Pasta, Spinach and Pine Nuts- You can’t go wrong

Favorite Meal this week: Tortellini, Spinach and Toasted Pine Nuts

Monday

This is one of our go-to meals. I’m actually surprised we haven’t posted it yet because we make it a lot. It’s easy and delicious.

Tortellini, Spinach and Toasted Pine Nuts

1 package of fresh tortellini
1-2 packages of fresh spinach
olive oil or butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons about of Pine Nuts, toasted
Salt and Pepper to season
Grated Parmesan

Bowl the water for the pasta. Meanwhile, in a saute pan place the butter or olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and toss until cooked down. Season with salt and pepper. Once the pasta water is ready, add the pasta and cook according to package. Serve pasta with the spinach and toasted pine nuts. Top with grated parmesan.

Tuesday

We went out for some yummy Mediterranean food! Can you say falafel?

Wednesday

We tried a new recipe. It was kind of sweet for dinner, but worth a try, especially with the lime sauce. This dish could be good for singles as you could make as much or little as you want!

Brie and Peach Quesadillas

Sauce:

    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind

Quesadillas:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches (about 2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Chive strips (optional)

Preparation

  1. To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
  2. To prepare quesadillas, combine peaches, 1 tablespoon chives, and sugar, tossing gently to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange one-fourth of cheese and one-fourth of peach mixture over half of each tortilla; fold tortillas in half. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges; serve with sauce. Garnish with chive strips, if desired.

Note:Placing the fillings on one side of the tortilla and folding the other half over (like a taco) makes the quesadillas easier to handle. Whole wheat tortillas would also be great, offering a sweet, nutty taste. The lime-honey dipping sauce balances the richness of the buttery filling.

Cooking Light
JUNE 2005

Thursday

We made pizza! Seriously…pizza is just so easy and delicious. I swear we never make the same pizza twice!

Friday

Grilled Salmon! Yum! We’ve had our real grill for just about a year now (I say real grill because for YEARS we used an electric George Forman grill. Mainly because when we lived in our apartment that was the only “grill” we were allowed to own). Anyway, last year we upgraded to a “MANLY MAN” grill with real fire! Over the course of the year, I’m pretty sure “B” has gotten better and better at grilling! He uses ANY opportunity to grill. Plus, I don’t mind because that usually means less dishes for me! That’s what we call a Win-Win!

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Beautiful Stacks of Food On and In-Between Bread

This week we made a new batch of the sauce “B” made for his fish tacos last week and used it on almost every meal!

Favorite Recipe this week: Open-Faced Sandwiches with Mushrooms and Fried Eggs
This Week’s Grocery List

Sunday

We saw the most beautiful dish in the new Cooking Light we received so we had to try it – Tomato Stack Salad with Corn and Avocado! While sometimes we can swing a side dish as a main meal, this one didn’t have any protein or carbs in it so we grilled up some tofu to go with it. “B” slathered the tofu with the sauce he used for the fish tacos last week (See FRIDAY’s recipe from last week) and it was spicy and delicious!

Tomato Stack Salad with Corn and Avocado

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  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (We use a splash of cider vinegar and the rest regular milk– let it sit for five minutes and ta-da – buttermilk!)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 ears shucked corn
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total
  • 2 globe tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation
1. Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
2. Coat corn with cooking spray. Place corn on grill rack; grill 8 minutes or until well marked, turning occasionally. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Cut corn kernels from cobs. We also grilled the Tomato slices because, hey why not!
3. Sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt. Alternate layers of tomato and avocado on each of 4 plates. Scatter corn evenly onto plates. Drizzle each tomato stack with about 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper over salads.

Adapted from Cooking Light AUGUST 2012

Monday

Newlyweds C&C came over for dinner! “B” really wanted to impress with his fish tacos, but I kind of remembered that one of the Mrs. C didn’t really like fish. Luckily we had some marinated chicken in the freezer. So we took that out and grilled it up for tacos as well. This was my first time actually tasting the entire “oh-my-gosh, you-have-to-try-this” fish taco and it was actually pretty good. It seemed that C&C enjoyed them as well.

