Greek yogurt!


I was in the grocery store last week and I saw Greek yogurt.  All of these recipes that I had pushed aside because of that ingredient all came back to me, and I bought it.  Now, when I got home, I realized that I didn’t have too many things that I could pair with the Greek yogurt, but I did find one recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients for.  This baked Greek Yogurt pasta is super delicious (and I’ve been kind of stuck on a pasta kick lately, if you can’t tell).

Baked Greek Yogurt Pasta

Ingredients

– 2 cups of your favorite pasta
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 tablespoon EVOO
– 2 chicken tenderloins, bite size pieces
– polska kielbasa
– 1/2 can of sweet corn
– zest of 1 lemon
– juice of 1 lemon
– 5 oz (3/4 cup) of Greek yogurt
– shredded cheese
– seasoned breadcrumbs
– 1/2 tomato, small chunks

1.  Cook the pasta as directed and heat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Add the EVOO and butter into a skillet.  Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Then add in the chicken, and cook until no longer pink in the middle.
3.  Now add in the lemon zest and the juice of the lemon.  Add in the corn, Greek yogurt, and polska kielbasa.  Take off heat.

4.  Add the noodles into a 9 x 9 baking dish and sprinkle some cheese on top of the noodles.  Then add in the yogurt mixture on top of that.  Top with some more cheese and sprinkle with seasoned breadcrumbs.

5.  Cook covered for 15 minutes and then add on the tomatoes.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

6.  Serve with cheese on top of each dish.

Crusted Chicken!


There is something comforting about biting into yummy, crusted chicken.  It gives the texture of fried food, but you get the pleasure of knowing that it isn’t lathered in grease and dipped in fat.  I needed to cook something quickly yesterday before work (my training for my second job started) and I still wanted to have some fresh vegetables.  Without anymore explanation, here is the recipe that I created yesterday in a hurry.

Crusted Chicken Pasta with Veggies

Ingredients

thin whole wheat spaghetti noodles
– 3 chicken tenderloin
– 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
– 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, Italian style (or some crushed saltines crackers)
– 1 egg, beaten
– 3 asparagus spears, small pieces
– 1/3 cup of onion, sliced
– 3 cloves of garlic, diced
– 1 can crushed tomatoes
– crushed red pepper
– Italian seasoning
– EVOO

Directions

1.  Cook pasta as directed.
2.  Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan.  Dip each tenderloin into the beaten egg, and then roll it around in the breadcrumb mixture.
3.  Heat EVOO over medium-heat and add in the chicken.  You might need to add in some more EVOO as it is cooking, so the crust won’t burn.
4.  Once chicken is done cooking, remove from pan and add in some more EVOO and 1/3 of the garlic.  Saute the onion and asparagus, until onion becomes slightly tender.  Add in the tomatoes and the rest of the garlic.  Season with crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.
5.  Serve the tomato sauce on top of noodles and the chicken pieces on top.  Serve with shredded permesan cheese on top.

——When having a busy day, do you find time to cook for yourself?——

Edamame


Edamame – literally translated to the “twig bean.”  These twig beans are soy beans picked before they are ripen and they are delicious!  When buying the ones that are in the pods, you must squeeze the beans out before eating them but it makes for a fun way to eat!  For this dish, I wish I had the ones that were pod-less so I didn’t have to go through and pop them all out but it was kind of fun!  I like to make Edamame with steak and they are great in pasta as well.

I was reading my latest Food Network magazine and one of the tips that it gave was mix up your pasta once and a while and boil some vegetables in the water with your noodles.  I thought this was a great idea and decided to try it with the Edamame.  This dish ended up super yummy, and was cooked super fast.  I ended up making this dish for just me, but it could easily be made for more.

Edamame Noodles

Ingredients

Serves: 1 (could easily be made into a larger dish)

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat penne noodles
  • polska kielbasa, sliced lengthwise and the in halves
  • 1/4 cup of onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of edamame pod less (these pictures show ones with pods)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (I used a mix)
  • crushed red pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Directions

1.  Boil water and add in the noodles and edamame.  Turn the heat down or the water will begin to fizzle up because of the edamame.

2.  Add butter to a pan and allow to melt, add onions and saute.  Then add the polska kielbasa.  Season with the crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.  Add the cheese.  Right before serving add in the tomatoes.

3.  Drain noodles and edamame (the edamame should be perfectly cooked by the time your noodles are done) and if you purchased the ones in the pod, at this time use your hands and squeeze the beans out of the pod.

