Friday, April 30, 2010

"Spaghetti" Pie with Turkey Meatballs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We had some extra jarred tomato sauce left from before we started making most things from scratch.  So we decided to do a semi-traditional American "spaghetti."  We didn't use spaghetti, though, because Greysen has trouble eating it.  So we used rotini, seasoned tomato sauce, parmesan and the following Turkey Meatballs and made it a baked dish.  Everyone loved it.

Turkey Meatballs
6 Servings
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup bread crumbs, the onion, egg, parsley, parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the turkey and mix until combined. Place the remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Roll the meat mixture into eighteen 1½-inch balls, then roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining chicken broth in 1/4-cup increments until the meatballs are cooked through and all the broth has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
* From Everyday with Rachel Ray - Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zesty Lime Fish Tacos

Monday, April 26, 2010
We're always on the search for new and exciting ways to use fish (and get kids to eat it).  These were delicious!  And everyone ate them.  I only used 1/2 T of the chilis and that was perfect for us.  We used mahi mahi and a bag of "coleslaw" - just shredded green cabbage and carrots.  We will definitely do these again!

Zesty Lime Fish Tacos
1 pound tilapia fillets (about 4)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 can (16.3 ounces) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
6 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. finely chopped chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (from 7-ounce can)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
Heat oven to 200°. Cut each fish fillet lengthwise into 4 strips. In shallow glass dish, mix 7 tablespoons of the lime juice and garlic. Add fish; turn to coat. Let stand while preparing biscuits. On work surface, mix flour and cornmeal. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press both sides of each biscuit into flour mixture, then press or roll into 6- to 7-inch round. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add 2 biscuit rounds; cook about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Place on cookie sheet; keep warm in oven. Cook remaining rounds, adding 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to skillet for each batch. Wipe skillet clean. Heat same skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and lime juice mixture, chilis, salt and pepper; cook about 5 minutes, turning fish once, until fish flakes easily with fork. In small bowl, mix salsa, sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice. Using slotted spoon, remove fish and divide evenly among biscuit rounds. Top each with cabbage and 1 to 2 tablespoons salsa mixture. Fold biscuit rounds in half over filling. Serve with any remaining salsa mixture. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.
* Recipe from Kellie White on

Salmon Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

Thursday, April 22, 2010
I loved this recipe when we tried it a few months ago and we're trying to get more fish in lately.  We also added a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to give it some more kick.

Salmon Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 salmon fillets, skin removed, chopped (can cook from frozen)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cup cream
4 tablespoons tomato paste (or tomato sauce)
2 dashes of chili pepper
whichever pasta you like, cooked
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until slightly soft. Add the pieces of chopped salmon. Cook about 5 minutes, turning pieces often. Season with the salt and pepper. (At this point you should also start boiling your pasta). Stir in the cream. Add the tomato paste, and blend together. Simmer until salmon in fully cooked. Season again with salt and pepper (if desired). Serve over pasta and enjoy! Serves 4
*Recipe from Marisab / All my dishes on

Spicy Lentil & Chickpea Soup with Chorizo Sausage

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
After our crockpot mishap (see a few weeks ago), we got a new slow cooker.  It's a Hamilton Beach one with three different size ceramic bowls depending on the size of your recipe.  I like it, but miss the old one with the automated settings (that shut off after a certain number of hours).  This was the first attempt with the new slow cooker - from the recipe book that came with it.  It is delicious, but we shouldn't have put in so much cayenne.  We like spice, but not super-spicy.  If I made it again, I've already made a note to only do 1 tsp cayenne. 

Spicy Lentil & Chickpea Soup with Chorizo Sausage
1 lb. brown lentils, rinsed well and drained
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
3 15-oz cans chicken broth
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
3 carrots, peeled, sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
12 oz Chorizo sausage, sliced
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
1/2 to 1-1/2 tsp ground cayenne
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh parsely, minced for garnish
Combine lentils, carrots, tomatoes, 2 cans chicken broth, onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs in stoneware dish.  Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours until lentils are soft.  Remove thyme sprigs.  Add chickpeas, sausage, 1 can chicken broth, and ground cayenne.   Cook on LOW for 2 more hours, or on HIGH for 1 more hour.  Just before serving, stir in lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serves 4-6.
* Recipe from Hamliton Beach Instruction Manual

Brown Butter Sage Pasta with hot dogs

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
For a quick, fun kid-oriented meal we did a gourmet version of buttered noodles and our favorite Oscar Mayer Naturals hotdogs.  I thought the sage leaves would be our veggie, but once fried they really didn't seem like enough.  Next time I will plan for a veggie. 

