Tag Archives: quick

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.

Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

I had a BUSY day today. I spent the better part of my afternoon on my keester at the endocrinologist’s office. Boy howdy was that fun… or NOT. By the time I got home, the last thing I wanted to think about was cooking dinner. I grabbed some pork chops from the freezer and did a quick thaw on them and found this great recipe for Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce. I adapted it slightly to match what we had on hand in the house. This was a <30 minute meal and the entire family (2 year old included) loved it! I served egg noodles and green beans – perfect for a quick weeknight family dinner.

One quick note – if you’re like me, when you finish making the sauce you’ll think, “No way. NO WAY. Not enough sauce!!” but I am here to tell you that it’s plenty! The sauce is tangy and rich and a little bit goes a long way!!

Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Yield: 4 servings

4 (3/4″ thick) boneless pork chops
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, swirling to coat, then brown chops, turning over once – about 8 minutes total.

3) Transfer chops to a shallow baking pan, reserving skillet, and bake (uncovered), until cooked through – about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosely cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, pour off any remaining fat from the skillet and then add butter. Over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in the melted butter, stirring, until softened (3 to 5 minutes).

5) Add broth and any juices from the baking pan and boil, scraping up any brown bits (2 minutes). Add mustard and cream and return to a boil, then add lemon juice and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve pork chops with sauce spooned over top.

Quick & Easy Sauteed Shrimp with Peppers

One of the most popular restaurants in downtown St. Augustine is a Cuban/Spanish-style restaurant called The Columbia. Founded by a Cuban immigrant in the early 1900s, The Columbia originated in the Tampa area and is a mini-chain restaurant (there are a handful of them, all in the state of FL).  The food is very unpretentious and down-home. They have some of the best Cuban bread on earth (soft, warm, heaven!) and the sangria?! Don’t even get me started!! I’ve blogged about the sangria before – here’s their red sangria recipe and here’s the white sangria straight from their website. I prefer the white, but they are both great.

Before you think I’m a lush, let me get back to the shrimp!! This recipe is adapted from one in their cookbook (which of course, I own. I need a 12 step program for cookbooks!). All of the recipes in the book start with a good solid half cup of oil (or more! ACK!), so I adjusted that and a few other bits and pieces as I go along. This recipe was originally referred to as “Creole Shrimp”, but it’s not at all spicy. I think calling it Sauteed Shrimp and Peppers is much closer to the truth. If you have everything chopped, peeled, and standing by, this becomes a superfast and easy main meal. It would be great over rice, couscous, or just with a nice hunk of that Cuban bread!

Quick & Easy Sauteed Shrimp with Peppers

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
handful of chopped parsley (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

1) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and pepper until the onion is soft and transparent and the peppers are softened.
2) Stir in the garlic, then add the shrimp. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Add the paprika, wine, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring for another minute until the sauce thickens slightly and the shrimp are cooked all the way through.

(54) Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crisps

I purchased the bags of broccoli florets to use in this, so I only had to chop the onion and celery. That made this relatively speedy to make. I used an extra 1/2 cup of water – use your judgment, it might need a little bit more than the recipe calls for. For not having any cream or even any broth in it, this soup was amazingly creamy!! We all enjoyed it. I couldn’t really enjoy the cheese crisps because of my teeth, but my husband and daughter devoured them with the soup!! I will make this again, for sure!


Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crisps

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Food and Wine Magazine, February 2008

For an ingenious twist on the classic combination of broccoli and melted cheddar, Barbara Lynch serves a warming broccoli soup with cheddar crisps. Try making the crisps with Mimolette, an orange-hued semihard cheese from France, which has a milder, nuttier flavor than cheddar. The soup is equally good with cauliflower or celery root in place of the broccoli.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped
3 small celery ribs, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
3 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cheddar Crisps, for serving

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the broccoli and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and puree until smooth. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with the Cheddar Crisps.


Make Ahead
The broccoli soup can be refrigerated overnight.

Nutritional Information (per sparkrecipes.com)- this includes 2 crisps
Calories 149, Total Fat 9.8 g, Cholesterol 7.4 mg, Sodium 120.9 mg, Potassium 678.0 mg, Total Carbohydrate 12.0 g, Dietary Fiber 6.0 g, Protein 7.3 g

Without the crisps
Calories 120, Fat 7.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 76.8mg, Potassium 671mg, Carbohydrates 11.9g, Fiber 6g, Protein 5.6g

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(38) Pasta e Fagioli

I know I say that a lot of the recipes I cook are quick and easy, but this one should be put at the top of the list! There was nothing difficult about this. I minced my own garlic, which took 2 seconds as did opening the cans. Soooo, easy!!

I used regular spicy Italian sausage (not turkey – the plain was on sale!) and used 2 links. It was plenty spicy – certainly didn’t need any extra red pepper! If you don’t like spice, go for the sweet Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes until the heat is right for you! I wasn’t sure if this was going to be filling enough, but it definitely was! We give this two thumbs up for sure!


Pasta e Fagioli

Source: Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2000
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
1 1/2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked small seashell pasta (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
Minced fresh parsley (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until browned, stir-ring to crumble. Add water, broth, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, 1/4 cup cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is done. Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Garnish each serving with parsley and red pepper, if desired.

CALORIES 353 (26% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 3.1g,mono 4.1g,poly 2.3g); IRON 4.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 34mg; CALCIUM 177mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.6g; SODIUM 742mg; PROTEIN 20.5g; FIBER 4.5g

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