Vegetable Tian

I love a reason to break out my mandoline. It makes the most beautiful perfectly uniform slices of just about anything you feel like sliding across it’s insanely sharp blade. Yes, use the cover. It’s not there as optional. It’s sharp. Trust me. As much as I’d like to think I have mad knife skills I simply can’t make uniform slices like the mandoline can. Not to mention it takes seconds to slice things vs. the hour it would take me to even try to get them close.

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Mixed Grilled Vegetables

Although the calendar and shorter days are telling me it’s fall, my air conditioner is telling me otherwise. It’s still hot here (shorts and flip flops hot). One benefit of it being hot means that my little garden that could is still producing so I’m going to hold onto summer’s goodness for just a little longer. We love to grill an assortment of veggies and then use them as a side or chop them into pieces and make a SIMPLE SUMMER GARDEN PASTA dish.

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Carolina Grown – Intuit Love a Local Business

I believe that supporting local businesses is so important. It helps sustain the local economy and supports local community members. One of my favorite local businesses is CAROLINA GROWN. They source from local North Carolina Farmers and Ranchers and deliver their fresh, seasonal LOCAL products to your door! That’s right they even deliver!

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Crostata di Porri {Savory Leek Pie}

You’ve probably seen Leeks in the produce section of your grocery. If you’re not familiar with them,  they’re similar to an onion, a cousin of the onion if you will ; ) They’re quite fragrant and produce beautiful rings when sliced. They have a much milder taste that onions and an added benefit don’t make me cry when I’m cutting them ; )

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Carote con Funghi {Carrots and Mushrooms}

Happy New Year! Was one of your resolutions to eat more Veggies? Well this year I tried not to make any resolutions but adding more vegetables to your diet is always a good idea. Besides, when they’re bright and happy like this carrot and mushroom dish, they’re hard to resist!

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Zucca al Forno {Baked Squash}

Butternut squash are quite odd looking but are incredibly tasty! One goes a long way. They are after all HUGE. When in season, you can find them in almost every produce market and obviously with their size they’re not hard to miss ; ) If you’ve never cooked with them, what are you waiting for, not only are they good for you  they’re just plain GOOD!

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Peperoni Croccanti {Crispy Bell Peppers Stuffed with Herbs}


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These are a delicious alternative to traditionally stuffed bell peppers. They’re scrummy and oh so filling. And yes, they’re fried! They make an incredible appetizer, and depending on the size of the peppers, once cut into portions {which Cookielicious say look liked fried sushi ; )}  them self could generously feed a crowd. Or if you served the entire pepper it would make an excellent entree as well.

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Funghi Trifolati {Sauteed Mushrooms}

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We love mushrooms! Yes, it’s true. If you search for mushrooms on bell’alimento you’ll be inundated with recipes. I make no apologies for that. Long live the shroom ; ) And now that I am a contributor for The Mushroom Channel you’ll be seeing even more shroom recipes! So naturally because we love them I’m always looking for ways to incorporate mushrooms into our meals.  

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Asparagi con Prosciutto Crudo {Roasted Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto}

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Asparagus are plentiful right now and I am taking full advantage of that. We LOVE asparagus and I’m always trying to find new ways to enjoy it. We’ve shown you how to make Asparagus alla Paper Bag {yes it really is cooked in a paper bag!} and Grilled Asparagus {which are ah-mazingly sweet & caramelized} Now we’re shaking things up by roasting and then wrapping with PROSCIUTTO? Glorious glorious Prosciutto *swoon*.  This is a super simple side dish that you can whip up in no time. It would even be perfect as an appetizer.

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Melanzane alla Parmigiana {Eggplant Parmesan}

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Ah, eggplants…AUBERGINES (even bettah)! Have I mentioned how much I LURVE them? They are really a vivacious veggie ; ) Like that do ya? They’re an amazing regal dark purple color & have curves that go on for miles, my kinda veggie! A few of these babies are the backbone of this amazing dish. If you don’t have time to make a Lasagne alla Bolognese try this. It’s the same comfort food feel except in a veggie version ; )   

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Cavolfiore Gratinati {Cauliflower au Gratin}

Cauliflower doesn’t really do much for me on it’s own, BUT add some loverly creamy bechamel sauce, some homemade breadcrumbs & the King of cheese Parmigiano Reggiano & well count me in! This dish will hopefully make you think twice about Cauliflower & should get even the pickiest of eaters in your house to change their minds as well. I know my kids lurve this! They call them white trees (& yes they refer to broccoli as green trees) I think it’s cute & well they’re eating them so I’m a happy camper.

