Tag Archives: garlic

Fettuccine with Scallops, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Parmesan

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Katie:  While up in “the Northwoods” last week, I was treated to a home-cooked Somali meal featuring sambusas, homemade mango juice, goat meat, safron vegetables, rice flavored with cinnamon and cilantro, and a salad with roasted beets and hard boiled eggs.  It was a fun experience and very nice of the Somali women to invite us into their home and cook such delicious food!

After being away, I looked forward to cooking again.  Ken and I found this recipe from Cooking Light for Shrimp Fettuccine.  Since he is allergic to shrimp, we made it with baby scallops instead and also added mushrooms.  The garlic, scallops, mushrooms, and spinach topping fettuccine was a flavorful combination.  If I make this again, I might try adding some white wine, but overall it was a great dish!

Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Vegetables with Garlicky Fettuccine

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Katie:  This was another great meal!  I found this recipe from Cooking Light.  Fettuccine mixed with minced garlic is topped with roasted bell pepper and winter squash seasoned with rosemary, with baked goat cheese coated in bread crumbs.  This was a nice meal, but not too complicated to prepare on a weeknight and could easily be adapted.  I think next time I might add mushrooms, eggplant, or sun-dried tomatoes.  The baked goat cheese turned out great and was a great addition to the other flavors!

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Katie:  I like making couscous, especially since it’s pretty easy to prepare.  It’s not very flavorful by itself, but it works well as a base with other ingredients.  While I’ve often had the finer variety of couscous, I’ve recently tried Israeli (or Pearl) couscous which is bigger, chewier, and a little more flavorful.  I was excited to try this recipe for Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  It pairs Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and a dressing made with roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.  I made this recipe as written, using fresh herbs from the garden.  It went well with fish, and was a good choice for a summer dish! 

Grilled Panzanella

Here’s a recipe that I’ve wanted to try for a while.  It’s healthy, vegetarian and goes well with chicken or fish.  (We served it with barbecued salmon.)  You want to mix just before serving so you don’t end up with soggy bread.  If we have leftovers, I store the bread, vegetables and dressing separately.  We added olives but you can add any other vegetables you want: eggplant, summer squash, etc.

Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup

Katie:  Since I’m on my own for meals this week, I decided to take the opportunity to try a few new recipes. It was chilly here today, so I decided to make some soup.  I found this recipe for Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup from Martha Stewart.  It took awhile to roast the beets, but otherwise this soup was really simple to make.  I forgot to add the lemon juice, but it still tasted great.  I ate it with a dollop of ricotta, which was the perfect accompaniment!

Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup (slightly adapted from Whole Living)

  • 3 medium beets
  • olive oil
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Drizzle beets with olive oil and roast in parchment-lined foil for 1 hour or until tender.  Drizzle the garlic cloves with oil (I roasted a whole head), wrap in foil, and roast for 30-40 minutes.  Unwrap beets, let cool, peel, and quarter.  (Be careful not to get the juice on your clothes!) Squeeze garlic from skin. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add beets and garlic, the herbs, the bay leaf, and 3 cups water.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serve with ricotta cheese or sour cream, as desired.

To go with my soup, I decided to use some leftover salmon in quesadillas.  I followed this recipe for Salmon and Kale Quesadillas, which turned out great!  If I made them again, I might try added other spices or some tomatoes, but I really enjoyed this combination of flavors.

Chicken Parmesan Pockets

Katie:  I’ve thought about making calzones, but have been intimidated by the amount of prep work required just to prepare the pizza dough.  So when I spotted this recipe for Chicken Parmesan Wraps from Can You Stay for Dinner?, I was excited at the possibility of a quicker version of calzones.  Rather than using homemade or even store-bought pizza dough, Andie used egg roll wrappers.  Great idea!

I prepared the pockets as written, except I cooked the chicken breasts in a panini grill.  I made a few adjustments to the marinara sauce, including adding balsamic vinegar, which really enhanced the flavor.  The sauce took a little while to simmer, but otherwise these were pretty simple to prepare.  The pockets were crispy and tasted great with the flavorful marinara sauce.  These would probably be great with other fillings too, like mushrooms or ricotta cheese.  Now I just need to decide what to make with the leftover egg roll wrappers!

Chicken Parmesan Pockets (slightly adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner?)

makes 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 6 egg roll wrappers (each 7 inches squared)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce:

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirred frequently, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.  Lower the heat if necessary to prevent the onion and garlic from burning.

Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining sauce ingredients (Italian herbs through balsamic vinegar), stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn.

Chicken Parmesan Pockets:

Cook the chicken in a panini press or pan until lightly brown and thoroughly cooked.  Let cool, and then shred with two forks (or your fingers), pulling against the grain of the meat.  Mix the shredded chicken with one cup of the marinara sauce in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cover a cooking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay the egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface.  Layer each with a few leaves of spinach, then the chicken mixture, and top with the cheeses.

Lightly brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water and fold the upper left corner downward, covering the filling and forming a triangle, and press to seal on the bottom right corner. Press to seal each of the sides. Repeat with remaining wraps.

Place all 6 filled wraps on the baking sheet without touching each other, brush lightly with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Peanut Stew

Matthew:  After the great beef stew, it was time to try something a little different.  Erika recommended this recipe for Inner Warmth Peanut Stew, from Matt Moyer, executive chef at The Great Dane.  The list of ingredients might seem a little strange–butternut squash, tomatoes, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger–but the combination really tastes good.  I was a little hesitant to add 1/2 cup of ginger, but I went for it.  I really enjoyed this stew.  It made quite a bit and I ended up freezing half of it, but after I finished the first half I thawed the other half to eat right away.  I highly recommend this recipe if you are tired of the more traditional winter soups and stews, but still want something warm and filling.  Two small changes I made were to use chunky peanut butter and to add some cinnamon.