A new school year is just around the corner. I went into Walmart and picked up the kids supply list and it made me think of the busy year ahead. Everybody needs quick meals to make during a busy week. Here are a few of our favorites.
Spinach Artichoke Pasta
source: The Pioneer Women
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min.
6 Tablespoons Butter
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
2 bags Baby Spinach
2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 cups Milk
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1-1/2 cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1/2 cup Chicken Broth (less Or More)
12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.
Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
Pizza is one of our favorite meals to eat in this house. You can easily make the dough over the weekend. Split the pizza dough in two equal pieces. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and place in freezer bag.
When you want to use the dough pull it out about an hour or so before you want to use it or the night before and place it in the refrigerator to defrost. Once defrosted make the pizza as you usually would. If you try and use the dough and its still frozen in the middle, just split it and let it sit out a few minutes more.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
A Punky original
I use this Pizza Dough recipe.
A couple of cups of Leftover Chicken, Shredded
1/4 c Franks Red Hot
2TBS unsalted butter
1/4 red onion, opitional
blue cheese crumbles, optional
Preheat oven to 500° with pizza stone place in the bottom half of the oven.
In a skillet over med heat, put franks red-hot sauce and butter in. Heat just until butter has melted. Add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside. Press dough out into a pizza round. Dock center of pizza dough. With a slotted spoon remove chicken from skillet and place on pizza dough. You don’t want to use a lot of the sauce. If you do you will have soggy pizza. Top with Cheeses, and onions. Bake in a 500° oven for 8-10 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden brown.
Asian Noodle Salad and Egg rolls
original salad source: The Pioneer Women
I modified a bit for what I had on hand.
Egg rolls: A Punky original
1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
1 head Sliced Napa Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1 small head Sliced Purple Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 bag Bean Sprouts (reserve half for egg rolls)
Handful of baby carrots,sliced thin (reserve half for egg rolls)
1 Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced (reserve some for the egg rolls)
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.
Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.
1 pkg Egg Roll wraps
1 lb ground beef, pork, or turkey
the reserved vegetables from the salad
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBS cooking sherry
1 tsp ground or fresh ginger
2 TBS corn starch
1 TBS oil, to saute vegetables
oil for frying, at least a couple of inches worth
salt and pepper, to taste
little bowl of water, so that you can dip your fingers in to seal the egg rolls
In a large skillet brown meat, when done browning drain off fat. Set meat aside. In a measuring cup or bowl mix soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking sherry, ginger and cornstarch. Mix well so that there are no lumps of corn starch.
In the same skillet add 1 TBS oil over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot add vegetables to the skillet. Saute vegetables for a couple of minutes. Add the meat back to the skillet. Pour sauce over meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. You wont need a lot of salt because of the soy sauce. Warm for a minute or so. Turn off heat and set aside.
Pull out egg roll wraps from the refrigerator. Spoon 2-3 TBS of filling in the middle of the wrap and seal egg roll with a bit of water on your fingers. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat add a couple of cups of oil, at least enough to go up the side of the egg rolls. Once oil is hot enough, about 350°, place only enough egg rolls in the pot seam side down being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry till golden brown and flip carefully. This doesn’t take very long. Once fried remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.
This can be done ahead of time and you can freeze finished egg rolls. On the evening you want to eat them heat oven to 375° and bake for about 20 minutes or so.
Eggplant Baked Pasta
a Punky Orginal
5 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
1 eggplant, cut into cubes
1/2 box of mini penne pasta (or rotini, penne, ziti, or farfalle pasta)
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2-2 c. Mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
Turn on oven to broil.
In a large pot cook pasta according to package until pasta is al dente. Once done drain off water.
In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the diced eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add onion, garlic and spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning to the pot. Simmer sauce for about 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and about half the cheese to the pot. Stir to combine. Pour pasta into the baking dish. Shred fresh Parmesan cheese and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Place in oven and broil just until cheese is nice and brown. Maybe about 5 minutes, watch carefully you don’t want burnt cheese.
Serve with garlic bread.
Super Quick Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Source: Giada De Laurentiis
as seen on my sisters blog.
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes *I used a 28oz can
1 cup dry white wine *I omitted this because I didn’t have any, you can use chicken broth or omit all together if you use a big can of tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves * I used about 1/2 dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.
Hope these recipes turn into your “go to” weekly recipes. I know they are ours. Happy eating.