Tag Archives: parmesan

Put a Bowtie on That Chicken

In my pantry today:

  • 1 12 oz can chicken breast meat
  • 1.5 c bowtie pasta, cooked
  • 2 c cabbage, cut small
  • 1/2 c carrots, cut small
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

IMAG0443This is as easy on the wallet as it is on your palette. Drain the can of chicken and rinse thoroughly; set aside. Cook pasta; set aside. Saute garlic in butter and oil over ML for as long as you can stand to — I went about 20m, which wasn’t tough on time since the pasta requires time to cook and the chicken needs rinsing. Turn heat up to M and stir-fry carrots and cabbage for a minute then reduce heat back to the M side of ML and add seasonings, chicken and broth. Let everything simmer while you stir in Parmesan to thicken the broth. Right before serving, mix pasta with sauce/cabbage. Set aside logic and sprinkle a little Parmasean on top for 5 spoons of simplicious!

Tomato-Topped Tortellini (or, “Salad Capricious”)

In my pantry today:

  • Trader Joes® spinach tortellini
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 M sweet onion, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dash asafoetida
  • dash sea salt
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

tortellinitomatoHeat the oils to ML and address it with your minced finery. Turn them back to L and let sit for an hour or two; this seems like a huge investment for an otherwise simple meal, but trust me on the flavor quotient. If you don’t have that much time to invest, don’t worry your heart — this will still turn out beyond edible.

Closer to mealtime, boil/drain your tortellini and prep tomato and cheese slices until the slice:cheese ratio works for you. While the love for cheese can connect almost all of is it also comes with a wide gradient of loves; slice for yourself and don’t look back.

Add your oil, garlic, onions and Parmesan to a pot where you’ve replaced the tortellini drained. Toss gently and let sit for 5m before serving topped with slices of tomato/mozzerella. Drizzle the tiniest bit of balsamic vinegar over the whole shebang, close your eyes and dream of Italy. 5 spoons!

Pan-a Stew-a: A Remedy for all Ills or Difficulties

In my pantry today:

  • 1 10 oz can chicken breast, drained
  • 1 14 oz can butter beans, drained
  • 1 L sweet potato, diced
  • 1 c kale, minced
  • 4-8 baby carrots, or whatever’s left in fridge
  • 1-2 c Basmati rice, cooked and cold
  • 1/2 L sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to top

panstewThis will be a cold February night’s remedy for all ills and difficulties; it will be, as well, a panacea of flavors. Get those large onion and small garlic minces into butter and olive oil heating to the M side of ML. After about ten toe-tapping minutes, add sweet potatoes, turmeric and 1 can of broth. Stir to coat. Another 5 minutes in, fond the last dregs of a still-viable bag of baby carrots and add them to the pan as well. Cover and boil over MH until potatoes begin to show signs of tenderness towards your fork. Add kale, chicken, rest of seasonings and rest of broth. continue cooking on L, covered until dinnertime. Five minutes before said time, increase the pan to M, add rice and slap the cover back on. As pan reaches the zenith of M turn it back off. Let sit for 2-5m then serve topped with Parmesan. 100 reasons for 5 spoons tonight!

Le Polpette Più Straordinaria (Or, “Meatballs!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 c crock pot marinara from freezer
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 Italian sausages
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
Meatballs ft. Steam of Deliciousness

Meatballs ft. Steam of Deliciousness

It’s a new year and the freezer is full of meat. Well, not full but still housing a little more than I’d like to have on hand and I would really like to free up space in both my freezer and capillaries so tonight’s dinner was meatballs. Using the freezer marinara also helped — plus, who wants to make homemade meatballs and use anyone else’s sauce in which to bathe them? I mean, that would just be wrong… right? So start this journey by ensuring everything is thawed and at the ready: your sausages have been removed from their casings, your garlic is minced and your oven is preheated to 350°.

