Advertisements

one-pot creamy pasta

Happy Friday, friends. 
The recipe I’m sharing today is not my own.  It was in Martha Stewart’s magazine a few years back.  It was one of those pull-out recipe cards. 

I must admit, I didn’t think much of it when I saw the recipe, but a snowy afternoon with limited ingredients in the house led me to try it.
Holy cow batman!  Is at as good as fettuccini alfredo?  Nope.  Pasta, cream, cheese butter garlic..  not much can compare with that. 

Was it amazing? YES!

Was it easy?  YES!  Easier than making a box of kraft mac and cheese ( which, btw.. it also kind of amazing it it’s fake orange cheese nostalgic way ☺️) 
Here’s the original recipe for One pot orecchiette, chickpeas and olives

Admittedly, I’ve followed her recipe to a tee… but I’ve also used it as a guideline to play a little. 
Here’s her original recipe, just subbing the kind of pasta I used 

12 ounce dry pasta ( I had bow ties, so I used bow ties) 

* note..  many companies make ‘no bake’ pasta these days.  For this recipe, just use your regular pasta.  I haven’t tried it with GF pasta, but I’d imagine it would work, just keep an eye on it and add more water if  needed) 

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted ( you can buy them pitted.. don’t fret )

3 cloves garlic, smashed ( or 1 tsp garlic powder ( make sure not garlic salt) 

Sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 

2 TBSP tomato paste ( buy the tomato paste in the tube.  It’s in the canned tomato isle.  Believe it or not. Whole Foods has one of the least expensive tomato paste tubes.  I believe Trader Joe’s also has one) don’t pay more than 3 bucks for it

( optional.. but I always use in any soup or stew.. small piece of Parmesan rind) 

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Sea salt

Ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( I also added a bit on cheddar ends that I had in the fridge )

2 cups baby greens 
Place everything up to cheese in a stockpot. 

Add 5 cups of water 
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, stirring occcasionally. Check pasta in 12-15 minutes ( thicker pasta will require longer.  Check at 15 min to see). It should be mostly cooked, with just a slight bite to it. 

Turn off heat, but leave pan on burner 

Add the cheese, replace cover for 5 min so the cheese can melt. After 5 min, stir and if cheese still needs longer to melt, cover for additional 5 min.  Discard rosemary sprig, if used. If sauce seems a bit thick, stir in a bit more water until you get a creamy consistency 


Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes 


Please try this!  I have a lot of friends who are just learning to cook.. a lot of girls just on their own, either senior year in college or just out on their own.  This is a great recipe to start to learn to cook 

You can assemble in the morning and add water and cook when you get home from work
You can play with the ingredients…sub out broccoli crowns and cooked chicken for the chickpeas and olives

Or chopped red pepper and cooked sausage for the chickpeas and olives

Or ground beef and onion,  and pepper jack cheese for a Tex-mex flair

Or you can eliminate the cheese to make this vegan. 
Full credit of this recipe goes to Martha Stewart.  I just wanted to share it because it is insanely easy and tastes like it took a lot longer than it did to make. Try it! 
Enjoy!
Ps…. happy birthday to my long-time friend, Laurie! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🍷🍰😘

Advertisements

parmesean-crusted chicken

howdy, friends.  I’m a little sad today. 

Remember last week when I shared These pics?

Well, Mother Nature seemed a bit angry last night 

  

 My veggie garden 😢. With tomatoes I started from seed indoors 3 moths ago  

 My new perennial garden 

 

I have 15 hydrangea that look like this 😢

I’ll spare you the rest of the details. 

My good friend over Celia over at River Cat Chili know a thing or two about gardening and she has assured me that although my plants look like poopsticks, that many of them will rally 🙏🏻🙏🏻

In the meantime, to make me feel better, I’m going to share with you a simple Chicken dish that is very easy and full of flavor

parmesean -crusted chicken ( not to be confused with my chicken parmesean recipe ) 

  

Chicken breasts

Mayonnaise ( I always use Hellman’s) 

Grated Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and pepper 

Lemon slices for garnish 

Preheat oven to 359 degrees

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper 

Using a brush ( or your hands) spread mayo on both sides of chicken 

  

Roll in parm

  

Place in a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees. 

Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Yeah… It’s that easy.  And uber tasty 😁

I like to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice and serve on greens ( that used to live in my garden 😓😓😓)

  

  

And a little side of sweet potatoes 😎

Enjoy, my friends! 

Oxox

bow-tie pasta with ham, peas and cream ( and garden pics) 

I’m not exactly sure when I actually started to make this, but I am completely sure that my family devours it! 

