Saturday, April 17, 2010

Turkey Spinach Lasagna

I found this one on Lauren's blog... see her comments here!

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (26-ounce) jars low-fat marinara sauce (or equivalent homemade)
  • 1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 8 cooked lasagna noodles or no-boil
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add turkey, onion,red pepper flakes and garlic; cook until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Add 5 3/4 cups marinara sauce; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Combine ricotta cheese, egg substitute, Parmesan, parsley, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and spinach; stir well. Spread remaining marinara sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over marinara; top with ricotta mixture and half of the mozzarella.
Spoon half of the turkey mixture over the mozzarella. Arrange the remaining noodles over turkey mixture. Top with remaining turkey mixture and mozzarella.Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

As I made this, I realized (too late, of course) that it never tells you in the recipe to use the second layer of cheese mixture...or actually, that it said to use the WHOLE mixture, and not just half of it. Oops. So, I popped that into the freezer to save for another time.

As far as sauce goes, I used part homemade, part what was left of a jar, and part of another jar (which was spicy marinara). The combo was awesome, and this was definitely made even better with the extra spice.

This was fairly easy to make (although I wish I had known that I had no boil lasagna; that would've saved some time!) and got rave reviews. I had a lot of leftover, after 3 ate dinner, and froze the leftovers.

This was really great. Thanks, Lauren, for sharing it!!

Cheddar Potato Soup

Original recipe here


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled We used turkey bacon


  • In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute onion and celery in butter for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in 2 cups milk, bouillon, salt and pepper. Combine flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add cheese and bacon; stir until cheese is melted. Yield: 10-12 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts).
My mom made this for us since I haven't really been able to do my freezer cooking for when the baby comes, although I had high hopes, a full fridge, and some great plans. This smelled soo good, and Mom said that she wanted the recipe and that she would double it in the future. We all had a taste, and decided to have it for dinner, with salad and some yummy bread. It made a great meal (we paired with ciabatta and semolina... both were great, but the ciabatta was just a little bit better.)

It was also a big hit with the 2.5 year old, who also ate salad and bread.

This made enough for our dinner, plus enough for us to have when the baby comes. We filled a 2qt container and 2 1qt containers with the leftovers.

Definitely make this soup!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken Penne with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Pesto Cream

Found this in Robin Rescues Dinner, online here.

Chicken Penne With Artichokes, Tomatoes and Pesto Cream
12 ounces penne pasta I used a whole box of rotini
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each), cubed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup heavy cream, or more as necessary
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cream and pesto and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside.
Fold in the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese and cook for 1 minute to heat through, adding more cream or a little water if necessary to create a thinner sauce. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 4.
Source: Robin Rescues Dinner by Robin Miller (Clarkson Potter; $19.99)
This was EXCELLENT. It was so easy to make too, the hardest thing was cooking the pasta or maybe cubing the chicken. I planned to make the suggested frisee, watercress, and pear salad as an accompaniment, but my frisee had gone bad, so no dice... I served with a regular salad, though. BAJ enjoyed this one too, but we couldn't get The Boy to even try his. This made a LOT, so I'll be bringing the leftovers in for lunch club.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pasta Primavera

I can't believe I haven't written about this one before. It's just a perfect, beautiful spring dish. It's easy, and it's delicious.

I had some asparagus in the fridge, and figured it would make a nice addition. I threw them on the pan with the roasted vegetables.

I've made this two or three times now, and can't figure out how to not char the veggies. I'm not sure if I'm letting them roast for too long, or if I'm cutting them too thin. It isn't really a problem flavorwise, but it is definitely a clean up problem.

This reheats well and is delicious as leftovers too.

We had a hard time getting A to eat the veggies. He loved the pasta part, of course loved the tomatoes, and liked the carrots too. He refused to try the other stuff, though.

Oh, and a wonderful addition. My friend took a bike tour of France this summer, and she brought me home some dried Herbs de Provence. These are in a burlap bag! For whatever reason, these are so much tastier than the jar of HdP I have from the grocery store. I really loaded the veggies up with this stuff, and I think it made them really tasty.

See Giada's original here.

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips Omitted
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta) I used small shells and rotini
15 cherry tomatoes, halved I used grape tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Spanish Sausage and Vegetable Kebabs

PhotobucketThis one is from Robin Miller's Robin Rescues Dinner.

M made this dinner, although I did help him out. These were tasty, but seemed to be missing something. There was an ingredient here or there that got left out, but nothing really major.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

This recipe was doomed. I got the meat in a huge hunk, cut it in half and froze half. I gave it a whirl, but forgot to turn the slow cooker ON after setting up the timer and everything. Damn. Next day, I remembered to turn the cooker on, but somehow messed up the timer. Damn. Threw out the meat, since it had been sitting out on the counter for two whole workdays.

Tried again with the frozen meat. WTH, again the timer was messed up. So, I just let it go from where I was, refridgerated it, and had it the next day.

I was concerned M wasn't going to like it, but he commented that it smelled REALLY good. He didn't like the corn tortillas at all, though, but said the carnitas themselves weren't bad.

I liked it... I wasn't thrilled with the corn tortillas because of their texture and that they sort of fell apart (maybe a different brand would be better?) but I really enjoyed their flavor with that of the meat. I thought the meat tasted great, esp considering how few ingredients there were to this one.

I wasn't really sure what toppings to use on this, though. I mentioned to M that he should treat it like a taco, so he topped it with black olives, sour cream, and cheese (we didn't have any of our usual toppings in the house), while I topped with sour cream, cheese, and avocado.

I had used up all my beef broth the first time I tried this one, so I tried chicken broth in the final take.... it still worked well.

This one comes from The Crockpot Lady, whose picture looks way better than mine ever would have (even if I had taken one). Check out her original post here.

2 pounds pork shoulder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
7 cloves garlic (whole intact)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup beef broth
corn tortillas
sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado (optional)

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork, then plop into the slow cooker. Add whole garlic cloves. Squeeze on the citrus, and pour the beef broth evenly over the top.Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds quite easily with a fork. If your meat is still fully intact after 8 hours, remove and cut into chunks, then return to the crock and flip to high for about an hour or two.Shred meat fully and serve on warmed corn tortillas with desired toppings.
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