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

 

 

 

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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

Mediterranean Layered Dip

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.

On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.

Hummus

Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano

Lemon Zest

Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli

 

 

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta with Lemon Orzo

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta

This is a pretty simple dish but it has a lot of flavor. I use a pre made greek dressing for my marinade but you could easily make your own. I also served it with a simple salad of romaine and pickled beets.

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta

3-4 chicken breasts

1/4 c greek vinaigrette or salad dressing ( I used a local favorite called Farmer Boy Greek Dressing)

3 small ripe tomatoes chopped

1/3 c feta cheese chopped

1 T fresh oregano chopped  ( or 1/2 t dried)

salt and pepper to taste

Add chicken breasts to a large ziplock bag and add dressing. Mix to coat chicken and place in the refrigerator 2-12 hours. Pre heat oven to 350.

Add chicken to a baking dish and cook for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done and no longer pink. Add chopped tomato, feta, oregano and salt and pepper to the top of chicken and bake 10 more minutes.

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta

Lemon and Feta Orzo

12 oz  orzo cooked according to package directions and drained.

1 T lemon juice

1/4 t lemon zest

2 T feta cheese

1 T chopped fresh parsley

2 t olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl add salt and pepper to taste.

Lemon Feta Orzo

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

 

 

The Monsters of Templeton: Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

The Monsters of Templeton

This month’s book club selection was the Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I admit this was an ambitious piece of literature, family secrets, ghosts, sea monsters, a complete family lineage going back several generations, a student’s affair with her professor, a best friend dealing with a terrible disease, an unwanted pregnancy, and a girl’s search for her father. However this was just way too much information for one book. the main idea was so watered down by the enormous cast of characters that I ended up just not caring about any of  them.It made it a difficult book to read but that also made it a great book for book club. There were many things to discuss and dissect. I think the discussions are always better when everyone doesn’t love the book. (usually I am the everyone, I can be a bit critical)

Some of us even dressed as “The Running Buds, a group of friends that have run together for years and who may or may not be important characters in the book. They were just the easiest costume, headbands, running shorts etc… Unfortunately I don’t have a sea monster outfit in my costume box. The food didn’t jump right out at you in this book but there was a lot of it if you paid attention ( I didn’t really ) I chose to make my version of Tomatoes Farci, Willie mentions this is her favorite dish when her mother makes it for her. We have quite a few vegetarians so I stuffed my tomatoes with goat cheese and mushrooms instead of meat. Another great one was a Huevos Rancheros casserole, Willie’s mom also makes this during an eventful breakfast in the book.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

10 Campari Tomatoes ( or 4 large for a meal)

1 T olive oil

1 cup finely chopped mushrooms, (I used baby bellas and porcini)

2 T chopped shallot

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 c chopped tomato

2 T chopped parsley

1/4 c white wine ( I used Pinot Grigio)

1 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

1/4 c panko bread crumbs

1 3 1/2 oz log goat cheese

Core tomatoes and remove seeds and pulp, leaving just a shell.( if using a large tomato, cut top off and scoop out insides, leaving a bowl) In a large pan. Add oil and saute mushrooms, shallot and garlic, until mushrooms are soft and shallot is translucent. add tomato, wine, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add bread crumb, cheese and parsley. Let cool.

IMG_7416 IMG_7418

Stuff tomatoes with the cheese and mushroom mixture , place in an oven safe dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until cheese slightly browns on top.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

(oops, so excited for book club I didn’t take a picture of the final product, but they looked the same with a slightly brown top)

Southwestern London Broil

Southwestern London Broil

Southwestern London Broil

1 1/2 lb london broil

1 c diced tomatoes ( I used canned)

1 t salt

1 t cumin

1 t chopped garlic

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1 lime juiced

Put london broil in a gallon sized ziplock bag, add remaining . Close bag and mix and massage marinade into meat with your hands. Place bag in refrigerator for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 450. Place meat and marinade on a baking sheet, add sliced peppers and onions if desired.

Southwestern London Broil

 

Cook for about 15 minutes, then turn on broiler and cook for 5 minutes more per side ( use a meat thermometer to check doneness, cooking time will depend on thickness and weight of meat)

Let rest 10 minutes and then slice thinly against the grain. Great by itself or served in tortillas.

Southwestern London Broil

Southwestern London Broil Southwestern London Broil

 

 

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

As promised here is the recipe for Chicken Frito Pie that I made for Gone Girl Book Club

Chicken Frito Pie

1 T vegetable oil

2 c cooked chicken ( I used a rotisserie, one from my grocers deli)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 can cannelli beans drained (white beans)

1 can tomatoes with green chilies (rotel)

1 T chili powder

1 2 c bag shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag fritos (not scoops)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. add oil. Then add chicken, onion, and garlic, saute about 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft and garlic is browned. add beans, tomatoes, and chili powder. Continue cooking until all ingredients are heated through.

Chicken Frito Pie

Preheat oven to 350

Pour fritos into the bottom of a pie pan ( enough to cover the bottom) take the heel of your hand and slightly crush the corn chips so the lay flat. add 1 c shredded cheese, then chicken mixture, then 1 more cup cheese and then cover with fritos. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream.

Chicken Frito Pie

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.

Roasted Succotash Salad

1 box frozen corn, thawed

1 box frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 T chopped fresh basil

Olive oil

lime juice (from 1 lime)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

This is a yummy side dish or a meatless main meal, would also be a lovely side for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

1 package orzo pasta cooked and drained

I cup chopped eggplant

I cup chopped and peeled acorn or butternut squash

1/2 cup carrots chopped

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers, I used yellow and red

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 c chopped onion

2T olive oil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Toss all chopped vegetables with 1 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and put into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Add vegetables to a large bowl and add in cooked and drained pasta, 1 T olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Serve.

*Use what you have on hand this is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, be creative.