Category: Main Dish

Pasta with Peas & Chicken

Have you ever been running around all day only to find that you look up and it is 5:30 and everyone in your house is hungry? I have to admit that this scenario plays out sometimes several times a week in my house, so I have a few recipes that I can always whip up in no time. These recipes include staple items that I always have in my pantry and fridge. This pasta with peas & chicken is one of my go to meals that is just perfect.

The combination of pasta (who doesn’t love pasta?), chicken (the perfect protein) and peas (frozen ones keep for a very long time) make this just that, a staple. The longest part of this recipe is waiting for that darn pot of pasta water to boil which can always be a drag when you are in a rush. I generally will throw in an extra item or two from my never ending “to-do” list which is helpful. Think laundry, lunges, dishes, helping kids with homework…you name it there is always something extra that needs to be done.

I definitely think that this is one recipe to keep in your arsenal. It will be loved by your family and in the event anyone has an aversion to peas, which my boys do, you can just omit them or separate their portion and add them in after separated. Without further ado, here is the recipe…enjoy!

Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey and White Bean Chili

I have mentioned several times that I love one pot meals and one of my favorite one pot meals is Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey and White Bean Chili.  It is amazing!  I actually can’t believe that it has taken me so long to blog about this dynamite dish since it is my all time favorite chili recipe.  I have made this for football parties, for lunch on a rainy day and when I need a weeknight meal on a busy evening.     The other plus to this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and the longer it sits the better this chili gets.

So let’s talk about the ingredients.  I love that the main protein in this chili is turkey, you could use ground beef, however I absolutely love the clean, lean taste of turkey.   The addition of white beans is another clean flavor that really makes this chili recipe different from other chili recipes.  Then there are the spices, from chili powder to red pepper and many flavors in between there is some serious flavor going on.   One of the last ingredients I was very surprised to see is the addition of corn meal that acts as a binder to thicken the chili up.  I think this is a genius addition since corn naturally complements chili so well.

I hope I have sold you on making this chili.  It is delicious, healthy and the perfect chili to serve your friends and family.

Ingredients
4 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons Emeril’s Southwest Essence, recipe follows
1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro’tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
Tortillas (optional)

Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning:
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Directions

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey, Southwest Essence, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and cooked through, 6 minutes. Add the cornmeal and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, and cilantro stems and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cannellini beans. Add the heavy cream and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.

Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with cheese and cilantro.

 

 

 

Super Simple, Fast, Budget Friendly Spaghetti Bolognese

Have you ever slaved over a meal to only have your family either not eat it or simply give you that indifferent look while they force it down?  If you haven’t you’re lucky, however unfortunately I have had this scenario happen to me more than once.  So, I can’t begin to explain my shock when I made this Super Simple, Fast, Budget Friendly Spaghetti Bolognese that my crew loved.  In fact they claimed this was the best bolognese I have ever made.   Uh, ok…noted, I will never slave over my more complex bolognese sauces in the future.

So let me explain how this easy recipe came to be.  I became discombobulated and dizzy on Monday.  I thought I was just experiencing a bad headache, however when I continued to feel like I was on a moving boat on Wednesday I decided to go to the doctor.  I can’t tell you how relieved to find out I had vertigo.  All I can say is I was sooooooo relieved to be diagnosed with a medical condition and know that this was not all in my head.

Since I wasn’t able to get to the grocery store for some fresh ingredients (and because my family had not had a home cooked meal in days) I decided to throw together a spaghetti bolognese.  Ingredients are simple pantry staples with the exception of some basil, garlic and parmesan I had on hand.  There is no lengthy simmering of sauce and because I used 93% lean ground turkey the meal was low fat as well.