4.  Serve noodles and edamame with the mixture of onion, cheese, polska kielbasa and tomatoes.

Pasta & Velveeta


After a not-so-successful day of preparing for finals and a successful job interview, I did not feel like cooking anything extravagant.  Especially because there was no one here to enjoy the meal with me.  I can’t even believe the words “I did not feel like cooking” came out of my mouth, but they did.  I did, in fact, feel like blogging though, so I just had to make something.  Tonight I kind of went through our cabinets and refrigerator and made a pasta dish with the leftover Velveeta from the Chicken Enchiladas last night.

Pasta & Velveeta

1 cup penne noodles
1/4 lb. of Polska Kielbasa, cut lengthwise and then into small pieces
1 yellow pepper (or any other color you choose), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 lb. of Velveeta
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil to a pan and allow to heat up.  Once heated up, add the minced garlic.  Stir it around for 30 seconds and then add in the yellow pepper and onion.  Season with crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Allow vegetables to cook until the onion is tender and no longer has a bite to it.  Then add in the polska kielbasa.  Lower the heat.
  4. Once the pasta is done, drain it and use the pan that it was cooked in to make the cheese sauce.  Add the butter, Velveeta, and milk.  Then cook over medium-high heat, constantly stirring.  Once the cheese is completely melted, add to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Then add the noodles with the cheese and vegetables, and then turn heat off.  Once heat is off, add in the tomatoes.  This dish is much better if you keep the tomatoes not-cooked.

——What is your go-to dish when you don’t feel like cooking?——
I’m beginning to feel like there is no one out there!  So give me some feedback if you are reading this!  Even if you didn’t like what you read.  Just let me know someone is there. 🙂

Don’t be skeered


Tip:  Don’t be scared to add and replace in a recipe.  And, please don’t be scared to try something new.

Many times, when looking for a new recipe to use, I will find an ingredient somewhere on the list that makes me think “what in the world?”  I know a lot of these ingredients are probably basic ingredients that I should know, but I can assure you, my local Wally world doesn’t carry the most exotic vegetable section.  So, don’t shut a recipe out just because you can’t find one ingredient.  Some of the best meals come from those that you add your own flavor in.

ALSO, do not shut a recipe out just because there is an ingredient that you don’t like.  So many times I strayed away from a meal because I didn’t like one of the ingredients, but after finally making it, you realize that a lot of times you don’t even realize that ingredient is in there.

Just for an example, the meal that I cooked tonight called for a vegetable called escarole.  You might know what this is, but I had absolutely no idea.  So I did a little research on the internet and added that vegetable to my knowledge book and realized that I probably won’t ever find it.  So, I replaced it with spinach.  Now, my father and I normally completely rule out the use of spinach, but I gave it a try and was very glad I did.

Tonight’s meal ended up so good, that I want to share it with you all.  And, I’ll post the link to the original recipe so you can see what I changed.

Baked Farfalle with Spinach and Zucchini

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound farfalle
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virigin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 large sprigs basil, plus 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, sauteed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini, sauteed
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of red onion
  • Polska kielbasa
  • Chicken

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the farfalle un

til very al dente, 2 to 3 minutes less than the label directs; drain.  While pasta is cooking, cook your chicken.  Use whatever kind of spices that you would like.  Have fun with it.  I used some crushed red pepper flakes and salt.  I kept it simple because there are so many fresh herbs in this dish.  Remove chicken and put aside in a large bowl.  Cut up the Polska kielbasa and put it aside in the same bowl.  Afterwards, put some oil in the pan and add your zucchini and spinach.  Saute it for a couple of minut

es and add it to the bowl.

Then, make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red onion, and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden.  Add in the crushed and diced tomatoes.  Add the basil sprigs; simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened, 15 minutes. Discard the basil; season the sauce with salt.  (Do not skimp and buy a premade sauce, this sauce is worth it…promise).

Stir the chopped basil and parsley into the sauce, then add the spinach, zucchini, chicken and polska kielbasa.

Brush a 3-to-4-quart baking dish with olive oil. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and half of each cheese. Spread in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta. Bake, uncovered, until browned, about 15 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Note:  Polska Kielbasa is something you don’t want to miss out on.  It is a type of sausage and is sold by the lunch meat.  Best meat ever.

Last Tip:  Don’t use dried herbs, go fresh.  It is worth the extra cash.

Original Recipe