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Meet my favorite couscous salad, featuring pearled couscous and colorful summertime produce. This Mediterranean-style salad is light, refreshing, and overflowing with colorful rounds of thinly sliced raw zucchini and yellow squash. That’s right, raw squash! It’s so good.

This salad is a simple, light summer dish full of vegetables, whole grains, chickpeas and feta. I came up with this recipe six years ago for Free People’s blog, and it’s become one of my mom’s go-to potluck dishes. So, I thought I’d update it to meet my 2019 standards.

This salad is just the kind of meal I’m craving during this hot summer weather, and it would be perfect for your Fourth of July parties. If you’re looking for more Independence Day recipes, I’ve got you covered. I’ve listed a few of my other favorite salads below, too!

The post Mediterranean Couscous Salad with Raw Squash and Feta appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Here’s my meatless version of classic chicken noodle soup, made with chickpeas instead of chicken! This soup is exactly what I want to eat when I’m feeling under the weather or craving some familiar, comfort food flavors.

It seems like everyone has caught at least one cold this winter season, me included. As a longtime vegetarian, I haven’t eaten chicken noodle soup in years.

Every time I get sick, I wonder why I don’t have a restorative soup recipe, but don’t have the energy to figure it out. Eventually, I get well again and move on to more exciting meals. So it goes.

We finally broke the cycle and I’m excited to share this recipe with you today. It’s the perfect meal to bring to your friend who isn’t feeling well, and it’s simple enough to pull together if you’re not feeling well yourself.

The post Chickpea Noodle Soup appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Here she is, the lightened-up baked ziti of my dreams. This baked ziti has all of lasagna’s saucy, mozzarella-topped appeal, but is easier to pull off on a regular weeknight. Amen.

When I dreamed up this recipe, I wanted to replace a lot of the pasta with roasted vegetables. In the end, I was able to displace half of the ziti (8 ounces) with two pounds (!) of vegetables.

I chose cauliflower, which develops the most irresistible golden edges as it roasts, red bell pepper and yellow onion. I love this combination, but you could easily use your favorite vegetables here.

It took me a while to find the perfect ratio of mozzarella, marinara, and ricotta (I actually used cottage cheese, more on that in a bit). I believe I’ve hit the nail on the head with the final recipe, and can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you.

The post Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Craving fresh, easy dinnertime recipes this summer? Me, too. This Caprese pasta salad recipe is just the ticket! This recipe has been one of my favorites for the past five years, and I’m re-sharing it today in case you have missed it.

This pasta recipe really straddles the line between “pasta dish” and “pasta salad,” since it’s great whether you serve it warm or cold. It’s made simply with whole wheat pasta, lots of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil and olive oil.

Briefly cooking the tomatoes on the stove makes their bright flavor sing. It also releases some juices that combine with the olive oil to turn into a light pasta sauce. Dinner is ready in twenty-five minutes.

The post Caprese Pasta Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Meet my all-time favorite mac and cheese recipe! This recipe has been in the works for over one year, no exaggeration. It has taken me that long to find my go-to mac and cheese method.

I wanted a classic stovetop recipe, like the blue box mac and cheese I grew up enjoying. But, I wanted to make my stovetop mac and cheese with real ingredients. I wanted it to be creamy and deliciously cheesy—but not oozing with so much cheese that I had to take a nap afterward.

Here is my ultimate mac and cheese recipe, which meets all of the above requirements. I purposefully used yellow cheddar and noodles that remind me of the boxed variety. It’s made simply with cheddar cheese and cream, and a few subtle dried spices to ramp up the flavor.

The best part? This mac and cheese could not be easier to make. Homemade mac and cheese for the win!

The post Real Stovetop Mac and Cheese appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Remember my new marinara sauce recipe from earlier this week? I just had to share one of my go-to quick meals to go with it. I’ve been keeping this easy combination all to myself for the past few years, and it’s about time we talk about it.

Here it is: marinara sauce and lentils. I know, it might sound weird at first. But let me tell you, marinara and lentils is a delicious combination. Perhaps you have already encountered it in my lentil baked ziti?

Marinara offers deep, umami-rich tomatoes in irresistible sauce form. Lentils offer earthy flavor and a hearty, Bolognese-like texture. I use French green or plain brown lentils, which retain their shape better than red or yellow lentils.

