Tag Archives: onions

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.

Easy Weeknight Salsa

I LOVE fresh salsa. LOVE IT. One of my favorite salsa recipes is from the Mexican food guru, Rick Bayless. The recipe has you roast the some of the ingredients in the oven and then puree it all together. It’s WONDERFUL, but it’s a little time consuming. (Side note: I can point you to that particular recipe if you’d like it – just comment or email me!)

Anyway, a few nights ago, I needed fresh salsa something terrible but there was no way in heck that my wiry toddler and starving husband were going to afford me the time to chop and roast. Enter “Easy Weeknight Salsa”. Three minutes of chopping, 15 minutes in the fridge, and you’re off enjoying chips and salsa without a lot of hassle! This is really a basic Pico de Gallo – you’ll find this recipe in many home cooks’ repertoire, I’m sure, but it was too good and easy not to share!  Here’s how you do it:

Easy Weeknight Salsa

2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand 15-30 minutes so the flavors meld together. I like my salsa chilled, so I put it in the fridge to let it sit.

(Note: The salsa may get a little wet if you have any left over, but you can use a slotted spoon to get it out if you like! It’s still just as tasty!)

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.

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!

Meatless Monday – Very Veggie Fettucine Alfredo

Are you new to Meatless Monday? Check out this post for more details…

I have been having so much fun with Meatless Monday. I’m really having to stretch outside of my normal kitchen comfort zone to find meatless meals that will be satisfying for this carnivorous family of mine. This recipe is a combination of several recipes I had been wanting to try for a while. You’re going to look at it and think ‘wow, that’s a lot of stuff’, but I promise you, it took no more than 45 minutes from first chop to on the table. You can work on several things at once and when it all comes together in the end, you will be glad you took the chance!

I will say that this dish does use a lot of pans, and for that, I apologize. The reason I cook so much is that I hate washing dishes. You see, whoever cooks dinner, the other spouse washes dishes, sooooooooo….


Very Veggie Fettucine Alfredo

Serves Four

8 ounces uncooked fettucine

Vegetables:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 (8oz) package sliced mushrooms
1/2 c finely chopped green onion (use the whites and green part)
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stems removed and torn into pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1) Prepare fettucine according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain remaining water and set pasta aside.

2) Prepare the sauce: Heat butter over medium heat in a large saucepan (until it foams). Whisk in flour until the mixture is smooth and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, heavy cream, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

3) Prepare the vegetables: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute carrots and red peppers for 4-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic; saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and onions, stirring until mushrooms are tender (3-4 minutes). Pile spinach into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and excess liquid is mostly evaporated. Season with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

4) Time to assemble! Pour the cooked pasta into the vegetable mix and give it a stir. Next, whisk 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water into the alfredo sauce to help thin it out. I ended up using about 3/4 of a cup, but you can use the whole 1 cup if the mix is dryer than you’d like it. Start small, though – it’s easier to add than take away! Pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta and vegetables and sprinkle in the fresh basil. Stir to combine well (a good pair of kitchen tongs work wonders right about now!) If you’re feeling adventurous, you can top your dish with more freshly grated Parmesan.  Enjoy!

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