Spinach Tomato and Sausage Skillet over Angel Hair Pasta

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I am not a big fan of super saucy dishes unless it is curry. I feel that when things are over sauced it takes away from the real stars of the dish. The big players in this one are spicy sausage and chunky style sun dried tomatoes. The combination of these two offers a degree of savory-sweet (with a kick). It is my favorite flavor combo making this recipe a new favorite in my Rolodex. If you are into bold flavor and a meal that will feed your family for a few days than give this dish a try! This recipe was adapted from a beautiful recipe blog called Julia’s Album.

Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (I went with spicy but refine to your own taste)
  • 8.5 oz jar of sun dried tomatoes julienne cut in oil (reserve the oil you will use it to cook)
  • a pinch (or more) of red pepper flakes. I tend to like things spicy and opted for upwards to three pinches. Tailor it to your taste
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • One bunch of fresh basil, chopped (I am aware that “one bunch” is incredibly vague so to clarify just buy a packaged bunch of fresh basil from your market’s produce section)
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb angel hair pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet heat the entire contents the sun dried tomato jar over low heat. Once heated up the temperature to medium and add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Add Roma tomatoes, basil, spinach, garlic, and salt/pepper to taste. Toss this mixture gently to be sure that all veggies get coated with the tomato oil goodness. Continue to cook until the spinach begins to wilt. Then remove the skillet from heat and cover it.
  3. Cook your pasta per the packaging, drain and add it to your sausage and vegetable skillet. Mix it all together and plate.
  4. One extra and totally optional tip is to reserve some of the spinach (or buy extra) and add crisp spinach to the dish as you plate it. This adds color, nutrients and a wonderful crunch to the dish. I highly recommend.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

 

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Chiles Rellenos Casserole

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It has been over two months since my last post because it’s been over two months since I’ve cooked a meal. The end of 2014 was possibly one of the most hectic and stressful times of my life thus far. November/December/January was chock full of birthdays, holidays, new babies and a cross-country drive with our toddler and our newborn. Needless to say my motivation to cook was nonexistent. However, now we are back in California and I’m back to having the space/time to be creative in my own kitchen. 2015 will, I hope, bring more family recipes to this blog. Cooking with a toddler AND a newborn is really difficult but I’m discovering new ways to make it all come together.

Now that you’re all privy to what’s been going on in my life let’s get down to business, chile relleno casserole! This recipe is perfect for so many reasons. First, it is a casserole so throw it all in your dish, bake it and you’re good. Second, this is chile relleno so the flavor is spicy and amazing. Third, this makes so many servings we will probably have left overs for a few days. Fourth, you can simplify some major steps to save time and frustration. And finally, the original source is a blog I stumbled upon that I trust and who has their stuff together (www.goingreno you freakin’ rock the internet). Seriously, this was a great recipe to come back to the blog with. I will definitely be making it again soon.

Serves: 8-10     Calories: 409.6/serving     Prep: 1 hour 20 minutes    Cook: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano peppers (if you want to save time get 3-4 cans of whole green chilies)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup of milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (save time by purchasing already minced garlic rather than hand mincing)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions: 

  1. If you are roasting fresh peppers follow each step, if you are using canned chilies skip to step 6.
  2. Turn oven to broil setting
  3. Wash the peppers and rub with oil and season with 1 tsp salt. Place on a cookie sheet and broil on each side for 10 minutes. (20 minutes in total.)
  4. Transfer peppers to an airtight container or plastic bag and let sit for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove the skin, seeds and ribs from peppers. I literally used my finger nails to scrape the skin off. if you do this PLEASE wear gloves. The oils from the peppers will burn your skin (I learned this the hard way) and you’ll be in agony soaking your hands in milk while trying to enjoy your casserole. Do not be concerned if the peppers split when trying to clean them. You want them to lay flat in the end anyways in order to layer the casserole. if they don’t split cut them so they lay flat.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Mix together the diced tomatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of milk in a pot and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. This will seem watery but that is okay.
  8. Spray a 9X13 baking pan and pour the tomato mixture into it.
  9. Place half of your poblano peppers, as evenly as you can, on top of the tomato mixture followed by half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of peppers and cheese.
  10. Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, flour, cumin and salt/pepper to taste (except don’t taste it… raw eggs you guys.. eyeball what you think will add good flavor. I did a light sprinkling of each). Pour this mixture over the entire casserole.
  11. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs have set. To check, insert a fork into the center and if it comes out clean you are ready to eat! I check a few different spots though just to be sure – raw eggs gross me out.
  12. Slice into 8-10 squares and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe found at http://www.goingreno.com 

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Tomato Basil Pasta with Olives and Feta

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After our big Thanksgiving feast we decided to take things down a notch and do easy healthier recipes this week. I found this recipe on http://www.chow.com and it was perfect because every ingredient is a favorite of Perry’s. Oh and did I mention it only took me 30 minutes to make?

