Saturday, May 28, 2016

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake


16 oz of rigatoni pasta
1 jar of Alfredo pasta sauce
3 cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped or shredded
1 package of frozen chopped spinach, drained (you may only want to use about half of the package)
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp black paper


Preheat oven to 400º

Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside. 

Cook pasta according to directions (cook about 7 minutes).  Drain and return to pot. 

Add the sauce, chicken, spinach, artichokes, 1 tsp salt and pepper to the pasta. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper if necessary. 

Pour half of the pasta into the baking dish.  Top with half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Add the remaining pasta and top with the remaining cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Take off the foil and return to oven.  Turn on the broiler for 3 minutes or so, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. 

Source: Tide and Thyme

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tuscan Pasta


4 Tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
8 ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 cups milk
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more if needed
optional: fresh diced tomatoes and chopped basil


Cook noodles according to package.  Drain and drizzle with olive oil and set aside. 

In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, taking care not to let the garlic burn.  Stir in the basil.  Add the cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.  It will look curled at first, but with constant whisking for 2-3 minutes, it should come together to form a smooth, creamy past.  Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. 

Over medium heat, add the milk gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated into the sauce.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency.  

Serve over the noodles. 

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tortellini tomato soup


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or dried basil, be sure to check the conversion of fresh to dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 packages of frozen cheese tortellini


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the bay leaves. 

Add the tomatoes and broth.  Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes

Remove the bay leaves.  Use an immersion blender to blend the soup.  

Stir in the yogurt until well combined.  

Stir in the tortellini and cook on medium heat until cooked, about 7-8 minutes. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Sauce


2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup salsa
1 tsp cumin
corn tortillas
Your favorite taco toppings

1/2 ripe avocado
3/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt


To make the sauce:

Add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  You can add a bit of water if needed.  

To make the bean filling:

In a saucepan, combine beans, salsa and cumin.  Heat while stirring until heated through. Mash the beans slightly for a creamier filling. 

Assemble the tacos: 

Spoon the black bean mixture down the center of the tacos and top with the avocado sauce and your favorite toppings. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Baked Ziti


1 pound 1% cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
1 pound ziti or rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubes in 1/4 inch cubes


Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, eggs and 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. 

Cook pasta in a pot of salted water until it softens, but isn't cooked all the way (about 3 minutes short of the package directions) It will continue to cook in the oven. 

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add garlic.  When garlic is fragrant, but not browned, stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar, basil and oregano.  Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Take off heat and season with salt and pepper. 

Drain pasta and leave in colander.  Whisk together the cornstarch and milk.  Pour it into the empty pot on medium heat.  Bring the milk to a simmer and cook until thickened, whisking constantly (3-4 minutes)

Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup or so of the simmered tomato sauce, and half of the mozzarella cubes. Stir to combine. 

Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat well with the saucy mixture. 

Transfer the pasta to the prepared pan and pour the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the pasta. 

Spread the remaining mozzarella cubes and remaining parmesan cheese over the top.  

Cover the baking dish with foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 30 minutes. 

Remove the foil and and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. 

Freezable Meal: Prepare the recipe right up until the baking step and then cover with a double layer of aluminum foil that's been lightly greased with cooking spray. Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To bake, increase the time by another 20 minutes or so. If baking from frozen, bake covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Salmon Chowder


3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grown black pepper
1teaspoon dried dill weed
1 lb salmon, cooked (seasoned with salt and pepper and baked)
1 can evaporated milk  (12 oz)
1 can creamed corn
1 cup shredded cheese

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Sauté onion and celery until tender.  Add garlic powder.  Stir in potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, pepper and dill.  

Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes. 

Stir in salmon, evaporated milk, corm and cheese. 
Cook until heated through. 

Don't forget the Cheez-its!

Source: Allrecipies

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Green Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken


1 lb boneless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 green onions, chopped (separate the light and dark portions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can green chilies
2 tsp lime zest
3 tbsp lime juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups instant rice (DO NOT USE REGULAR RICE)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until cooked through.  Add in the lighter portions of the green onions and garlic when there is about 1 minutes left of cooking the chicken. 

Stir in broth, green portion of green onions, green chilies, lime zest, lime juice, black beans and season with salt and pepper.  

Bring to a boil and add rice.  Stir until rice is well mixed.  Allow to boil for 20 seconds and remove from heat.  Immediately cover with a lid and let rest 5-6  minutes. 

If needed, return pan to medium heat and continue cooking rice if there is excess moisture.  Remove form heat, add cilantro and rest for 3 minutes. 

Cooking Classy