Slow Cooker Frittata with Zucchini, Tomato and Feta

Yes, I made a Frittata in my slow cooker. It may seem a bit odd to make something that can easily take 10-15 minutes in the oven for almost 3 hours in a slow cooker, but, I will say this, this frittata came out super fluffy and was evenly cooked. And reheated a lot better than your traditional frittata. I share this recipe with you this week as it may be a welcomed addition to your meal if you are planning an Easter breakfast or brunch next Sunday.

I began by grating 2 zucchinis into a colander and sprinkling it with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. What I did was grate one zucchini and then sprinkled it with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and then repeated that. After letting it sit for a bit, about 20 minutes, I squeezed the excess juices out of the zucchini. After all the squeezing was done I was left with about a cup of grated zucchini.

After brushing the insert of my slow cooker with olive oil I continued on with making the frittata. I beat 6 eggs with paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and parsley. I then added in the grated zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese.

I then poured batter into the slow cooker, covered it and set it to cook on low for 3 hours.

I checked on it after about 2.5 hours and it was ready; when I inserted a knife in the center it came out clean.

I tried using a spatula to get the frittata out, but, had much better luck inverting it onto a plate and then flipping it once again.

Slow Cooker Frittata with Zucchini, Tomato and Feta

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, medium sized, coarsely grated with a 1/2 teaspoon salt

6 eggs

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 10-12 cherry tomatoes)

Olive oil for slow cooker

Directions:

Place the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the juices drain for a while and then squeeze out the excess juice with your hands until you are left with one tightly packed cup of grated zucchini.

Grease the insert of the slow cooker with the olive oil.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with the paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and parsley. Add the grated zucchini, the tomatoes and feta cheese. Mix well and then pour into the prepared slow cooker.

Cook on low for 3 hours. Check the frittata after 2 1/2 hours. Frittata is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe from The Foodie Corner Blog

Slow Cooker Sunday: Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

I love lasagna; I just don’t like all the work that goes into it. It can be time consuming and making sure the noodles don’t tear while boiling them always deters me from making it. But those road blocks are gone since I found a winning recipe to make in my slow cooker.

To begin, over medium-high heat I sautéed mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes and then added in baby spinach and continued sautéing until the mushrooms were tender and the spinach had wilted.

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Next I added in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Once the mixture began to boil I lowered the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

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Meanwhile I combined ricotta cheese, shredded parmesan cheese and pepper in a small bowl.

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After spraying the inside of my slow cooker with cooking spray I spread 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of it. I then layered 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce…

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And topped it with another 3/4 cups of the sauce, the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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I then topped the cheese with another 3/4 cup of the sauce and the remaining 3 lasagna noodles and finally the remaining sauce.

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After covering it and cooking it on low for 5 hours I topped it with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, covered it once again and let it stand for an additional 5 minutes until the cheeses had melted.

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And while it was delicious, unfortunately it didn’t stay together when I tried to cut it out of the slow cooker. Oh well! Taste wins over plating sometimes!

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Slow Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:

No Stick Cooking Spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 8oz. package fresh sliced mushrooms

1 6oz. package baby spinach leaves

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 dry lasagna noodles, uncooked

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

 

Directions:

Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with the cooking spray. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the spinach cook a few more minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach has wilted, stirring occasionally. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer 3 lasagna shells over it, breaking the shells to hit. Top with 3/4 cup of sauce, ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with an additional 3/4 cup of sauce and remaining 3 lasagna noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until the cheeses have melted.

Recipe from Hunts

A Quick & Easy Bolognese

As the temperatures begin to drop our need and desire for hearty and comforting dishes begins to rise. There’s nothing like coming in from the cold with a nice hot bowl of soup waiting for you. That’s my usual go-to after a morning of shoveling, but let’s not talk about snow so early in the season. We haven’t even had our first frost yet! And just as comforting as soup is pasta and today I have a recipe for you for a quick and easy Bolognese. I came across it in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine where they coined it Weeknight Bolognese. I’m calling it quick and easy because I was able to make twice in one day without breaking a sweat. Why did I make it twice in one day you may be wondering? Well, it’s not because it was so delicious I finished it one sitting – don’t get me wrong, it was delicious – but, it was because I made a MAJOR snafu! If you didn’t know I am more of baker than a cook. The cooking thing is still fairly new to me and I have a lot to learn, like you shouldn’t substitute cooking wine for a dry red wine in any recipe. That’s why I made this recipe twice. The first time I used cooking wine in lieu of dry red wine and it was atrocious and incredibly salty. At first I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong, but, a quick Google search let me know. I believe I may have made this mistake once before with another recipe but, it’s not coming to me right now. At least I know for future cooking endeavors!

So, on my second go around I had a delicious dinner to eat and with the temps a little cooler in the evening it was quite comforting.

