Pasta Primavera ☆☆☆☆☆

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I don’t have the nutritional breakdown on this one, but it was so easy and fast that I don’t want to lose it. Hubs and the mini both said it was a keeper, too, so that’s always a bonus.

First, I stole this from a guy at work, so I did nothing creative for it. Also, I don’t know that it counts as a recipe since you just throw a bunch of stuff in a pan. But it was amazing! Only thing I would do different next time is add some type of vegetable. I think some frozen peas and carrots would be perfect.

Ingredients:

2 jars Alfredo sauce
1.5 12oz packages pasta (I used cavatappi)
1 package real bacon pieces
2 cans cooked chicken
3 tbsp Creole seasoning
Grated parmesan

Directions:
1. Cook pasta as directed, drain
2. While pasta is cooking, mix remaining ingredients  (except parmesan) in a sauce pan. Heat on medium, stirring frequently.
3. Mix sauce in with cooked pasta. Top with parmesan.

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UPDATE: Made it a second time with frozen peas and carrots and it is amazing.

Hashbrown Casserole ☆☆☆☆☆

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I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything, but lately I haven’t had the oomph to cook much aside from the old standbys like spaghetti. I have been having allergic reactions to something every month like clockwork and the doctors can’t figure out what is causing them. My diet has changed so many times I have whiplash. The latest was that I have alpha-gal, which is an allergy to mammalian meat (anything with fur) brought on by a tick bite. I went almost three weeks eating only chicken and fish – not fun for me. Luckily, the test for it returned negative, so the bacon cheeseburgers are back on the menu occasionally.

Over the weekend, I was having a craving for comfort food and scrolling through all the recipes  have saved to try, I came across this one for hashbrown casserole. Potatoes, cheese, ooey goodness…comfort food in it’s best form. I think the recipe itself is perfect, but the original directions just said to stick all the raw ingredients in a pan and cook them. The onions were still crunchy once the rest was cooked, so I think next time I make this I will cook them first, until tender. I also used Reser’s seasoned hashbrowns so it made up for not salting the raw ingredients.

Hashbrown Casserole

Ingredients:
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) container of sour cream
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (32-0z) package frozen hashbrown potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed until tender
1 (8 oz) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all ingredients except corn flakes in large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Spray 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray then spoon mixture into dish. Cover with crushed corn flakes.

Bake for 45 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.

Calories: 409, Fat: 35.6g, Carbs: 27g, Protein: 11g

 

Roasted Broccoli with Almonds ☆☆☆☆

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This was the side dish that was suggested to go along with eMeals paleo dinner of Big Easy Baked Chicken Thighs. This was a much bigger winner in my mind, but then again I absolutely love broccoli. I think I ate about 3 servings of it to make up for the chicken that I didn’t care for! Even my son, who abhors broccoli ate 4 bites of it and said it ‘wasn’t disgusting’. To me, that’s a win!

Roasted Broccoli with Almonds

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (12 oz) pkgs of frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

Preheat over to 400 F. Whisk together juice, thyme, garlic; pour over broccoli and toss to coat. Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Stir in almonds and bake another 5 minutes.

6 servings.

Calories: 83, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 4.5g

Big Easy Baked Chicken Thighs ☆

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So, since my last post I have been back to the ER again with an allergic reaction to something. Broke out in hives and my whole face and neck swelled up. When I went to follow up with my regular doctor, he decided that since we can’t figure out what is causing the reactions that we’re going to change my diet. Again. Oh joy for me!

He told me to that I need cut out all processed food and get as close to nature as possible. No preservatives, no chemical additives. We’re going to try it for a month and if that doesn’t ‘fix’ me, I get to go gluten free next month.

So, thanks to eMeals.com I have a menu planned for the week that is what they consider ‘paleo’. I’m not sure it would pass all the die hard’s scrutiny, but for me it was enough. I spent a good hour and a half in Kroger, perusing their organic and specialty foods aisle, becoming familiar with liquid aminoes and sprouted grains. Tonight I tried my first recipe from the list and it wasn’t really a hit. Neither hubby nor I are fans of chicken thighs, but I wanted to try them since it’s been ages since I’ve eaten one. Well, it didn’t go over well. Hubby took one bite and said ‘nah’ then made him some cheese and crackers. I managed to eat about half a thigh before I just couldn’t stomach it. It wasn’t the recipe, but the thighs themselves. I think I’m going to try this one again, but with breasts instead. I think the seasonings were spot on. But the fact that it’s thighs are the reason I’m giving this one a 1 star only.

Big Easy Baked Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 whole lime)
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp fresh thyme
1/3 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and whisk together. Pour into a large zip-top back. Add thighs; seal bag and turn to coat pieces. Marinate in refrigerator up to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove thighs from bag and place on large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until chicken is done (165 F).

