Tag Archives: spinach

Quick Weeknight Meals

18 Jul

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

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

source: The Pioneer Women

Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min.

Ingredients

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

Directions:

 

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.

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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.

Ingredients:

A couple of cups of Leftover Chicken, Shredded

1/4 c Franks Red Hot

2TBS unsalted butter

Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 red onion, opitional

blue cheese crumbles, optional

Directions:

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

 

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

Ingredients

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

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
Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

 

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.

Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

eggrolls

 

 

Eggplant baked pasta

 

Eggplant Baked Pasta

a Punky Orginal

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

shrimp fra diavolo

 

Super Quick Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

as seen on my sisters blog.

Ingredients

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

Directions:

 

 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.

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Easter Goodies

9 Apr

Hope that everybody enjoyed their Easter Sunday. My little family and I enjoyed a day of relaxation and good food. We also made some cute crafts this weekend. First up food, for Easter dinner we had bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, fried spinach and crash hot potatoes.

Roast Pork Loin with Bacon and Brown Sugar Glaze:

Source: The Comfort of Cooking

Serves 3

Ingredients

1 boneless pork loin, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

2 slices bacon

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Glaze:

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Directions:

Heat oven to 350° F. Place pork loin in a roasting pan or deep casserole dish lined with aluminum foil. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub over the pork. Cut each strip of bacon in half and lay strips over the pork loin. Roast for about 40 minutes.
Combine the brown sugar, flour, cider vinegar, and dry mustard in a saucepan. Simmer for 1 minute. Spoon over the pork and return to the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes longer, or until pork registers 160°. Let sit for 2 minutes after removing from oven. Slice and serve.

Pan Fried Spinach:

Source: the Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food from my frontier

3 Tablespoons olive oil

5-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 lrg bunch of spinach, cleaned and stems removed

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir it around to avoid burning. Throw in Spinach, using tongs to move it around the skillet. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Continue to cook just until wilted. Plate and enjoy

Crash Hot Potatoes:

Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food from my frontier

Ingredients:

12 whole new potatoes (or other small round potatoes)

Kosher salt, to taste

3 TBS olive oil

black pepper to taste

Minced Rosemary (or other herb of your choice)

Directions:

In Pot over medium high heat, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450° F. Place the potatoes o a baking sheet. Using a potato masher, gently press down to mash each one. Rotate the masher 90 degrees, then mash again. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

And for a sweet treat we had Italian Easter Bread. So yummy.

 

Italian Easter Bread:

Source: The Italian Dish

makes 6 breads

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Rapid Rise (instant) yeast, about 2-1/4 teaspoons
  • 1.25 cups milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3.5 cups flour (approximate)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs *
  • sprinkles or pearl sugar

Instructions:

* tip:  the Easter eggs do not need to be hard boiled.  They cook when the bread bakes.  I usually just dye the eggs uncooked, without hardboiling them.  Saves time.  Just be careful they don’t crack!

In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter together, just till butter melts.    In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, salt, eggs and sugar.  Add the warm (not hot – it will kill the yeast) milk and butter. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook.   Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough.  Don’t worry about how much flour it ends up being, just keep adding until the dough is not sticky anymore.  Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead.  Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a “braid”, pinching the ends,  and loop into a circle.

Place on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpats.  Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again.  Brush each  bread with beaten egg wash.  Put on the sprinkles or sugar.   In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden – about 20 minutes.  Cool on rack.

And super easy spring crafts made by the kids. Super easy, super fun, super fast and super cute.

Coffee filter flowers and Foam bunnies and a chick in disguise.

See how my boys had to make these cute little guys more boyish. The duck and brown bunnies are football players with black under their eyes and a carrot football. They had fun making these. Have a good week and I am going to try to post again this week. Thanks for reading and happy Spring!

 

 

 

 

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