Fab Food Friday Fotos: Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes, Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta, One Pot Roast Italian Chicken, Creamed Zucchini, GF Almond Tea Bread, Avocado-Corn Salsa, “Skinny” Italian Chocolate Shake, Chinese-Style Eggplant, Rhubarb Butter, More Easy Recipes « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Fab Food Friday Fotos: Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes, Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta, One Pot Roast Italian Chicken, Creamed Zucchini, GF Almond Tea Bread, Avocado-Corn Salsa, “Skinny” Italian Chocolate Shake, Chinese-Style Eggplant, Rhubarb Butter, More Easy Recipes

Posted By on September 4, 2015

“Italian food is all about ingredients and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy.”

~ Wolfgang Puck, Austrian-born American celebrity chef, restaurateur, author, and occasional actor

FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.

In the spirit of the brief quote above from Chef Wolfgang Puck about the glories of Italian food, this week’s compilation has a number of cost-cutting, easy, and delicious Italian recipes, along with other assorted frugal-minded cuisines. Many of the recipes aren’t fancy, but they are bursting with flavor and won’t break your food budget.

When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrifty recipe will always be included.

 

Italian Sausage & Lentils  with Potatoes | Photo credit: Terry, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes | Photo credit: Terry, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook Terry provided the recipe for this hearty, comforting Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes dish:

The original recipe for the Sausage and Lentils is from this book. The recipe for the potatoes is here.

Sausage and Lentils

* 2 tbsps olive oil
* 6 to 8 Italian sausages (I used spicy)
* 1 large onion, diced
* 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
* 2 cups lentils, rinsed
* 3 cups water
* 2 cups Italian Gravy (See more about this below)
* Hot Sauce, to taste
* 3/4 cup dry red wine
* 1/2 cup chopped parsley
* Parmesan or Romano cheese for topping

Heat a 2 quart pot with the olive oil. Add the sausages and lightly brown. Remove the sausages and add the onion and garlic. Cook until clear.

Split the sausages in half, length-wise and add to the pan along with the lentils and water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the hot sauce, Italian gravy and wine. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in half the parsley, move to a serving bowl and top with the rest of the parsley and the cheese.

To get a thicker dish, remove the cover during the last 15 minutes of the simmer.

I was going to have the potatoes on the side, put I had watched a Julia Child’s episode where she added boiled potatoes on top of a stew, so I thought I would do something similar. It was a good move.

Click here for the recipe for the Italian gravy.

 

Wow, I’m blown away by these eye-popping colors! Check out “Fashionable Foodie” Tony Vincente’s Facebook page for his recipe for Italian Rainbow Cookies.

 

Gluten-Free Almond Tea Bread | Photo credit: Joanna Alderson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gluten-Free Almond Tea Bread | Photo credit: Joanna Alderson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook Joanna Alderson’s recipe for her gluten-free almond tea bread is posted with several other GF bread recipes at Eat Live Grow Paleo, with this information:

Lately I’ve been looking for something sweeter that I can serve to my guests for Sunday brunch, and since this bread is made with almond flour, I thought, why not emphasize the flavour? This version tastes sweet, but really isn’t since it uses even less sweetener than my original version. If, like many Europeans, you are used to just having a sweet bun and coffee for breakfast, a slice of this bread – with or without butter – would be the perfect substitute.

I make 2 loaves at a time, then slice and freeze when cool. To use, I just thaw it out on the kitchen counter overnight. I don’t find it needs toasting, but if you wish, I would suggest a toaster oven rather than a regular toaster because of the nut topping.

 

Pop on over to Every Day, celebrity cook Rachael Ray’s website, for the recipe for her fab Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu.

 

What a Friend We Have in Cheeses... | Photo credit: Graeme Maclean, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What a Friend We Have in Cheeses… | Photo credit: Graeme Maclean, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

 

Chinese-Style Eggplant | Photo credit: Stacy, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Chinese-Style Eggplant | Photo credit: Stacy, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/food blogger Stacy provided this Centerstage Wellness recipe link, and also wrote this about her Asian-style eggplant dish:

My version may not be authentic, but it only has a few basic ingredients. Also, eggplant is a notorious oil sponge, so I used just a touch of oil to start, then finished it off with a little steam action. It has a chance to brown nicely before cooking through for a silky texture.

