August 10, 2011


By Jenna Weber

I don't know about you, but I love the idea of make-ahead meals. You can make them on the weekend or earlier in the day and then quickly hit the reheat button when you want to eat! That way, there's no stress getting dinner ready every night and you can spend more time with those you love...or just relax with a glass of wine! All three of the meals this week can easily be made ahead. You'll love the flavors in these meals, and kids (and adults!) will never know how healthy they really are! Enjoy!

Grocery list
Quinoa
1/2 cup wheat berries (look for them in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and other health-food stores)
2 ears corn
1 red onion
1 large carton grape tomatoes
4 oz. smoked mozzarella
16 oz. extra-firm tofu
Nutritional yeast (in the bulk bins as well)
10 oz. frozen spinach
1 box jumbo shells
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
4 garlic cloves
Dried oregano
16 oz. bow-tie pasta
6 oz. chicken sausage (I used a spinach, fontina cheese, and garlic kind from Trader Joe’s)
2 lbs. zucchini
1 lemon
1 tub (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
1 shallot

Wheat Berry Salad With Corn and Smoked Mozzarella
You'll go crazy for the varying textures in this salad. And the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it tastes!

Serves 6

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup wheat berries
2 ears corn, shucked
1/4 of a red onion, minced
2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. smoked mozzarella, cubed
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Soak wheat berries in cold water overnight. In the morning, drain, replace with fresh water, and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Simmer quinoa in 1.5 cups water for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff and add to cooked wheat berries in a large bowl.

3. Add corn kernels, red onion, mozzarella cubes, and grape tomatoes to grain mixture and toss. Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Mix well. Salad will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Next page: Dairy-Free Stuffed Shells

Dairy-Free Stuffed Shells
Your family will never guess the secret ingredient: Tofu!

Serves 6–8

2 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
16 oz. extra-firm tofu
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
10 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted
1 box jumbo shells
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

1. Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble into food processor or high-speed blender along with olive oil, salt, oregano, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Process on high until smooth and “ricotta-like.”

2. Cook shells in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 1/2 cup pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9-x-13 inch pan. Stuff shells with 2 tbsp. of filling and place in pan, seam side down. Repeat until all shells have been stuffed.

4. Pour remaining pasta sauce over shells, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve.

Zucchini Pasta With Chicken Sausage
I love this easy pasta dish for quick weeknight dinners! 

Serves 4

16 oz. bow-tie pasta
2 lbs. zucchini, sliced
6 oz. chicken sausage (I used a spinach, fontina cheese and garlic kind from Trader Joe’s), sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4–1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.

2. In large skillet or heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini slices and sausage and sauté for 5 minutes or until zucchini is just about tender but not mushy. Add garlic and shallot and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add mascarpone cheese and toss well so the cheese melts. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. The sauce will look broken but will come together when you add the pasta.

4. Add pasta and serve with additional black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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