July 28, 2011

Week 46 Side: Tomatoes and Potatoes with Avocado-Dill Dressing

  • This seems like a lot of work but it's really not as you blend the first 9 ingredients in a food processor or blender. The salad makes for a beautiful presentation for a get together.
  • Recipe from Fresh & Fast Vegetarian

Blend/food process together:
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped cucumber (use a seedless or remove seeds by slicing in half lengthwise and scooping out seeds with a spoon)
  • 1/2 c. lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh dill, including delicate stems
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
  • 3-4 c. lightly packed mixed salad greens or baby spinach
  • 8 thick slices of 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 lb small to medium Yukon Gold potatoes, halved if large
1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and over with water. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, over medium heat until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.
2. Combine all the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.
3. To assemble: spread half of avocado dressing on a large serving platter. Layer the sliced potatoes on top of the dressing and top with the cucumber slices. Distribute the salad greens over the potatoes and cucumbers and top with overlapping tomato slices and onion slices. Drizzle more dressing over the top of each tomato slice, reserving the extra to serve on the side. Sprinkle the salad with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with extra dill if desired.

Week 46 Side: Summer Veggies Kabobs

  • A great way to use up garden veggies (or fresh summer produce!)
  • Recipe from Southern Living
  • Wooden or metal skewers
  • 8 c. assorted cut veggies (peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, eggplant, etc.)
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. If using wood skewers, soak in water for one hour.
  2. Whisk together wine through salt and reserve 1/4 c.
  3. In a large bowl, combine veggies and remaining marinade. Toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  4. Remove veggies, discard marinade and thread veggies on skewers (keep the same veggie on one skewer for even cooking).
  5. Grill on both sides (tomatoes and onions will take least amount of time) until lightly browned.
  6. Serve with reserved 1/4 c. marinade.

Week 46, Recipe 1: Ham, Potato, & Broccoli Frittata

  • Original recipe from Fresh & Fast Vegetarian
  • This is a tasty, filling dinner and makes great leftovers
  • The amount of eggs you use depends on the size of your skillet. I have a fairly large one so I use 8-10 eggs. For a medium-sized skillet, use 6.
  • 1/4 c. canola or olive oil
  • 2 c. diced Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1/2 c. chopped red onion (or green onion)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you don't have smoked
  • 1 broccoli stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces and steamed/cooked for 3 minutes until just slightly tender
  • 1 c. diced ham
  • 6-10 eggs (depending on size of skillet
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese - mozzarella, Parmesan or Swiss (I used a combination of Parmesan and mozzarella)
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add oil and when it's hot enough to sizzle a piece of potato, spread the potatoes in the pan and cook, turning occasionally until they are evenly browned and tender, 10-15 minutes.
2. Preheat the broiler in your oven.
3. Add the onion and ham and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt and smoked paprika.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 2 tbsp water and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Sprinkle the cooked broccoli over the potatoes, then the eggs over the broccoli, and the cheese on top.
6. Cook over medium to medium-low heat, tilting the pan to allow the uncooked eggs int eh center to run under the set eggs around the edges, for about 5 minutes or until almost set.
7. Cook for 1-5 minutes under your broiler (about 2 inches from the heat) until top of frittata is lightly browned.
8. Cut into wedges and serve.

Week 46, Recipe 2: Pesto & Beef (or Sausage) Stuffed Shells

  • This recipe freezes really well.
  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • 20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed freshly chopped herbs - thyme, basil, oregano (optional but use if you've got them in your garden!)
  • 1 15-oz carton ricotta cheese
  • 2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. pesto
  • 1 egg
  • 1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce, divided
1. Cook pasta shells just shy of al dente (1 minute less than package directions). Remove, drain and rinse in cold water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
3. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, fresh herbs (if using), 1 1/2 c. Italian cheese blend, Parmesan cheese, pesto, egg and half the beef mixture.
4. Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Spoon cheese mixture into the pasta shells and place over sauce in baking dish.
5. Combine remaining beef mixture and spaghetti sauce and pour over shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. You can freeze this or refrigerate for 24 hours before baking. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes (longer if moving directly from the fridge to the oven) and then uncovered 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Week 46, Recipe 3: Pepperoni & Broccoli Calzones

