Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tomato and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad

I seriously cannot express how much I love this pasta salad.  The flavors of the arugula, Gorgonzola, and homemade Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette are amazing together.  This uses an entire box of pasta, so you can definitely serve a crowd if using this as a side dish; it would be perfect to take as a contribution to a picnic or another get-together.  (Use whole wheat pasta for an added healthy twist.)  I have also taken the leftovers as a stand-alone lunch.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 16 oz package penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (click here for the easy recipe)
  • 1 1/4 lb beefsteak tomatoes (I used what I had available), seeded and chopped
  • 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 (4 oz.) package arugula 
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.  (If you haven't made the vinaigrette, there is enough time to do so while the pasta is cooking.)  Toss together hot pasta and vinaigrette in a large bowl.  Cool.*  
  2. Stir tomatoes and cheese into pasta mixture.  Just before serving, stir in arugula; stir in salt and pepper to taste.
*The recommended cooling time from the original recipe is 30 minutes; I don't always wait so long.  The difference is that the cheese may melt a bit when you add it.


Difficulty: very easy
Time:  about 30 minutes
Source:   Southern Living magazine, July 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mexican Lasagna

I've been trying to change the way my family eats.  This is by no means easy.  I have a rotation of meals that have been successful for a long time. Finding and trying new recipes isn't always the easiest thing when you work full time and have three young children.  My absence on the blog is mostly because I am trying to find worthwhile recipes that are healthy and easy.  Easy being the most important feature.

This dish was a hit with my family.  I've made it a few times.  I prefer it to be made with ground chicken because I can still taste it despite the seasonings; the turkey seemed to take on the flavor of the seasoning.  But, I have added almost any vegetable that I had in my house-I've used corn, zucchini, kale, onions. You name it, I've thrown it into the skillet.  The first few times I tried cooking this layered dish, I used regular tortillas since I had them on hand; but now, I am trying to increase our whole grains.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound of ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces salsa 
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced squash
  • 1 cup chopped eggplant
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or fresh)
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese, divided
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add olive oil to large skillet, Over medium-high heat, throw garlic, cumin, chili powder, and ground chicken or turkey.
  3. Add vegetables, beans, and salsa. Heat through (about 5-6 minutes).
  4. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish. Place first 2 tortillas. Top with meat mixture and 1/3 of cheeses.
  5. Repeat.  
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is bubbly. 

Difficulty: Medium-lots of chopping
Time: 20 minute prep , 35 minutes baking time
Source: adapted from Schall Fitness