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Category Archives: Pasta

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

These are some of my favorite recipes to make for Thanksgiving. Whether you’re going to a small family gathering or a large party, these recipes will be a hit. I’ve included appetizers, soups, veggie sides, dressing, and dessert recipes below. I’ve also included a few Gluten Free and Medifast recipes, for those who need them.

This year, I’ll be making Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties (Medifast and Gluten Free)Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts (Gluten Free), and Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. I could eat my weight in the Broccoli Patties, the Herb Stuffed Brussels Spouts are my favorite way to cook Buressels sprouts, and the carrot cake is to die for!

Enjoy!

Starters/Appetizers

Garlic Hummus
Rosemary and Thyme Cheese Ball

Soup/Base

Cream of Mushroom Soup from Scratch (Gluten Free)

Dressing

Turkey Sausage Dressing

Pastas and Salads

Pasta Salad
7 Layer Salad (Medifast)
Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Veggie Sides

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties (Medifast and Gluten Free)
Cauliflower Tots (Medifast and Gluten Free)
Bacon and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts (Gluten Free)

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Marinated Mushroom and Asparagus Warm Salad
Simple Seasoned Brussels Sprouts
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole (Medifast)
Squash Gratin (Medifast)
Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (Medifast)

Desserts

Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache
Easy Apple Crisp Bars sweetened with Honey (Gluten Free)
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cookies (Gluten Free)
Blueberry Coffee Crumble Cake
Gingerbread Spice Cake

Turkey Sausage Dressing

Turkey Sausage Dressing

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache

Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache

 

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Pork Dumpling Soup

Makes 40 dumplings and about 10-15 bowls of soup.

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 pkg square wonton wrappers (produce isle in Walmart)
  • 1 pound reduced fat ground pork
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • Bowl of warm water
  • 5 cans chicken stock, reduced sodium
  • 5 green onions, chopped
1. Pour the chicken stock into a large stock pot and bring to a boil.

2. Mix the pork, onion, egg, salt, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in a medium bowl.

3. How to assemble the dumplings:

  • Put 1/2 – 1 tsp of the pork filling into the middle of a wonton wrapper.
  • Dip your finger into the warm water and run it along all 4 edges of the wonton wrapper.
  • Fold the wrapper in half length-wise into a rectangle. Gently press the edges together.
  • Dip your finger into the warm water and dab the lower left hand corner.
  • Bring the lower left and right corners together and overlap the right over the left just a smidge. Gently press the corners together.

If filling pops out, remove the excess filling and press the edges back together – and decrease the amount of filling for the remaining dumplings. Here is a video if you need a visual demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_hjHe-RiYg.

4. Once you have filled all of the wonton wrappers, place 6 dumplings – one at a time – into the boiling chicken stock. When they rise to the top, remove them, they have finished cooking. Nifty, eh? Who needs timers? Remove the dumplings to a platter. Be sure to stir the pot periodically to ensure they dumplings don’t stick together. Repeat until all of your dumplings are cooked.

5. Once all of the dumplings are cooked, add them back to the chicken stock. Add the green onions and cook for a few minutes.

You’re ready to serve!

A small bit of advice: if there are left-overs, remove the dumplings from the soup before storing. The dumplings will bloat and fall apart if they are left in the soup overnight.

Pork Dumpling Soup

Pork Dumpling Soup

Pork Dumpling Soup

Pork Dumpling Soup

Based off of the recipe found on My Simple Food

 
 

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Light Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

I served this recipe over Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles) instead of traditional fettuccine pasta.

Chicken Alfredo Zoodles

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic paste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water

Zoodle Ingredients

  • 2-4 zucchini (1 zucchini per person)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt

Other Ingredients

  • 8 oz chicken (I used precooked, refrigerated Chicken Fajita Breast Strips from John Soules, $3 at Walmart) OR
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

1. If using John Soules chicken, empty the bag into a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat until heated through. Otherwise, trim the chicken breasts, season lightly with garlic powder, ground thyme, and salt, and cook in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the chicken when the bottom is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking until both sides have browned and the chicken is cooked throughout. Remove chicken from heat and cut the breasts into strips.