  • Recipe modified from allrecipes.com
  • This is the second recipe with broccoli this week - I finally got some from our garden!
  • These freeze well so double the recipe if you want! Stuff and freeze calzones on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes - 1 hour. Remove, place in ziplock and freeze until ready to use. To cook, remove from freezer and thaw for a day in the fridge or at room temp for several hours then bake as directed below.
  • 1 head fresh broccoli, cut into large pieces
  • 1 c. Italian blend cheese or a mixture of shredded provolone and mozzarella
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 c. Pepperoni, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 recipe pizza dough (1 of my pizza dough recipes will make 4-6 calzones, depending on the size you want)
  • Marinara or Ranch sauce, for dipping
1. Cook or steam broccoli for about 5 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain and chop into smaller pieces. Place in a large bowl with cheeses, garlic, pepperoni, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a  large rectangle. Divide into 4 or 6 equal rectangular pieces.
3. Place filling in a strip on one side of each rectangle and flatten with a spoon. Fold dough over filing and seal by pressing the tines of a fork around the seam. Prick top of cazlones with the tines of the fork to allow for the steam to escape.
4. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 425 for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce.

Week 46, Recipe 4: Corn & Chile Quesadillas

  • 2 Anaheim chiles, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 c. (about 2 ears) fresh corn, cooked 3-5 minutes in boiling water, cooled and cut off cob
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 c. Mexican blend cheese, Cheddar or Monterrey Jack
  • Salsa, sour cream, avocado
  • Flour tortillas
1. In a large skillet, add corn, corn, salt and pepper to taste and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chopped roasted chiles and remove from heat.
2. Wipe your skillet clean or heat a large electric skillet if you have one.
3. Spray one side of each tortilla with cooking spray and place one tortilla (oiled side down) on skillet. Top with green chile mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Top with other tortilla (oiled side up) and cook 3-5 minutes on one side or until lightly browned. Flip and cook the other side.
4. Slide quesadilla onto a plate and cut into 4 triangles. Serve with salsa, sour cream and avocado.

Week 46, Recipe 5: Creamy Pesto Pasta

Not a great picture but really delicious!
  • Recipe modified from Simply in Season
  • We added sliced grilled chicken to the recipe. Grilled or sauteed shrimp would also be good.
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1 c. pesto
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine
  • Grilled chicken (use the pesto to baste while grilling) or shrimp (optional)
1. Cook noodles according to directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add flour and cook 3 minutes (do not brown). Add milk and bring to a boil. Cook gently 5 minutes.
3. Stir in pesto and salt and remove from heat.
4. Combine drained pasta noodles with sauce and toss until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.  

Week 46 Dessert: Peach Crumble

  • Yum! Peach season has begun. Can't get enough of these and this is a tasty recipe, especially when served with vanilla ice cream.
  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • 6 c. sliced peeled ripe peaches
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional
1. Place peaches in a large bowl. Add the 1/4 c. brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon and toss lightly to combine.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, 1 c. brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in egg until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Spread peaches evenly in a greased 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the peaches and pour butter evenly over topping.
4. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes. Serve with ice cream if desired.

July 21, 2011

Week 45, Recipe 1: Roasted Garden Veggies with Sausage & Pasta

  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • I'm starting to get lots of squash and zucchini so you're going to start to see recipes that use these tasty summer veggies more often.
  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or a mixture of fresh basil, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Transfer to a large baking pan coated with cooking spray. Roast at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned, stirring once halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
3. While pasta cooks, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato puree, Italian seasoning/herbs and brown sugar and 1 tsp salt.
4. Drain pasta; stir in tomato mixture and roasted vegetables. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese.

Week 45, Recipe 2: Make-ahead Egg Salad & Cucumber Sandwiches

  • Make the egg salad ahead of time and store in fridge until ready to assemble sandwiches.
  • I prefer egg salad on toasted bread - whole wheat, sourdough, whatever you like.
  • If taking leftovers for lunch, pack the bread and egg salad separately and assemble sandwich when you're ready to eat. Otherwise the bread gets super soggy.
  • Modified from Taste of Home.
  • 1/2 c. chopped red onion
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Bread of choice, sliced and toasted
1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Add eggs and stir gently to combine.
2. In another bowl, toss cucumber and dill.
3. Spread egg salad over toasted bread and top with cucumbers, lettuce, tomato or any other desired toppings.

