Bellas Banquet – By Isabel Minunni

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Lasagna Cups

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Busting My Chops Out

pork chops

Summer is finally here in NY~  Well says the calendar!  We had a beautiful spring day today and thought what a perfect day for the grill.  These chops were so tender, thanks to the marinade, we will be making these all summer long and many summers to come!

Busting My Chops Out

1 cup pepperoncini pickling liquid

1 cup  pinot grigio

1 cup fresh mangos-muddled

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup fresh basil-chopped

4 bone in pork chops

8 pepperoncini’s

In a shallow dish or 1 large or two (depending on the size of the chops) closable large plastic bag add all ingredients except peppers.  Let chops marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat grill.

Remove chops from marinade and cook on grill until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees, make crosshatch marks on pork while cooking.  Let chops rest for 7-10 minutes.

Grill peppers on grill until lightly seared and softened.

Serve chops with 2 grilled pepperoncini’s and enjoy! 

Serves 4

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce



Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce:

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

¼ cup hot water

½ cup unsalted organic freshly ground peanut butter

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove- diced

1tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

roasted peanuts, for garnish if desired

Spring Rolls:

3 ounces thin rice vermicelli*

12 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined-cut in half length wise

2 large carrots-julienned

½  english cucumber-peeled and julienned

1 head roman lettuce-julienned

8 large rice paper wrappers (8 1/2-inch rounds)

8 fresh mint leaves-chiffonade

8 fresh cilantro leaves-chiffonade

Cook the vermicelli according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Add all peanut sauce ingredients into a blender, except ¼ of the peanut butter and nuts for garnish.  Blend until smooth, pour sauce into a bowl and stir in remaining peanut butter (I like my sauce with texture). Set aside.

Prep all your vegetables and place them with your vermicelli, shrimp, lettuce and herbs near your work surface.

With a pie plate with hot water, place rice papers in water until soft and pliable.  Remove and set on paper towel.  Repeat for remaining rice papers.

On a thin, clean kitchen towel place your rice paper.  Place three shrimp onto the rice paper just above the center, place vermicelli on top then carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and herbs, leaving about an inch space from edges.  Flap your sides in on top of ingredients.  Take the end of the rice paper, the edge with the filling and fold over, carefully tighten paper around filling and roll to close.  Set roll shrimp side up on serving platter.  Continue filling and rolling the remaining rolls the same way.

Crush roasted nuts, sprinkle onto peanut sauce.

Serve spring rolls with peanut sauce.  Enjoy!

Makes 8 spring rolls


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South West Roasted Chick Peas


South West Roasted Chick Peas

2 Cans Chick Peas

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Pepper

½ Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley

1 Tablespoon The Pampered Chef South Western Seasoning Mix or your favorite south west seasoning mixture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain chickpeas and dry with a paper towel.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, place chick peas onto cookie sheet, Drizzle with oil and sprinkle all seasonings onto peas and mix to coat.

Place chick peas in preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring once in the middle of cook time.  Take out of oven and let cool!  Enjoy!

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Cajun Vegetable and Seafood Pho



You know it’s delish! ;)

I just love Healthy Solutions Spice Blends!  Not only for the amazing flavors that enhance every recipe, but for the amazing healthy option that I love to find in a product while shopping for myself and my family.

No Salt~No Sugar and Low Salt~Low Sugar

this is a win, win for me, I am now a fan!

My first recipe using Healthy Solutions Spice Blends is:

Cajun Vegetable and Seafood Pho


Cajun Vegetable and Seafood Pho:

4 small fresh zucchini

4 large fresh carrots

6 cups vegetable stock-low salt, organic

1 tablespoon Healthy Solutions Spice Blend-Cajun Seafood

2 cups thinly sliced fresh baby bella mushrooms

16 large shrimp-cooked

16 scallops-cooked

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 small bunch fresh green onions-cut in small rounds

Olive oil drizzle:

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1/2 Tablespoon Healthy Solutions Spice Blend Cajun Seafood

Wash and dry all vegetables except mushrooms, brush mushrooms with a paper towel if needed.  Take zucchini and cut with a spiral cutter to make noodles.  Peel carrots and cut the carrots into noodles also.

In a medium sauce pan pour in broth and season with Healthy Solutions Spice Blend Cajun Seafood and bring to a low simmer.

Mix together Healthy Solutions Spice Blend Cajun Seafood and olive oil together.

Place all vegetables and seafood evenly into 4 large bowls, except dark green onion tops, pour  hot broth evenly over each bowl, garnish with dark green ends of onion and serve with seasoned olive oil if desired. serve and Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

*always use organic produce and products if you can


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Bella’s Panzanella Salad

DSC_0328Have you ever tried Panzanella Salad????  