Alfredo Sauce Directions

1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add 1 tbsp corn starch. Stir until combined. Add the garlic paste and stir until combined.

2. Slowly pour in 1 tbsp milk. Using a whisk, combine the milk with cornstarch mixture. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk. Add the parmesan cheese and stir until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and whisk until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the milk does not form a film on the bottom of the pan.

3. In a small bowl or shaker jar, combine the remaining 1 tbsp cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Stir or shake until combined. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Light Alfredo Sauce

Zoodle Directions

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the zucchini. I used a very small vegetable peeler that fits over my finger. You don’t want to use a large peeler because you are going to use it to make your noodles.

2. Using the vegetable peeler, slowly peel off the zucchini flesh – your noodles! You want them to be no larger than 1/2 inch wide. I aimed for 1/4 inch. I found that if you rotate the zucchini each time you peel off a noodle, you get smaller noodles.

Zoodles

3. Place the zoodles in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for 10 minutes then pat dry with a paper towel.

4. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt the butter. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spaghetti spoon. If the zucchini begins to wilt, remove from heat. The zucchini should be bright green and still al dente.

Using a spaghetti spoon, pile 1 cup of zoodles onto a plate. Using a ladle or large serving spoon, pour 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce over the Zoodles. Next, place 2-4 chicken strips on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley. Voila! A delicious and healthy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo!

Chicken Alfredo Zoodles

Recipe created by Me! : D

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Chicken, Gluten Free, Pasta

 

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How to make Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

1 medium zucchini makes enough pasta for 1 person, about 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the zucchini. I used a very small vegetable peeler that fits over my finger. You don’t want to use a large peeler because you are going to use it to make your noodles.

Vegetable  Peeler

I got this vegetable peeler for $2.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond. I absolutely love it.

2. Using the vegetable peeler, slowly peel off the zucchini flesh – your noodles! You want them to be no larger than 1/2 inch wide. I aimed for 1/4 inch. I found that if you rotate the zucchini each time you peel off a noodle, you get smaller noodles. Stop peeling when you reach the core. The seeded flesh doesn’t make good noodles.

Zoodles

3. Place the zoodles in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for 10 minutes then pat dry with a paper towel.

4. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt the butter. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spaghetti spoon. If the zucchini begins to wilt, remove from heat. The zucchini should be bright green and still al dente.

Voila! A delicious low carb, gluten free pasta substitute : )

I used the zoodles to make Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. It was a fantastic combination.

Chicken Alfred Zoodles

Based off of the recipe found at Viginia is for Hunter Gatherers

 

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Chicken Tetrazzini with Spaghetti Squash (GF)

For those of you who are on Medifast, I plan to remake this into a Medifast friendly recipe : )

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, small dice
  • 1/2 large onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • Ground thyme
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 425. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, garlic powder, and thyme. Rub the spices in. In a large skillet, cook the chicken over medium-high heat until brown and thoroughly cooked, about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Cut into small chunks, about the size of a penny.

2. Very carefully cut several holes in the spaghetti squash. Place on a microwaveable plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 10-12 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Use a flat edged spatula to coax the brown goodness off of the skillet. Add the rest of the chicken stock and the cream. Stir. Cook for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir the corn starch into the cold water. Add the mixture to the sauce. Simmer over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes or until it begins to thicken.

4. In a medium skillet cook the onions and garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour the mushrooms on top, do NOT stir, lower heat to low. Season with salt, thyme, and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add the chicken to the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the mushroom mixture into the sauce. You don’t want to water down the sauce by adding the mushroom juice. Stir until everything is coated in sauce.

Chicken Tetazzini Sauce

6. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise – from tip to tip. Using a fork, remove the seeds and any tough flesh from the center. After all seeds are removed, use the fork to shred the flesh. Place the flesh in a large bowl and season with salt.

7. PAM a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish. Pour the spaghetti squash into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Pour the sauce on top and spread evenly. Top with shredded Parmesan.