Week 45, Recipe 3: Chicken (or Turkey) Marinara Burgers

  • This is the first of two sandwiches again this week. Something about summer makes these fresh toasty sandwiches so good.
  • These burgers freeze well and the recipe below makes only 2 burgers so double it if you need more.
  • Modified from Cooking Light
  • 1 loaf ciabatta or ciabatta or foccacia rolls
  • 1 garlic clove, minced and 1 clove cut in half
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 c. marinara sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Bread crumbs (use enough to be able to form patties with the meat mixture)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Provolone or Mozzarella slices
  • 8 basil leaves
1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, combine meat, 1/4 c. marinara, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, salt and black pepper. If meat is too wet, add bread crumbs (1/4 c. at a time) until you can form patties.
3. Divide into 2 portions, 1/4-inch thick.
4. Grill on a grill pan coated with cooking spray over the grill (turkey and chicken burgers tend to fall apart more easily than beef). Turn patties when browned and cooked on one side. Top with sliced cheese after turning the first time.
5. Grill bread, cut side down until lightly browned. Remove and rub the halved garlic on the toasted sides.
6. To assemble the sandwich: layer bottom half of each roll with 2 basil leaves,  patty, 1 tbsp-ish marinara, 2 basil leaves and the top of the bread.

Week 45, Recipe 4: Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper, & Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

  • Despite the lengthy name, these sandwiches are easy to assemble. You can buy your own red pepper and roast it under your broiler or buy a jar of roasted red peppers (usually much more costly than doing it yourself!).
  • Make your own pesto or buy the pre-made pesto at your grocery store.
  • This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.
  • Modified from Woman's Day
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tbsp-ish olive oil
  • 1/4 c. pesto (see link under NOTES above for how to make your own)
  • 4 ciabatta rolls or a ciabatta loaf
  • Cheese of choice - sliced provolone, havarti, feta crumbles, ricotta, etc.
  • 2 red bell peppers roasted (see NOTES above for how to make your own)
1. Heat grill to medium. Brush both sides of sliced eggplant with oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Grill eggplant until slightly charred and tender, about 3 minutes per side.
3. Toast bread on grill just until warmed.
4. Spread pesto on the bottom piece of bread and top with eggplant, cheese and roasted red pepper (and salt and pepper to taste).

Week 45, Recipe 5: Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Photo by Taste of Home

  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • This recipe makes two 13x9-inch pans so you can freeze one for later!
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, cut into small pieces or shredded
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 small can green chilies, undrained
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, cubed
  • 16ish flour tortillas
  • 4 c. Mexican cheese blend or Monterrey Jack cheese
1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, soup, sour cream, green chilies, green onions, milk, and sour cream.
2. Spread about 3/4-1 c. of sauce in the bottom of two 13x9-inch greased pans.
3. Add the chicken to the remaining sauce mixture along with the cubed cream cheese. Stir to combine.
4. Place chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in baking dishes.
5. Pour remaining soup mixture over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.
6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cover and freeze the remaining casserole. When ready to cook the other casserole, thaw in fridge overnight. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes then bake 10 minutes longer uncovered until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

July 14, 2011

Week 44, Recipe 1: Pesto (Chicken) Pizza

  • We had some leftover rotisserie chicken so we threw it on the pizza but feel free to leave off. It would be equally as good.
  • Homemade pesto is very easy to make (see below the pizza recipe) if you have access to basil. In order to make enough pesto for one pizza, I used two cups of lightly packed basil.
  • 1 pizza dough (please note that my pizza dough recipe makes 2 really thin crusts or 1 thick crust. I like to double the recipe and make three thin-ish crusts and freeze 1 or 2 of them before letting them rise).
  • 1/2 c. basil pesto
  • A mixture of provolone (I used deli slices), Parmesan, and Italian cheeses (I used the pre-shredded Italian Style cheese)
  • Shredded chicken (optional)
  • Grape tomatoes, halved
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and if using a pizza stone, make sure it's preheated for at least 15-20 minutes on the lower rack.
2. Roll out pizza dough and place on a greased pizza pan (start out on the pan even if switching to the stone - see step 4).
3. Cook for 5ish minutes on the pizza pan at 500 degrees until the crust is starting to dry.
4. Remove and spread basil on top, chicken, tomatoes and cheeses
5. Slide pizza back into the oven off the pizza pan and onto the pizza stone (if using). Cook another 10-15 minutes.

Homemade Pesto
  • Pesto freezes really well. Leave out the Parmesan cheese if freezing to add later when preparing your food.
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 c. lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts or walnuts (I use walnuts because they're so much cheaper!)
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
1. Toast the unpeeled garlic in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, turning the cloves occasionally until fragrant and spotty brown, about 7 minutes. Let cool before peeling.
2. Toast the nuts in the same skillet, shaking the skillet occasionally until they are lightly browned, 3 to 8 minutes.
2. Process the peeled garlic, basil, oil, nuts, Parmesan and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Week 44, Recipe 2: Easy Dill Chicken Tenders

  • These chicken tenders cam together in about 15 minutes and are deliciously crunchy.
  • To make the squash saute, sliced yellow and green zucchini and saute in olive oil until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and toss with fresh herbs of choice (I like parsley, basil, chives).
  • Original recipe from Real Simple
  • Chicken strips - buy pre-cut strips or chicken breasts and cut into wide strips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. freshly copped dill
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Ranch dressing or ketchup for dipping
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. In one shallow bowl, beat eggs.
3. Measure 2 c. panko bread crumbs and freshly chopped dill in another bowl.
4. Heat 1/4 to 1/2-inch of oil in a frying pan. Dip chicken into egg then the panko/dill mixture and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once.