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A Quick and Easy Bolognese

  • Servings: 4 to 5
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef*

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cups dry red wine**

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Kosher salt and black pepper

3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

*I used a 93% / 7% split

** I used Merlot

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon until the meat has lost its pink color and has begun to brown. Add in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Pour in 1 cup of the red wine, the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking finish the sauce by adding in the nutmeg, basil, cream and the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and continue simmering for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl and top with the sauce and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on top.

Recipe from Food Network

Deep-Dish Margherita Pizza

While I am partial to a thin and crispy crust when it comes to my pizza, once in a blue moon I want something with a little more bite to it, especially when it sounds super simple to make. A while back I came across a recipe for a deep-dish pepperoni pizza using a cake pan, and with these hot and humid days upon us the last thing I really want to do is make something complicated for dinner so this was right up my alley. I do my best to avoid using my oven when it’s too hot, but, this pizza was an exception since the total oven time was less than twenty-five minutes and prep time was just under ten minutes since I opted to make a Deep-Dish Margherita instead.

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To make things even easier for myself I used store-bought refrigerated pizza dough that I brought to room temperature prior to using. While the dough was “warming” I made the pizza sauce by combining whole peeled tomatoes (crushed by hand), olive oil, grated garlic, crushed red pepper and salt. I set this aside so the flavors could marinate and then thinly sliced some fresh mozzarella. Meanwhile, I preheated my oven to 475 F with an inverted cookie sheet on the bottom shelf and brushed the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with olive oil.

Once the dough was ready I stretched it into the cake pan, placed it on top of the inverted cookie sheet and baked it in the oven for about 10 minutes, until it was puffy and just starting to brown. After removing it from the oven I topped it with the sauce leaving about a 1/2 inch border. I then topped it with the fresh mozzarella and placed it back in the oven – on top of the cookie sheet again – and baked it for another 10 minutes. When I removed it from the oven I was a little scared that something had gone wrong. My pizza was completely puffed up, but, I allowed it to sit for a few minutes and thankfully it deflated and looked “normal.”

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And I’ll admit it’s not the best looking pizza, but, it was delicious! This may be my go to pizza sauce next time I make pizza!

Deep-Dish Margherita Pizza

Ingredients:

1 pound refrigerate pizza dough, at room temperature

1 14.5 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an additional 2 tablespoons to brush the pan

2 garlic cloves, grated

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions:

On the bottom oven rack place an inverted cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 475 F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Press the dough into the pan and bake for 10 minutes, until puffy and lightly golden.

Combine the tomatoes, remaining olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt in a large bowl and allow the flavors to marinate for a few minutes.

After removing the pizza crust from the oven, top with the sauce*, leaving a 1/2 inch border, and top with the fresh mozzarella. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

*You will have extra sauce.

Modified from here and here

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Caprese Salad

While browsing through my Instagram feed last week I came across a picture that made me stop and double-tap immediately! If you’re on Instagram and you’re not following Foodgawker you should definitely go check them out and start following them. They post amazing pictures of food that you can get the recipes to by visiting their website. And most of the recipes are ones that you can easily make in your home kitchen – which we can all agree is very important! If you love quick recipes, mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella this is the recipe for you! And if mushrooms are not your thing – I think it’s something that people either love or hate – but if you love Caprese salad, you may want to think about roasting the mozzarella and tomatoes next time you make it – it really enhances the flavors.

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I began by cleaning out the gills of the mushrooms and wiping them with a damp paper towel. To remove the gills I used a small spoon to scoop them out. Now, I know there are some people who opt not to clean out the gills, and I did a little research (a quick Google search) as to which is the proper way to eat Portobello’s and it really comes down to personal preference. For me, I prefer them gone because sand could be trapped within the gills and the sand is not going to come out when you cook them and I just think they look “cleaner” when the gills are gone.

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Next, I melted butter with two cloves of crushed garlic in the microwave and brushed the garlic butter on the bottom of each of the mushrooms.

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Once the mushrooms were prepped I sliced grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into thin slices and placed them inside of the mushrooms.

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With the broil set to high I placed the mushrooms in the oven and broiled them for about ten minutes, until the cheese was melted and beginning to brown.

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While the mushrooms were in the oven I made a balsamic glaze to drizzle over them. I combined balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan and brought it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it was reduced by half. Once the mushrooms were done I took them out of the oven and transferred them to a platter and top them with torn basil leaves and the balsamic glaze.

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These mushrooms were absolutely delicious!  Caprese Salad is delicious on its own, but once you roast the tomatoes and bring out some of their sweetness and the mozzarella is melted it’s just a whole other level of delectableness. And the heartiness of the mushroom to go along with it makes this a great main dish with other vegetable or as a quick side.

