Chicken, spinach, feta and pasta bake

This is super easy, light, healthy and yummy!!! Lucy ate it up!

Here is what you need:
2-3 cooked chicken breast cut in bite size pieces.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 ripe medium tomatoes
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1-2 cups of fresh spinach
About 3/4 box of pasta of choice (use whole wheat to make this healthier)

Here is what to do:
Cook pasta according to the directions

To cook the chicken:
Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in a pan with olive oil and onion
Season the chicken with garlic salt and pepper
Sautéed until cooked all the way thru.
Set aside

In a baking dish combine: spinach, tomatoes, and feta. Add chicken and pasta top with shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 475 about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!!

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Meatballs…buffalo style

Meatballs, chicken, buffalo. YES please!!! Did I mention there are hidden veggies in this?? So that means buffalo chicken can be HEALTHY!!

What you need:
1 pound ground chicken
1 carrot
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 zucchini (hand chop or use a food processor for all the veggies)
Blue cheese crumbles (I used about a cup, blue cheese can be strong use to your liking)
1/4 bread crumbs
1 egg
Buffalo hot sauce

What to do:
Mix everything together. Use some buffalo sauce in the chicken mixture (again to your liking- the more you put on the hotter it is!)
Roll the chicken mixture into balls and place on baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
Drizzle buffalo sauce on top of the cooked meatballs.

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Enjoy!

Goat cheese, mushroom, asparagus pasta

This one is quite tasty! It is a little different take on Alfredo sauce! How can you go wrong with goat cheese??

Here’s what you need:
1 lb. pasta of choice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then cut into 2″ pieces
16 oz fresh mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
8 oz. goat cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup water

What to do::
Cook pasta (I use tortilini)
Sauté Veggies in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until cooked.
In a separate sauce pan heat butter, add flour, cheeses and water until melted.
Toss pasta, sauce and veggies.

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My helper, and she LOVED it!!

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Enjoy!

Mini turkey meatloaf

I think I have made many different versions of this! Got to love some feel good food like meatloaf and potatoes! I switched it up and made mini loafs this time. The measuring was not very precise, just dump what you have in it!

What you need:
2 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs
The rest I did not measure, just throw it in and mix it up!

Minced garlic
Chopped red pepper
Chopped onion
Basil
Crumbled feta cheese
Italian bread crumbs
Fresh Parmesan

I mixed it all together and spooned into muffin tins.

Topping: mix ketchup and brown sugar. It makes a familiar yet sweet sauce 🙂

Bake at 400 degrees until fully cooked!

**you can really hide any veggie in this, carrots and zucchini would be good to throw in the food processor and add to it.

This is VERY easy to mix up ahead of time, freeze and throw in the oven when your ready!

Enjoy!

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White chicken lasagna

What you need:
1/2 c. butter

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

ground black pepper, to taste

2 c. chicken broth

2 c. nonfat milk

4 c. mozzarella cheese, divided (approx)

1 c. shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese

1 1/2 c. cooked and shredded chicken

1/2 bag fresh spinach

1/2 squash (make purée)**

Melt butter in a large saucepot. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Cook flour mixture 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 minute. Turn off heat and add 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Stir in dried spices.

Yum yum cheese sauce:

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Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle some cheese sauce onto the bottom to thinly cover. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Layer with more cheese sauce, the chicken, and the ricotta cheese. Add another layer of pasta. Top with cheese sauce, spinach, and 1 c. mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of pasta. Top with cheese sauce. Using a spoon, spread the butternut squash puree over the cheese sauce. Top with remaining 1 c. mozzarella cheese and 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese. Add final layer of lasagna. Top with remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until bubbly. If cheese doesn’t brown on top, turn on the broiler for the last couple minutes. Allow lasagna to sit about 15 minutes before serving for easier slicing.

I made this ahead of time and put it in the freezer for dinner this week. Yum yum. Can’t wait to eat it 🙂

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Not a very good before picture, will update when we eat it!

Squash purée:
Cut squash in half, place halves in a deep pan with enough water to cover the bottom.
Bake at 400 for approx 1 hour
Scoop out and mash.
It is actually a very sweet veggie. However, if your kids will not eat their veggies this is a good one to sneak in sauces and other food. It has great flavor. I’m lucky Lucy loves her veggies and now she has a new favorite!

A week behind. Life happens.

A week late, sorry for the delay. Last weekend was tax free weekend which meant my normal cooking day was moved and therefor a few days late which turned into a week behind. So yes, life does happen!! Here is the menu for this week. Next week: baby food!

Breakfast:

Egg and Spinach Casserole

Lunch:

Chicken salad sandwiches

Dinners:

Buffalo Chicken Tacos (my husband’s fav!)