So here is my recipe for Super Simple, Fast, Budget Friendly Spaghetti Bolognese.  I hope you enjoy

Super Simple, Fast, Budget Friendly Spaghetti Bolognese
(serves 4-6 people depending on how hungry your crew is)

Ingredients
1-2 T. olive oil
1.25 lb. lean ground turkey
1 – 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1-4 garlic cloves minced (I use 4 and it is super garlicky so you may want to start with 1 to be safe)
1 beef flavoring packet from Top Ramen (remove beef flavor packet and either discard the noodles or save noodles for later)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
basil to chiffonade
parmesan
1 lb. spaghetti*, cooked according to package directions (reserve about a cup of the cooking water)
*I use gluten free, but use whatever you have on hand

cooking bolognese sauce
cooking bolognese sauce

Directions
Heat large saucepan over medium-high heat with olive oil.  Brown ground turkey (after it cooked, because the meat is so lean I do not drain the fat out, but you certainly could if you’d like).

Add tomato sauce, garlic, beef flavoring packet, onion powder, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer on medium low heat about 10 minutes and taste with salt and pepper.   If sauce reduces too much or is too thick to your liking, add a bit of the reserved pasta water.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.  Place in pasta bowls or plates and sprinkle with basil and parmesan cheese.

spaghetti bolognese closeup

Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb Recipe

One of my favorite parts of cooking, besides of course eating, is to be able to recreate a delicious dish from a restaurant.  Even better is when I am able to make that dish just as good.  I recently was at a Thai restaurant where I tasted a Larb dish that was spectacular.  In an effort to recreate this dish I perused the internet and came across  Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb recipe.

The Larb I ate at this restaurant was savory, spicy and very fresh thanks to the addition of what seemed to be a generous amount of lime juice.  Once I came across Giada’s recipe I knew that I had a winner.  I loved how the ingredients were fresh, simple and my favorite part was the citrus based dressing which brings the perfect amount of tart freshness that I absolutely love.

While I have yet to perfect other Thai dishes such as Pad Thai and Panang Curry that are favorites, this Larb is super simple and delicious.  My deep love of Thai food will keep me on the hunt and working towards making the perfect Thai dish, however in the meantime this one is a keeper and one I will continue to make over and over.

Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb Recipe
Ingredients

Dressing
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 5 limes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons fish sauce*
2 tablespoons honey

Larb
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 (4-inch) piece lemongrass, minced (about 1/4 cup)*
1 Thai chile, such as prik kee noo, or 1 serrano chile, stemmed and thinly sliced*
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
1 cup brown rice (this is not part of Giada’s recipe, but I served mine with brown rice and loved it)

Directions
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce and honey. Set aside.

Larb: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, lemongrass, chile, and salt, to taste. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spoon the turkey mixture onto the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with sticky rice.


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America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara

Yes, the title is correct – A Light AND Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara. I recently picked up a magazine featuring the best light & healthy recipes of 2010 from America’s Test Kitchens. I absolutely love America’s Test Kitchens because not only are their recipes full proof, they explain the science behind the recipe and I find it fascinating.

For this lightened up Spaghetti Carbonara they used ingredients such as fat-free evaporated milk and mayonnaise to create a creamy sauce without a ton of added fat. I would have never thought to use these ingredients in a carbonara, but let me tell you – it is fabulous and the calorie/fat content isn’t so shabby either. Coming in at 410 calories per 1-cup serving, this comes in way under an original carbonara recipe and I didn’t miss the original one bit. I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did.

Light & Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara
(adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

Ingredients
2/3 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
1/4 c. fat-free evaporated milk
2 T. mayonnaise
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 ounces Canadian Bacon, chopped coarse
2 slices bacon, chopped coarse
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. pepper
1/3 c. dry white wine
1 pound spaghetti
Salt
1 T. chopped, fresh parsley

Directions
Process the cheese, evaporated milk, 1 1/2 T. of the mayonnaise, egg and egg white in a food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds; leave the mixture in the food processor.

Cook the Canadian bacon and bacon together in a 12-inch non stick skillet over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is browned, about seven minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add the garlic and pepper ot the fat left in the skillet, and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, about one minute. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring four quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 T. salt, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with the remaining 1 1/2 t. mayonnaise until coated.

With the food processor running, slowly add the wine mixture and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water to the egg mixture, and process until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Immediately pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss to combine, adjusting the sauce consistency with the remaining reserved cooking water as desired. Stir in the bacon and season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.