Monday, January 23

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups

These were super easy to throw together and unbelievably yummy! Not to mention they just looked pretty when I put them on the table ;) Most definitely not the healthiest recipe, but you have to have some comfort food once in a while! I think I may do this again for a meatless meal.

*I plan on freezing this batch. When I'm ready to bake them I'll just pull it out in the morning to thaw and reheat in a 375 oven.

2 C cooked chicken *I used half of a rotisserie chicken from Kroger*
1 C ricotta cheese
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese plus 2 T for sprinkling
1/4 C crumbled fetta cheese
1/4 C milk
2 T parsley
1/4 t Italian seasoning *optional*
1/8 t pepper
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 C favorite spaghetti sauce
1 C frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
1/2 C chopped mushrooms *I used crimini, they have great flavor*

In medium bowl combine chicken, cheeses, milk, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Spread 1/3-1/2 C mixture on each noodle and pat into a flat line down the middle of the noodle; roll up like a jelly roll. In a 9x13 baking dish spread 1 C spaghetti sauce until bottom is coated. Arrange lasagna noodles seam side down in the sauce in the pan. Top with remaining sauce down the middle of each roll. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley on each one. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

*I found through trial and error the easiest way to do this is get your water to a rolling boil and drop your noodles in one at a time. I cooked mine for two minutes less than the recommended time. After they were done I laid out a sheet of aluminum foil and using tongs to transfer each noodle to the foil. I found that doing it this way helped avoid tearing the noodles. After they are laid out top with cheese mixture, roll up and place in pan and then throw away the foil and the mess! 

Wednesday, January 4

Quinoa and black bean tacos

I found this recipe for quinoa and black bean salad on my favorite food blog, Mel's kitchen cafe, but once I had it made it just wasn't very good as a salad like side dish. So I put it in a tortilla with tomatoes, avocados, sour cream and cheese. AmAzInG!!! The salad is slightly spicy and the avocados are so smooth and creamy, the flavors just blend perfectly. Mellie LOVED it and gobbled up three giant tacos. It was such a healthy meal I had no issue letting her have seconds and thirds. I'm so glad she likes quinoa since she's not a big meat eater. The first few times I made it no one really liked it then I came across some tips for making it taste better. You need to soak it for 15min-1 hour and then rinse it really well before cooking. Then instead of using the 2:1 water to quinoa ratio usually suggested drop it down to about 1.5:1 and cook it on a lower heat for about 20-25 minutes. It produces such a light and fluffy texture. SO good!!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1  cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen/canned sweet white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the quinoa  and sauté for a minute or two. Cover with broth, stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).
Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 6

Mozzarella-Baked Gnocchi

2 packages vacuum-packed gnocchi (I think they run about 15.75 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can diced Italian-style tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 to 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (I use a full pound, because we like it really cheesy)

1. Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water, one minute shy of directions on package; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Heat to boiling. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

4. Add sauce to cooked gnocchi. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese.

5. Broil until cheese is melted and begins to blister. Serve.

Leftover Stuffing Frittata

We had a TON of stuffing left over and I really didn't want to throw it away so I googled recipes until I came across one that I thought everyone would like. This one was a hit. Melody was the only one that had issue with it and that's only because I dared to put sausage in it lol!

  • 2 to 3 cups leftover stuffing
  • 1-2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby 
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


Preheat broiler.
Coat an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Put stuffing in the bottom of pan to warm and stir to break up a little. Sprinkle cheese over top.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, mustard powder, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over stuffing and cheese to cover stuffing. Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Cook on stovetop over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until egg is cooked through and cheese is golden and bubbly.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Serve with sliced tomatoes

Friday, October 28

Flank Steak Stir Fry

I found this recipe because I had some flank steak and no idea what to do with it. It just so happened that asparagus AND red peppers were on sale. It was providence! So so yummy! If you like asparagus you will LOVE this. Jared wished he had doubled the sauce, but he likes things extra saucy. I think it was fine as it was.

3 T vegetable oil
1 lb asparagus trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
1 lb flank steak sliced into long, thin strips
2 red bell peppers sliced into strips
2 t cornstarch dissolved into 3 T water

all purpose stir fry sauce
3 T soy sauce
1 t finely chopped, fresh ginger (i didn't have fresh so I used powdered)
1 sm clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 green onion, including green tops, chopped finely
1/2 t chili oil ( I used 1/2 t vegetable oil with a dash of cayenne pepper)

1. While chopping ingredients, bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Parboil the asparagus for two minutes, drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside. If you are planning to serve this dish with rice start that now.

2.Prepare the all purpose stir fry sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Stir fry the asparagus in a wok (or thick bottomed pan with at least 2" sides that can take high heat) in 1 T of oil, on high heat, for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove asparagus from the pan and set aside.

4. Add another 1 T of oil to the pan and stir fry the beef strips, in two batches if necessary, for 2-3 minutes until browned but still pink inside. Return the first batch of beef to the pan and add the bell pepper. Stir and toss over high heat until just beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes.

5. Quickly stir the cornstarch liquid and add it to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Return the asparagus to the pan, toss to evenly coat and serve with steamed rice

Friday, October 14

Acorn Squash Soup

All I can say is YUM! We had this with some yummy, crusty bread and it filled us right up!

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups mashed cooked acorn squash
  • 1/2 cube cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery in butter. Stir in flour, bouillon, dill, curry and cayenne until blended. Gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the squash, salt and pepper; heat through.
  2. In a blender, process the soup in batches until smooth, add cream cheese at this point into one of the batches. Pour into bowls; garnish with bacon.

Monday, October 10

chicken and dumpling soup

Yet another recipe from Melanie at Mel's kitchen cafe. I swear over half of my weekly menu comes from her site!

*Serves 6

Chicken and Broth:
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2-3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
*I did two chicken breasts, but after I shredded it it seemed like way too much, so I halved it. Next time I'll only do one.*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots (6-7 baby carrots), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
*I double the veggies because I like them :)*

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

In a large pot, boil the chicken broth, water and chicken breasts until the chicken is cooked through and tender (about 15 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the broth in the pot, and shred the chicken with two forks. Set the chicken aside and keep the broth warm on the stove.

While the chicken is boiling, in a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the celery, carrots and onions. Saute for about 6-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the vegetables to the hot broth in the pot after the chicken has been removed. Add salt, thyme and pepper to the vegetable/broth mixture and stir to combine. Heat the soup to a simmer.

In a small bowl, blend ½ cup cold water and 1/4 cup flour with a wire whisk until smooth. Whisking vigorously, slowly add the flour mixture into the hot vegetables and broth and whisk until well combined. Add ½ cup frozen peas and the reserved chicken and cook, stirring gently for one minute.

For the dumplings, in a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, milk and oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined (don't overmix, it is ok if there are a few dry spots of flour here and there).

Heat the soup to boiling and drop teaspoonful amounts (the dumplings should be small, they'll expand while cooking) of dumpling dough into the boiling soup, covering the entire surface of the soup (don't make more than one layer of dumplings). Reduce the heat to simmering, cover and let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid of the pot while the dumplings cook.

When the dumplings have cooked fully, remove the lid and gently stir the dumplings to break them apart. Serve.