Brown Butter Sage Pasta
3 Tbsp butter
6 diced sage leaves
Rest of package of whole sage leaves
Melt with the sage and a pinch of salt until it foams and begins to brown. Remove whole sage leaves and drain on a paper towel (they will be a crispy, yummy treat). Continue to swirl the butter sauce until it turns a rich chestnut brown. Add pasta to saucepan and sauté. Serve with fried sage leaves.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Classic Bean & Rice

Friday, April 16, 2010
I needed something simple and easily reheatable for Nonna to have with Greysen while I went and enjoyed the Wisconsin Film Festival.  This was perfect. 

Classic Beans & Rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (undrained)
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chicken buillon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon cooking wine or cider vinegar
2 cups cooked rice
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan, sauté onion,green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until tender@8-10 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until boiling, reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced@ 20 minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 4.
* Recipe from - Dawn.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Greek Chicken Pasta

Thursday, April 15, 2010
So I haven't been cooking up a storm lately - Allen is working a lot and I had a nasty infection that left me with not enough energy to cook.  So it's been frozen pizza, canned chili and some yummy chicken quinoa soup from the freezer.  I'm finally getting back to normal. 

I thought this recipe sounded very interesting and similar to something I've had before.  I was right - it was delicious!  I did manage to kind of char the top under the broiler, but it was still tasty.  Greysen ate well and my visiting mother-in-law even went back for seconds!  I did use our heart-healthier options and cut up the chicken and artichoke smaller so that it was kid friendly.

Greek Chicken Pasta
2 c uncooked penne pasta (used whole grain)
1/4 c butter, cubed (used 3 Tbsp Earth Balance, 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 c all-purpose flour (used wheat flour)
1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 c cubed rotisserie chicken
1 jar (7.5 oz) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 c (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 c sliced pitted Greek olives
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
Cook pasta according to package.  Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet (I didn't have one, so I used a skillet and transferred it to a corningware dish - probably could have done the stovetop cooking in that as well) - melt butter. Add onion; saute until tender.  Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in the chicken, artichoke hearts, cheese, tomatoes and olives.  Drain pasta; stir into the pan. broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 5-7 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Sprinkle with parsley. 
* Recipe from Taste of Home magazine Apr/May 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Garden Fritatta

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The Spring Garden Fritatta was our choice this week for "kid's night."  It was fun for Greysen to help with and it looked so delicious and colorful.  We don't have the special fritatta pan so it became Spring Garden Scramble for us.  We could have cut the recipe in half and made it in omelette form.  This was fantastic!

Spring Garden Fritatta
6 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 lb. fontina cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
7 tsp. olive oil
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 1/2 lb. zucchini, cut lengthwise into ribbons 1/8 inch thick (I did bite-size chunks to be kid-friendly)
1 cup peas
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fontina, parsley, 2 Tbs. of the chives, the 1 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper; set aside. In the deep half of a frittata pan over medium heat, warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a small bowl. In the deep half of the frittata pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil. Add half of the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and just tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl. Warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil in the pan and cook the remaining zucchini, stirring in the peas during the last minute of cooking. Return all the zucchini to the pan and add the onion mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the egg mixture. Cook, using a rubber spatula to lift the cooked edges and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, until the eggs are almost set, 7 to 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, in the shallow half of the frittata pan over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Cook, covered, until the eggs are completely set, about 7 minutes. Invert the frittata onto a plate and let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. chives and serve. Serves 8.
* Recipe from Williams Sonoma.

Salmon Orzo Pilaf

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Lots of leftovers and an out-of-town trip gave us a nice reprieve from cooking (and dishes).   This dish was perfect for a busy day - very easy!  And the best part was that everyone enjoyed it.  Greysen liked the salmon "nuggets" and got some good veggies with the leek and pepper.

Salmon Orzo Pilaf
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium leek (white part only), rinsed well and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (our red was rotten, so I used green - but red is better)
3/4 lb salmon fillet, skinned and cut into bite-size chunks
1.5 c orzo
3 c vegetable broth
1/2 c half and half
Salt and pepper to taste (I also added lemon-garlic seasoning)
Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add leek and pepper.  Cook, stirring, until pepper just begins to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add salmon and cook, turning, until the fish cubes turn opaque on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes. Add orzo and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to coat with oil.  Pour in broth.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the pasta is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  Stir in the half and half.  Season to taste.  Simmer until hot, about 1 minute, and serve at once.
*Original recipe from Man in a Pan - but I've altered it a bit (was chicken broth and heavy cream)