Posts tagged spinach

Spinach Pesto Trottole

I’ve never had trottole before so I thought I’d give it a whirl to see how it is, texture-wise. It looks like a really long macaroni and it feels like you’re eating just that. Strange, but yummy. In other words, I’m an instant fan.

And it’s pretty obvious that spinach is my go-to vegetable. I eat it more than any other veggie in existence. Yet, believe it or not, I’ve never had spinach pesto either. About time I made some.

And dagnabit! I am impressed! Wow! I vow to make it again here very soon.

Ingredients (2 servings):
1/2 lb. Trottole Pasta (or any pasta you want)
A couple handfuls of Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

For Pesto:
1 lightly packed cup of Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
1/2 lightly packed cup of fresh Basil
1/4 cup toasted Pine Nuts (or walnuts)
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tbs. Grated Lemon Zest
1 tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/4 EVOO

Directions:
Cook pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, put all the pesto ingredients, except for the EVOO, in a food processor. Slowly pour in the EVOO while lightly pulsing the machine until you have a creamy mixture.

Blend pasta with pesto in a large bowl. Mix in the other cup of spinach and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if you want.

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Spinach & Sausage Lasagna

Wow! I’ve made lasagna many times in the past but this one takes the cake, for sure. I guess, using really good quality marinara sauce makes a big difference. I used a store bought bottle made of san marzano tomatoes. Man, that stuff is expensive but so worth it! And the quality of the cheese is so pronounced. Be sure to use good artisan quality cheeses.

So, leave the Prego on the shelf already… and suck it up. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
12 sheets No-Boil Lasagna
1 5oz package Organic Baby Spinach
4 Italian Sausage Links, cooked and thinly sliced diagonally
2 24oz bottles All-Natural Marinara Sauce
2 cups Ricotta
2 cups Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces
2 cups Provolone, Shredded
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
1 cup EVOO

Directions:
Soak the no-boil lasagna sheets in tap water and set aside. Preheat oven to 375F. Meanwhile, lightly coat a 9″x13″ baking dish with a little EVOO. Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread to cover entire bottom of dish evenly.

Slather 1 cup of ricotta cheese on one side of four lasagna sheets and layer on the bottom of dish, cheese side up (may overlap a little). Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread evenly with a spatula. Spread evenly half of the sausage slices and half the spinach, then a third of the mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Repeat the process for a second layer.

Top with a final layer of lasagna sheets and the remaining sauce and cheese. Drizzle evenly with a little EVOO.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for an hour. Remove foil and keep in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before digging in.

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Aglio e Olio with Spinach

Here’s another one of those basic recipes that doesn’t take much to make. Just garlic, EVOO and spinach… and your lunch is good to go. It’s fantastic!

The spinach was added since I had some leftover from last week’s salad.

Ingredients (2 servings):
1/2 lb. Spaghetti (Linguine or penne works great, too)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
EVOO
Red Pepper Flakes
A handful of Baby Spinach Leaves (or other greens you have)
Grated Parmesan (or Parma, for a vegan alternative)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sweat garlic with EVOO and red pepper flakes in low heat until flavor is fully released, 10 minutes or less. Be sure to not burn the garlic, so keep watch.

When pasta is cooked, drain and quickly combine with garlic and oil mixture and spinach and toss well. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and finish with a drizzle of fresh EVOO.

If I had a lemon, I would’ve squirted a little juice on it, too. Maybe next time.

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Mac & Tuna Bake

Well, I’ve done this casserole many times and in many different ways. It’s one of those quick-n-easy dinner treats. Obviously, it’s just whatever’s-in-the-pantry kind of a dish. I usually use some kind of canned cream soup. Sometimes, chicken, sometimes, celery, mushroom or a combination of those. It’s really easy and a great comfort food that might look complicated but really, it’s a no-brainer.

So, are you hungry yet?

Ingredients (6 servings):
1 lb. Pkg. Macaroni
1 big can Tuna
1 cup packed Spinach
1 pkg. mushrooms
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Chicken Broth, low-sodium
1 cup shredded melting cheese, your choice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup French Fried Onions
Fresh Ground Pepper
EVOO
Dried Herbs (parsley, basil, etc.)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Cook macaroni to al dente.

Meanwhile, combine tuna, spinach, mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.

When macaroni is done, drain water and add a drizzle of EVOO, a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and some dried herbs of your choice. Mix until pasta is fully and evenly coated.

Transfer mac into a large baking dish spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top then slowly pour in the bowl mix to fully cover the pasta. Add shredded cheese and stick in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes.

Take the dish out of the oven, quickly sprinkle fried onions on top and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before digging in.

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Fusilli Florentine

Ok, I omitted the cream and all the bad stuff. Ha! Now, it’s good… and good for you!

This is actually quite similar to something I had made before. I remember wanting to try it again at some point. But instead of arugula, I was going to use spinach. And so, I did! Also this time, I opted to not boil the oil and sauté the garlic. So, the EVOO is almost like a finishing ingredient. Everything is fresh and barely cooked. Except for the fusilli and my leftover chicken, of course.

Speaking of chicken, if you have leftover meat of some kind, it would be perfectly fine to throw it in there, as well. Just dice it first, if it isn’t already.

So, there you go. Delicious dinner in a snap! I actually liked this better than the first one I had made. But if you’re a fan of arugula, feel free to substitute.

Ingredients (2-3 servings):
1/2 lb. Fusilli
3 cups Baby Spinach
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Chicken Breast Filet, cooked and diced (optional)
1/4 cup EVOO
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Grated Parmesan, to taste

Directions:
Cook fusilli to al dente in a pot. When done, drain the water and turn heat down to low. In the same pot with the fusilli, add EVOO, spinach and garlic. And if you have leftover meat, dice it and throw it in there, too. Season with salt and pepper flakes. Toss until spinach leaves are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with parmesan.

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Baked Salmon and Sauteed Spinach

This is pretty common, I know. But it probably would not have crossed my mind to make it had I not seen some fancy schmancy cook whip it up on PBS. I was like, whoa! That is simple enough and looks delish! So, on to the fishmonger I went.

Like I said, it’s simple. I baked the salmon filet, sauteed the spinach and peas… and dinner was ready in 20 minutes. So refreshing. By the way, I really should eat more fish. Would somebody please hold me accountable on this?

Ingredients: Salmon filet, Spinach, Green Peas, Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon, Grill and Herb Seasonings

Directions: Season thawed filet, drizzle with lemon juice and bake in oven. Saute garlic, spinach and peas. Plate a bed of sauteed spinach and lay salmon on top. Grate lemon zest and enjoy.

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Lasagna Rolls

I get regular emails from Whole Foods and this is one of the recipes I got. It’s pretty much the way the recipe called for except that I added some, uh… pepperoni. Hee hee!!! But hey, it’s the low-fat kind! And the cheeses I used are of the low-fat variety. Still, it was mighty good. Just take a look and tell me you’re not drooling yet.

Ingredients: Lasagna, Low-Fat Ricotta, Marinara Sauce, Baby Spinach, Low-Fat Shredded Mozarella, Low-Fat Pepperoni, Olive Oil

Directions: Cook lasagna. Working with one noodle at a time, brush with olive oil, spread a thin coat of ricotta and marinara. Layer spinach, pepperoni and mozarella. Roll up as tight as you can and stand upright on a casserole. When finished, pour remaining marinara sauce on top of each roll, sprinkle remaining mozarella and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Bake in preheated 400F oven for 30 minutes or until nice and bubbly.

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