Week 44, Recipe 3: Spinach and Sausage Calzones

  • Original recipe modified from Simple and Delicious, suggested by a relative (thanks April!)
  • These were really tasty and froze so easily. I made four to eat right away and froze four for later (used two pizza crusts). To eat the frozen ones, remove and thaw at room temp for 2 hours or so or put in the fridge and thaw overnight. Bake as directed below.
  • The recipe below makes 8 calzones (some to freeze!)
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage (I like the spicy kind)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pizza crust - enough to make 2 pizzas. Keep in mind my recipe makes two very thin crusts or one thick. I like to double the recipe and make 3 crusts, freezing one or two of them before letting them rise.
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded \mozzarella cheese
  • Approximately 4 c. cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • Pizza or marinara sauce for dipping
1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Meanwhile, roll out pizza crusts and pat into two 15-in. x 11-in. rectangles. Cut each rectangle into four smaller rectangles. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over half of each rectangle to within 1 in. of edges.
2. Drain sausage. Add spinach and garlic and stir over medium heat until spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the ricotta cheese, salt and pepper and fresh basil if using.
3. Spread meat/spinach mixture over mozzarella cheese. Fold dough over filling; press edges with a fork to seal.
4. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Week 44, Recipe 4: Black Bean & Beef Taco Salads


  • Make the meat and bean mixture the night/morning before for a quick dinner prep.
  • If your kids don't like the salad option, make them a burrito with a flour tortilla using the same ingredients.
  • Modified from Taste of Home
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (buy a packet or make your own)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed ad drained
  • Lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 red or green pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Shredded Mexican-style, Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. milk (2% if you have it)
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • Avocado for topping
  • Tortilla chips
1. In a large skillet, cook beef, jalapeno and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Stir in water and taco seasoning.Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in beans.
3. Divide lettuce among serving bowls. Top with beef mixture, veggies and cheese.
4. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, salsa and milk. Drizzle over salads and arrange chips around the edges (or crumble over top like I did).

Week 44, Recipe 5: Curried Scallops and Rice

  • Make the rice the night/morning before you eat for a 10 minute dinner prep! It was NOT spicy.
  • This had lots of flavor and was really delicious.
  • Scallops have a very light flavor - like lobster or crab. Cut them up if you need to once cooked if your kids shy away from seafood.

Rice -
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Scallops -
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 lb sea scallops
  • Red pepper, cut into strips (or save time and use a frozen package of pepper strips)
  • 1/4 c. fresh minced parsley
1. For rice, saute 1/4 cu. onions and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in rice and curry powder. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until rice is lightly browned. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (according to your rice package's instructions - probably 20-40 minutes).
2. Season scallops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute scallops in 2 tbsp butter until firm and opaque. remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute pepper until tender. Stir in the rice and scallops, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

July 7, 2011

Week 43 Notes

  • Another week of fresh, delicious and healthy recipes!
  • I have lots of green onions, herbs, spinach, and lettuce in my garden so you'll find that the recipes are based around that. These items are in season now so get them from your local grocer, your local farmer's market or your own garden!
  • I do not think I will do the weekly shopping list anymore. It seems just as easy to print the recipes you would like to make and then write your own list. Please let me know if this is a feature you're truly miss and I will reconsider.
  • Enjoy!

Week 43, Recipe 1: Grilled Basil Chicken Sandwiches

  • This was a really tasty meal and something I'll serve at a summer BBQ.
  • Another recipe this week uses ciabatta bread or foccacia bread so depending on how many are in your family, one bag of rolls (look in the bakery section of your grocer) could work for both meals. They get stale fairly quick so plan to have the sandwich meals earlier in the week.
  • Found this recipe in Sunset from www.myrecipes.com
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch basil
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 chicken breast breasts (you're going to pound them out to 1/4-inch thickness so 2 breasts is enough for 4 sandwiches)
  • 4 slices ciabatta or foccacia bread
  • 1 tomato, cut into slices
1. Heat grill to medium.
2. Whirl mayo, all but 4 leaves of basil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Remove 2 tbsp to baste chicken with.
3. Sandwich chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until 1/4 inch thick.
4. Grill chicken, basting each side with the reserved 2 tbsp mayo mixture and turning as needed, until cooked through and well browned, about 8-10 minutes.
5. Brush both sides of bread with mayo mixture (save some to serve on the side) and grill on both sides.
6. Lay chicken on mayo side of bread. Top each sandwich with a tomato slice and a basil leaf and serve the remaining mayo on the side.

