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Archive for the ‘quick recipe’ Category

casserole

My new plan for busy weeks is to make casseroles on the weekend, freeze them, and pull them out during the week. I used to do this when I was in grad school (I also stressed baked and would have layers and layers of cakes in my freezer but that’s another story).
So last weekend I made a casseroles drawing on a friend’s mother’s recipe. I believe the original called for 1 can of cream of mushroom and a bottle of mayonaise, 16 oz of broccoli for a 9 x 13 pan. This is adapted from a family recipe -just not my family’s.
Basically, you take rice (I used brown rice steamed in the microwave), 16 oz frozen chopped broccoli, a shredded poached chicken breast (about 6-8 oz),campbells cheese soup, and mix all of that into a dispoable 9 x9 casserole dish (it doesn’t seem green but if you use a regular one you can have problems going from freezer to oven). Wrap it well with plastic wrap and freeze.

casserole
After a busy day, you pull it out of the oven, unwrap, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 400F for 1 hr. Enjoy!
Very good especially since you can veg out on the couch while it heats up or go out for your 4 mile run knowing a home made dinner is almost ready.

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onions

onions

I made the best pasta from Amanda Hesser’s book, Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship, with Recipes. I started by carmalizing some chopped onions and draining yogurt in a colander lined with a kitchen towel-if only I had Greek yogurt I wouldn’t have had to.

draining yogurt

draining yogurt

I also crumbled some feta cheese to top the pasta with while the pasta cooked.

feta cheese

feta cheese

After the pasta was drained, it was mixed with the yogurt, carmalized onions, and feta. It was so delicious that it was gone before I could take a picture of the finished dish.

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easy dinner

I love pasta and particularly cheese ravioli. Trader Joe’s had a blue cheese ravioli that just called my name when I ran in for something else. I brought it home and made it for dinner.

I quickly made the ravioli according to directions (cook in boiling water for a few minutes) and tossed it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan shavings when Pat was running late.

blue cheese ravioli

blue cheese ravioli

I intended to save half for him but it was so good that I ate it all. Luckily, he grabbed a sandwich on the way home.

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In the quest for keeping New Year’s resolutions (things like being healthy and eating better), I am eating smoothies for breakfast some days as they are slightly more nutritious than a granola bar and diet dr pepper-that’s seriously what I eat for breakfast most days.

smoothie pre-blending

smoothie pre-blending

My first venture into smoothie breakfast land involved a cup of vanilla yogurt, a cup of frozen mixed berries, a half cup of milk, a banana, and some ice.

As a side note, why do almost all smoothies call for bananas? Is it the texture? I think they make the smoothies smoother.

smoothie pre-blending

smoothie mid-blending

I think it was very good and actually a pretty convenient breakfast. I actually made mine the night before and put it in the freezer.

smoothie post-blending

smoothie post-blending

The recipe made 2 servings so Pat came along for the ride. I ate it with a spoon like sorbet while Pat took his to work and drank it there.

Sometimes being healthy and being delicious go together.

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carbs wrapped in carbs

carbs wrapped in carbs

Donna Hay has some great quick recipes. I started making this one around 2005/2006 and can’t quite remember if it was her magazine magazine or one of her books. I wanted to make dinner in a hurry-happens all too often-and realized I had the ingredients for spaghetti with bread crumbs and basil.

I started the water boiling and heated a little olive oil with a little butter. Butter for flavor and olive oil for health. I added bread crumbs to the pan and mixed them in. Pasta got thrown into the boiling water. Dried basil (fresh is better but I didn’t have any) went on top of the bread crumbs. I grated some parm while I waited.

The pasta was drained but not too well, leaving some water on it. That went into the bread crumb mixture and was topped with the parm.

I gave this recipe to a friend and they said they liked it but couldn’t get over that it was carbs wrapped in carbs. I am pretty ok with that.

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refried beans!!

I loved refried beans! When I went to Mexico a few years ago, I had them with just about every meal. I also found out that I love Mexican crema-like sour cream only a million times better-but thats another post. So when I was in the store and saw refried beans I of course threw them in the cart.

I comtemplated what to do with them and decided to make enchildas-ish (not authentic ones). I cooked a little diced onion in olive oil until it was soft. Next the refried beans went into the pan with some enchilada sauce.

delicious refried beans

delicious refried beans

I filled the tortillas with the refried beans mixture, folded them, and topped them with enchilda sauce.

enchilda

enchilda

Not especially authentic but very delicious!

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Quick healthy dinner

I’ve mentioned Laura and I are doing a half-marathon (13.1 miles) this summer and as you might expect you run alot and need to eat  meals with protein, carbs, and some good fat afterwards. To this end, I’ve been working on meals where I prep all the ingredients, go running, and set up the final step to cook while hit the shower.

After work but before running, I prepped the ingredients for a pasta dish:

I defrosted frozen spinach and wrung it out, while heating a tbsp of olive oil with chopped garlic, a link of chicken sausage crumbled, and 1/4 cup white beans. The spinach and about 1/2 tbsp of hot pepper paste went into the pan.

pasta sauce

pasta sauce

I put water in a pan and weighed out 4 oz of whole wheat penne and I set out on my run. I came back home started the water boiling and cleaned up. I threw the pasta into the water and heated up the sauce. The pasta was drained and added to the skillet with some chiffoned basil.

well balanced AND delicous

well balanced AND delicous

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