[…]

A quick and easy homemade version of Yu-Shiang Eggplant. Great as part of a dim sum meal or as an appetizer.

 

Just looking at the photo of this refreshing green been summer salad with lovely ingredients like Italian sausage and olives makes me feel less wilted and hot — the recipe is available at Your Secret Recipe. This salad is also gluten-free and low-carb.

 

Chocolate Pancakes | Photo credit: Alida Saxon, Flickr, All Rights Reserved

Chocolate Pancakes | Photo credit: Alida Saxon, Flickr, All Rights Reserved

You’ll find the awesome chocolate pancake recipe posted on photographer/cook Alida Saxon’s Flickr page, along with this summary:

The last month or so I kept running into images of chocolate pancakes in various places and forms. As I’d never tried it, I was finally tempted into hunting down a recipe and modifying it to suit.

This is a very rich tasting breakfast or brunch – after all it’s not unlike eating chocolate cake for breakfast.

 

Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta | Photo credit: Gwendolyn Richards, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta | Photo credit: Gwendolyn Richards, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Recipe for this easy, tasty pasta dish with shaved Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, and pine nuts is posted at Patent & the Pantryphotographer, cook, and food blogger Gwendolyn Richards also wrote this intro:

I eat one Brussels sprout a year.

At Christmas.

Under duress.

It’s a family rule, though it punishes only me — the sole holdout in a family of sprout fanatics. With enough gravy to dunk the sprout in, I can power through the yearly ordeal.

This year, however, no one seemed to notice that my plate remained sprout-free. But it made me think: was there a way I could learn to love my vegetable nemesis? The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is yes, and it involves spaghetti and bacon’s Italian cousin.

 

Click here for the Kalyn’s Kitchen recipe for this family-favorite zucchini dish from photographer/cook Kalyn Denny’s secret family recipes archive — Kalyn wrote this about the recipe:

Every family has their secrets, and My Mom’s Creamed Zucchini is a Denny family secret, with an ingredient you probably wouldn’t ever guess!

(For Friday Flashbacks I feature past recipes that have been my favorites, and Mom’s Creamed Zucchini is a recipe I’ve been making for years and years. And since tomorrow is a big Denny Family Reunion, it seemed like the perfect time to feature this favorite Denny recipe for Friday Flashbacks. If this idea sounds weird to you, be open minded; everyone in my huge extended family loves this dish.)

Every family has their secrets, don’t they” My family is actually amazingly wholesome, but we do have this secret recipe for Mom’s Creamed Zucchini, using an ingredient that’s maybe slightly embarrassing for those of us who try to be healthy eaters. If you’re concerned with not using processed foods, you might turn up your nose at our favorite zucchini recipe, featuring a humble ingredient like powdered coffee creamer. But I can tell you, everyone I’ve ever made this for has loved it! And it says a lot about the recipe that in a family where there are very few coffee drinkers, every one of my siblings has a bottle of Coffee-Mate in the cupboard during the summer just to make this recipe.

And although powdered coffee creamer could hardly be considered a healthy food, when you make this you’re eating mostly zucchini and the small amount of creamer that sticks to the squash. (And if you check the nutritional information, you may be surprised to see how little fat and carbs the coffee creamer actually contains.) Most of the liquid containing the dissolved creamer stays in the pan or on your plate.

This is best when made with small zucchini that aren’t more than 10-12 inches long, and you must have fresh from the garden or farmer’s market zucchini for this to really taste great, so if you only have mid-winter zucchini from the store, pick another recipe. So that’s my family secret recipe for creamed zucchini; give it a try if you’re feeling adventurous!

 

It takes less than 10 minutes to make Waitrose’s low-fat, vegetarian Skinny Italian Chocolate Shake — recipe is posted here.