meatballs1Heat the marinara over ML heat until it is hot but don’t let it get to boil; it can just sit patiently. All of the other ingredients can go into a mixing bowl and have your hands either lovingly or angrily (how was your day?) mash everything into a thick paste. Roll into balls 1-1.5″ in diameter and space them on a baking pan with raised sides to catch any runoff. What I had in the freezer was 93% fat free ground chuck so there was little in the way of grease, so I can sate my guilty conscience there. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then pick each hot little ball off the pan and plop it into your sauce. Cook on L until dinnertime. I love little nuggets of garlic in my meatballs, knowing they are shrouded in Parmesan and coated with meat then again smothered with homemade marinara… 5 spoons.

 

 

Alfredioliflower Bake (Or, “Cheese is the New Meat”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package mini cheese ravioli
  • 1-1.5c cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 c unsweeteened almond milk
  • 2/3 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

alfredibakeMince your garlic and onion, then put in ghee on ML for as long as it takes for them to look apologetically droopy. Add 1.5 c milk and cornstarch and increase heat to MH until a boil barely begins to yawn, then reduce the temperature back to ML. Start stirrin in them cheeses. Well, 1/3c of the mozzarella and 3/4c of the Parm (the rest will go on top). Stir in the salt, other cup of milk and intermittently between said stirrings get your ravioli boiling to almost al dente. Drain and put in a baking pan. Break up any cauliflower florets that are obnoxiously large and tuck them into the pasta. Then drench it all with the cheesy sauce, then top said sauce with the remainder of your cheeses and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Bake in a 350* oven for 20-30m (or until hot).

 

7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

3 Cheeses + 3 Vegetables + Pasta = Equation for Happiness

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c rice pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 c buckwheat, cooked in broth
  • 1.5 c red cabbage, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c minced kale, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c zucchini, sliced in small bits
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c broth (vegetable)
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mozzarella
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So you’ll start your onion, garlic and mustard seeds in a pan on ML. After translucency in onions begins, stir in turmeric and increase heat to M. Stir in kale, add a dash of broth and cover for 5-10m. Open the pan back up then stir in cabbage and remaining seasonings. Toss it all in a happy foray, then let your zucchini join in for a while (leave covered on L with another splash or two of broth).

Cook and drain your pasta. Mix buckwheat, mozzarella and feta into your cabbage/kale pan, then mix in your pasta. Serve topped with Parmesan. 5 spoons!

Some Kind of Alfredo (or, “In Very Few Ways Actually a True Alfredo”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cooked ziti
  • 1 c chana dal
  • 1 c kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 leek
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c pine nuts, mostly toasted
  • 1/2 can your favorite “cream of” soup
  • 2/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  •  1 Swanson® Flavor Boost packet (vegetable)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil

I made 1/2 this dish yesterday as the base for something I had not yet fully recognized. What I made was exquisite, and I did not know where the end of it’s journey would lie. Here’s how it all started:

  • 1 c chana dal
  • 1 c kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 leek
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c pine nuts, mostly toasted
  •  1 Swanson® Flavor Boost packet (vegetable)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Start the thinly-sliced leeks and minced garlic in olive oil warming to ML, and let them rest for about 5 more minutes before you re-address their situation. Meanwhile, flash-blanch your kale, drain it in a colander then transfer to a cutting board to mince well. Stir pine nuts into pan and let sit another minute or three before adding the kale and dal. Stir everything together along with the Flavor Boost and let rest on L. Then turn off the stove. Then put it in the fridge when you don’t have time to keep cooking.

Fast-forward to the next afternoon. I’ll let you do the math up there on which ingredients haven’t yet been utilized; the only meat, then, involved in this recipe is: BRAINMEATS! Slice a little zucchini and pan sear it in 1 tsp of olive oil on MH until the edges brown. Set aside. Add a can of “Cream Of” soup in your choice of conciliatory flavor, some almond milk, Parmesan and cayenne pepper. Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to L and let set while you boil that pasta. Drain it then put it back in its now-waterless pot. Add pan of deliciousness; stir and let set for a few minutes on L. Serve topped with zucchini and Parmesan. 5 spoons!

