Dishing with Deana: Quick, delicious recipes for busy time of year


With school starting back, I know everyone is trying to get back in the swing of things. I thought I’d share some quick and delicious recipes. As you know, I love being able to prepare in advance and either put a casserole in the oven or have it ready to put on the grill.

Bill and I love cooking on the grill and serving sliced, homegrown tomatoes and homegrown cucumbers with a steak or piece of chicken. I also love to use the Crock-Pot. The house stays cool, and you have a delicious supper, too.

I added one of my favorite cold desserts to this column, Sunrise Cherry Pie. It’s cool and refreshing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

MEATLOAF CITIZENS

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup onion, diced (about 1/2 a small onion)

1 egg

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all of the meatloaf ingredients and mix together by hand. Shape into 4-5 individual patties.

Cook in an oiled cast iron skillet until browned on both sides and cooked through. Serve with tomatoes, lettuce and onion.

ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

5 medium zucchini (2 pounds)

Olive oil cooking spray

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound 85% lean ground beef

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature

2 large eggs

½ cup (packed, 1 ounce) chopped fresh basil

1⅓ cup no sugar added marinara sauce

8 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the zucchini lengthwise, into ¼-inch-thick strips, getting 6 slices out of each zucchini. Spray the zucchini slices with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Grill the slices, in batches, 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and firm — not browned and crisp. Spread on clean kitchen towels to soak up more moisture.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the meat, the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until meat is browned, 5-7 minutes. Drain into a colander, then mix in a bowl with 1 cup marinara sauce.

In another bowl, with a fork, mix together the ricotta, eggs, basil, and the remaining salt and pepper.

Assemble the lasagna: Spread ⅓ cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish; Top the marinara sauce with a layer of zucchini, then a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the meat mixture, and a third of the mozzarella cheese; Repeat, arranging the zucchini slices in the opposite direction: zucchini, ⅓ ricotta, meat mixture, ⅓ mozzarella; Repeat one last time, adding one extra layer of zucchini: zucchini, ricotta, meat mixture, more zucchini, and mozzarella.

Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. You can finish by broiling for 2 minutes on high to brown the cheese, if you wish.

15-MINUTE BEEF STROGANOFF

2 pounds ground beef

2/3 cup water

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons flour

noodles or rice

brown meat. Add water and soups. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Blend sour cream and flour and add to the meat. Cook and stir until thick. Heat through but don’t boil. Serve over rice or noodles.

(This is delicious with English peas.)

Cheeseburger sandwiches

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper

8 ounces Velveeta Light

2 tablespoons skim milk

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

12 sandwich buns, wheat

Cook beef and garlic pepper in 12-inch skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain.

Spray 3 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix beef and remaining ingredients except buns in cooker.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 7 hours. To serve, fill buns with beef mixture.

SUNRISE CHERRY PIE

8.25 ounces can crushed pineapple

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 graham cracker pie crust

Drain pineapple well, reserving 2 tablespoons, syrup. Combine softened cream cheese, vanilla and reserved syrup, mixing until well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup pineapple and 1/2 cup pie filling. Gradually add sugar to cream, beating until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into crust. Top with remaining pineapple around the outside edge of top and remaining cherry pie filling in center of top. Chill til firm.

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