Tag Archives: spinach

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!

Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad

Katie:  On the hottest and most humid days, the thought of standing in front of a hot stove isn’t always very appealing.  Salads are a good alternative, especially with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. So when I spotted this recipe for Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad on Closet Cooking, I quickly remembered the huge box of strawberries sitting in the refrigerator.  I knew it would be the perfect light meal for a sticky day.  I followed the recipe as written.  First, I mixed together the homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette and marinated the chicken for awhile, before grilling it on the Panini grill.  I also made the homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing with roasted strawberries.  The remaining ingredients included a mixture of greens, chopped pecans, bacon, (peppers), and goat cheese.  It was pretty simple to prepare, and I really enjoyed the 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.

Stuffed acorn squash

Matthew:  I’ve been accumulating squash from my CSA for the past few weeks and I finally had a break in more perishable vegetables and was able to use some of them.  My friend Beth, who is a genius in the kitchen, sent me a recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with glowing reviews.  I instead used acorn squash, but it still turned out great.  The recipe also calls for marinara sauce.  It would have been great to use homemade sauce, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I found some good quality canned sauce.  As Beth said, this is really a great recipe for using up random vegetables.  I actually used so many vegetables that they didn’t all fit back in the acorn squash halves, so I had to use another baking dish for the extra.  This is definitely a d0-over!  Here’s the recipe:

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep: ~ 45 minutes total time, 20 active prep.  chop/saute all the veggies while the squash is cooking and it’ll be quick.

Ingredients:

– 1 spaghetti squash
– 1/2 T. olive oil
– 1/2 chopped:
celery
carrots
onions
bell pepper
zuchinni
summer squash
mushrooms
(or anything you need to get rid of)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
– 1/2 c. bread crumbs or almond meal if you’re going gluten free
– your fav marinara sauce (~ 1 cup)
– 2 oz. shredded mozzarella
– 1 oz. parmesan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.  (I roasted my squash which worked fine.)

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, salt and pepper and cook veggies until softened. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, and marinara sauce. Mix everything together, then return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted.

Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

Katie:  After using fresh corn in soups and salads this summer, I was curious to try using it in a different type of dish.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light for Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli, which sounded really good.  Roasting the tomatoes took awhile, and the kitchen got pretty warm cooking the fritters, but they turned out great!  They consisted of a corn fritter seasoned with green onions, topped with an oven-roasted tomato, a piece of spinach (instead of the arugula recommended in the recipe), repeated layers of these toppings, topped with a piece of prosciutto and a little dollop of lime aioli (mayonnaise/lime sauce).  The combination of flavors that the layers provided worked well together.  I made the fritters a little larger than recommended, so that they were filling enough for a meal.  These could be served for dinner with soup or salad (we had them with Fresh Pea Soup), as a fancy appetizer, or as part of a brunch buffet.

Cooking the corn fritters

Beginning the layers

Adding the final touch

 

 

Garlic-Roasted Lamb with Oregano Pesto

Bill:  Matt, Jill and I made a great Easter Holiday meal.  Matt purchased a boneless leg of lamb at Knoche’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop in Madison.  Matt made Oregano Pesto which used spinach and pistachios as the main ingredients.  An excellent combination.  Jill prepared the lamb for the oven by spreading the oregano pesto on the meat and then rolling it up and tying it.  She followed this recipe which included topping the lamb with more pesto and inserting garlic slivers into the meat.  Wow was it good!  My contribution was to make Oven Roasted Broccoli which is one of our favorite roasted vegetables.   We also had roasted red potatoes.  This was a great meal.  The lamb was so tender and tasty.  I’m looking forward to leftovers tonight for supper.

Strawberries in Winter??? YES!

JillPickle: I was asked to bring a salad to a Christmas party.  I’d attended a baby shower a while ago where they had served a delicious Strawberry-Spinach salad.  I looked for a similar recipe on the internet and found one by Paula Deen.  If Paula Deen made it, it has to taste good, right?  It was very easy to make and oddly, the spinach and strawberries were the perfect combination along with the poppyseed dressing.  Adaptations I made were: substituting the cucumber for the hearts of palm.  (I really don’t know what hearts of palm taste like.)  I also nixed the paprika.  We only had smoky paprika and I thought it would overpower the delicate fruity flavors.  I added slivered almonds and some freshly shredded parmesan cheese that I had.  Our photo shows our a variation with yellow tomato and chopped pecans.  Anything goes!