While it’s not exactly low-calorie, you can serve up a smaller portion on a bed of baby spinach or arugula. 

Girl math= adding greens to pasta cancels out the cream and carbs 😁

You can also have this on the table in less than 1/2 hour 😎

I know with just about every recipe I’m all like” dudes and dudettes! You must make this!” 

So why should this post be any different? 

Truth be told, I used this recipe as a template to make my 

gnocchi with lemon ricotta sauce with prosciutto and spring peas

*** note to self…  This must be made this week

I give you 

bow-tie pasta with ham, peas and cream 

  

1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained ( never rinsed reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid for sauce 

1 tablespoon butter 

1tablespoon olive oil 

1/2 in thick cut of ham ( ask at the deli.. They will happily cut it for you ) 

1 shallot, chopped finely 

1 pound frozen peas 

1/2 pound snow peas ( optional… Sometimes they are too pricey..  But I happened to find them on sale this week 

*** optional… 1/2 cup vodka***

1 cup chicken stock (boxed is fine if you don’t have any in your freezer.. Just use low sodium) 

1 Half pint heavy cream 

Pinch of nutmeg 

Sea salt and pepper 

Add butter and olive oil to Dutch oven and turn heat to medium. Chop the ham into small cubes and sauté.  After 4 minutes, add the chopped shallot and stir. 

***. This is where the optional vodka comes in.  Vodka takes whatever flavor it’s mixed with and intensifies it so if you use it in this recipe, it adds another layer of flavor, but I promise you it’s still really good without it*

Using either vodka or chicken stock, deglaze the pan by adding directly to ham/ shallot mixture and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen bits ( aka.. Flavor) 

If using vodka, reduce by half. Then add remainder of chicken stock.  

Add pasta and let simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add peas and cream and grated nutmeg and pepper

Add reserved cooking liquid a little a a time to get the consistency you are looking for 

Taste for seasoning before adding salt… Some hams are saltier than others 

  

I had some pea tendrils from my garden, so I used them as garnish.. You could also use parsley, or just grab a big spoon and dive right in! Who would I be to judge?  I’ve certainly done that before 😁😁😁

Remember This picture from mothers’day? Well, unfortunately ( or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) we had a few trees that didn’t weather the storm all that well…..  So we’ve spent the last few weekends cleaning up and re arranging plants ( some from out very own yard = FREE!) 

Here’s the same view this afternoon 

 

It’s so much more open! I’m loving it! 

I’ve planted zucchini an cukes and tomatoes in all of that cleared space on the left 

I’ve always wanted an English Cottage garden. By opening up the area, I was able to start one! 

 

  

 

Of course, it doesn’t look like much yet, but I resisted the urge to plant too close in favor of doing it properly 🙂 

Bonus? With the tree cleared on the left I can see the garden from my dining room window! 

 

 

I made some new pillows for my bench 

 

 Transplanted my plants that I started from seed indoors 2 months ago ( my arugula and peas LOVED the snowstorm! ) 

 

  Utilized a hanging basket for my herbs 

 

Planted a couple of urns 

  

 

The four- legged princess approves 😎🐾🐾🐾

Are you planting anything fun this year? Tell me about it! 

bacon-wrapped turkey meatloaf with avocado

I’m not much of a meal planner.  I honestly open my fridge around 5:30 and play a little game of ‘michelle is on Chopped’ 

I’m easily entertained 😉

A few weeks ago I opened said fridge and saw ground turkey.  And bacon. And I had an avocado. 

Friends… I give you 

  

bacon-wrapped turkey meatloaf with avocado

2-3 slices of bread ( I used white wheat )

1/4-1/2 cup of milk 

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard 

handful  of fresh parsley

1 pound ground turkey

1/4 pound bulk Italian sausage 

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 eggs

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 

1 tsp chili garlic sauce 

6 slices of bacon 

Start by placing  the bread in a bowl in a bowl and pour milk over.  Allow to set for 5 minutes then massage. It’s should be a soggy mess.  ( this’ll keep your meatloaf moist) 

  

Season with salt and pepper 

  Add the rest of the ingredients, except bacon and avocado. 


Mix well, but don’t over-mix, you don’t want it too dense. 

  

Free form mixture into a meatloaf shape. 


Wrap bacon around meatloaf, leaving a little bit of space between each slice 

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until internal temp reaches 165. 

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes 

  

 

Carefully remove from baking dish and place on serving platter. 


Slice up avocado and lay slices on top. 