 

Beancurd Skin Roll with Turkey, Apple, & Carrot | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights  reserved

Beancurd Skin Roll with Turkey, Apple, & Carrot | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/food blogger Jasline’s description below of her Cantonese beancurd skin roll with turkey, apple, and carrot has me intrigued — her recipe is posted at her blog Foodie Baker:

Dim sum is a style of Cantonese cuisine, where small, bite-sized portions of food are served, just like tapas. It is usually eaten in the morning and traditionally the server will push out a metal cart, with steamer baskets or small plates of food on it, and patrons will order whatever they want from them. Nowadays it’s a lot easier as we can simply place our orders on the menu that’s printed on a piece of paper, pass it to the server and the server will return with our food.

Beancurd roll is one of my must-order dishes whenever I have dim sum, especially the fried version. The paper-thin crisp beancurd skin is simply irresistible!

 

This Italian veggie and bean soup looks gorgeous! Brief description of it is below and the recipe is posted at Asda:

More of a meal in a bowl, this hearty, healthy soup is big on flavour and so simple to make.

 

Italian Coffee & Breakfast @ Cellini Caffè, Milan, Italy | Photo credit: Mike Beales, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Italian Coffee & Breakfast @ Cellini Caffè, Milan, Italy | Photo credit: Mike Beales, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

 

Quick and easy, this One Pot Roast Italian Chicken recipe is posted at Babaduck — background info and cooking tips:

Sometimes, myself and Little Sis make what we call Emergency Dinners. They usually include stuff in the bottom of the fridge and freezer that needs to be used up and they give surprisingly delicious results. One of these is my messy, lazy one pot roast Italian Chicken because it can be assembled in minutes, gets thrown into the oven in just one dish and is crammed full of Italian flavours. Oh, and very little washing up. Thought you’d like that.

I use chicken breasts on the bone because they are so much juicier and more succulent than chicken fillets – I buy them when they’re on offer and throw them into the freezer for midweek dinners. The sauce is simple: a carton of passata or crushed tomatoes with herbs and seasoning, mixed together in seconds. Vegetables are usually what’s lurking at the bottom of the fridge – today it was potatoes, onions and courgettes but aubergines and peppers or green beans would be just as good.

 

Ricotta Cannoli With Pistachio @ Romolo's Ice Cream Cannoli & Spumoni Factory, San Mateo, California | Photo credit: Arnold Valentino, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Ricotta Cannoli With Pistachio @ Romolo’s Ice Cream Cannoli & Spumoni Factory, San Mateo, California | Photo credit: Arnold Valentino, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

 

I adore the simplicity and fresh flavors of Caprese salad — a simple Italian salad comprised of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil, colors that are meant to resemble the red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag — but this Caprese sandwich recipe is a new one on me. It sounds divine, perfect for summer eating!

Intro, from photographer/cook/webmistress Marion at Life Tastes Good:

My Caprese Sandwich is a simple recipe that is big on flavor! The softest, most delicious ciabatta roll topped with fresh basil pesto, tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella cheese all drizzled with balsamic vinegar just might be my new favorite sandwich! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I was inspired to make this Caprese Sandwich after enjoying one from Trader Joe’s while we were traveling. Granted, I was super hungry after traveling all day, but one bite of that sandwich, and I was hooked! I’m always skeptical about buying a pre-made sandwich, and I’m usually disappointed, so my Trader Joe’s Caprese Sandwich was a pleasant surprise. I ate almost all of it by myself. Don finished it up for me . It was a BIG sandwich!

I didn’t waste anytime after arriving home from our trip. I picked up fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella the very next day in preparation of making my own version of this tastiest of sandwiches.

 

Instructions for making this stress-free, recipe-free Italian “Grandma-Style” gemelli pasta with roasted eggplant is available at Bon Appetit — introduction from the magazine’s food writer Alex Delany:

It’s a Wednesday night and our October issue is closing. Editors, writers, and designers, including yours truly, are stressed and exhausted — the side-effect of making such a beautiful magazine. At long last, the final story has been shipped to the printer, and the subway ride home is in sight.

Upon arriving at my apartment, the first thing on my mind is cracking a beer and turning up the stereo; the last is cooking an overly complicated dinner. I want something easy, filling, and flavorful. I want something comforting. I want pasta.

