Sausage Pasta

This one was a “hope it turns out” and ended up being a very tasty meal. A little bit of heat to this but not much, lots more veggies than it looks like, very good overall. Even my (soon to be) 4 year old son liked it.


(Sorry for the fuzzy pic, the steam kept fogging up my lens…)

Ingredients
1 pound spiral pasta (save 1 cup of pasta water before draining)
1 pound mild pork sausage
2 cups sliced bell pepper
4 cups fresh spinach (or 1 cup frozen and thawed)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 jar roasted poblano alfredo sauce

Cook pasta until al dente and set aside. Brown the sausage and drain the fat off. Add the bell peppers to the sausage and brown until slightly soft. Add spinach and wilt. Add pasta water and alfredo sauce. Stir together well and pour over pasta. Add green onions and stir. Let sit for a couple minutes so the pasta can absorb some of the sauce, serve and enjoy!

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Chicken Pasta Salad

This is an old recipe of mine, I started making it 10 years ago when my husband and I first got together. It’s super easy, if you cook your chicken in advance you can have all the prep done before the pasta is cooked. It’s a fair amount of chopping but it’s worth it. And the bonus is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated so it’s a great picnic or pot luck food.

Ingredients
1 pound short pasta with lots of nooks and crannies, curly (fusilli), bell shaped (campanelle), or radiators (radiatore) work best
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium can sliced black olives, drained
1 8oz container crumbled feta cheese
1 14oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, save the marinade
1 avocado, ripe but firm, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced, or 2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 pounds chicken breast or thighs, boneless and skinless, cooked, cooled and diced
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
2 tablespoons fresh basil, diced finely
black pepper to taste

Cook the chicken first. In a pan on low heat add chicken, 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and about 1/4 cup water. Once cooked let cool and save the juice from cooking.

While the pasta is cooking combine everything else except the artichoke marinade. Once the past is drained run cold water over it until it is cool. Combine with the rest of the mixture and taste for seasoning. If the past is dry, needs more sauce, you can add a little of the artichoke marinade.

It’s best cold and it’s even better if it’s sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. Again, it doesn’t need to be cold so you don’t have to stress if you can’t keep it in the fridge.

Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

You can serve this zesty Italian pasta salad hot or cold.

Ingredients
8 oz. penne, or any tube-shaped pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 lb. provolone or mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 lb. thickly cut salami, diced
1 can (6 oz.) pitted black olives
1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
1/3 cup diced roasted red peppers
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and transfer to serving bowl. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Shake well. Pour over hot pasta, and toss to combine.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to mix well. If serving cold, cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Original Link: http://www.parents.com/recipes/cooking/family-favorites/summer-meal-ideas/?page=5

Asian Peanut Noodles

Asian Peanut Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1  package (8.8 ounces)  thin rice noodles
  • 1/2  cup  prepared peanut sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  rice vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  bag (16 ounces)  frozen Asian vegetable blend
  • 1/3  cup  dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
Directions1. Soak noodles in hot water for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together peanut sauce, vinegar and soy sauce; set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables to pan and cook 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.

3. Drain noodles; reduce heat to medium and add noodles to skillet; pour sauce over top and toss to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Top with chopped peanuts.

Original Link:  http://www.parents.com/recipe/pasta/asian-peanut-noodles/

Tuna Pasta Salad

This one is really good. And easy to make. And a nice alternative to your standard mac salads.

Ingredients
1 pound curly pasta, cooked and drained
2 cans tuna, drained
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon celery salt*
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Super easy: combine everything and refrigerate. It’s best if it is in the fridge for a couple hours before serving, that way the flavors will combine. You can leave out the water chestnuts if you want but they are a nice crunch.

*If you don’t have celery salt, and I don’t, just take your mortar and pestle and grind up some celery seeds with a pinch of salt. That way you can control the salt content and still get the taste.

Fast BBQ Chili Mac and Cheese

Yeah, junk food. I know it. But it doesn’t have to be all junk. If you put enough veggies in it it doesn’t count as junk. Or at least not as much. LOL!

Ingredients:
1 box mac and cheese
1 pound hamburger
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained as much as possible
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese

Boil pasta. While that is boiling brown the hamburger. Drain and saute the onions, red bell pepper and celery. Once the pasta is cooked make as per package instructions. Stir in hamburger, kidney beans, onions, red bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, BBQ sauce and cheese. You can serve this with a salad if you like.

Note: This is a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies. You can also pulse the veggies (not the tomatoes) in the food processor to chop them into smaller, less noticeable, pieces. And this is very tasty too so even if you’re not a kid but you like mac and cheese you will like this.

Lasagna Rolls

Fairly easy and although I went all out with some of the ingredients (like making my own cheese and steaming my spinach and garlic) you can totally just use store bought ricotta and frozen spinach.

Lasagna Rolls

6-10 full size lasagna noodles cooked 5-6 minutes
1 cup home made cheese (from HERE or you can use store bought ricotta
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 cup steamed and chopped spinach
1 Tablespoon dried basil
pinch salt and pepper and nutmeg
1 jar of your fave pasta sauce (I used alfredo sauce)
Optional: browned hamburger or browned sausage or grated zucchini or eggplant or your fave lasagna filling

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together ricotta cheese (or home made cheese), 1/2 cup jack cheese, egg, spinach, basil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and any optional lasagna filling that you choose. Spread the cooked and cooled noodles out flat. Scoop a little of the filling, enough to spread out halfway down the noodle, about 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick. Gentally roll noodle up and placed into oiled baking dish. When all the noodles are in there cover with sauce, add water to bottom of dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and top with the rest of the jack cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until everything is all bubbly. Let rest for a little bit and enjoy…maybe with a nice green salad with some of my Easy Balsamic Dressing on top…. 🙂