Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Fe Salad

1 cup Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 cup Chipotle Ranch Dressing (recipe follows)

Tortilla Strips (package found in produce or salad topping section)
1 large bag salad greens or red tipped lettuce (8 cups mixed lettuce)
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 large tomato, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can Green Giant Mexicorn, drained
1/2 cups shredded cheese use half Cheddar and half Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and pepper (optional, to taste)

Earlier in the day make both Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette and Chipotle Ranch Dressing and refrigerate.

Place greens in large salad bowl. Add fresh cilantro and toss together. Top with tomato, beans, corn. Dress with orange vinaigrette to taste (about half or more of the recipe). Toss together. Top with cheese and packaged tortilla strips (found in salad or produce section)

Drizzle with Chipotle Ranch dressing. (Can also add guacamole and sour cream on top if preferred)


1 cup fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of ground nutmeg

Whisk ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat just until the sugar has melted. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing/dip mix
1 cup light mayonnase
1 cup milk
1/2 to 1 tsp. McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper spice (found in spice section)

Make ranch dressing according to package directions. Add 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper or more to taste depending on the amount of spice (heat) you like.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stuffed Pasta Shells (Tufoli)

1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 onion chopped
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning or dried oregano or basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 slices bread moistened with 1/3 cup milk
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1.Boil shells according to package directions. Add 1 TBS. oil to water to prevent sticking. When done, drain, rinse with cold water then place on a cookie sheet.

2.Meanwhile, brown beef, garlic, onion, seasoning. Drain off excess grease if meat is not lean. A little grease (1-2 tbs. is ok).

3. Remove from heat and let cool (20-30 min) Add parsley, 2 cups mozzarella, moistened bread (should be mushy and easy to tear apart), egg, salt and pepper. Mix all together and stuff in shells. If you think the mixture needs more mozzarella, add another cup. I have made it so much that I guess. I always put in 2 cups, but sometimes add more.

4. Spray a 13x9 pan with Pam. Cover bottom of baking dish with tomato sauce. Place filled Tufoli in pan, one layer only. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan.

5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 min. until bubbly and warm.

6. This can be made ahead and frozen with the sauce, or made ahead 1 to 2 days and kept in the refrigerator.

7. Allow to thaw for several hours before baking. If baking from cold state, may need to allow more time. Check after 30 minutes in center of pan to see if filling is warm. If not, allow to bake 45 min. to an hour.