Macaroni and cheese–added spinach. This is my attempt to make mac and cheese healthy!

Green enchiladas

5 minute Italian Chicken

***Fun note: I bought one bag of frozen chicken tenders and used it for four meals! thrifty right??

Lucy watching me cook…and munching on a green bean 😉

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Macaroni and cheese with spinach

This is my grandma’s mac and cheese recipe but added spinach. Yes, I attempted to add nutrition to the comfort food of mac and cheese!

What you need:
1 package of macaroni or noodle of your choice
2 cans cream of cheddar cheese soup
1 package shredded cheddar cheese
1 can evaporated milk (or about 1/2 cup of regular milk)
1 garlic clove

1 cup of shredded fresh spinach (also good with out spinach)

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What to do:
Cook pasta according to directions.
In a separate bowl combine all other ingredients and set aside.
In a large pan mix cheese mixture with cooked pasta.
**if freezing do now. Label and place in freezer.
Bake at 350 degrees until it bubbles.

Enjoy!

 

A little Italian on my mind..

Well Italian with a little Mexican that is… Here is our week!

Here is the menu:

Breakfast:

Granola bars

Mini Quiche

Lunches:
Turkey and cheese sandwich– I premake about 5-7 sandwiches with turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Leave the dressing off so it does not get soggy! Put them in baggies and they are ready to go for the week!
Old fashion PB&J– put in the freezer and by the time they are ready to eat, it is still cold but thawed!
Avocado & cranberry salad

Dinners:
Green chili burritos
Turkey meatball sandwiches
Baked ziti
A fun snack:

Corn chips

Grocery list:

Dairy:

butter

eggs

half and half

cottage cheese

Deli:

shredded cheddar cheese

crumbled goat cheese

crumbled feta cheese

lunch meat

sliced cheese

1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

parmesan cheese (fresh is the best)

Produce:

1 potato

basil

parsley

1 bag of spinach

1 yellow onion

1 small tomato

2 avocados

5 garlic cloves (I buy a jar of minced garlic so it does not go to waste)

dried cranberries

pine nuts

fresh fruit–always easy to cut up and add to each meal

Frozen:

Box:

bread crumbs

1 penne pasta

Can:

1 green enchilada sauce

1 Ortega chilies diced

1 refried beans

2 tomato sauce

1 diced tomatoes

Sauce:

salsa

ranch

peanut butter

jelly

honey

Meat:

1 package breakfast sausage

1 pork shoulder

1 pound ground turkey

1 italian sausage

chicken breast (if wanted for salad)

Baking:

flaxseed

oatmeal

vanilla

chocolate chips

sugar

cornstarch

Spices:

Olive oil

salt

garlic powder

pepper

red pepper

oregano

Bakery:

corn tortillas

flour tortillas

hoagie buns

Off to cook!

Lucy herself… She seems to be bored with cooking. Reading will do!

Enjoy!

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A little lunch salad

My favorite salad, sometimes it changes due to what I have at home. It is best with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing!

What you need:

1 bag of spinach

1 avocado

1 bag of dried cranberries

1 bag of pine nuts

3 chicken breast (optional)crumbled goat cheese or feta

1 small tomato (chopped)

what to do:

Mix it all together!

If you add chicken, I boil the chicken breast and shred it and season with salt/pepper.

Use the dressing of your choice!

Enjoy!

Sorry no picture–it saved gigantic 🙂

Baked Ziti

Spaghetti is my all time favorite food. Wayne hates it–ya he is not normal who hates spaghetti?! So I come up with alternatives..

What you need:

1 lb. cottage cheese

2 eggs

3 oz. Parmesan cheese

salt

1 lb. ziti (I use penne)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 package Italian sausage

1/2 yellow onion

5 garlic cloves

1 can tomato sauce (28 oz.)

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

1 tsp oregano

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tsp sugar

pepper

3/4 tsp cornstarch

1 cup milk

1 package mozzarella cheese

What to do:

Cook pasta until it begins to soften but not quite cooked and set aside

In a mixing bowl combine: cottage cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese.

In a separate pan cook the Italian sausage until nearly brown. Add onion and garlic an continue cooking until the meat is done
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and simmer (approx 10-15 minutes)
Then add basil and sugar
Sprinkle salt and pepper

In a small pan mix together corn starch and heavy cream (I used milk) bring to a simmer until it has thickened.
Remove from heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture, and 3/4 cups of mozzarella. Now add the pasta and mix together.

Transfer into a 9×13 greased baking dish and pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over the top.

**for freezing:: cover in foil with cooking directions on top. And make sure it is freezer proof so it will not get freezer burn!

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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