 

Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos

Ingredients:

Garlic Butter:

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Mushrooms:

6 large Portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, wiped clean with a damp paper towel

1 cup grape tomatoes, each tomato sliced into thirds

Fresh mozzarella*, thinly sliced

Fresh basil, torn into pieces

Balsamic Glaze**:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsps. brown sugar

 

*I used about half of a 12oz. pre-sliced log, cutting each piece into strips

**You could also use store bought

 

Directions:

1. Arrange oven rack to middle of oven and preheat the oven to broil on the high setting.

2. Combine the garlic and butter and melt the butter in the microwave or in small saucepan on medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Brush the bottoms of the mushrooms and place them, buttered side down, on a rimmed cookie sheet.

3. Fill each mushroom with tomatoes and mozzarella and place them in the oven, broiling them until the cheese has melted and begun to brown (about 8 – 10 minutes.)

4. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving dish and top with the basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

To make the Balsamic Glaze:

Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat allowing the mixture to simmer until the mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze, 5 – 8 minutes.

2 Salads & A Salsa

With summer in full swing you are probably heading to quite a few BBQ’s or hosting a few yourself. Today I would like to share with you two salads and a salsa recipe that are super easy & super quick to make for any BBQ you may be hosting or invited to or for those days that you just want to make something quick and easy for dinner that doesn’t involve much effort or thought. With all of these recipes I suggest making them a few hours in advance and refrigerating them so all of the flavors can marinate together.

Green Bean – Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add green beans. Boil the green beans until they are tender – approximated 7 minutes – and then drain and rinse under cold water.

2.  In a large bowl toss the green beans along with the remaining ingredients and then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Black Bean – Corn Salad

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Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup canned corn

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

Juice of 3 limes

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Whisk together the olive oil, honey and lime juice in a measuring cup.

2.  In a large bowl add the black beans, corn, pepper, scallions and cilantro. Add the olive oil mixture to the black bean mixture and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the dice avocado. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced white onion

1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in juice*

2 tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt

*Alternatively can use 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into rings.

Directions:

1. Soak the onion in cold water for 15 minutes then drain.

2. Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium heat and lightly oil the pan (you could also grill the pineapple on a grill.) Grill the pineapple rings until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

3. Combine the pineapple, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, ginger and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt then toss. Serve with tortilla chips. This salsa also tastes great over salmon and grilled chicken.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

For me any time is a good time for soup – it’s like ice cream; it can never be too cold or too hot to enjoy it. Especially since there are so many varieties of soups that can be enjoyed either hot or cold. But these days with the temperatures being so cold and every few days there is some sort of wintry mix falling from the skies hot soup is definitely the way to go! The other day while picking up some produce while grocery shopping – this is a common place (the produce section) where I get some of my cooking / baking ideas – the idea of making roasted tomato soup popped into my head. I had no idea what ingredients I needed but I figured tomatoes would be a good start and some basil. I knew I had the other basics at home that I assume I would need – yellow onions and garlic. I didn’t think I needed any specific type of tomato – i.e. plum, beefsteak, etc… – so I picked up a pack of six tomatoes but then when I got home and did some research I soon realized that I needed double that amount so I picked up another pack of six tomatoes the following day and I was ready to go.

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I began by slicing the tomatoes in half and tossing them with olive oil and kosher salt and placing them on a baking sheet.

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I then roasted them in a 400 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

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While the tomatoes cooled I chopped two yellow onions and minced four garlic cloves and sautéed both in two tablespoons each of unsalted butter and olive oil over medium heat. The smell of sautéing onions and garlic is probably one of my favorite aromas when it comes to cooking.

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Following that I added a quart of vegetable broth – I used College Inn’s Garden Vegetable Broth – the tomatoes and ten large basil leaves to the onion mixture.

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I brought the soup to a boil by raising the heat to high and then lowered the heat so the soup could simmer uncovered for about thirty minutes. I did a taste test and I already knew that this soup was a winner… The broth had a wonderful taste with a hint of the basil.

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I removed the pot from the heat and used an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a delicious creamy soup that still had bits of the basil in it. I seasoned it with some fresh ground pepper and it was ready to be enjoyed.

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While the soup was meant to be for dinner, I couldn’t wait to try it so I ladled a few spoons into a bowl and topped it with some shredded parmesan cheese and I was very happy with the result. I enjoyed a second bowl a few hours later along with a grilled cheese!

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Makes about 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

12 tomatoes (approximately 3 pounds) – halved

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

10 large basil leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for sautéing onions and garlic

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 quart vegetable broth

Fresh ground pepper for seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt and spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

2. Sauté the onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.

3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes and basil to the onion mixture and raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the soup uncovered for about 25 – 30 minutes, the tomatoes will looked stewed / poached.

4. Blend the soup with an immersion blender, or blend in a blender or a food processor, until the soup is creamy and all of the tomatoes have been blended. Season with salt and pepper.