Just combine marinara and lentils with whole-grain pasta. Ta da! You’ve successfully lightened-up a traditionally carb-heavy pasta dish into a well-balanced, fiber-rich dinner.

The post Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils & Marinara Sauce appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Meet the marinara sauce recipe of my dreams! I’ve always been intimidated by marinara, maybe because I love it so much that I was afraid of messing it up. I finally faced my fears and tried making marinara every which way. This version is my favorite, no contest.

This homemade marinara sauce offers rich and lively tomato flavor. You’ll need only five basic pantry ingredients to make this delicious marinara sauce: good canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried oregano and olive oil. That’s it!

This marinara is exceptionally easy to make, too, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. You don’t even have to chop the onion and garlic. Yep, that’s right—just crank open a can of tomatoes, halve an onion and peel some garlic. You’re ready to go!

This sauce offers lovely, authentic Italian flavor after a 45-minute simmer. I tried to take shortcuts to make it even faster, but no amount of tomato paste, spices, salt or sugar will make up for lost time.

Bottom line: It’s impossible to achieve enchanting, long-simmered marinara flavor in under 45 minutes. So throw those ingredients in a pot, pour yourself a glass of wine and boil water for pasta. Dinner is almost ready.

The post Super Simple Marinara Sauce appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Finally! It’s about time this blog offered a traditional minestrone soup recipe. Minestrone is a hearty Italian vegetable soup made with tomato-y broth and pasta or rice. I’ve been working hard on this recipe and I’m so excited to share it with you.

Minestrone was traditionally made to use up leftover vegetables, so feel free to use any seasonal vegetables and greens you have on hand. I used potatoes and spinach for the soup you see here, and it was absolutely delicious.

I listed some alternatives in the recipe, including yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas. That means that you can make seasonal minestrone on cool days from fall through spring!

I used canned beans here instead of cooking my own, which cuts the cooking time down to a reasonable weeknight level. The remaining ingredients are basic pantry items, including canned tomatoes, pasta, basic spices and onions.

The post Classic Minestrone Soup appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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First of all, I’m so excited that you’re so excited about the new Cookie + Kate app! I had no idea that you wanted an app so badly (why didn’t you tell me?!), but I’m happy that I have one for you now. Please tell your friends and family about the app, and I’ll add more recipes to it soon!

To celebrate, I’m sharing this fresh, bright and irresistible orzo salad recipe. It’s bursting with Mediterranean flavors—juicy orange, parsley, toasted almonds, crumbled feta and Kalamata olives.

I don’t use oranges nearly as often as I use lemon and lime, but this salad reminds me not to overlook those sweet, quiet oranges, especially while they’re in season.

This orzo salad was also a lesson in pasta salads. First lesson? You must rinse the pasta immediately after cooking it so it doesn’t get sticky and lopsided. Adding some of the starchy cooking water to the dressing adds body to the salad, while keeping the oil content in check.

Let the salad marinate for at least 10 minutes, so flavors have time to meld and the pasta has time to absorb some of the moisture. It doesn’t taste all that special until it’s had a little rest, and then it tastes spectacular. Trust me!

The post Orange Orzo Salad with Almonds, Feta and Olives appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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Voilà! I set out to create the best vegetable lasagna recipe, and here it is. This vegetarian lasagna is cheesy (of course), and loaded with vegetables, spinach and a simple tomato sauce.

If you have any meatless-meal skeptics in your life, this lasagna will change their mind. I’m sure of it.

This lasagna is based on my spinach artichoke lasagna on the blog and the roasted eggplant lasagna in my cookbook. I love those less-conventional vegetarian lasagnas.

Yet, I wanted to offer a classic vegetable lasagna suitable for holidays and weeknights, and this is it. The tomato sauce is the same across all three recipes, but the vegetables vary.

For this recipe, you’ll chop bell pepper, zucchini and carrot into very small pieces and sauté them until they’re nice and golden on the edges. That caramelization brings out so much more flavor. Then, add spinach to the skillet and cooked it down for a few minutes so it doesn’t get too soggy.

The post Best Vegetable Lasagna appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

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