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Piselli alla Pancetta {Peas w/Pancetta}

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With all of these sweet posts lately (Crostoli, Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cakes, Panna Cotta *drool*) I have been craving some veggies. I know, you might want to check my temperature. I thought the same thing. But you know before I know it, it’s going to spring (dare to dream – I am ovah all this snow) and wiggly jiggly is only good in jello if you know what I mean. 

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Cipolle Vegetariane {Vegetarian Onions}

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This is another Italian dish that can be made a multitude of ways. Cipolle Vegetariane is Italian for Vegetarian Onions! Yes, you read right – Vegetarian Onions! Don’t get excited, I am after all serving them with my Pepper Encrusted Steaks! But they are just as fab on their own. They smell so divine while cooking. What’s not to like: onions, mushrooms, bell pepper. Oooh! So good.

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Zucchine Farcite {Stuffed Zucchini}

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Zucchine Farcite is Italian for Stuffed Zucchini! Again, everything sounds so much better in Italian. It’s just the way everything rolls off the tongue. So poetic, so rhythmic, so…swoon! If I ever have to hear really bad news I’d like to hear it in Italian. Just sayin’.

Zucchini are an amazing little veggie & they’re in abundance right now. I have had stuffed zucchini so many ways. Once you get the basic recipe down the possibilities are endless.

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Johnsonville Brat Throwdown!

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Are you ready for a Throwdown? Why YES I am! My foodie friend Kristy at The Wicked Noodle invited me to join in a “friendly” Johnsonville Brat Throwdown. There was only one rule…we were challenged to come up with a recipe using Johnsonville Brats! Well, never one to shy away from a challenge (I have been known to be banned from board games because of my competitive nature) I threw on my Johnsonville <3′s bell’alimento apron & I jumped right in!

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How to Grill Asparagus

This is the perfect time of year for asparagus and it’s the perfect time for grilling. I came up with an idea to caramelize asparagus on the grill and guess what? It’s amazing!

Hubs was a total disbeliever on this one when I was originally pitching the idea. He said many times over, “Really, you want to put sugar on the asparagus” (insert eye rolling here). But as he knows once I have an idea in my head it’s best just to go with it.

So he reluctantly went along and fired up the grill. He quickly did a 180 when he tasted them. He nearly ate an entire plate full himself. The kids were even gobbling them up. They are totally unexpected and wildly delicious. Plus they couldn’t be easier to make.

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Grilled Eggplant dripping with a Tomato and Ricotta Salsa


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We’ve officially skipped spring and dived directly into summer. Now that it’s scorching hot outside already, it’s time to get outside and utilize the grill. Have I mentioned how much I like eggplant? It’s such a meaty vegetable & surprisingly inexpensive. One really does go a long way. I like to hit my local farmer’s market this time of year to get the freshest ingredients possible. Plus, it’s always nice to see where your food comes from & I like to support my local farmers!

This is a quick and easy recipe that can be done almost completely on the grill. It’s perfect as an appetizer or even as a side dish. If you want to change it up a bit, simply add a toasted bun and it becomes a scrumptious eggplant burger!

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Mushrooms

Okay, I must admit until recently I was NOT a fan of the Brussel Sprout. At the very mention of the word, I conjured up memories of small, soggy, green vegetable balls from my childhood that I was told to eat because they were “good for me”. They were tasteless & lifeless & I wanted nothing to do with them. Until now that is! 

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Asparagus alla Paper Bag

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I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Is she insane?” She’s going to set the house on fire! LOL Trust me, the first time I saw my Mom making this dish I asked her the exact same question. All I can say is that when I tasted this I said “WOW” & went back for seconds. It’s a fun dish to make, especially if you’re having company over. You get the same reaction every time LOL!

It’s quick, it’s easy, & it’s good for you! Using the paper bag keeps the moisture in the asparagus & allows the garlic, lemon slices, olive oil, & bay leaves to perfectly season the asparagus. Coating your paper bag generously (covering all areas) with canola oil keeps the fire marshall away! You have to use canola oil on the outside other oils will smoke & you don’t want that!

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