Chicken Tetazzini

Bake for 15 minutes. Let the dish sit for a few minutes before serving. Make sure you try it before you add anything extra like parsley or Parmesan on top. I think it’s already perfection!

Chicken Tetrazzini

Recipe created by Me! : D

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Chicken, Gluten Free, Pasta

 

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Ham and Spinach Pesto Zucchini Lasagna (Gluten Free)

Pesto ingredients

1 tbsp basil paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil

Lasagna Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large zucchini, peeled
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1/3 cup pesto, I don’t like store bought pesto, so I make my own, recipe is below
  • 1 – 10oz package of frozen spinach
  • 1 – 15oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 c cooked ham, diced small
  • 1/2 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place the frozen spinach on a plate. Place plate in the microwave and defrost for 5 minutes, flip the spinach, and defrost for 5 more. Spinach should now be thoroughly thawed. Place spinach in a strainer and push out all of the excess liquid. If you are making the pesto from scratch, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Combine the spinach and pesto in a medium bowl.

2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the cold milk and corn starch. Add to the milk. Stir the mixture, raise the heat until the mixture bubbles, and cook until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Reserve ¼ cup of the milk mixture and pour the rest into the pesto and spinach mixture.

3. Using a mandolin or chef knife, slice the zucchini into thin strips. Fill a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add 5-6 zucchini strips at a time and boil for 1 ½ minutes. Using tongs, remove the strips from the boiling water and place on a flat surface lined with paper towels. Repeat until all slices are cooked.

5. In a 9×13 glass casserole dish, pour in half of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle ½ cup of dices ham over the spinach mixture. Add a layer of half of the zucchini slices. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and ¼ cup of reserved milk mixture. Using the back of a spoon, spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the zucchini slices. If you’re having issues spreading the ricotta, try starting in a corner and slowly spreading out. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Repeat these steps. Spinach, ham, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella. Top with shredded Parmesan and sprinkle with parsley flakes and oregano leaves.

Ham and Spinach Pesto Lasagna Layers

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Ham and Spinach Pesto Lasagna

Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ham and Spinach Pesto Lasagna

Based off of a recipe found at Better Recipes

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Gluten Free, Pasta, Pork

 

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Chicken Spaghetti Squash (Medifast)

Chicken Spaghetti (Squash)

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 lbs chicken breasts
  • 8 – 16 oz raw baby bella mushrooms, chopped (how much do you like mushrooms?)
  • 3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp ground thyme, divided
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt

1. In a large skillet, add the cream cheese and stir over medium heat until melted. Starting with 1 tbsp, slowly add the chicken stock to the melted cream cheese. Each time you add chicken stock, use a whisk to thoroughly integrate it into the cream cheese.

2. Once all of the chicken stock has been added to the cream cheese, add the chopped mushrooms to the sauce. Stir in half the salt and ground thyme. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture cook covered for 10 minutes.

3. While the sauce is cooking, pierce the shell of the spaghetti squash several times. Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave for 12 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let cool on the plate for 5 minutes. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise – from tip to tip – and use a fork to remove the seeds and tough center parts. Once seeds are removed, drag a fork down through the flesh of the squash. Repeat until you have shredded the both halves – you should have quite a large pile of squash.

4. While the sauce is thickening * and the spaghetti squash is cooking, remove all visible fat from the chicken breasts then cut into small pieces, no larger than the size of your thumb nail. Add the chicken to a medium skillet. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and ground thyme. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat once the chicken is thoroughly cooked but not browned. If there is liquid in the skillet with the chicken, drain it.

5. Once all liquid has been removed, add the chicken to the sauce mixture. Stir until the chicken is coated in the sauce. In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shredded spaghetti squash and sprinkle with salt. Using a spaghetti spoon, stir the spaghetti squash. Add the sauce mixture to the spaghetti squash pot and stir. Voila!

I sprinkled chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese on top – was delicious!

* If your sauce does not thicken properly: in a small shaker jar, mix 1/4 c water and 1 tsp cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir thoroughly. My sauce immediately thickened to the perfect consistency when I added cornstarch.

Recipe created by Me! : D

 

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