Category Archives: pasta

Orzo with Veggies and Feta

Orzo with Feta

Orzo with Feta

I’ve been thinking about making something with orzo for a while, and saw a good recipe on Tasty Kitchen and thought I’d give it a try.  But you know me, I can’t follow directions when it comes to food, so, as always, I added my own touch on the recipe.

The asparagus I had was already roasted (LOVE! roasted asparagus) so that was one variation from the original recipe.  Another was the tomatoes.  I love tomatoes, and Sendik’s had cute little cherry tomatoes on sale.  These aren’t good enough to eat on their own yet, but are good enough to cook with (the added spiced and other things in the dish help out the paper-like taste of winter tomatoes).

Ingredients:
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 lb spinach
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup roasted asparagus (sliced on the diagonal in bite-sized pieces)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Feta (as much as you like)
2 TB olive oil
Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste.

Steps:
1. Cook orzo according to package directions
2. Let the minced garlic infuse the olive oil on relatively low heat, so it doesn’t burn, until you can smell it (or about 5 minutes)
3. Add the spinach and cook down a bit
4. Add the tomatoes, season, and cook together for about 5 minutes
5. Add the roasted asparagus and orzo
6. Add the feta

Garlic infusing oil

Garlic infusing oil

Cooked spinach

Spinach cooked down

Tomatoes

Added the tomatoes

Orzo

Added orzo and asparagus

Added feta

Added feta

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

After making the Mushroom Stroganoff I wanted to make the real thing. Especially considering that I haven’t had beef stroganoff in at least ten years. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either when I started thinking about it. I actually don’t remember the last time I had it. And after I made the mushroom stroganoff, I started searching for recipes. But as you know, I have a hard time following a recipe. So, I decided to combine a few and the ones I liked were the Paula Dean version and a Cooking Light version.  Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients:
1 lb of beef (I used the already-cut-up beef that you can find at your local grocery store)
3 TB of flour (this depends on your beef; you could use more or less)
24 oz. of mushrooms, sliced thinly (less mushrooms if you like less)
1 cup of low-fat sour cream
1 large onion, diced
Spices to taste (salt, black pepper, paprika, chipotle pepper)

Steps:
Cook noodles according to package directions.
1. In a zip bag, season and flour the meat. Shake it to make sure the flour, salt, and pepper cover the meat.
2. In a large skillet, saute the onions and then the meat.
3. Add the mushrooms once the meat is done.
4. Once the mushrooms reduce, add sour cream and cook over low heat till you have a nice sauce and no lumps and the meat is cooked through.
Add seasonings as you go along to deepen the depth of flavor.

Serve over noodles.

Onions and meat

Onions and meat

Mushrooms added

Mushrooms added

Sauce for stroganoff

With Sour Cream

Mushroom “Stroganoff”

mushroom-stroganoff

YUM

I was reading a few yummy recipes, some for beef stroganoff and some for a mushroom and pasta dish, and the wires must have gotten crossed and this creation emerged.  I had a rather large packet of mushrooms from Costco and I’ve been trying not to waste them (again).  So I figured I’d saute them and server with ribbon pasta and some sort of sauce, but that’s not exactly what happened.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
24oz packet of mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 cup of low-fat sour cream
Roasted asparagus (optional; I just had some in the fridge so decided to use it)
1 large onion (diced)
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, sweet paprika, smoked spanish paprika (all to taste)
Noodles (I used half a pound of whole wheat ones)

Steps:
Cook noodles according to package directions
1. Saute onion.
2. Add mushrooms and saute them too. If you see it sticking, add some stock or pasta water.
3. Add sour cream. Season.
4. Add asparagus, if using.

mushrooms_onions

Mushrooms and onions

mushroom stroganoff

With Sourcream

mushroom stroganoff with pasta

With Noodles

Orzo with Roasted Shrimp

Shrimp and Orzo salad

Shrimp and Orzo salad

This dinner is completely inspired by Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa.  I love her style of cooking and many of her recipes and have tried quite a few.  But I had a couple pounds of shrimp sitting around and I wanted to use up some of it.  I also had a ton of veggies sitting around and I didn’t want to waste those either.  So, I thought that orzo would be a perfect canvas to combine all these great ingredients. I tried to stick to her recipe for the most part, but of course, I had to make things “mine” by switching a few things.

Ingredients:
Shrimp
1/2 cup (dry) orzo
2 bell peppers (I used yellow and orange)
1/4 large hothouse cucumber
1/4 cup feta (I used French feta, but use your favorite/whatever you have on hand)
basil, lots (I used about a 1/4 cup)
2 TB olives, finely minced
2 scalions finely minced.
Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Dice the bell peppers and cucumber.
2. Cook the orzo according to package directions.
3. Combine all the ingredients.