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

– 1 carton of cherry or grape tomatoes, diced

– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (no more than 1/4 cup. You don’t want to make it too oily)

– 1 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

– 1-6oz can of black olives, drained and rinsed and roughly chopped

– 1/4 cup fresh or dried basil leaves, if fresh chop it

– 2 medium garlic cloves, minced

– 1 lb orecchiette pasta

– 1/4 cup of hot pasta water from your cooked pasta

– 1 cup crumbled feta (I wouldn’t get the herbed or sun dried tomato feta. Try it plain the first time. I guarantee you’ll love it)

Directions:

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.) While pot is heating dice up your tomatoes and put them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes so the tomato juices can drain a little into the oil making a nice sauce.

3.) By this time your pot should be boiling so cook your pasta. (orecchiette takes about 10 minutes.)

4.) Add olives, garlic and basil to the sauce and mix well.

5.) DON’T FORGET TO RESERVE 1/4 CUP OF WATER FROM YOUR POT FOR THE SAUCE. Strain pasta and transfer back to the large pot.

6.) Pour sauce and reserved pasta water over the pasta.

7.)Gently stir in feta.

8.) Enjoy!

*Original recipe found at: http://www.chow.com/recipes/25674-heirloom-tomatobasil-pasta-with-olives-and-feta
**Photo original taken by me

Whole Wheat Tortellini with Spinach and Tomatoes

Now that my half semester classes have started my kitchen has been collecting cobwebs. Needless to say, this week’s meals have been a variety of what can be really easy to make, tasty to eat, and great to keep for left overs. We are a whole wheat family so when we see things like whole wheat tortellini on sale we have to buy it. Pasta sauce is “good” but I’ve always felt that it can be overbearing and take away from the hidden flavors of a dish so I’ve made a recipe for my own “sauce.” This dish is perfect for busy moms/dads worldwide!

Ingredients:

-Pinch of salt (for boiling water)

– (2) 9oz packages of whole wheat three cheese tortellinis (or any type of tortellini that you like)

– 10 oz bag of fresh spinach (rinsed)

– 1 whole container of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (modify to taste.. I love garlic so I put unnecessary amounts of it in my recipes haha)

– 1 tsp dried rosemary (or any herbs you like)

– 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.) When boiling add tortellini and 1 tbsp of olive oil (to keep tortellini from sticking together.) Stirring often cook until soft (approximately 7 minutes)

3.) While cooking the pasta heat (medium heat) the remaning 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan and add spinach. Cook until the spinach is just starting to wilt (approximately 3 minutes) Add the tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary. Continue to cook until the tomatoes start to wilt (approximately 3-4 minutes.) take off of heat and set aside

4.) When tortellini is done drain and toss with a very small amount of olive oil. Put about half of a cup of tortellinis on a plate and top with spinach/tomato sauce.

5.) Enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

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This dish is one of my husband’s favorite pasta meals. When we found out he has high cholesterol one of the things we decided to do was convert to whole wheat. Whole wheat pasta is definitely an acquired taste but this recipe really compliments the pasta and you won’t even know you are eating so healthy. It tastes that good! When the recipe calls for salt to taste don’t overdo it. The sausage has so much flavor on it’s own that I usually only salt the boiling water to give the pasta some flavor. You really do not want to take away from the sausage/tomato mixture. This recipe also re-heats really nicely so it makes for awesome left-overs.

Serves:8 – 238 Calories/serving – 19g Fat/serving – 420 mg sodium/serving

Ingredients:

-Olive Oil Cooking Spray

-1 lb. Pork Sausage (We like to use mild/spicy Italian Sausage), removed from casing and crumbled

-4 Garlic Cloves

-2 Pinches of Hot Pepper Flakes

-1 Carton of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

-2 tsp. Thyme

-Salt and Pepper to taste

-14 oz. Whole Wheat Pasta Cooked Al Dente (We like to use either spaghetti or penne)

-2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

-2 tsp. Fresh Chopped Parsley

Directions:

1.) Fill large pot with water and sprinkle a little bit of salt into water. Bring to a boil.

2.) While water is heating spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Place over medium high heat. Add sausage and stir until meat browns.

3.) By this time water should be ready to add the pasta. Add pasta and keep an eye on it throughout step 4.

4.) Add garlic pepper flakes, tomato and thyme to skillet. Cook until sausage turns dark brown and tomato skins shrivel. Season with salt and pepper. Keep Warm.

5.) Place cooked pasta in a bowl and toss with olive oil.Top pasta with a large spoonful of sausage/tomato mixture.

 

6.) Pull a few leaves of parsley from springs and sprinkle over your meal.

7.) Enjoy!

*I want to give credit to The Cook Yourself Thin cookbook where I originally found this recipe.

*All photos are originals taken by me