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Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly. 

 

Mushroom Pita Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage

1 cup marinara sauce

4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green bell pepper

11/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation 

1. Brown sausage in a medium pan over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat crumbles; drain, if needed

2. Spread each pita round with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Top evenly with sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and cheese.

3. Bake at 350F 15 minutes or until pita is browned and cheese is melted.

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Lasagna can seem like a pain to make, but really it’s so easy and really worth it. This recipe is special because it gets its great flavors from an array of vegetables, fresh parsley and sausage. It’s not too high in calories and fat as I used very few noodles, part-skim ricotta cheese and just a small amount of shredded cheese for such a large dish. If you don’t prefer sausage, use lean ground beef or ground turkey. You can make this recipe ahead. It’s perfect for company or for weeknight with leftovers for the next day.

 

Sausage-Vegetable Lasagna

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound mild or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

11/2 cups marinara sauce

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onions

1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

6 lasagna noodles, cooked

11/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Preparation

1. Saute first 5 ingredients in a large saute pan or Dutch oven in hot oil  over medium heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; add mushrooms and continue to cook until sausage is browned. Add sauce and tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese and parsley, stirring well.

3. Layer lasagna noodles, sausage mixture and ricotta mixture in a 13- x 9-inch lightly greased baking dish; repeat with remaining layers ending with sauce. Top with shredded cheese. 

4. Bake at 375F, covered 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.