  

Sprinkle with sea salt ….Slice and serve! 


piña colada chicken and a giveaway!

you know why I love writing here, because you have no idea if I’m sitting in my pajamas noshing on some leftover amazeballs chicken, or whether I’m dressed up writing this from the library. 

I’m sure if you had to guess, you’d get it right 😉

When I wrote Coconut crusted chicken with grilled pineapple salsa last week, I was going to call it piña colada chicken. 

But then I had a thought… A deep  thought. 

In order for it to be called piña colada chicken..  It had a very necessary ingredient…  

  Hellz. Yea. 

I’ve been chomping at the bit all weekend ( Kentucky derby pun completely  intended) to share this with you! 

Pull out your flip flops and sunglasses and tiki torches…  We are taking a trip to the carribean, my friends! 

piña colada chicken 

1 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 

1 tablespoon  jerk seasoning 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

3/4 cup pineapple. ( mine was fresh, canned is fine, just dry it ) 

1 can coconut milk

1 ‘nip’ bottle of white rum 

1/4-1/2 cup Chicken stock

  

  

Start by sprinkling salt and pepper on each side of chicken, then rub  both sides of chicken with seasoning.  Let sit for 10 minutes. 

Heat oil over medium heat until melted. Add chicken and sauté on each side for about 5 minutes. Add pineapple and cook another 5 minutes.  Using tongs, remove chicken , turn off heat and add rum. Turn heat baby on and using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Once it starts to boil, add coconut milk and stir.  Return chicken to pan.  Stir in chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time, making sure it doesn’t get too soupy .

Reduce heat to low and cover for 1/2 hour. 

Test sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. 

Serve over a bed of greens, with sauce generously spooned atop! 

  

 

  

  

I wanted to make my Cilantro coconut rice but I was out of rice.  Say whaaaat? I’m slacking..

So I used whole wheat coucous in it’s place.  It worked! 

So mosey on down and send your friends a postcard from your tropical dinner! 

I bought an extra bottle of the jerk seasoning to giveaway to one of you! All you need to do is comment either here in the comments, share this post with your friends, or like and comment on My Facebook page

That’s it!  I’ll chose a winner at random on Saturday night at 5 pm mountain time. 

Good luck! And as always, thanks for reading. I pour my heart out here sometimes and it’s nice to know you are reading!  😎

Ciao bellas! 

curried tofu & edamame soup

good afternoon, friends!

I have some exciting news to share!

As of yesterday, I am part of Whole Foods Market‘s social media ambassador program, Whole Foodies!

I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile, and the timing is right and I am thrilled!

What does this mean for you? It means that I’ll be trying  new products and receiving samples that I’ll review and pass on to you!

I also will be sponsoring a few upcoming giveaways as a way to celebrate!

:barefoot girl throwing confetti in her kitchen👣:

Today’s recipe is quite fitting, considering it’s Monday and so many have adopted the practice of meatless Monday.

Plus.. Well, it’s really quick and oh-so-tasty

curried tofu & edamamme soup 

1 block of tofu, pressed ***

1 tbsp sweet curry powder

1/2 cup edamamme, shelled

1 can coconut milk

1 jalapeño pepper

1/2 red bell pepper

1 cup Chicken stock 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Cilantro and lemon or lime for garnish

Toasted tortilla chips to serve with . 

  

Start by crumbling the tofu and tossing with the curry.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop peppers, removing seeds and ribs.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat and add tofu. Sauté for 5 minutes , stirring often ( you are essentially toasting the curry, giving it a deeper flavor.

Add peppers and edamamme and stir. Let cook 5 more minutes.

Add coconut milk and stock. Season with sea salt ( double check that your curry does not contain salt. If it does, the taste before adding additional salt )

Bring to a slow simmer and let cook about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tortilla chips.

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut 1 small corn tortilla into wedges. Place on non-stick cookie sheet or parchment paper.   Sprinkle with a little bit of water and top with a bit of sea salt

Toast for about 3 minutes, then flip and toast an additional 3   

 

Serve with chopped cilantro ( parsley if you don’t like cilantro ) a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and tortilla chips

Wanna see it closer?

This little bowl has some incredible flavor 🙂

Stay tuned…  Tomorrow’s recipe is out of this WORLD! 

 

***. If you cook with tofu, I highly recommend a tofu press.  What you save in paper towel will easily help pay for it..   Many people say they don’t like tofu, when in fact it was probably not prepared properly.  You NEED to press the water out of it. Tofu will take on the flavor of whatever you add to it.  Properly pressed and prepared tofu should have a texture similar to buffalo mozzarella cheese.

