Meat Stuffing (for Zucchini or Bell Peppers)

This recipe is adapted from how my mother used to make it.  The measurements are not exact because a lot depends on how thick you want the stuffing to be and how much seasoning you like.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
saltine crackers
dried basil
black pepper
salt

  1. Brown hamburger and onion.
  2. Add tomato sauce.
  3. Crumble in saltines until stuffing holds together.
  4. Season to taste with basil, pepper & salt.
  5. Stuff into parboiled or roasted zucchini (split & seeded) or par-roasted bell pepper halves.  Top with cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese it melted.
  • Precooking the zucchini or bell peppers makes sure the vegetables are done when the stuffing is. Otherwise they will still be hard while your stuffing is getting burned.

Dorian’s Marinara Sauce

recipe created by Dorian Lara especially for his Eggplant Parmesan

extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 carrot, diced
1/3 large head garlic, peeled and diced
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 28 can diced tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
dried oregano
dried basil
dried thyme
dried marjoram
dried rosemary
black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
10 “twigs” fresh thyme, strip leaves from stems

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
  2. Add onion and carrot and saute until onion is just barely caramelized.
  3. Reduce heat and add garlic (reserving 2 cloves). Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add all tomato products. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper to taste.
  6. Add fresh basil and thyme leaves (discard the stems).
  7. Simmer for 1-2 hours partially covered. If it looks a little runny, remove lid and cook until thickened.
  8. Before serving, add the two reserved cloves of garlic – just smash and toss them in.
  • Yes, that’s 1/3 of a head of garlic, not 1/3 of a clove.
  • You can use an “Italian seasoning” blend to replace the dried herbs if you prefer.
  • You can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra.

Russian Vegetable Pie

adapted from the university dining service where I worked in Davis, California

This was one of the vegetarian options that was offered. I liked it so much that I cut the recipe down from 200 servings to a manageable size for home use. They used a cream cheese crust which was good, but a little bit tough – I prefer my regular pie crust.

This recipe has become a family favorite & is known in our house by the nickname my husband gave it – “Cabbage Pie”.

3 Tbsp butter
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 lg onion, sliced
1-2 Tbsp dried basil, crushed
1-2 Tbsp dried marjoram, crushed
1-2 Tbsp dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 eggs, hard-boiled & sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 – 10 inch pie crusts

Directions

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add cabbage, onion & herbs to taste (I like a lot).
  2. Cook until cabbage is wilted. Remove from pan.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp butter. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Spread cream cheese bottom of pie crusts.
  5. Arrange sliced eggs over cream cheese.
  6. Top with mushrooms, then cabbage.
  7. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges & cut a few slits in the top.
  8. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  9. Serve hot.
  • Reheats well.