Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Vegetable Lasagna

This is another recipe from The Best of Cooking Light 2013.

Most white sauces rely purely on cream.  Ours is based on fat free broth.  We add just a bit of heavy cream and an egg to give it a silky texture.


3 large shallots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 pounds baby pattypan squash
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic


3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray
9 cooked lasagna noodles
1.5 ounces grated fresh Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese (about 1/3 cup)
3 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoon's torn fresh basil.

To prepare vegetables, place a small metal roasting pan in oven, Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss Shallots and squash with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Arrange vegetables in preheated pan; bake at 450 for 30 minutes, stirring once.

Preheat broiler to high.

Place tomatoes in a roasting pan; broil 10 minutes or until blistered.  Combine squash mixture, tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, chives, and garlic; toss gently.

Reduce oven temperature to 350.

To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat pan.  Combine broth and flour, stirring with a whisk; add mixture to oil.  Bring to a simmer stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in cream, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer gently 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Place egg in a small bowl; slowly add 1 1/2 cup sauce to egg, stirring constantly.  Return sauce to pan.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of a broiler safe 13x9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange 3 lasagna noodles.   Sprinkle with half of Parmigiana-Re
Repeat layers with remaining noodles, squash mixture, and parmigiana reggiano, ending with noodles.   Pour remaining sauce over top; sprinkle with fontina.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubly.

Preheat broiler to high

Broil 4 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of fresh basil.  Let stand 12 minutes.

Snapper with Zucchini and Tomato

Since my whole family love to fish this is a recipe that will please everyone and packed full of flavor.

(pic and recipe from Best of Cooking Light 2013)

4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (6-ounce) snapper fillets
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 cup diced zucchini
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over fish.  Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doness.  

Remove fish from pan; keep warm.  Add wine; cook until liquid almost evaporates.  Add zucchini, shallots, oregano, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; saute for 3 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Combine zucchini mixture, tomato, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 2 teaspoon oil, basil and juice; toss gently.  Serve with fish.

Muffaletta Sandwich




  • 2 boule or Italian round loaves, about 9 inches, sesame seeds on top preferred
  • 1 pound thinly sliced aged provolone cheese
  • 1 pound thinly sliced mortadella
  • 1 pound thinly sliced genoa salami
  • 1 pound thinly sliced hot capicola  Or ham
  • Olive Salad, recipe follows


 Cut the loaves in half horizontally. Drizzle some of the olive salad liquid on the bottom halves. Dividing everything by two, layer the cheese, mortadella, genoa, capicola and then the Olive Salad on top. Cover with the top halves, and then cut into pie-shaped wedges and serve to the masses.

Olive Salad:

  • 1 cup oil-packed black olives, pitted
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add the black olives, green olives, olive oil, roasted red peppers, capers, vinegar, crushed red pepper and sugar to a food processor and pulse until uniform but still coarse, about 10 times. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Penne with Asparagus, Mint and Pictachios

Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb penne rigate
1/2 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
ice water
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted
2-3 tbsp EVOO
4 tbsp. butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar
A handful grated pecoriono-romano, plus more or less to pass around the table.

Get Started:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it after it boils add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Step 1:

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, bring 2 inches of water to a boil salt it, add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes.  Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking; drain and set aside.  Reserve the skillet.

Step 2:

Using a food processor, puree 1/2 cup stock, the mint, parsley, pistachios and EVOO.

Step 3:

In the reserved skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper.  Whisk in the flour. Stir in the wine and cook until reduced to 2 tbsp.  Add the remaining 1 cup stock and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Lower the heat to low.  Stir in the lemon juice (or vinegar).  Remove from heat and stir in the pistachio puree.

Step 4:

Add the pasta, asparagus and a handful of cheese to the skillet; toss stirring in the reserved cooking water to thin the consistency if desired.  Season with salt and pepper. Pass more cheese at the table. 

Trout with Butter, Lemon & Herbs

A well seasoned cast iron skillet will easily release anything that's cooked in it; this makes it perfect for foods that are prone to sticking, like fish or eggs.

4 tbsp. butter
2 skin on trout fillets (6 to 8 oz each)
salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs thyme
2 small lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 juice of lemon
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley.

In a large 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Season the trout, skin side down, in the skillet.  Scatter with the thyme and lemon slices.

Cook the trout, spooning the butter from the bottom of the skillet over the fish often, until just cooked through (do not flip) about 5 minutes. Transfer the fish and lemon slices to a serving plate.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Spoon the pan sauce over the fish. Top with the parsley.

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup

Video: How to Make Spicy Shrimp Noodle Soup

Recipe from Cooking Light
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
  • Calories: 287
  • Fat: 2.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 26.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 40.3g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 174mg
  • Iron: 11.1mg
  • Sodium: 537mg
  • Calcium: 96mg
 3 cups unsalted beef stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup diagonally cut green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 12 small fresh basil leaves
  • 4 lime wedges


  1. 1. Combine first 11 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3 1/2 cups (about 12 minutes). Add shrimp; cook 4 minutes or until done. Remove cinnamon, anise, and ginger; discard. Cook rice noodles according to package directions; drain. Place 1/2 cup noodles in each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 1 cup stock mixture and about 5 shrimp. Sprinkle evenly with bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, and basil. Serve with lime wedges