Not exactly cooking, but…..

….so simple and delicious!

I have been pretty lazy lately about going to the grocery store. For some reason, I have lacked the motivation. Which is unusual because typically I love going grocery shopping!! So, needless to say, I am down to bare bones with what to cook.

Again, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw with barely a clue of what I was going to make. When I came home from work I scoured my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I could come up. I found some steam-ready green beans and a jar of Alfredo sauce, and this is what I created!

Weeknight Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut whole grain pasta, uncooked (like penne or rotini)
1 jar light Alfredo sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg frozen steam-ready green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauté pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Halfway through, add minced garlic.

Cook green beans according package directions. Add to sauté pan. Stir to combine. Pour half of the Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Stir.

Drain pasta and add to chicken and green beans. Add remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ENJOY!! 🙂

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Lemon Broccoli Chicken

Typical of me, before I left for work this morning, I laid some chicken breasts out to thaw while I was at work without a clue of what I was going to do them. So, I took to one of my favorite simple recipe site, Kraft, to find something that my family would enjoy. I also needed it to be quick, easy, and required few ingredients. I made a few changes from the original recipe to suit my family. For example, I substituted whole grain pasta for rice.

Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups whole grain pasta, uncooked (I used Penne)
2 cups chicken stock
1tbsp oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme
16 oz frozen broccoli florets, thawed
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine 4 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, likely about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and pepper. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.

Add cooking creme and broccoli. Cook and stir 2 min.

Once pasta is cooked, add to chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Add lemon zest and stir.

**Recipe Inspiration: Kraft Recipes

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This was a quick and easy recipe! Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Another family recipe!

As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life. Looking back, I can definitely admit I took a lot for granted growing up. Now that I’m older, and living away from my family, I look forward to and truly cherish any time I get to spend with my family. Family recipes are just one way that I pay tribute to how grateful I am for my family!

For the recipe below, I have to given credit to my Aunt. I have always loved family get togethers and cookouts because I could almost always guarantee that my Aunt was going to make this! In the case of today, it was in honor of college football. Even though our local team had a home game, we stayed home to cookout and watch the Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma game that was playing at about the same time. And what a great decision that was!!!!!

Rotini (Macaroni) Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut pasta, uncooked (I used Rotini because that’s what I had on hand)
1 cup light Miracle Whip
2 tbsp yellow mustard
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup Spelnda sugar blend
1/2 can fat free evaporated milk
Pinch of salt
Carrots, onions, celery, peppers, hard boiled eggs — to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine Miracle whip, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and evaporated milk. Stir until smooth.

Chop desired vegetables. I used shredded carrots and onion. I did not have celery on hand, but I normally would add that as well, and I never use peppers. Just do not like them in this salad.

In a large bowl, combine drained pasta, dressing mix, veggies. It will seem like too much, but as it sits the pasta absorbs the sauce. Place in refrigerator to cool. Stir in chopped egg just before serving.

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This would be a great addition to any get-together, cookout, or tailgate!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Accidental Pasta!

Well, to be honest…..I messed up tonight, but surprisingly it still turned out well! When I went to the grocery store earlier today, I intended to by RICOTTA cheese, but accidentlly bought COTTAGE cheese. And I did not realize it until I opened the container, thought to myself, “what’s wrong with this ricotta?!?!” After further investigation, it was clearly not ricotta.

I had thought back to a baked pasta recipe I had previously made, and thought I’d give it a try, and see how it turns out.

Here is what I came up with!

Lemon-Cottage Cheese Pasta

Ingredients:

1 fettuccine pasta (I used whole wheat)
3 tbsp olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 package frozen broccoli, thawed
4 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1/2 container fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli.

Drain pasta and broccoli. Return to the pot over low heat. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and thyme.

Toss to coat, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Add the cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Mix until pasta is coated evenly.

**Recipe inspiration: Crumb Blog

With the pasta, I served some roasted shrimp as follows:

12 oz extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on (about 20 shrimp for me)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. With her hands, make sure all the shrimp are evenly coated, and return to a single layer on the baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

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I’m still interested to see how it tastes with the ricotta! I’ll have to make sure I buy the right thing next time!!!! 🙂

ENJOY!!!!

Seafood Lasagna….and a free giveaway!

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved all kinds of seafood!! I know I told you before that scallops are my favorite, but all seafood is yummy!

With this recipe I was hoping to sway my husband’s negative opinion of crab. Unfortunately, it did not work. 😦

However, I absolutely loved it, and so did my son! 🙂

This is a versatile recipe. You can incorporate any combination of seafood that you and your family like. You could also use any vegetables or greens that suits your family. Below is the recipe for how I made it.

Seafood Lasagna

Ingredients:

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups lowfat milk
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 bag spinach
1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
12 no cook lasagna noodles
3/4 lb. deveined peeled large shrimp, cooked, cut into thirds
12 oz. crabmeat, drained, flaked
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour until well blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; simmer on low heat 3 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan; set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Once oil is hot, add spinach and grated garlic. Sauté until spinach is wilted.

In a bowl mix cottage cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, nutmeg, and sautéed spinach until well combined.

Spread 2/3 cup Parmesan sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles. Layer with half of each of the shrimp, crabmeat and spinach mixture; top with 2/3 cup of the Parmesan sauce. Repeat layers, starting with the noodles. Top with remaining noodles, Parmesan cheese sauce and mozzarella.

Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, uncovering after 25 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

I served it with a simple garden salad filled with my family’s favorite vegetables.

**Recipe credit: Kraft Recipes

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Entering the giveaway is easy! Leave a short comment (1-2 sentences) below with a suggested weekly challenge, like give up soda for a week. Slim Kicker will then select one of the challenges posted. The person responsible for the selected challenge will receive a free slow cooker!!

Good Luck….and ENJOY!!!

Cottage Cheese Pasta Bake

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Let me first say, I do not like cottage cheese! I will ever be a person to just have cottage cheese and fresh fruit. I vividly remember my mom doing this when I was younger, and I could never understand how she thought it tasted good?!?! However, this week I have learned that cottage cheese can be a healthier alternative to help bind or thicken.

I used it to make quinoa veggie burgers earlier this week (which were delicious), and I was racking my brain to try to figure out how I could use up the rest of the cottage cheese. I really did not want it to go to waste. I thought maybe it could be used in place of ricotta cheese. So, I began to do a little investigating on the computer. I came across a recipe that sounded good and easy to make, but I did not have all the ingredients needed.

Below is my take on the original recipe (http://morganmoore.typepad.com) my family was pleased with the result!! My husband even followed the meal up by saying, “Delicious lasagna!!” This made me laugh, and you can clearly tell by his statement why I do all the cooking!!

Cottage Cheese Pasta Bake

2 tbsp olive oil
1 box short cut pasta (like ziti, rotini, etc.)
1 package frozen turkey meatballs
2 onions, chopped
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 jars of Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.

Bake meatballs according to package directions. Let cool, then dice into bite size pieces. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add pasta sauce, diced meatballs, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley & garlic powder. Mix thoroughly. Add pasta to cottage cheese mixture.

Spread 1/3 of meat mixture on the bottom of a greased 13×9 inch glass baking dish.

Spoon pasta mixture into the baking dish and add remaining sauce to the top.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and add the shredded cheese. Cook another 5 minutes uncovered to melt the cheese.

ENJOY!