Week 43, Recipe 2: Easy Homemade Pasta Alfredo with Shrimp

  • This recipe comes together very quickly and was really tasty.
  • 16 oz of noodles - fettuccine or linguine of choice. I had some frozen spinach noodles that I needed to use and they worked great.
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Shrimp - precooked or raw
1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Dry shrimp with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Cook in butter until pink, turning once (about 4-5 minutes for precooked, 7-10 minutes for raw). Add garlic if using during the last 30 seconds of cooking.
3. In a saucepan, melt remaining butter. Add flour and whisk to mix. Add cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a slow boil then reduce heat. Boil gently for 3-5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken slightly, stirring often.
4. Remove Alfredo sauce from heat and stir in Parmesan. Drain noodles and add to hot Alfredo sauce along with shrimp. Toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan.

Weeek 43, Recipe 3: Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Feta

  • These were tasty and filling sandwiches!
  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half then sliced into 1/4-inch long slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut in half then sliced into 1/4-inch long slices
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 red or orange pepper, cut into 1-2 inch slices
  • 1/4 c. Italian salad dressing
  • Ciabatta or Foccacia rolls
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5-10 basil leaves, minced
  • Crumbled feta cheese
1. Combine cut veggies with Italian dressing in a large ziplock bag. Seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Drain and discard marinade.
2. Preheat grill to medium heat. Slice rolls in half and brush cut sides with oil; set aside. Grill veggies in a grilling pan or rack over the grill for 3-5 minutes per side or until crisp tender. Remove and keep warm.
3. Grill bread, oil side down over medium heat until just toasted, 30-60 seconds.
4. In a small bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice, garlic and basil. Spread over top and bottom of cut sides of bread. Top bottom side of bread with feta cheese then veggies, a little salt and pepper, and remaining bread.

Week 43, Recipe 4: Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna

  • What a great way to use up a lot of spinach (and fresh basil). Whether it's from your garden, grocery store, or farmer's market, get it while you can! We just harvested our last crop last week until I plant again for a fall harvest.
  • Recipe modified from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
  • The recipe freezes well and can be made the day before and stored in fridge until ready to bake. If moving straight from the fridge to the oven, cooking time may lengthen a bit.
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if it's a lot less expensive)
  • 1 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. fresh minced basil
  • As much spinach (chopped) as you want...I used a whole large ziplock full of fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 jar marinara sauce plus 1 small can crushed tomatoes
  • Lasagna noodles, about 12-14
  • 4 c. (1 lb) shredded mozzarella

1. Boil lasagna noodles a few minutes shy of al dente. Drain and place on wax paper until ready to assemble lasagna.
2. Heat several tbsp of olive oil in a large pot (with high sides) over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until browned. Add minced garlic and chopped spinach, freshly ground pepper and 1/4 tsp salt and saute for a minute or so, until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
3. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
4. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 c. of the Parmesan, the basil, egg, salt and pepper until well combined.
5. To assemble:
  • Spread 1/4 c. of sauce (a mixture of the marinara and crushed tomatoes) in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.
  • Layer 4 noodles over top and then spread about half of the ricotta mixture over noodles.
  • Spread half of the spinach mixture over ricotta.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of mozzarella over spinach.
  • Spread 1/3 of remaining sauce evenly over the spinach.
  • Repeat this layering - noodles, ricotta, spinach, cheese and sauce one more time.
  • For the final layer, spread remaining sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
6. Spray a sheet of foil with oil, cover the lasagna and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling, about 20-30 minutes longer. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Week 43, Recipe 5: Ranch Chicken Pizza

  • This was delicious and definitely a kid pleaser!
  • 1 pizza dough
  • Ranch salad dressing, about 1/4 -1/2 c.
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese 
  • Shredded or chopped cooked chicken (feel free to buy a rotisserie chicken for convenience and use for several meals!)
  • Jalapeno slices (optional)
1. Roll out pizza dough onto a floured counter top.
2. Place dough on an oiled pizza pan.
3. Bake pizza dough in a preheated 500 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until starting to dry. 
4. Remove pizza from oven, spread ranch sauce over dough, sprinkle with mozzarella, tomato, jalapeno (if using), green onion, chicken and cheddar cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 8-15 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese in melted.