Tag Archives: Rachel Ray

Gnocchi with Fresh Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Day 89:”Rachel Ray’s Big Orange Book

March 30, 2011

Meal time this week has been crazy time. Shopping at the store at the last-minute and hoping to find something healthy that most of the family will eat. The recipe I found had Gnocchi in it, which is a potato dumpling of sorts, Italian style. You can make homemade Gnocchi, but if you knew how labor intensive it is, you would pass. You can also pick it up at the grocery store for a few dollars. I have had great Gnocchi in Italy. I have had great Gnocchi in restaurants. I don’t need to make Gnocchi at home. Seriously way too much work for a week night meal……go the grocery store route baby!

Another week, another Rachel Ray cookbook…..or so it seems. Does this girl ever sleep? I would like to spend a day with her to see what her day is all about. This cookbook is jam-packed with more than 30 minutes meals. There is a section on Vegetarian Dinners, Kosher Meals, Holiday Meals, entre Burgers, A Little More Than 30 Minutes….But Worth It, From My Family To Yours, Starters and Snacks and Holiday Menus. There is even a section on Meals for One. My good friend who recently lost her husband has started to learn how to cook for one. I think she would enjoy this section. WIth so many recipes in this cookbook , you will be able to find at least half that your family will love. I really like this cookbook a lot more than I have her other ones. This one you get good bang for your buck.

The Ruling: I used regular broccoli and not broccoli rabe, as broccoli was on sale. The flavor was good, I really enjoyed it, but all the other members of our family thought it had too much lemon in it. So maybe cut back on the lemon if you were to make it. I did use fresh lemon and I do think that when you use fresh lemon the flavor is a little strong.  Depending on the chicken sausage you buy will really determine the flavor of this dish. The sausage that I bought had lots of flavor. I think most kids will like this dish, middle child picked out the broccoli but youngest child ate the broccoli, go figure!

Gnocchi with Fresh Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, page 179


  • Salt
  • 1 (12 to 18 ounce) package fresh or frozen gnocchi
  • 2 bunches of broccoli rage, stem ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 1/2 pounds Italian chicken sausage links, casing removed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Crusty bread


  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the gnocchi. Once the water is boiling, add some salt, add the gnocchi, and cook according to package directions. Right before draining, remove and reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
  2. While the water for the gnocchi si coming to a boil, bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large high-sided skillet. Add some salt and the broccoli rabe and simmer for 5 minutes; drain and reserve. Return the skillet to the stove and heat 2 tablespoons for EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage and break it up with the back of a spoon or a potato masher while it cooks and browns, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper until the onions start to get tender. Remove the sausage and onions from the skillet and reserve. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO and heat it up. Add the drained gnocchi to the skillet and brown lightly for a couple of minutes. Return the sausage and onions and reserved broccoli rabe to the pan. Toss to combine and add the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and serve with the bread.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.


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Filed under Fast Meals, Main Dishes, Pasta

Stuffed Cabbage Stoup

Day 7: “Rachel Ray 2, 4, 6, 8 Great Meals For Couples Or Crowds

January 7, 2011

I have been a huge fan of Rachel Ray ever since she started on the Food Network.  She is perky and upbeat and can serve an awesome meal in 30 minutes or less.  I sometimes only have 30 minutes to get a meal on the table so I appreciate her tips and tricks with getting the meal on the table.  I was able to find a couple of my own shortcuts in this recipe, so if you know Rachel, give her a shout for me and let her know my shortcuts.

Shortcut #1:  I used coleslaw mix.  Her recipe calls for Savoy cabbage.  I grew up in Western North Dakota home of ranchers and good German from Russia cooks who never made stuffed cabbage with Savoy cabbage.  Plus the cole slaw mix was already chopped for me…..saved me at least 5 minutes!

Shortcut #2:  I used Uncle Ben’s rice that you just put in the microwave for 1 minute and it is done.  I simply added the rice from the packet to the boiling soup and viola, it was ready.  This step saved me about 16 minutes!

The Review: The overall taste of the stoup, was just kind of blah  (yes you read that right….stoup…it is a cross between a soup and a stew).  This may be my fault as I did not have allspice or coriander.  Instead I substituted a good tablespoon of grill seasoning and some other spices.  Maybe I should have added some red pepper flakes to pick up the spice level a little bit. 

Don’t just take my review of this recipe as a review of the rest of the cookbook.  The other recipes sound very tasty…..but alas, very few pictures.

Stuffed Cabbage Stoup page 132


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup raw white rice
  • 1 quart plus 2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meatloaf mix (a combination of beef, pork and veal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice, eyeball it in your palm
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, half a palm full
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, eyeball it in your palm
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler into strips then finely chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped


  1. Heat a sauce pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the rice and toss to coat in oil. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for 16 to 18 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  2. Heat a deep pot over medium high heat. Add the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, once hot add meat and begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the meat with allspice, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, onions, garlic and carrots. Cook veggies 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and wilt it down a bit. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, add to the soup and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and dill, adjust salt and pepper to your taste, and serve.

You can tell how rushed I was when making dinner tonight….one picture!  You see the yellow suff in the pot?  That is an organic carrot that we got from our CSA.  Just as yummy as the orange kind, but more fun.

 To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

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Filed under Main Dishes, Soup