Tuesday

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Pizzzzzzza! Love Pizza! This time we had an AH-HA moment. What if we used last week’s piadine recipe and just rolled it out larger to make pizza dough on the grill?! Brilliant! We made the piadine recipe and the split the dough in two. Half was rolled out to a make one pizza and the second half was placed in the freezer for another time. We had left over of the fish taco sauce so we used that as the “tomato” sauce. We also used kalamata olives, arugula, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella for the topping. It grilled up pretty quickly on the bottom, so we finished melting the cheese by placing the entire pizza in the oven for a little bit. Overall it was a nice thin crust crunch grilled pizza. What we LOVE about pizza is you really can’t go wrong…put anything you have in fridge on there! — well ALMOST anything!

Wednesday

We rarely have steak, but we saw this recipe in the recent issue of Cooking Light and decided to try it:

Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli

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  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried (just use less) thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) French bread baguette
  • 1 cup arugula leaves

Preparation

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until boiling. Stir in onion. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

3. Combine mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients (through garlic).

4. Rub steak evenly with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place steak on grill rack; grill 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.

5. Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Place bread, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 1 minute or until toasted.

6. Drain onion mixture; discard liquid. Arrange steak evenly over bottom half of baguette; top evenly with onion and arugula. Spread mayonnaise mixture over cut side of top baguette half; place on sandwich. Cut into 4 pieces.

Cooking Light AUGUST 2012

Thursday

This recipe is from the same issue of cooking light and yes, it’s another sandwich, but it was our favorite this week. (Though the first time we made it, “B” made the mushrooms way too salty for “F”‘s tastes) Try this recipe and feel free to change it up. On Saturday night we made a version of this but used grilled veggies instead of mushrooms–yum!

Open-Faced Sandwiches with Mushrooms and Fried Eggs

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  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms (or whatever kind you would like)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 teaspoons refrigerated pesto
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices multigrain bread
  • 2 ounces grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices beefsteak tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 2/3 cup shallots; cook 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and salt; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove mushroom mixture from pan; keep warm.

2. Return pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add remaining 1/3 cup shallots; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove shallots from pan; keep warm.

3. Preheat broiler to high.

4. Spread 2 teaspoons pesto over one side of each bread slice. Top each slice with about 2 tablespoons cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts; keep warm.

5. Return pan to medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Crack eggs into pan, and cook 4 minutes or until whites are set.

6. Top each bread slice with 2 tomato slices. Divide mushroom mixture evenly among bread slices, and top each serving with 1 egg. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, shallots, and basil.

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2012

Friday

It was the opening ceremony of the Olympics so we went to J&Z’s house for tea sandwiches and tea! How British! One of our favorite tea sandwiches was when “B” found some date nut bread in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and spread whipped cream cheese and sliced strawberries on it…. yum!

Saucy Sauces

This week’s grocery list.

Click the link above to find a printable grocery list!

Monday


Favorite Meal This week: Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce! We’ve made this dish many times before. It’s a good meal to make for guests as it makes A LOT (Leftovers here we come!). For some reason we hadn’t made this dish in awhile, but I was trying to figure out what to do with the leftover mushrooms I had from last weekend’s quiche and this was perfect! I pretty much just had to go to the store to purchase pasta and whipping cream (“B” will use the leftover whipping cream to make fresh whipped cream later in the week.).

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 ounces pre-sliced exotic mushroom blend (We used 8oz of mushroom blend and whatever I had leftover of portabellos)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (we use dried)
  • Minced fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Krista Montgomery, M.S., R.D., Cooking Light
DECEMBER 2006

Tuesday

This is a new recipe I saw online that looked quick and easy! A side note first about vinegar and olive oil. We have a store nearby that sells just vinegar and olive oil (Saratoga Olive Oil Company). We often stock up on interesting flavors that we use for salad dressings and to cook with. We really think these unique flavors really MAKE the dish. So if you can, find some good quality olive oil and vinegar, but if not, we’re sure the recipes will taste good as is.

The great thing about pizzas is that you can be extremely creative and do pretty much anything to them and they will still taste great! This would be a good healthy dish for those nights when you’re just cooking for yourself because you could just make as little or as much as you want! We really enjoyed this dish!