Serving Size: Makes 6 servings, 1 thigh each

Calories: 279, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 2.3g, Protein: 34g

Ham and Cheese Tortellini ☆☆☆☆☆

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Another one that both my guys raved over. Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this one, yet, but use your imagination🙂. I’ll upload one next time I cook it.

Only changes I would make to the original recipe is that I would double the asparagus next time and cut the ham in half. Otherwise, it was a perfect end to a busy day. The whole meal takes about 20 minutes to make and it’s comfort food that really hit the spot.

Note: I know that isn’t tortellini in the picture. I made it again on 4/23/16 but could only find mini cheese ravioli at Kroger. I actually liked it better than the tortellini. And I added more asparagus.

Ham and Cheese Tortellini

Ingredients:
2 19-oz bags of cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 16-oz pkg diced cooked ham
1/2 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 8-oz container chive and onion cream cheese

Directions:
Cook tortellini according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; add garlic and cook for a minute.
Add ham and asparagus and cook until asparagus is tender; about 5 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add broth and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
Drain tortellini and return to pan.
Stir in cheese mixture and combine.
Serve immediately.

Makes 10 servings

Calories: 374P, Fat: 13g, Carbs: 39g, Protein: 10g

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Casserole ☆☆☆☆☆

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I know I’ve been AWOL for a while, but with school starting back, a new year of Cub Scouts and soccer practice, I honestly haven’t been cooking anything worthy of a blog post. Most of the stuff I’ve been doing is easy and quick go-to’s like burgers and sandwiches, or (insert gasp here) lots of take-out. I am trying to get back into the swing of things and have a kid-friendly, man-happy meal for you here. Both my boys (big and small) loved this. The only changes I would make would be to add more cottage cheese and a little bit less pepperoni. Otherwise, it was awesome. it’s very filling and a 9×13 pan has made two dinners for my family of 3 and lunch for me for two days.

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Casserole

Ingredients:

1 16 oz box of rotini (I used garden rotini for the color)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
2 24-oz jars of pasta sauce (Ragu is my go-to brand)
1 10-oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until most of the liquid is out
1 12-oz package of cottage cheese (1%)
1 16-oz block of mozzarella cheese, grated
1 6-oz package of sliced pepperoni
salt and pepper to tast

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray.
Cook rotini according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, brown the sausage; drain and rinse.
Add sausage back to pan and pour in both jars of pasta sauce, along with spinach, and stir well until spinach is mixed in well and no big clumps remain.
Drain pasta and add cottage cheese and half of the mozzarella to the hot pasta. Add salt and pepper.
Spoon half of the meat mixture into the baking dish; top with half of the pasta mixture and then a layer of pepperoni. Repeat with remaining meat mixture, then layer on the rest of the pasta.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and another layer of pepperoni.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes or until cheesy is melted and sauce is bubbly.
Rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

Makes 8 servings (definitely not diet friendly, but sometimes you have to feed the kid something to make him happy)

Calories: 759, Fat: 52 g, Carbs: 64g, Protein: 41g

Garlicky Pasta with Shrimp AND Cucumber Salad ☆☆☆☆☆

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This one was amazingly quick! I didn’t even break a sweat, and that’s saying a lot lately. The mini me ate a good bit of it and said he ‘kinda’ liked it, so I’m counting it as a win. I hope the hubs likes it too – if he agrees, I’ll add a Man Approved tag🙂. I served it with a light salad and since I loved the dressing for it so much, you get a bonus recipe today!


Garlicky Pasta with Shrimp

Ingredients:

12 oz uncooked whole-grain penne pasta. I used Kroger brand Whole Wheat
1 lb frozen cooked medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup 2% milk
3 tbsp. margarine
3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding shrimp during the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.

Return pasta and shrimp to pan and add remaining ingredients; toss until well blended.

Serve warm.

6 servings. Calories: 339, Fat: 6 g, Carbs: 42 g, Protein: 25 g

salad

Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. local honey
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 6-oz pkg Spring mix salad greens

Directions:

Whisk together lemon juice, honey, mustard and salt in a salad bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Add cucumber and toss to coat.

Serve over a bed of greens.

Serves 6. Calories: 142, Fat: 12.5 g, Carbs: 8 g, Protein: 2 g


For those of you with math skills that resemble mine, that comes out to 481 calories, 50 g fat, 19 g carbs and 27 g protein for a whole meal. Not terrible! Granted, its a little more than I wanted (I try to keep under 400 calories per meal) but considering it’s pasta and cheese, I can’t complain. Got a little ‘comfort’ food in my day.