Monday, August 20, 2012

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells


I love making my own spaghetti sauce, but we always end up with a ton of it. This last time, I froze some, but with the little leftover I had, I wanted something different that wasn't just spaghetti noodles. While grocery shopping, the shells were calling my name when I went down the pasta aisle. I scanned several recipes online just to get the general idea about what to stuff inside. I used one whole box of shells, but ran out of filling, so I suggest doubling the spinach/cheese filling.

1 10oz pkg frozen spinach (thawed)
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil 
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to season
3 cups marinara sauce (whatever is your favorite)
Mozzarella cheese
Jumbo pasta shells, cooked

Squeeze dry the thawed frozen spinach. 
Transfer spinach to large bowl. Add Ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, fennel, basil and garlic to bowl. Season mixture with salt and pepper; blend.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spoon 1/2 cup marinara sauce evenly over bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with spinach mixture. Place shells, filling side up, in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with rmozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake until heated through, about 30-40 minutes. 



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Power Cookies

So I have started on a diet. The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. It's been difficult, but it has changed my eating habits for the better. Now that I am on Cycle 2 of this diet, I found the recipe for Power Cookies. They are surprisingly very tasty. My 3 kiddos ages 4, 5, & 16 loved them too! Great to eat for breakfast or a little healthy snack!
 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 2 tablespoons almond paste
* 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil (I used Olive Oil)
* 10 packets of Truvia
* ¼ cup agave nectar
* 1 large egg
* ½ teaspoon vanilla
* ¾ cup whole wheat flour
* ½ teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ¼ teaspoon black pepper
* ½ cup vanilla whey powder
* 2 cups oats
* 1 cup dried cherries
* ½ cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together applesauce, almond paste, flaxseed oil, Truvia and agave nectar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon salt, pepper and whey powder. Beat thoroughly. Stir in oats, cherries and almonds. Mix well. Drop the batter by large tablespoons onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Divide dough so that you have 18 cookies. Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Cool and store in a plastic container. Each cookie supplies 128 calories and can be enjoyed on the Activate, Achieve and Arrive Cycles for breakfast or as a snack. Each cookie counts as 1 protein and 1 natural starch.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Pinterest is one of my newest addictions. I am always on there searching for the next great recipe idea. Right before Easter, I came across this one. Strawberry Cream Puff Cake. WOW. Looks fabulous, so I had to try it out. This is now a staple for any cookout, family get-together, or any fun event. This is definitely a MUST TRY recipe. I promise, you will not be sorry. The recipe came from another fellow blogger,  The Girl Who Ate Everything. I did however add chocolate drizzle to the top of mine. Strawberries + Chocolate = Heaven!

3-4 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
Cinnamon sugar

Cream Puff Base:
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup flour
3 eggs

Cream Cheese Mixture:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Drizzle
1 cup Chocolate chips
2-3 TBSP heavy cream

For the cream puff layer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen. Don’t over beat. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan (or in a pinch, you could use a 9-inch circle cake pan). 

Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the prepared pan. 

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick pastry with a toothpick 10-12 times. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown but not over baked (you can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with sticky dough, it still needs longer in the oven). Cool completely.

Meanwhile, slice the strawberries and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. This allows the juices to come out of the berries a little bit more.

For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar (sift if necessary)and beat with the cream cheese until mixture is smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cream puff shell.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries. 

To make the drizzle, in a double boiler add chocolate chips and heavy cream & melt completely. Take a fork or whisk and drizzle or splatter the chocolate all over the top of the cake.

Keep in the fridge until serving.

Enjoy!

Let me know what you think about this one if you make it!





Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seafood Gumbo

In my family, I always make a special birthday dinner for the birthday girl or boy. Whatever they want, within reason of course. Last night was my son's sweet 16! YIKES! So he wanted a seafood gumbo. I have never made nor tasted a gumbo, but I took on the challenge happily. This came out really great. I found the recipe on Relish.com, but tweeked it to suit what I wanted to do. You can make it spicier, whatever your palate desires!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2  cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  •  teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  •  bay leaf, crushed

  • 2 tablespoon salt

  • 3/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper (to your taste)

  •  teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  •  cup diced celery

  •  cup diced bell pepper

  • 1 cup diced white onion

  • 2 cup sliced okra (about 1 pound)

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  •  quart reduced-sodium chicken broth

  •  bottle clam juice

  • 1 1/2  pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled, shells reserved

  •  can (14-ounce) rotel tomatoes

  •  cups fresh oysters, drained

  •  pound bay scallops

  •  pound andouille sausage

  •  cups cooked brown rice

  •  green onions, chopped


    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour; cook until smooth and darkened (about the color of a penny). Add thyme and next 10 ingredients (thyme through garlic). Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and cool about 30 minutes.
    2. Bring chicken broth, clam juice and reserved shrimp shells to a boil in a large pot. Cook 10 minutes. Remove shrimp shells, and reserve stock.
    3. Add vegetable mixture to stock and blend well. Cook until thickened. Add tomatoes, and seafood. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice; sprinkle with green onions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pie

My hubby is on a low carb diet, so for his birthday dessert, he asked for my low carb peanut butter pie. Elizabeth Rose, my four year old, LOVES to help me in the kitchen, so I let her do most of the work.
Super simple and super delicious!


For the Crust:
2 cups chopped pecans
1 stick of butter, melted

Mix pecans and melted butter. Pour in pie plate, spread out to cover bottom of plate. Put in freezer. 

Chocolate layer:
4 TBSP butter
2 squares of unsweetened chocolate 
2 TBSP Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup equal or splenda

Melt  butter and unsweetened chocolate in microwave for approximately 1 min. Mix in  cream and vanilla. Stir well. Add Equal or Splenda. Pour over frozen pie crust. Put back in refrigerator.



Peanut Butter Layer:

10 TBSP Peanut Butter 

8 oz. cream cheese, 
1/3 cup Splenda.




Mix together.  Spread over frozen pie


Chocolate Whipped Cream:
1 small container of cool whip
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP cocoa

Mix all of the ingredients & spread on top of pie. Refrigerate. Cut pie into 12ths. Each piece has 5.3 carb. This pie is delicious! It's very rich so 1/12 is more than you think. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Butter Chicken with Oven Roasted Garlic-Parm Green beans & Mashed Cauliflower

So this afternoon, I was able to walk around Whole Foods by myself. LOVE going into Whole Foods and seeing all the different items.  My husband has started a weight loss competition at work, so I was trying to figure out what would be good to make for dinner. Fresh green beans caught my eye and decided to roast them in the oven. This is my new way of making these. LOVE.
Oven Roasted Garlic-Parm Green Beans
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1lb green beans , washed & trimmed
2 TBSP minced Garlic
1 tsp salt
pepper
2-3 TBSP shredded parmesan
Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the olive oil, green beans, minced garlic, parmesean cheese, salt and pepper. Toss well.  Spread the green beans out on the foiled lined baking sheet.
  • Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, tossing quickly at around 6 minutes.
  • Let cook slightly before serving.

Butter Chicken. Have you ever heard of this? I sure haven't. I love going through the ethinic food aisles. I found this jar:
So easy. All you have to do is chop up your chicken or dice it, however you would like it, saute it with a little olive oil, and then add this jar of sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.