I Heart Veggies


Baked Peppers with Ricotta and Basil

Baked Peppers with Ricotta and Basil
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 10
  • 5 Yellow or Red Peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups (1 Pound) Whole Milk Ricotta
  • ½ Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary or 1½ Teaspoons Dried
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves or 1½ Teaspoons Dried
  • ½ finely sliced Green Onions
  • 1 handful for Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • A handful of Fresh Breadcrumbs, Crisped in a Little Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Heat the grill or turn the gas flame on the stove on high.
  2. Since the peppers on the grill or on the stovetop. I sent them down right on the stoves flame and keep turning them with the tongs. In about 10 minutes, the peppers should char all over, but don't cook them so long that they turn length. Cool and medium bowl, and then slide off the burned skin. Cut in half and cleaning out the ribs and seeds. Grab inside and out with olive oil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, green onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat in the eggs and parmigiano. Fill the peppers with the mixture. Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with parchment and arrange the peppers. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the ricotta is set to the touch.
  5. Garnish with Basil Leaves and Homemade Breadcrumbs - Drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil before serving.









True Green Bean Casserole



True Green Bean Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into ¼ Inch Pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Fresh Porcini Mushrooms
  • Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  1. Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
  2. Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside.
  3. Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.











Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad


Yes, it’s possible to make  a colorful dinner salad inspired by the Mediterranean in less than 30 minutes. It can be made as the “Main Course” or as a side salad. It’s very versatile to sum it up it’s – Bright – Fresh – Crunchy – Simple!



Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo (or riso)
  • 2 cups red and yellow teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 7-ounce package feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  1. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
  2. Bring broth to boil in large heavy saucepan. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and boil until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large wide bowl, tossing frequently until cool.
  3. Mix tomatoes, feta, basil, and green onions into orzo. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Add pine nuts; toss. Serve at room temperature.






Cowboy Caviar

Let’s face it salads can get boring at times. How many of us grew up going to a family picnic and there was that predictable potato, macaroni or even worse Iceberg lettuce salad? Yes times have changed and this little salad brings with it not only a variation of all the colors in the rainbow but it offers many textures and flavors that can really make it exciting and uber delish!


Cowboy Caviar
Recipe type: Salad
  • 1 can Black Eyed Peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Corn Kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Sliced Black Olives, drained
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • 2 cups baby heirloom or grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, sliced and take out the seeds
  • ⅓ cup Cilantro, diced
  • ⅓ cup Lime or Lemon Juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 Tablespoon drizzled Olive Oil
  • 1½ teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  1. In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients except Lime Juice,Olive Oil, Hot Sauce, Cumin and Garlic with a large spoon. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Then pour your Juice mix over your vegetables and beans and mix with a large spoon. Cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour to marrying those flavors together.


This is your caviar, partner take a load off and enjoy!

***Tip-Serve chilled with tortilla chips  – in taco shells, in a baked potato, in a tortilla… whatever. This also pairs well with a Cowboy Shirt Steak or a Lime Grilled Chicken Breast.