Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables

This recipe is one that I first made probably 7 years ago.  At that point I made it fairly regularly, but at some point I forgot about it and it got lost among my recipes.  I happened to think of it a few weeks ago and I'm so glad I did, because it's delicious!  Really!

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables

The idea is you cook the pasta in broth/water in the skillet with the rest of the ingredients.  This means you only have one pan and the whole meal comes together quickly.  It also means that the pasta soaks up a ton of flavor.  The original recipe just called for spinach, but I added mushrooms and bell pepper.  You can certainly add or substitute any other vegetables you have on hand.

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables

We don't have pasta often, but in the future when we have pasta this is definitely the way I'll make it.  So much better then pasta with jarred pasta sauce, and not that much more difficult.

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables


Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables
serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound pre-cooked chicken sausage (any variety), sliced
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 10 ounces pasta (such as small shells or penne)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I used ones that were not oil-packed but either is fine), chopped fine
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add sliced sausage, mushrooms, and bell peppers.  Cook until sausage is lightly browned and vegetables have released liquid, about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add chicken broth, water, pasta, and sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet with the sausage and vegetables.  Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until  pasta is tender and liquid has thickened.  This will take about 15-20 minutes depending on your pasta.  Add more water or broth if you think it's getting too dry.
  3. Stir in the spinach, in batches if necessary, and cook about 2 minutes until wilted.  
  4. Remove skillet from heat.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve!
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yogurt with Nut Butter


Yogurt with Nut Butter

I have a new lunch obsession.  The title really says it all.  Yogurt with nut butter.  Sound weird?  I thought it did at first too.  But then I remembered how much I like peanut butter on everything else.  I've put peanut on ice cream/frozen yogurt and in smoothies, so why not just directly on to plain yogurt?  Silly me for never having thought of this before.  This post on the kitchn was my inspiration.  Though I haven't tried the graham crackers like they did, I do think the crunch would be nice. 

Yogurt with Nut Butter

I've been having this along with some cut up veggies for lunch for the past couple of weeks.  The peanut butter makes it taste rich and amazing.  The great thing is that it is VERY filling, but also very nutritious.  It has lots of protein and healthy fats, but not too many carbs. It is quick to prepare and easy to take on the go in a little container.  

Try it!  Especially if you are in need of new lunch ideas.

I should mention that when I first told Mark about yogurt with peanut butter on it I think he was skeptical, but he did try it and has since had it multiple times as a lunch addition/snack.  He's not one to have yogurt plain, but throw some peanut butter on it and he's a big fan. :)

Yogurt with Nut Butter


Yogurt with Nut Butter
Here is my "formula"- play around with it!  

Yogurt with Nut ButterINGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt 
  • 1-2 tablespoons nut butter (peanut butter or almond butter-- peanut butter will have a stronger flavor)
  • drizzle of honey or small spoonful of jam

DIRECTIONS:
1) Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
2) Eat!

Or... if you want to make it look fancy, you can microwave the peanut butter in a small dish first for about 1 minute to make it easier to pour.  That's what I did for the first photo.  But usually, I just stir everything together in the bowl or container I eat it out of.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada BakeAs much as I love Mexican food, I have never ordered enchiladas from a restaurant before.  Really, I don't have a good reason for this.  It's mostly just that I can't seem to choose anything besides a vegetarian burrito.  Ha!  But when I saw this post a few weeks ago and the author writing "promise me you will make it!" on the recipe, I knew I had to give it a try.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada BakeThe results really were amazing.  Definitely an example of something that tastes way better than it looks!! Mark said many many times how good it was as he was eating it.  He didn't even want me to tell him what was in it because he said it tasted so good he didn't want the truth about whatever healthy things were in it to spoil that for him!  This enchilada bake has quinoa, veggies, black beans, homemade enchilada sauce, and Mexican cheese.  We topped it with avocado and ate it with baked tortilla chips.  The enchilada bake was great for dipping chips in!  While it isn't the healthiest thing you could eat, this is overall a pretty healthy meal.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

I know I am not posting as frequently as I used to, but I will post great recipes that I find- I want to remember to make them again myself!  So trust me, this was really good.  I will be making it again very soon!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

serves: 6 (generous servings!)


Kaitlyn's Notes:
  • As you can see by the links, I made my own enchilada sauce.  It was very easy to do so I recommend that!  I made the full enchilada sauce recipe and used it all in the enchilada bake.
  • When I made this I actually made 2/3 of the quinoa, used less cheese (probably 1 cup) and baked in an 8x8 pan to serve 4.  These were big servings, but we devoured it!
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