Archive | January, 2012

Pizza a la Lasagna

25 Jan

Lasagna is a great comfort food on a cold night. However, with just the two of us in the house, the leftover ingredients can easily go to waste before the craving strikes again. So what to do with leftover ricotta, tomato sauce, and browned beef? Consult my solution for just about everything having to do with leftovers:

Make Pizza!

Ahh, don’t you love it? Let’s get started…

Pizza a la Lasagna

Servings: 4-6
Level: Easy
Time: 20 minutes

Pizza dough
1/4 lb. ground beef (guestimate… use what you have…)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
1/3 c. spinach, frozen, thawed, and drained
1/4 c. spaghetti sauce

Roll out pizza dough and bake, according to packed directions temperature, for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, brown ground beef with garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. Top pizza dough with an even layer of ricotta cheese, ground beef, and spinach. Dot pizza with spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yum!

Tips
-Try using a mix of different meats. round beef, pork, sausage, or chicken would all work!
-Top with mozzarella if you want a cheesier consistency.

Pizza Grilled Cheese Dippers

15 Jan

I got a griddle for Christmas and I’m slightly obsessed. It takes 2 seconds to heat up and you can grill more than one thing at a time!

Today I wanted to make ooey gooey grilled cheese but I thought that might be boring so I added a twist. Pepperoni! Not only that but I cut the sandwiches into 4 equal slices. Perfect for dipping in pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce.  These would be perfect for kids… they love to dunk and dip their food. You could add traditional pizza topping veggies to the sandwich if you wanted. Yum!

Pizza Grilled Cheese Dippers

Time: 10 minutes, max
Level: Easy
Servings: 1

2 slices whole wheat bread
3-4 pepperonis, chopped
1 slice mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 tsp. butter
1/4 c. pizza or spaghetti sauce

Top one slice of bread with pepperonis and cheese. Top with second slice of bread. Butter the outsides of the bread. Grill in a pan over medium heat or on a griddle at 350° for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Cut grilled sandwich into 4 slices. Heat pizza or spaghetti sauce and serve along side sandwich slices. Yum!

 

Quick and Easy Cream of Spinach Soup

12 Jan

Frozen spinach has become one of my favorite ingredients. It thaws quickly and can be thrown into all sort of dishes to give them a bit more nutrients and a pop of color.

This recipe is a quick and easy go to dinner option when you haven’t got a lot of time. I added a little mustard to mimic the comforting flavor of macaroni and cheese, without the cheesy guilt. It is totally optional. If you wanted to use spicy brown mustard, that would work, too.

Enjoy!

Cream of Spinach Soup

Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 6

3/4 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cans cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
2-3 c. milk
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. mustard (a squirt or so…)

In a soup pot, combine all ingredients. Heat on medium-low for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let soup sit for a minute or two to thicken. Yum!

Tips
-Using low fat milk instead of cream is a healthier option. Allowing the soup to sit and thicken helps regain the fullness that is lost.
-Add a handful of shredded cheese for added flavor.
-Add crumbled bacon pieces for a smoky flavor. (so good!)
-Serve with crusty bread or cornbread.

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

5 Jan

Stuffed shells are so easy and super fun to make! I recently made a more traditional version of this dish with a group of children and they had a blast mixing and filing the shells. Not to mention, they ate every bite… spinach included! If you want to get your kids to eat their veggies, get them in kitchen. It truly makes a difference.

I liked this recipe because I love vegetable lasagna but I can’t afford the time it takes to make and bake in the oven. As you know if you follow my blog, when it’s dinner time, I’m hungry, and it better not take me long to make anything or else I’m out, down for the count, and wasting precious calories on anything I can get my hands on from the pantry. (aka: Wheat Thins and peanut butter)

Stuffing jumbo pasta shells with lasagna ingredients not only cuts down on time but it also helps you with portion control. Sneaking an extra bite of lasagna is easy but grabbing another shell can make you think twice!

Also, I added chicken for the hubs. He’s a meat-a-holic. Not really… he can enjoy a good hearty… key word hearty… vegetarian meal every once in a while but he’d simply rather not. I can’t really blame him but you wouldn’t have to use chicken if you didn’t want to.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Time: 45 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 4, 3 shells each

1 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite sized cubes
15 jumbo pasta shells, in case a few break
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/3 c. carrots, sliced thin
1/3 c. frozen corn
1/3 c. frozen bell peppers
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1 egg
1 c. spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

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