Similar recipes

smoked tofu tacos with chipotle-lime sauce

Ethiopian-spiced coconut tofu bowls 

coconut crusted chicken with grilled pineapple salsa

whelp, the school year is winding down..  My younger two kiddos are finishing up their classes at college and will be home next week! 

I was talking to my daughter yesterday and she asked what I was making for dinner.  And I told her. Poor thing…  Usually I don’t talk about what I’m cooking, because I know how tired they are with college food.  It just slipped out.. 

I swear. 

Coconut crusted chicken with grilled pineapple salsa 

For the salsa: 

Pineapple slices ( I used fresh, because the hubs had a pouty face at the store last week when he saw it.. And I told him we didn’t need a whole pineapple for the two of us . I got cheese, he got the pineapple. That’s how you stay married for 25 years 😉 

But you can use canned, just dry with a paper towel ) 

1 jalapeño

Handful of cilantro. ( if you don’t like cilantro,sub parsley.  It’s not your fault, the cilantro taste is a gene thing ) 

A few green onions

Juice and zest of one lime ( I used lemon because I had it.  Just pretend it’s a lime ) 

Sea salt and pepper 

*** Coconut oil 

Start by heating your grill or grill pan .

Coconut oil is solid if it’s under 60 degrees.  So heat it up either in a pan, in the microwave, or in a heat safe dish right on your grill! 

  

Brush veggies with coconut oil and grill until you get nice grill marks 

Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. 

When cool enough to handle, rough chop veggies ( except lemon) and toss together in a bowl 

  Squeeze lemon juice atop and set aside. 

For the chicken : 

2 chicken breasts

About 1/3 cup coconut flour

1 egg, lightly scrambled 

About 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Coconut oil for Cast iron skillet

Preheat oven to 350 

Start by seasoning your chicken with salt and pepper 

Dredge chicken in coconut flour, then egg, then coconut flakes 

  

Heat oil in oven safe dish (like cast iron 😉 ) and cook chicken on each side until  golden brown . Be careful not to let the coconut burn.  Chicken will not be fully cooked yet..

From here, transfer to oven and let finish cooking until internal temp is 165. Pull out, let rest for 5 minutes, then slice. 

I served ours on a bed of baby spinach with the salsa on top and a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds 

  

I’m so excited to have my kiddos come home so that I can cook for them again! 

Enjoy! 

more meals featuring grilled fruit 

Pork chops with mango jalapeño sauce

Grilled watermelon salad

turkey-stuffed peppers with dried cranberries,pine nuts and feta

today’s recipe comes to you courtesy of a still rainy day and a trip to the store that had me wandering and tapping into my inner rumbly tumbly. 

It all started when I saw watermelon on sale…  And where there’s watermelon,there’s feta. And since I was buying the feta, I decided to include it in my stuffed peppers.  A quick look around the kitchen when I got home, and voila! 

Turkey-Stuffed peppers with dried cranberries, pine nuts and feta 

1 pound ground turkey breast 

1 cup cooked whole grain rice 

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

1/4 cup red wine 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/4 cup pine nuts ( you could sub a less expensive nut, maybe walnuts? I just happened to have these in my fridge ) 

3 peppers 

Big handful of flat leaf parsley 

1 large egg 

A few gratings of nutmeg 

1tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

  

Start my charring your peppers.   Simply place over a gas fire or under the broiler. You can skip this step, but I really think it adds flavor.  Using tongs, careful place on cutting board allowing to cool. 

  

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small cast skillet over medium heat.  Watch carefully..  They burn quickly. 

Pour wine over cranberries and heat up either in small pot on  the stove or in the microwaves. This reconstitutes them and add tons of flavor 

When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove seeds. Place peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish . 

Chop parsley fine and mix with turkey, egg, rice,pine nuts, feta, cranberries ( with juice) and spices,  season with salt and pepper. 

Divide mixture into 6 portions and carefully stuff each pepper . 

  

Cover with foil and bake at 350 until internal temp is 165. Remove foil, sprinkle with a bit more feta and let cook an additional 5 minutes.  

Serve alongside a salad! 

  

A balsamic glazed like I used in Goat cheese and beet salad would have been perfect as a drizzle on top, but I was surprisingly out of balsamic vinegar!   Must buy some soon! 

Other stuffed recipes 

Pork stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

Caprese- stuffed tomatoes

Lightened up cabbage rolls

Chicken sausage stuffed peppers

lightened-up cabbage rolls

happy Saturday, friends! 