Insalata Pizzas

4 (7-inch) pitas
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup (4 ounces) part-skim Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (we used Saratoga’s pomegranate balsamic vinegar)
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes (used leftover from the quiche the other day)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
4 cups packaged gourmet salad greens

Preparation
Preheat oven to 475°.
Place pitas on a baking sheet. Salt, Pepper and oil the pitas. Spread 1/2 teaspoon garlic on each pita. Sprinkle each pita with 1/4 cup cheese, and divide onion evenly among pitas. Bake at 475° for 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.
While pitas bake, combine vinegar, oil, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in tomatoes, olives, and basil. Add salad greens, and toss gently to coat.
Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each pita with about 1 cup salad. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cooking Light
MAY 2004

Wednesday

A typical go-to dish: Marinated Chicken.
We will purchase chicken breasts (thin sliced and only the breast because “F” has a thing about meat looking like actual animals…ick) and then place 2-4 breasts in a ziploc bag with some spiedie (or other type) of marinade and freeze them. Just be sure to label each ziploc with the number of breasts, the type of marinade and the date you placed them in the freezer. (If you’re just making food for one, just place 1 breast per ziploc baggie!) Take the chicken out of the freezer and place in the fridge on a plate about two days before you are going to cook it so it can defrost. SO EASY. We usually serve with couscous or quinoa, a salad and a slice of toast.

Thursday

Salmon time! This dish is designed to serve one, so we just double it about to serve the both of us. PLUS it’s EASY to make and EASY TO CLEAN UP!!
HungryGirl’s Teriyaki Salmon in a Foil Pack

For One:
One 5oz salmon filet
1/2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 tablespoon sweet Asian Chili sauce
2 Pineapple rings
Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together the teriyaki and chili sauce. Lay a large piece of foil (recommend non-stick) on a baking sheet. Place salmon in center and top with the sauce. Top the fish with the pineapple and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Fold foil together to make a sealed packet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Friday

We had friends over. “F” went out with some Girlfriends to dinner and “B” stayed in with two guy friends and a baby. They made Fish Tacos and I heard it was YUM.

3 Men and a Baby Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Tomato Puree
Tomato Puree (has other great uses beyond this recipe, generally use in place of tomato sauce)
-4 garden ripe tomatoes
-1 small red onion
-as much garlic as humanly possible
-1 large jalepeno
-handful of fresh cilantro
-1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
-kosher salt
-evoo
Directions
-cut tomatoes in half a place in large mixing bowl
-cut onions in large chunks and place in bowl
-cut jalepeno in half lengthwise (do not take out seeds or membranes) place in bowl
-remove skins on garlic place on greased piece of aluminum foil
-mix 1-2 tbsps of evoo and kosher salt to taste in bowl with veggies
-grill veggies until tender and dark grill marks appear (place foil with garlic and small pieces of onion directly on grill with other veggies)
-place all ingredients (including cilantro and chipotle chile) into a large saucepan and use a hand blender to puree (the sauce pan should be over low heat)
-cook over low heat for about 2 minutes
Fish
-1-1.5 pounds of Tilapia
-Nantucket Off-Shore Bayou Rub (all natural, no salt, no sugar)
-kosher salt
Directions
-salt Tilapia to taste
-liberally applying rub
-grill on medium/high for 2 min. on each side
-place on platter and cover with foil until ready to serve
Serving
-grill your fav. fresh tortillas (I like Mission – Artisan Style Tortillas) for a min or two on one side
-serve fish in tortillas with the tomato puree, sour cream, fresh guac. (I suppose the recipe will appear on here at some point), coleslaw, grilled pineapple, cheddar cheese or whatever else you want
-ENJOY!

Saturday

We had a date night… dinner and a play. A fantastic play about sex therapist, Dr. Ruth. Seriously I loved it!

Sunday

“B” had extra sauce from his fish tacos and was inspired to make more sauce and incorporate it in to a sloppy turkey joe type dish. He browned ground turkey with onions and garlic then mixed in 1/4 cup of brown sugar and just enough of the sauce from the fish tacos to make it moist enough. We served it over two pieces of toasted/grilled bread.

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