Tag Archives: quick dinner

Lasagna Express

Lasagna Express

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Lasagna Express
We have been running pretty hard lately with travel and events. Sunday we returned from a long weekend trip and were thrown into the work week unrested and unprepared. It was a perfect occasion for some food Rx. Jill loves pasta and lasagna in particular. I had the ingredients but didn’t have the time so I opted for a “lasagna express”. What is great about this recipe is that it’s really good but without the typical fuss of a normal lasagna where you cook and layer everything and then bake it off. The presentation of a typical lasagna is superior but if the meal is intended for consumption only, this is the way to go.

You can adjust this to your liking by using as many noodles as you like, cheeses to your preference and meat and sauces to suit your palate.

Ingredients:
1 lb organic ground beef
1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
1 16oz of Tomato Sauce
1 cup of Chicken Bone Broth
1 cup of Red wine 1 8oz tomato paste
1/2 finely diced white onion
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 package of lasagna noodles
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 tbs of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs of kosher salt
2 tsp of black pepper
1 pinch of oregano
1/4 cup of olive oil

Directions:
1. In a medium heated pan add the olive oil and diced onion and cook until soft and translucent.
2. Add a splash of bone broth and the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
4. Add the sauces, paste, wine, and broth until you have a fairly wet sauce.
5. Snap the lasagna noodles and add them directly to the sauce and stir constantly. Make sure your sauce isn’t too thick and that the noodles aren’t sticking to the bottom. Stir for about 10 minutes until the noodles are softened.
6. Stir in 3/4 of the parmesan cheese into the sauce. Add dollops of the ricotta cheese and then top with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan cheese.
7. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned. Let it rest for 10 minutes to avoid scalding your mouth.

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

I ran across this recipe on another blog and when I was cooking according to her directions, I found myself immediately deviating from her directions. This actually turned out as a great creamy, herby pasta dish that comes together in about 20-30 minutes. So if want a departure from your typical pasta dish but not skimp on flavor this one might be a good fit.

I still have a case of the blog blahs and in perfect form, I thought I took pictures last night but didn’t have my card in my camera…doh. So picture if you will, a creamy pasta dish resembling a looser alfredo sauce but packed with herbs, spinach and grape tomatoes. Additionally, some sliced pieces of bite sized chicken that replaced a meatball.

The recipe that I followed used evaporated milk which I did do but wouldn’t do it again. Instead, I would use whole milk, cream or even a dollop of cream cheese or something. Also, she suggested covering your chicken with pesto prior to cooking. I found that it started to burn the pesto. So much so, that when I removed my chicken I had to deglaze the pan with water and start from scratch missing out of on those lovely chicken bits and juices. I also amped up the parmesan cheese to compensate for the evaporate milk.

Last note, I have been falling in love with my grocery store salad bar. Instead of buying vegetables that I wouldn’t always use, I load up on the vegetables I want to cook that night. I added spinach, grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and a few mushrooms.

My recipe should deliver a super fast but delicious meal.

Ingredients:
Free Range Chicken Breasts
Fresh Basil
Fresh Pesto (store bought)
a handful of fresh spinach
a handful sliced grape tomatoes
small amount of sliced red onion from salad bar.
4 cloves of garlic
Cooked spaghetti (al dente)
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbs of grated parmesan cheese (use more or less to your taste)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Needed: Two pots: one for the sauce and chicken and one for boiling the pasta.
1. Start boiling the water for your pasta.
2. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken breasts. I tenderized them with a mallet to flatten them out to an even thickness. I heated a pan with olive oil on medium heat. The idea is to put a little color on them. Cook three to four minutes each side and remove them to rest.
2. Make a roux by adding the butter and flour in the same pot of the removed chicken. When it turns light brown, go ahead and add your minced garlic, red onion, and halved grape tomatoes and stir for one minute.
3. Add the chicken stock and loosen everything up. Turn down the heat to low and then add the pesto, the cream/milk and parm. Stir until the sauce thickens.
4. Cook your pasta according to the package in salted water. While it cooks cut the chicken breast on the bias and then add the sliced chicken back into the sauce and continue to stir.
5. When your pasta is cooked al dente, remove it, drain it and add the pasta into the sauce pot. Now add in your spinach and basil until nicely wilted but not over cooked. Serve and top with some fresh shaved parm and torn basil.

Sloppy Bao Sandwich “Baoquette”

Sloppy Bao Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sloppy Bao Sandwich
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I spotted this Martha Stewart recipe for a simply but unique Sloppy Bao Sandwich that looked pretty interesting when trying to scratch that sandwich itch. I have mentioned it various times that I have some sort of gene for Asian/Eastern food. I just love their balance of spice, sweet and tangy.

Think of a sloppy joe with a “hmmm” factor to it. The punch of basil through that meaty savory slop with the chew of the bread is a perfect bite. I think I would adjust the ketchup and dijon mustard down a notch. I totally get using mustard and ketchup in BBQ sauces or on burgers and dogs but I thought they elbowed their way to the front versus harmonizing with the rest. It’s used to speed it up but I think I would have pulled them down and added tomato paste to replace some of the sweet with savory. All that said, it’s’ a good and fun sandwich.

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Ingredients:
1 lbs of lean ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
1 baguette
2 tbs of minced shallot
1 clove of minced garlic
8-10 leaves of fresh basil
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
3/4 cup of Ketchup
3 tbs of dijon mustard
1 tbs of tomato paste
1 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of red Thai-curry paste
1 tsp of brown sugar
Kosher salt to taste

Directions:
1. Super easy. In a skillet on medium heat add your protein and onion and cook until browned. Then add the garlic and let it cook for one minute before adding the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Turn to low and let this simmer stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. IMG_0559

2. Split and toast the baguette for about two or three minutes. Fill your baguette with your meat mixture and top with jalapeno, cilantro, basil or even some cabbage. Enjoy.
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Kicken Chicken Quick Stir Fry

Kicken Chicken Quick Stir Fry

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kicken Chicken Quick Stir Fry
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The next three posts are about satisfying meals fast and easy. It has been one of those busy weeks where time seems to be scarce. Jill was also out of town for a couple of days. Normally I hit my Thai, Indian, or Sushi places when she is gone but we actually already did that last week.

I ran by my grocery store and picked up one of those salad containers and loaded it up with veggies. Spinach, Broccoli, mushrooms, onions, green onions, and spinach. Then I picked up a nice fresh chicken breast and diced it up. I snowed them with corn starch and a pinch of salt. Also I picked up a sweet and heat chili sauce and mixed it in with some soy and sweet chili sauce.

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In my wok I fired up the chicken and browned the pieces. I added the hearty vegtables and then the sauce followed by spinach and cilantro. Turned off the fire and let the spinach wilt.