Leftover Avocados ?… Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Sometimes I am terrible at judging how much produce to buy, I usually err on the side of too much. This has happened to me several times with avocados. Avocados have such a short window of perfect ripeness so I am sometimes forced to make something on the fly with my extras. This is how this recipe happened today at lunch. Now I may purposely buy too many avocados so that I can treat myself to this decadent creamy dish more often. Also depending on what type of pasta you use this dish is vegan friendly, and if your not vegan and/or don’t have almond milk in the house you can easily substitute cow’s milk.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

1 avocado peeled, and chopped, pit removed

3 T almond or cow’s milk

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/3 c grape tomatoes halved

2 c cooked pasta of your choice

more salt and pepper to taste

Place the avocado, milk, garlic, and salt in pepper in a bowl and blend into a puree with a hand held blender, or toss those ingredients into a regular blender until smooth. Toss with warm drained pasta and tomatoes, season with desired amount of salt and pepper and serve.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

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Greek Pasta Casserole

Greek Pasta

 

Think of this as a Greek Bolognese Sauce, it is a hearty and comforting dish. I served it with a salad of lettuce, radishes and beets and toasted pita with garlic.

Greek Pasta Casserole

16 oz of cooked pasta ( I used rigatoni)

1 lb ground Turkey (you could use lamb, beef or chicken)

1 can diced tomatoes (Undrained)

2 c chopped fresh spinach

2 T greek seasoning

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T red wine vinegar

1 c cream

1 c crumbled feta

1 c mozzarella cheese

in a large skillet saute ground turkey until no longer pink, add 1 T greek seasoning, garlic, and spinach, cook over med until spinach is wilted and add tomatoes and vinegar.

Greek Pasta

Mix together with drained pasta and add to a large 9×12 baking dish. Add cream and feta and mozzarella cheese and remaining Greek Seasoning.

Greek Pasta

 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so pasta on top doesn’t get dry. Sauce will thicken and cheese will melt.

Greek Pasta

Greek Pasta

 

 

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

I love pumpkin ravioli but who has time or energy to make that, get all the flavor with none of the work with this baked ziti dish.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

1 16 0z package of ziti or other pasta cooked and drained

2 c pumpkin puree

2 c ricotta cheese

1/4 c  shredded parmesan cheese

1 T honey

1 egg

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1 T chopped fresh sage

1 T butter

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

While pasta is cooking, mix pumpkin, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, honey, egg, nutmeg and sage in a bowl. When pasta is done drain and return to pot, add butter and stir over low heat until melted. Add pumpkin/cheese mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in salt and pepper. Add to a large baking pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20 min at 325 or until cheese is melted.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Peppers

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Peppers

 

This is a fairly light dinner made in the crock pot with lots of deep flavors.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Peppers

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 large can crushed tomatoes

2 green bell peppers sliced thinly

1 onion sliced thinly

3.5 oz large green olives about 1/2 c ( I used Sicilian spiced)

2 T brine from olives

1/4 t red pepper flakes

1 t Italian seasoning

1/4 c white wine (optional)

1 T lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a crock pot, cook on low for 6 hours, serve over noodles or rice.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Peppers

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Peppers

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool off this Summer with this refreshing, easy and tasty pasta salad.

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

8 oz pasta cooked, drained and rinsed

2 cucumbers peeled, quartered and cut into 1 ” pieces

1 T chopped fresh mint

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 T chopped ginger ( I used the refrigerated pre-minced found in the produce section of my supermarket)

1/2 c sour cream

3 T rice wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to incorperate. Chill and serve.

 

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Fresh is best. I hate to use canned or jarred soups and sauces unless I have to. The good news is tomatoes are coming into season here in Florida, which means better quality and cheaper prices. This sauce is so easy and so much better than jarred, try it once and you may never go back. Pour it on your favorite pasta or over chicken or pork.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce (serves 2, can be doubled)

1 T olive oil

2 ripe tomatoes chopped

salt and pepper

1/4 c chopped onion

2 t garlic chopped

3 T heavy cream

1 T fresh chopped basil

Sprinkle chopped tomatoes with salt and pepper. Heat oil over med/high in a large skillet, add tomato, onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low and add cream, cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Serve.

