Tag Archives: cheese

Green Bean Spaghetti Carbonara

Yes, I’m still alive over here! Tired, but alive, and even cooking a little bit 🙂 Tonight’s dinner is a minorly (is that a word!?) tweaked recipe from Rachel Ray’s magazine. It was easy and delish, but not exactly low cal (oh well!). Bacon is one of our favorite foods in this house and I loved that there were green beans in the dish to help salvage the nutritional value 🙂 I’ll make this one again!

Green Bean Spaghetti Carbonara

Source: Adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine
Yield: 6 servings

1 lb. spaghetti
1 lb. green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1) Cook pasta according to package directions, adding beans halfway through cooking time; drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.

2) Brown bacon in large skillet over medium heat; add onion and sautee until soft; deglaze with reserved cooking water. (or if you’re like me and forget to reserve it, regular tap water will be ok!)

3) Whisk eggs with cheese. Off heat, add pasta, beans, eggs and cheese to skillet and toss; season with salt and pepper.

Meatless Monday – Broccoli Cheese Soup

I’m baaaaaaaaack! Well, maybe, sorta. I know I suck at blogging lately and for that I apologize (Mom, Mary Helen, and anybody else who thought I got stuck in traffic). We have had so many different projects going on in our house and trips, visitors, etc. It’s safe to say summer got the best of me. I’m also currently residing in braces hell!! My mouth is KILLING ME. I’m hoping this latest torture idea that my orthodontist has going on is a short lived one…

So I’m here with a sore mouth and it’s rainy. I felt like I needed broccoli cheese soup. I gathered the ingredients and my husband did the cooking. He’s my hero for today!! He rocked the soup! This soup is not super creamy, but it’s not watery either. It’s a perfect in between consistency – just what you want for dipping in a nice piece of french bread!! I also love that this has tons of broccoli in it and that not even the stems are wasted.  A perfect serving size that everyone in your house is guaranteed to love!

Note: If you don’t want your soup too chunky, you can always put some of the soup into a blender and puree until smoothe. Do this after the 15 minutes simmer and return it to the pan before you put the milk or the florets in. I wouldn’t do more than half of the mix in the blender, though.


Broccoli Cheese Soup

Adapted from Epicurious
Yield: 6 servings (about 1 2/3 cup each)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature, divided
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
6 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in milk.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Divide soup into 6 bowls and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese evenly over the top of each bowl. Enjoy!!

Basmati-Stuffed Peppers

I meant to make this recipe last week, which means the peppers sat on the counter longer than they should have. One of them bit the dust, so I ended up using some creme brulee sized dishes to act as a fake pepper shell (it worked perfectly, by the way!). So if you have a pepper-hater in your house (ack!) then you can use this option as well!!

This recipe requires a little bit of prep work, but was very tasty. Using extra lean ground beef ensures that your filling won’t be greasy. Instead, it was perfectly moist with tender, nutty rice and a hint of spice from the jalapeno. If you like heat, leave the seeds in. If you like a milder dish, remove the seeds and ribs before you chop it. These were VERY filling and only needed a light side dish – we chose some whole wheat naan!

Basmati-Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 servings (2 pepper halves per serving)
Inspired by: a Cooking Light Recipe

4 large green bell peppers
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound ground beef, extra lean

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise (through the stem), discarding the seeds and membranes. Place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan, cut sides up.

3) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapenos to the pan; saute 5 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely

4) Combine the cooled rice mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, egg, and ground beef. Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture into each pepper half. Spoon remaining 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over peppers. Cover the pan and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese; bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Meatless Monday – Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

Another Meatless Monday is here with another lure to the grill. It’s just so stinking hot here in FL, that grilling is a much welcome end to a busy day. It certainly beats standing over the hot stove!! I loved the last grilled portobellos that we made, so I was in search of another variation to try. This sandwich combines all of my favorite things in the world – balsamic vinegar, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and mushrooms! It’s SUPER easy to put together and you can customize it to your tastes. On a diet? Cut the cheese in half. Don’t like red peppers? Go for tomatoes instead. The variations are endless!

A quick note on the goat cheese
– for this recipe, use a log of goat cheese, not the precrumbled stuff. I find that goat cheese dries out considerably when it’s precrumbled. That’s fine for a salad or a casserole where it will be mixed with other things, but for this recipe, you need the creamy texture of a good goat cheese.

Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches
with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large portobello mushroom caps – washed and stems removed
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 large slices roasted red peppers (freshly made or from a jar)
4 ounces goat cheese
2 ounces arugula

1) Combine first 7 ingredients (garlic through olive oil) in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Place the mushrooms in a large container with a lid or a plastic zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. When the container is sealed tight, give it a few turns to make sure that the mushrooms are well covered with the marinade. Keep at room temperature for about an hour (more is fine) and turn once or twice.

2) Preheat grill to medium heat. Place mushroom caps on the grill and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, until they are soft. Use the remaining marinade to baste the mushrooms as they cook.

3) Toast the buns and then on each of the bottom halves place 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 ounce arugula, 1 large slice of roasted red pepper. On each of the top buns place 1 ounce of goat cheese. Add the mushrooms and close the bun to make the juiciest, tangiest dinner feast! Enjoy!

Makes 4 sandwiches

Spicy Chili Queso Dip

I posted this recipe a while back, but I never had any pictures of it. My father-in-law, Mike, makes this dip and it’s cheesy and addicting. It appears at every holiday. Easter? Cheese dip, sure! Christmas? Gotta have queso! 2nd Friday in June? Sounds like a good day for dip!

The queso starts with peppers, onions, and sausage cooked down in a skillet. Then you add some diced jalapenos (have you ever bought them diced like this? Love them!), and a can of chili.

Then your mini-crockpot gets stuffed to the gills with Mexican Velveeta.

And then you wait….

After an hour or so, cheesy goodness!! We serve with tortilla chip scoops or Frito scoops and make sure to get some when it’s first ready otherwise you won’t get any, it’s that good!!

PS: If you need a mini crock, they’re really affordable! You can get this basic white one for $15 at Amazon. Or live on the wild side with something like this spicy red one!

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