Monday, May 23, 2011

Fettuccine with Spinach and Prosciutto

If you're looking for a quick recipe without sacrificing a good meal, this is a pretty good bet! You can cook everything to accompany the pasta while the pasta itself is cooking. It was great for us tonight when we had a small window of time to cook and eat dinner between leaving the clinic and having girls over for Bible study.

  • 8 oz. dry fettuccine
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. package fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking liquid. Pour pasta in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly. Add spinach mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients to bowl; toss well.

Yield: 2 servings

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

Adapted from Rookie Cookie

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian and refers to a meal cooked with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and herbs. While preparing this meal, we also learned that braised means cooking using moist and dry heat, typically seared and then covered and cooked in the oven. (Thanks Wikipedia!) We love learning new "terminology" while trying new recipes!

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spray skillet with cooking spray and cook chicken over medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side, so the chicken is brown on each side but not cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and put in a sprayed baking dish.

In the same skillet, cook onion and garlic until softened. Then add chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add thyme and bay leaf and stir. Let simmer for another minute, then pour the mixture on top of the chicken.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then it's ready to serve!

Yield: 3 servings

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pasta, Asparagus, and Tomatoes with Pesto Sauce

Adapted from Rookie Cookie

This is the first time we've made our own pesto sauce, and boy was it good! And so much easier than we thought thanks to the magic of the food processor. This is a very quick and delicious meal that you could make your own by substituting other vegetables or by adding chicken.

  • 1 1/2 cups dry pasta shells
  • 1/3 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. At the same time, boil asparagus in a separate pot for approx. 3 minutes or until tender. Drain both pasta and asparagus and mix together in a large bowl with the tomato halves.

In a food processor, mix basil, garlic, orange zest, Parmesan cheese, almonds, and a little salt and pepper. Process until basil is finely minced. Then add olive oil and process again.

Toss pesto sauce with pasta, asparagus, and tomatoes.

Yield: 2 servings

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hibachi-Style Quinoa

Adapted from Skinny Taste

I am amazed at all the things you can do with quinoa! It has great texture and it's so versatile. We have already used it for Italian, Mexican, and seafood dishes, but tonight we cooked it with an Asian twist. This recipe is a lot like the fried rice you might get at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant with lots of flavor and veggies. Next time we hope to find the fish sauce that it calls for, and we might even add shrimp to boost it up a bit.

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 8 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red peppers, diced small
  • 1 tomato, diced small
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (Food Lion didn't have this so we used 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • cooking spray
  • 3 egg whites, scrambled
  • 1 whole egg, scrambled
  • salt, to taste
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Scramble the eggs on medium heat. Add salt and cook for 2-3 minutes or until done. Set aside.

Add the vegetable oil to the same skillet followed by the scallions, peppers, and garlic. Saute on medium heat for about 3 minutes, then add the tomato and stir in all the quinoa. Add soy sauce and fish sauce (or substitute) and stir to mix all the ingredients. Continue stirring a few minutes, then add cooked scrambled eggs. At this point you may need to add more soy sauce, to taste, and then mix well for another 30 seconds.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Mozzarella Chicken

Adapted from Skinny Taste

After being away for our brief summer break, we returned to our kitchen to prepare a surprisingly excellent chicken dish. Instead of pulling out our George Foreman, we cooked our chicken on the stove. Thanks to this recipe, we learned how to roast red peppers! It's simple, just cut the pepper in half and remove the core and stem. Place each half skin side up on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Broil for 15 minutes in the oven, then wrap the foil around the halves. Allow them to steam for 7-10 minutes before unwrapping and peeling off the skins. Slice it up and voila! Roasted red peppers. The mozzarella melted over spinach with the roasted peppers draped atop it all made for a picturesque and tasty meal! We served our leftover spinach (salted generously) and red pepper strips on the side.

  • 3 chicken tenderloins
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (1/3 box)
  • 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced into strips
  • olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a nonstick skillet and cook chicken on medium-high heat for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink.

While chicken is cooking, heat another skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, stirring for a few seconds. Then add spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

When chicken is done, place on an aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. Place a third of the spinach on top of each cutlet, then sprinkle with mozzarella, and finally the roasted red pepper slices. Bake until all is melted, about 7 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings

Strawberry Crepes

Crepes adapted from Ptit Chef
Strawberry cream filling adapted from

Posting our friend Elizabeth's birthday meal made me realize I had forgotten to post Amy's birthday breakfast from March. Happy Belated Birthday Amy! Nevertheless, these crepes are delicious! You prepare the batter ahead of time and can save it to make more in the next day or two. This is a wonderful breakfast to make for a special occasion!

Strawberry cream filling:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries

Crepe batter:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter

Other ingredients (optional):

  • Extra powdered sugar
  • Extra strawberries


Strawberry cream filling:

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Then blend in strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crepe batter (make the night before you are planning to serve):

Put all the ingredients in a blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Refrigerate over night and then until ready to serve.