We just love it and whom ever I have served it to, falls in LOVE also!

Panzanella [pantsaˈnɛlla] or panmolle [pamˈmɔlle] is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that’s popular in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes.

Here is my recipe, Enjoy!

Panzanella Salad

1 Head Fresh Broccoli

1 Head Fresh Cauliflower

3 Red Peppers

4 Large Carrots

1 Pint Grape Tomatoes

1/2 Loaf Italian Bread

 Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

4 Cloves Garlic

Good Seasons Salad Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut all veggies into slightly bigger then bite size pieces.  Place on a baking sheets lined with foil.  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and peppers, mix to coat all sides of vegetables.  Cook for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the vegetable, each cooks in different times.  Take out of oven when just soft, not mushy.  Let vegetables come to room temperature.

Cut Italian bread into bite size pieces. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add olive oil and cook bread cubes until lightly browned on all sides, season with basil, parsley, salt, pepper and onion powder . drain in bowl with paper towel.  Add garlic to pan and cook about a minutes and add to croutons.

In a large bowl combined vegetables and croutons and dress with prepared Good Seasons Dressing, just enough to lightly coat salad.  Serve and Enjoy!

Makes A LOT!

I always make the full recipe because I love the leftovers during the week for lunches,  I also make my famous Panzanella and Three Cheese Panni, Panzanella Frittata or Panzanella Stuffed Chicken!

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Chicken and Beet Pinwheels Arugula Salad with Warm Beet Dressing


Chicken and Beet Pinwheels Arugula Salad with Warm Beet Dressing

Made with Aunt Nillie’s Pickled Beets Cups for Mystery Box Recipe Contest






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Bella’s Dreaded Dead Dinner

I am the one in my group of friends that says “Hey I Have An Idea” and I say it a lot!  I am famous for my inventive (crazy) ideas and or picks that go down quick!  Everyone still says yes, when I ask them if they are joining us!  You never know what adventure my lie ahead!

So fast forward to this great idea!

I will host a “Halloween Dinner Party” casual, we will go to the walkway, see the moon, watch the fireworks then back to the house for dessert and game night.

FUN Right, what could go wrong?   Well this time NOTHING DID!  We had a great evening while making memories!  I am so blessed that I have such great family and friends!



Guest arrive and are asked to read the menu and try to figure out some of the special ingredients from the recipes.  Real bad guesses are sent to bob for apples!


Table SettingDSC_0052

First Course:  Acorn Squash Soup with Pomegranate and Toasted Pipitas

Second Course: Chicken Caccaitore with Green Olives
DSC_0072Third Course: Drunken Spaghetti 

Road Trip12063455_10208021468115171_4007733635372761658_n

The Fireworks Were So Beautiful!11223651_10206238064423998_6958577246099676077_n

Dessert:  Vanilla Ice Cream with Cream de Menthe  and  Panna Cotta EyeballDSC_0086 Stuffed with a Raspberries 

All while sipping ;) my husbands AMAZING bootlegging Merlot! 


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Acorn Squash Stuffed Healthy



DSC_0076Acorn Squash Stuffed Healthy 

2 large acorn squash- cut in half and seeds scooped out

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups broccoli spears-cooked

1-15.5 ounce can red beans-drained

1 clove garlic-minced

2 cups almond milk

1 teaspoon five spice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

2 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients besides squash into a medium size bowl and mix.

Place cut squash onto lined cookie sheet, cut side up.  Stuff each squash evenly with prepared stuffing; pour remaining liquid evenly into each stuffed squash. Brush the top of edges of each stuffed squash with olive oil.  Place in preheated oven and cook for 1 hour or until squash is tender.

Take out of oven.    Serve and enjoy!


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Fall Vegetable Quiche



Fall Vegetable Quiche

2 Tablespoon Butter or Olive Oil

1 Large Sweet potato-thinly slice-

1 Zucchini –spiraled or thinly sliced

2 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach-washed and dried

3 Vine Tomatoes –quartered

5 Eggs

½ Cup Half and Half

1 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Pepper

¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease quiche pan with butter or olive oil.  Take sweet potato slices and line the pan around the edge and then the bottom.

Place zucchini on outer edge of pan next to potatoes.  Place spinach next to zucchini, then tomatoes.  In the middle of the pan place a round of the reaming potatoes then in the center place the remaining spinach.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Pour mixture over vegetables.

Place in oven, loosely top with foil and cook on bottom rack for 40 minutes, or until when shaken the middle does not shake.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly and serve.  Enjoy!



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