Cooking with Katie


Chicken Cannelloni with Panzanella Salad

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This is one of my new favorite dinners, it’s so easy, and it is absolutely delicious! It’s also really fun to make…you get to use your hands, which always makes me feel like I’m a little kid playing with my food. Plus, there are so many bright, robust flavors in this show-stopper stuffed pasta, and the cool salad on the side is a nice change-up to the traditional garden salad. I promise that you’ll love it!

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We received this cookbook from some friends of my dad’s as a thank you present, and I have to say that I absolutely love it! It’s Bonnie Aeschliman’s Cooking with Bonnie: Farm to France, and it is full of fresh, healthy, incredible food. This recipe is actually from this book as well as the salad.

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This salad is SO SO good!

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And doesn’t this look heavenly!? Ahh, I cannot not wait to try out every recipe in this book! I definitely recommend it to everybody, but let’s get back to the main dish now!

Chicken Cannelloni with Panzenella Salad (Farm to France)

Chicken Cannelloni:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 red  bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. carton of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 8 oz. shredded Mont. Jack cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried basil or 3 tbsp. fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano or 2 tsp. fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast
  • 12 to 16 manicotti shells, cooked and drained
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 2 1/4 c milk
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth
  • salt and red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 3 c mozzarella cheese

Panzanella Salad

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic (optional)
  • 6 cups of crusty bread cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 2 c chopped romaine lettuce
  • sliced onion (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

For the cannelloni: Saute the garlic, onion, red pepper, celery, and green onions in the olive oil until tender. Combine it with the ricotta, egg, Monterey jack cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and chicken in a large mixing bowl. Then melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook until bubbly. Add milk, chicken broth, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and is thickened. Stir in the remaining parmesan cheese off the heat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spread a thin layer of parmesan sauce over the bottom of 2 13×9 pans. Split each cooked pasta tube in half and place about a 1/3 c of filling along the pasta. Roll it up to enclose and place seam-side down in the pans. Pour the remaining parmesan sauce over the cannelloni and cover with mozzarella cheese. BAke for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve with marinara sauce. Makes 16 servings.

For the salad: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and combine the olive oil with the garlic. Heat it for 15 seconds in a microwave safe glass just to infuse the olive oil. Pour this over the bread cubes, along with the salt and pepper, and cheese. Bake them on a baking sheet, stirring once or twice, for 8-9 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, romaine, onion, basil, and parsley. Add the croutons and toss well. Combine the garlic, olive oil, and vinegar and drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat.

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BTW, this is not a paid advertisement. This is just a great cook book that I thought you all would enjoy!


My Favorite Salad Dressing

I know I just posted a salad recipe a few days ago, but I’m gonna post another one because I absolutely can’t wait to tell you about this salad dressing. I promise, it will change your life and the way you feel about salads FOREVER!

I recently discovered this salad dressing called Brianna’s Home Style Blush Wine Vinaigrette. It’s this kind of sweet, tangy, strawberry-ish tasting concoction that is unbelievably to die for on top of salads. I love to eat it just plain on top of some mixed greens, but you could also add tuna, nuts, fruit, cheese, or any other veggies to a salad with this and it would still be yummy. It’s also really good drizzled on fresh strawberries.

You can find this at Walmart, Target, Safeway, Whole Foods, or any other grocery store and it has a big strawberry on it. I think they have a couple other different flavors, too, but the Blush Wine is mine and my family’s favorite. Give it a try, and let me know if you liked, hated it, found another flavor that was good, or have a different favorite dressing. Enjoy!


Greek Salad

Whenever someone says “salad”, I always imagine people are thinking, “Oh great, what kind of boring salad am I going to be eating this time?” But salads don’t have to be boring, especially if they’re full of different textures and flavors. They also don’t have to be complicated, and are a great way to use up your leftovers. That’s how I came up with this salad, I used some left over ingredients from a salad we had had a few days ago, and I used a couple of ingredients that I always have on hand. It was a huge hit and so easy to throw together and I’m sure you’re family will love it, too!

Greek Salad
-Mixed Greens
-Sun dried Tomatoes, chopped
-Calamata Olives, halved
-Feta Cheese
-Cucumber, sliced
-Roasted Red Peppers, sliced
-Lemon juice (1 lemon)
-Shallot, diced
-Olive oil (2-3 tbsp.)
-Salt and pepper
-Sugar (1-2 tsp.)

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, shallot, and sugar to make the dressing. Just keep tasting it to adjust it to your likings. Then combine all the other ingredients in a big bowl and toss with the dressing. Enjoy!


Israeli Couscous Salad with Spicy Toasted Chickpeas

Israeli coucous….sounds exoctic, right? Well actually, it’s pretty easy to find at local grocery stores, nowadays, and is just a bigger version of regular couscous. It’s a type of pasta, and if you’re like me, then that right there will tell you that it’s fabulous!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, who would chickpeas in a pasta dish? But trust me, they turned out to be one of the best components in the dish! They give that right amount of kick from the cayenne and add this really meaty texture, along with the crunch of the fresh veggies. If you’re looking for a light, summery side dish, then try this recipe!

Israeli Couscous Salad (Little House of Veggies)

  • 2 c Israeli Couscous
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 c green olives
  • 1/2 c black olives
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Spicy Toasted Chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • a good pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

Cook the couscous according to the package directions with the olive oil and salt, then add the veggies and the dressing.

For the chickpeas, heat the oil in a pan, then add the chickpeas and the seasonings. Toast for 3-4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then fold into the salad. You can refrigerate before serving or serve at room temperature.