Orzo with Shrimp

Orzo with Shrimp

Oven Roasted Shrimp

Oven Roasted Shrimp

Roasted Chicken Chili

Roasted Chicken Chili

Roasted Chicken Chili

Remember how I made two chickens for my birthday? Well, I used most of the 2nd one for this chili. I used the legs and thighs for other meals and had two fairly large chicken breasts and other odd pieces for the chili. So without further ado, here is what I did.

 

Ingredients:
1 can of Red Gold tomatoes with chilis
2-3 cans of tomatoes
2 cans of chili beans (I used mild since the tomatoes were plenty spicy)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 bell peppers (any kind, but I like red)
6-8 cups of water, depending on how watery you like your chili and how much pasta you’ll add
a handful of pasta

Steps:
1. Saute the onion and garlic.
2. Add the tomatoes and beans and cook a few minutes.
3. Add the bell peppers and cook a few minutes.
4. Add the diced chicken and cook a few minutes.
5. Add 2-3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Check the spices and adjust as needed.
6. Add the rest of the water and bring to a boil. Then add pasta and turn down the heat to low.

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili

Almost done

Almost done

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Not because I haven’t cooked, but because I’ve been so busy. But tonight, amazingly enough I had enough energy to go to the grocery store, get some groceries, and actually cook the food today. But like any busy woman, I want something quick, effortless, and most importantly, delicious. So here is what I came up with today.

Seasoned Shrimp

Seasoned Shrimp

Vegetables in the Pan

Vegetables in the Pan

All ingredients in the pan

All ingredients in the pan



 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
10 oz package of shredded carrots (I used about half)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 red bell peppers (sliced)
rice pasta (gluten-free pasta; a handful or so)
shrimp
asparagus (a handful or so)
olive oil (as needed)
1/4 cup or so of white wine
salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chipotle powder

Steps:
1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pan. Once the oil is hot enough, drop in the veggies (though, you might want to drop in asparagus close to the end, so it’s not too mushy).
2. My package of this rice pasta indicated that it takes 5 minutes to cook, so I started the water water for it in a separate pot.
3. Season the shrimp before adding it to the pan. I seasoned the shrimp right in the collander where I defrosted them. For the seasoning, I used salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle pepper powder. All to taste, of course. Then, add to the pan.
4. Add the wine, close the lid, and let steam for about 5 minutes.
5. When the pasta is ready and shrimp is cooked, add the pasta to the pan and toss everything together.

Dig In!

Dig In!

Pasta Sauce – Vegetables Galore

Chunky Pasta Sauce

Chunky Pasta Sauce

I haven’t made anything pasta related in a while and figured it was time to get back to that.  So today I decided to make pasta sauce.  Additionally, I had a lot of vegetables in my fridge that I haven’t used up yet, so I figured it’s a perfect opportunity to use them.  This worked out really well since I like a really chunky tomato sauce.  And if you have kids, this is a great way to get them to eat vegetables.  This recipe can also be vegetarian quite easily – just leave the meat out.  With this recipe, use what ever veggies you like, in any quantity you like.  Here is what I did.

We're cooking now!

We're cooking now!

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Adding the meat

Adding the meat

Ingredients: 1 lb of ground turkey
1 very large carrot (cut into half moons)
2 red bell peppers (diced)
1 large white onion (minced)
1 zucchini (cut into half moons)
1 summer squash (cut into half moons)
3.5 oz of mushrooms (that was the size of the package I had. Use more or less)
3-4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used 1 can of Red Gold roasted garlic and onion and 1 can of Red Gold basil, garlic, and oregano)
Roasted tomatoes (optional; I had some on hand so I used them)
Tomato paste (I used about 3 oz, half of a 6oz can of Red Gold tomato paste)
2-3 tb of olive oil
Olives (optional, but I had some so I used them; chopped, about 2 handfuls)
Garlic powder
Paprika Salt, Pepper (freshly ground)
Flat leaf parsley (for garnish and for cooking, to taste)
6 bay leaves (3 for the sauce, 3 for the pasta)

See the parsley

See the parsley

All the ingredients cooking

All the ingredients cooking

Adding pasta to the sauce

Adding pasta to the sauce

Steps:
1. Saute the onion for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
2. Add the carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and salt & pepper. Let cook for a few minutes (I put the lid on and let the veggies steam a little).
4. If you are adding meat, do it at this stage. I pushed the veggies to the sides of the pan and added the meat into the middle so that it can brown. I also season the meat at this point. Cook the meat until it’s all browned and thoroughly cooked.
5. Add bay leaves and parsley. Mix everything together and taste seasoning. This is when I add more salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and anything else that strikes my fancy.
6. Add the tomato products (canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted tomatoes if you have them).
7. Put the lid on and let cook over medium-low for about 10-15 minutes.
8. Add the pasta to the sauce (which has been cooking in a separate pot, according to the directions on the box.) I serve it with a little bit of cheese grated on top. I used a very mild goat’s cheese.

I know you can't resist this!

I know you can't resist this!