Mindbending ‘Mater Meat

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c blanched/diced tomatoes
  • 3 c cooked ziti
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 m Vidalia onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

So the store had a sale on tomatoes. And I bought eighteen of them. Don’t you judge me. As I’ve recently been on a blanching binge, this seemed no hard choice — it ended up being, however, a long and messy process to blanch, peel and dice that many tomatoes at once without much counter space. I ended up putting six cups of freshly blanched and diced tomatoes in the freezer, which made me feel very handy and thrifty. The other 3.5 c of diced ‘mater meat from this debacle was set aside.

Slice your onion and garlic as thinly as possible while the ghee melts on ML. Add oil and put in onion and garlic slices when ghee melts. Let everything simmer on ML for a minute, then increase heat to M and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7m. Stir vinegar into pot contents and reduce heat to ML; leave the pot’s side for 10m. When you return, stir in turmeric and red hot chili powder then add tomatoes and salt. Turn heat up to M and stir until it comes to a boil. Then walk away and return in a series of quick cycles every few minutes for the next hour. If after an hour the sauce is not yet at a consistency you like, reduce heat to ML and continue to slow boil until you get there. Be forewarned that this is a 2 person serving, so feel free to do the math on those ingredients to feed a larger crew. Serve mixed with the pasta of your choice and topped with Parmesan cheese. While delicious, this dish shows that my mind was more on ‘mater meat than on other seasonings I could’ve added — I recommend adding basil and/or oregano and/or anything else you might find in an Italian Seasoning blend from the store to try and grab that 5 spoon potential. 4 spoons!

Tofu Parmesan (or, “No, Really. Tofu Parmesan.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/3 package Nasoya® firm tofu
  • 3-4  c cooked spaghetti
  • 1 24 oz jar Prego® (roasted garlic and herb)
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 c tofu marinade*
  • 1.25 c breading*
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzerella
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese

First thing’s first: prepare your tofu properly for cooking for the first damn time, Katherine. Stop thinking that it will magically find deliciousness through little preparatory effort. Drain your cube o’fu and gently squeeze a clean towel or paper towels around it for a little casual pre-press. Then wrap it in [clean towel/paper towels] and set a light-medium weight pot or pan on top and walk away for 30m or so. When you return, slice into 1/2″ thick steaks and place into sweet overnight dreams of flavor…

*tofu marinade:

  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix everything together and lay steaks flat (I used a rectangular tupperware dealie). Let sit in the fridge overnight, flipping once halfway through said marination.

And okay, pretend it’s now dinner time the following afternoon. Boil spaghetti until at your preferred consistency then season your Prego® with 1 tsp hot red chili powder and call that part of the meal a day. Get back to your tofu, and mix the following for its breading:

  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 c plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

While your oil is warming, remove tofu steaks gingerly and let sit on paper towels. Pat them on the back and let them know you appreciate their patience, then roll them in the breading and let them fry. Once one side turns golden, flip and continue cooking until the desired color. Mine came out a little browner than I’d have ideally liked, but they were still really, really tasty. When I was little, my dad used to make little bread crumb fritters when he’d fry something and there were breadcrumb left over… they were delicious, but even I knew they were bad for me. In the 80s. This, though? Well, nothing fried is really healthy — let me say that to the universe so it knows that this time I am not taunting it — but at least… well, nothing fried is really healthy. And nothing fried then covered with cheese could certainly count… but damn but it weren’t tasty.

Once fried, let the tofu sit on paper towels until crispy and dry of their shame. I layered in a bowl: spaghetti, sauce, tofu then cheeses and put each stainless steel bowl under the broiler for 5m to get the melty goodness going. 4 spoons!