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Summer Crock Pot Recipe: Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

I like the ease of my crock pot / slow cooker especially in the Summer when we are busy and I don’t want to get the house any hotter by turning on the oven. The problem is most slow cooker recipes are heavy and not that appealing in the warm Summer months. So here is a lighter recipe for the crock pot based on my love for the Chicken Bryan at Carrabbas

Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs ( or 4 Breasts)

1 shallot chopped

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 2 lemons

1 t chopped garlic

2 T butter

2 c chicken broth

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t dried basil

1/4 c chopped sun dried tomatoes ( dried, not in oil)

4 oz goat cheese

1 T chopped fresh basil

Add chicken, shallot, lemon juice and zest, garlic, butter, chicken broth, salt, pepper, dried basil, sun dried tomatoes and 2 oz of the goat cheese to your slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve over pasta, noodles or rice and top with remaining 2 oz of goat cheese and fresh basil.

Creamy Cajun Pasta

Creamy Cajun Pasta

 

Creamy Cajun Pasta

1 lb chicken cut into bite sized pieces

4 links smoked or andouille sausage

1 t olive oil

1 1/2 green peppers cut into thin slices

1 c chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)

1 small onion chopped

1 t chopped garlic

2 t Cajun seasoning

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1 T lemon juice

3/4 c heavy cream

2 t corn starch

1 box fettuccine pasta cooked and drained

Sprinkle raw chicken with 1 t of Cajun seasoning. Heat oil in a large pan/pot. Add chicken and sausage, saute for about 2 minutes, add onion and saute until translucent. add green pepper, garlic and tomatoes,1 t Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper. Saute until peppers are soft. mix cream with corn starch and add to pot, heat and stir until sauce thickens, add lemon juice and stir.

Creamy Cajun Pasta

 

Add drained pasta to the pot and stir to combine, cook over low for about 5 minutes so that pasta can absorb the sauce. This is on the mild side so add more cayenne if you like you pasta spicy or serve with hot sauce.

Creamy Cajun Pasta

 

 

Ham and Cheese Casserole

Ham and Cheese Casserole

 

Do you have ham you need to use up, leftover lunch meat or ham from brunch? Here’s and easy comforting casserole to try.

Ham and Cheese Casserole

16 0z box ziti cooked and rinsed

2 T butter

2 T flour

1 t dijon mustard

2 c milk

1/4 ham cut into chunks or bite sized pieces

1/2 cup canned corn

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c shredded swiss cheese

1/4 t black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. slowly add milk, stirring constantly and turn heat up to med high. When sauce begins to bubble turn back to low and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. add dijon mustard, and both cheeses. stir until cheese is melted. add pepper and stir.

add cooked pasta, chopped ham and corn to a large baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and combine. Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and crust form on top.

If you want  you can add breadcrumbs or more shredded cheese on top before putting in the oven.

Ham and Cheese Casserole

 

Red Thai Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Red Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Yes I am jumping on the quinoa band wagon too. Why not, it is easy to prepare, full of protein, and cholesterol and gluten-free. It even tastes better than rice. What is quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah), it is actually a seed but is easily prepared as a grain, like rice. In fact I made mine right in my rice cooker, same amount of water and time as rice too (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water).

quinoa cooked in a rice cooker

It came out, light and fluffy, like a cross between couscous and rice. I added some salt a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro.

Since we love curry at my house I made red curry with chicken and served over the top.

Red Thai Curry with Chicken

1 lb chicken cutlets, sliced into thin strips

2-3 T oil

2 c chopped broccoli

1 c match stick or sliced carrots

1/2 c peas

1/2 onion sliced thin

1 t chopped garlic

2 t red curry paste

1 can coconut milk

2 c quinoa

4 c water

2 t cilantro chopped

juice of 1 lime

salt

add quinoa and water to rice cooker and turn on.

Heat a large skillet over med high heat, add 2 T oil, add chicken and onion and cook until browned, add garlic, broccoli and carrots, cook 2 minutes, scoot chicken and veggies to the sides of the pan, making a well in the middle. add curry paste and cook 1 minute, add coconut milk and stir to combine. lower heat to low add peas and cover for about 3 minutes.  When quinoa is done cooking, add lime juice salt and chopped cilantro, serve curry mixture over quinoa.

Red Curry and Chicken Quinoa

Try some quinoa in place of rice or pasta in your favorite recipe.