To cook:

Heat a 8-9 inch frying pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, melt a small slice of butter on pan and swirl it around to cover the pan. The batter might need to be blended again once it has settled overnight. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan and swirl the pan so it is evenly coated. Cook the first side for approx. 1 min. or until you can tell it is slightly browned. Then flip the crepe using a spatula or two and cook the other side in the same manner. Once the crepe is cooked flip it onto a plate. Be sure to coat the pan with a little butter before cooking the next crepe.

Fill the crepe with the strawberry cream filling and roll it up like a burrito. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with strawberry slices.

Yield: 12 crepes

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

This dessert was my beloved next-door neighbor's, Vicky, famous treat. I remember going over to her house in the afternoon to enjoy a piece of pie with her. She always kept a few pies in the freezer ready to serve to anyone who stopped by. This pie is perfect for peanut butter and chocolate lovers! Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

  • 2 2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 cups cool whip
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Let ice cream soften. Then beat in peanut butter using a hand mixer. Then beat in pudding mix, followed by cool whip. Pour mixture into crust and freeze for approx. 2 hours or until solid. Keep pie in the freezer and serve when desired.

Yield: 1 pie (8-10 slices)

Grilled Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs and Sweet Potato Fries

Shrimp marinade adapted from Yummly

Our friend Elizabeth's favorite foods are grilled shrimp and sweet potato fries, which is just what we made for her birthday. The shrimp kabobs were easy to cook on the George Foreman and the sweet potato fries delicious with our own homemade seasoning.


  • lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 peppers (we used one red and one orange)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 9 wooden kabob skewers

Shrimp marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • pinch of dried parsley
Sweet potato fries:
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • olive oil cooking spray

Shrimp and veggie kabobs:

Mix shrimp marinade ingredients together then pour into a gallon size plastic bag and add shrimp. Let shrimp marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Soak wooden kabob skewers in water for the 30 minutes as well.

Meanwhile, cut the peppers and onion into 1 inch square slices.

Thread some skewers with shrimp and other skewers with vegetables (the vegetables will take longer to cook, so it's better to cook them separately). Line skewers on the George Foreman, cooking the vegetables first for approx. 10 minutes (until softened) and then the shrimp skewers for approx. 5 minutes.

Sweet potato fries:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the sweet potato in half and then continue cutting into thin 3-inch strips. Spread evenly over a foil covered cookie sheet. Lightly spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon, paprika, and garlic powder. Cook for 20 minutes turning occasionally until golden brown.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, May 9, 2011

Broccoli and Swiss Stuffed Chicken

Adapted from Skinny Taste

After preparing this meal, we wondered why we don't bake meals more often. Baked dishes are so delicious, plus baking provides you with time to get something done besides cook (like study for your last exam!). This is an easy meal that ends up looking fancy, so you can cook to impress! And the extra broccoli goes great on the side.


  • 2 large chicken breasts

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tsp. water

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 frozen, steamable bag of broccoli (or 2 cups), cooked

  • 4 tbsp. shredded Swiss cheese (or 2 slices)

  • salt to taste

  • cooking spray

  • toothpicks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine egg, water, and a dash of salt. Beat mixture with a fork until well mixed. Pour breadcrumbs into another small bowl. Set both aside.

Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise then use a meat pounder to make them thinner and therefore easier to wrap. Place 1 tbsp. of Swiss cheese (or 1/2 slice) on each piece of chicken then add some broccoli on top. Wrap each piece of chicken around the cheese and broccoli, securing with toothpicks.

Dip chicken into egg mixture then into breadcrumbs then set on a greased cookie sheet. Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray then bake for 25 minutes or until cooked.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Penne with Turkey Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Escarole

Adapted from: Skinny Taste

Any recipe that calls for 5 cloves of garlic is automatically at the top of my favorites. In this pasta, you get garlic, bell pepper, onion, and Parmesan - yum! Plus, the sausage flavors the entire dish with an amazing taste, so sauce isn't even needed. The recipe goes a long way. You may have leftovers for awhile but it's so good that you won't complain.

  • 12 oz. pasta
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. turkey sausage (sweet or spicy)
  • 1 medium head escarole
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less, to taste)
  • salt and ground black pepper

Rinse escarole and tear into bite-sized pieces. It will look like a lot, but it will shrink when you steam it.

Remove sausage from casing, even if the package indicates they're "ready to cook."

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet (make sure it's one with a lid, so you can cover it later) heat olive oil on medium heat. Add olive oil, followed by onions, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add sausage, using a wooden spoon to break it up while cooking. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly browned.

Add escarole to skillet, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook until escarole is wilted, about 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fruit Cobbler - Easy and Lightened Up

Adapted from: Beauty and Bedlam

Fruit cobbler is always a crowd pleaser, especially when you can choose the fruit and serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We used sprite zero with peaches, but just like the diet soda cake we've baked before, you can get creative! We're trying blueberries next. Thanks to my sister Kimberly for sharing this yummy and healthy dessert recipe!

12 oz. (1 can) sprite zero (or any other diet soda)
1 box yellow cake mix
2 16 oz. bags of frozen fruit, any kind

Preheat oven 350°F.

Pour frozen fruit into a 13"x9" baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix over frozen fruit. Pour half a can of sprite zero over mixture. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for another 40 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings