the meatballs.
5. Garnish with more Parmesan.

Then enjoy! I loved the garlic and lemon in this dish. The sausage was incredible. The meatballs were killer and could’ve been just fine on their own, but the sweetness of the red peppers and the sauce brought everything together.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 12

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