When I was a little girl my very favorite meal was galumpkies. ( stuffed cabbage rolls) 

It was my go to meal for each and every birthday and special occasion. 

I remember my mom standing in the kitchen hand rolling each one and thinking how special it was that she was making them for me!

 I decided this week to try my hand at them, but I wanted to lighten-up the recipe.  I played around a little and was very pleased with the end result! 

  

12 cabbage leaves

1 pound ground turkey breast 

1 cup whole grain rice 

1 cup frozen spinach ( no need to defrost) 

1 egg

1 egg white 

1 onion, finely chopped ( divided) 

1/4 cup tomato paste 

Splash of red wine

1/2 cup chicken broth 

1 large can of whole tomatoes 

Sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme 

Start by gently pulling the leaves off of your cabbage.   Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add sea salt and gently add the leaves and let them cook until they soften a bit ( 5-7 min) 

Remove from water, let cool.   When cool enough to handle, slice a small upside down v down by the base and remove center ridge ( make for easier rolling ) 

Meanwhile. Mix turkey breast, cooked rice, spinach ( not drained) tomato paste and 1/2 of the chopped onion together.  Season with salt and pepper. 

  

Divide mixture into 12 portions. 

Working one at a time, add turkey mixture to base of cabbage leaf, and gently roll. 

In a baking dish, add tomatoes, the rest of the onion, the chicken stock and the wine. Stir. 

Remove about 1/2 cup of tomatoes and set aside 

Place cabbage rolls seam side down in the tomato sauce.  Once they are all wedged in the dish, top woth reserved tomatoes, salt, pepper and thyme and  rosemary sprig. 

  

Cover and bake at 350 until the center of the rolls registers 165 (35-40 minutes) 

  

Serve with cooking sauce and enjoy! 

If you happen to be counting weight watchers points, one roll with sauce is 3 points, 2 is 7 points.

 Enjoy! 

gnocchi in a lemon-ricotta cream sauce with prosciutto and spring peas

so… Did I grab your attention?

I posted a picture on my personal Facebook page the other day promising the recipe to my friends.

Since ya’ll are my friends, I’m sharing with you too!

This all started after a disappointing gnocchi dish a few weeks ago while out celebrating a friends’ birthday.

Also responsible is me going to trader joes while very hungry. BIG mistake!

But this recipe came as a result of the trip, so everyone wins!

Trust me… You want to run out and get the ingredients today. This is amazeballs!

1 package gnocchi ( you can find it at most grocery stores near the dried
pasta)

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup ricotta cheese **
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh PEAS ( Tjs has a good sized bag of shelled peas for 4 bucks… If you can’t find fresh, use frozen petite peas)
2 – 3 slices Parma prosciutto
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley to garnish

(This whole meal can be made in 15 minutes )

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, In a skillet, over medium heat melt butter and olive oil ; add shallots and reduce to low. Season with salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes (shallots so start to wilt) add wine, stir to pic up any loose bits in the pan and simmer until liquid is decreased by half. Turn off heat.

When the water is boiling, add gnocchi. Stir. They should cook within 3-5 minutes. Test one. If it’s tender, add the peas and let cook 1 minute. carefully remove about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve.

Drain gnocchi and peas and set aside.

Tear up prosciutto and add to now empty stockpot with a tiny bit of olive oil. They should start to crisp up.

Add ricotta directly to procuitto as well as the lemon zest and juice. Return gnocchi and peas back to the pot as well as the sautéed shallots and any remaining juice . Cover for 1 minute so that the ricotta warms up, then stir, adding reserved cooking liquid a little bit at a time until nice and creamy ( you may not need all of the liquid)

Season with salt and pepper

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

Enjoy!

***. There are varying degrees of quality when it comes to ricotta

In a recipe such as this, it’s important to use a high quality cheese.
Most ricotta in the grocery store by the pre-packaged cheese are full of things that make it the consistency of jello. Yuck.

Many stores now offer fresh ricotta in the gourmet cheese section. It’s more expensive, but worth every penny.

You could attempt to make it yourself as I did HERE
It’s easy and fun, I promise!

Or, if you are lucky enough to live by a trader joes, they carry a fabulous… Almost as good as homemade whole milk ricotta for under 4 bucks! I should take stock in this cheese. I could easily live on it for the rest of my life!

Ciao! Go make this!

IMG_3436-3.JPGRelated recipes

Sweet pea salad with goat cheese

%d bloggers like this: