Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm at it again... pesto

I love pesto. Have I said this already? I also have basil plants that are growing fast with all this rain so today I made 2 batches of sundried tomato pesto. One for dinner this week and one for the freezer. Make this, you won't be sorry.

Cold Spinach and Artichoke dip

My sister moved into her new house this weekend so my husband and I made the (long) drive up to visit her and I brought some yummy cold spinach and artichoke dip. It was perfect for hanging out on the deck of her new home.

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 package of frozen spinach, thawed (10 oz)
1 packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 container of light sour cream

I know it's easy but sometimes we forget that delicious doesn't always have to be hard!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pepperoni and Cheese Calzones

I am now into making my own whole wheat pizza dough so I used some that I had thawed for our calzones tonight. I split a ball into thirds and stuffed them with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I layered pepperoni in them and baked them at 400 for 15 minutes. Perfect!

Baked Rotini Ziti with Turkey Sausage

Can you tell I love pasta? As much as I tell myself I shouldn't eat it this much, I can't help it. At least I eat the whole wheat kind and always pair it with a salad so I don't over eat. Anyway, I made this on Sunday for dinner while we were waiting for our new refrigerator to arrive. I had to cook up the sausages and I'd been wanted baked ziti for a while anyway. It was delicious, cheesy and made 6 meals!

10 oz. whole wheat rotini (I used Heartland brand)
3 links of turkey sausage
1 egg
1 cup part skim ricotta
6 oz. 2% mozzarella cheese divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 cups of homemade pasta sauce or your favorite jarred sauce

Cook the pasta to al dente. Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces and brown until thoroughly cooked. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, ricotta, 4 oz. of mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Mix the sauce and pasta in with the sausage in the pan. Then mix in the cheeses until well blended. Pour into a 9x12 pyrex pan or other large baking pan and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cook at 350 for 25 minutes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Peas

I used the sundried tomato pesto I made over the weekend to have a quick and easy late night meal. I cooked some chicken in a pan, added the pesto and frozen peas and presto, dinner!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Review: Green Pan

I bought a Green Pan this weekend at Target on recommendation from my friend Robyn. The large one was $34.99 so I figured I'd try it. I always knew the non-stick stuff (mostly teflon) on pans was toxic but I just couldn't give up my non-stick. Stainless steel for me always turned into a mess so sadly, I stuck with my toxic, teflon pans. Well, now that there is an affordable version, I figured why not. Well, I loved it. I cooked my quinoa in it on Sunday night and it was easy to clean, cooked my food beautifully and performed just as my other pans.

I would highly recommend these if you're looking to become not just more healthy but also more environmentally friendly. Next week I'm going to go buy the small, omelet size pan. The only negative is that it didn't come with a lid and my other lids didn't fit. So I will need to find something but for now, I'm happy with what I've got. Thanks Robyn!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Greek Style Quinoa

This was my first time making quinoa and I'm in love. It tastes surprisingly good (I thought it would be blah). It was easy too. I was actually scared of it because it was so small. I had no idea what it would turn into! But alas, I succeeded and everyone was happy. This definitely won't be the last time I make it. I do apologize for the picture. My camera just doesn't do extreme close ups but trust me, this is good.

1/3 cup quinoa, washed
1 cup low sodium organic chicken broth
1 shallot, diced
1-2 garlic cloves diced
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/2 cucumber, chopped
8-10 sundried tomatoes, chopped

Heat some olive oil or cooking spray (I used my olive oil mister from Williams Sonoma) and saute the shallot and garlic until it begins to brown. Add in the quinoa, salt & pepper and pour the broth over it. Cover and cook for 20-22 minutes or until all the liquid has been soaked up. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. Meanwhile, chop the cucumber and the sundried tomatoes (I had to reconstitute mine in boiling water for 5 minutes because they had dried out). Mix together the quinoa with the cucumber, feta and sundried tomatoes and refridgerate. Serve chilled.

French Toast

My husband made us French Toast on Saturday thanks to his inspiration, watching the Food Network. I know there was cinnamon and powdered sugar on my bad boys but I also topped them with my own little strawberry sauce concoction. I took about 5 organic, frozen strawberries and mixed the with a teaspoon of sugar and about 3 tablespoons of water. I microwaved it for about 30 seconds and voila, a delicious topping for my French Toast!

Sundried Tomato Pesto

I love pesto. I grow my own basil so I can have it whenever I want. I made some today to have during the week. Easy, requires just a small chopper, no cooking, minimal clean up. What else could you ask for?

1 cup basil leaves
2 TBSP toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil

Wash and clean the basil. Place it in a chopper or food processor and top with the remaining ingredients. Pulse to your desired consistency. Freezes easily too!