Pasta has always been intuitive for me. The process is logical, an uncalculated combination of familiar ingredients. The proportions are messy (“Is this the right amount of garlic? Yeah, probably.”), and a recipe is never involved. It’s a relaxed cooking experience that won’t exert an already tired brain. Whether that mindset is a byproduct of growing up surrounded by Italian cooking or is a universal truth, I can’t be sure.

What I do know is that, with access to fresh ingredients, the possibilities for a satisfying and simple pasta dinner are seemingly endless. After years of throwing veggies and meat onto frying pans, baking sheets, and grills (before tossing with olive oil or crushed tomatoes or pesto, of course), I have created my very own go-to pasta: It’s flavorful, hearty, and exactly what I want to cook mid-week, when I’m exhausted and can barely think. Oh yeah, and you can cook it without a recipe, too.

 

You’ll find 20 awesome Italian recipes posted here at The Guardian.

 

One of my favorite Italian desserts is tiramisù — the YouTube how-to video demo embedded in the tweet above provides a kid-friendly, alcohol-free recipe.

 

Rhubarb Butter | Photo credit: Iris, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Rhubarb Butter | Photo credit: Iris, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook Iris used this Food in Jars post for making rhubarb butter and this instructional one for boiling water bath for canning.

 

Summer salsa! Check out this easy recipe for making this fabulous Avocado-Corn Salsa at Million Hearts.

 

Vintage Magazine Food Ad, Creamettes Macaroni, Ebony, August 1964 | Photo credit: Vicki McClure Davidson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vintage Magazine Food Ad, Creamettes Macaroni, Ebony, August 1964 | Photo credit: Vicki McClure Davidson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

 

Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.

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Past two months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:

Korean Keema, Eton Mess, Peanut Chicken Soba Noodles, Street Tacos Al Pastor, Happy Squirrel Bento, Chunky Gazpacho, Beer-Battered Fish & British Chips, Jalapeño Popper Chicken Breasts, Bean Soup, Corn Fritters & Roasted Tomatoes, More Thrifty Recipes

Thai-Style Watermelon Salad, Curry-Masala Lamb Burgers, Totoro Sesame Tarts, Pork Tenderloin & Tomato-Peach Compote, Oven-Roasted Broccoli, Chicken Wings, Black Magic Chocolate Cake, Zucchini "Hash Browns" & Eggs, More Fab Recipes

Vietnamese Chicken Wings with Lemongrass Brown Rice, Easy Spaghetti Pie, Slow-Cooker Cider Beef Stew, Nut-Hugging Teddie Bear Cookies, Ground Turkey Dishes, Shakshuka, Key Lime Pie, GF Fish Sticks, BBQ Chickpea Salad, More Frugal Recipes

Lemon-Orange Ice Cream, Roast Pork Neck, GF Sweet Potato & Lime Taquitos, Easy Cheesecake, Chicken Adobo, Quick Black Beans, Country Breakfast Pizza, Thai Veggie Stew, Bacon Nachos, Rachael Ray’s Dandan Noodles, More Frugal Recipes

Cider Can Chicken, Makhlama Lahm, Herbed Salt, Beet & Leek Salad, GF Buttermilk Ranch Chicken Tenders, Kiwi Banana Ice Cream, Pan-Fried Salmon with Asian Glaze, Mango Mint Fizz, Vegan Fried Rice, More Thrifty Recipes

Beef-Pork Meatballs, Cherry Cucumber Coolers, Fried Fish Tacos, GF Apricot Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sauerkraut Pork Casserole, Eggplant Toast, Chilli Chicken Pasta, Garlic Dill Zucchini Pickles, Swedish Salmon Tart, More Fab Recipes

Huli-Huli-Style BBQ Chicken, Summer Salads, Strawberry Meringue Tartlets, Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Hot Dogs, Zucchini Pizza, Watermelon Salsa, Naeng Myun, Chocolate Orange Cookie Cups, Pickled Beets, Brussels Red Potato Gratin, More DIY Recipes

Happy Birthday, America! Awesome Food & Beverage Recipes for Your Fourth of July Celebration

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About the author

I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      

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