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Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna is a deliciously cheesy, vegetarian lasagna made quick and easy for a weeknight…or any time!  {vegetarian}

Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Pasta night is always a hit in our household, and the cheesier the better.  Lasagna is one of my favorite cheesy pasta meals, but for a weeknight (or really any night with two little ones under foot), lasagna is just not happening.  Or so I thought.  Enter >this Weeknight Skillet Lasagna recipe which has all the tasty goodness of lasagna, only it is quick and easy made right in a skillet!  Lasagna made in under 30 minutes is definitely doable!

Using that original recipe as a base, I transformed it into a vegetarian version ~ Spinach Mushroom Skillet Lasagna!…

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Burgundy Porcini Risotto | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #risotto

Burgundy Porcini Risotto

Burgundy Porcini Risotto is a rich, cheesy risotto made with porcini mushrooms and red wine.  While risotto may seem intimidating, it truly is very easy to make and definitely something worth trying.  

Burgundy Porcini Risotto | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #risotto #glutenfree

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Gallo Family Vineyards Hearty Burgundy via the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of the key components of risotto is wine.  People always say the wine you use to cook should be a wine you enjoy to drink.   I typically make risotto with white wine, but generally prefer to drink red wine over white.  So I decided to experiment and take one of our favorite risotto recipes and use one of my favorite red wines – Gallo Family Vineyards Hearty Burgundy.  The Hearty Burgundy is a bold, flavorful wine that goes beautifully with the Parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese,  and porcini mushrooms in this dish.  I decided to leave out the spinach from the original recipe, because I really wanted the red wine to shine through.  The result was an amazing, cheesy, earthy risotto with the rich flavors from the Hearty Burgundy harmonizing with each bite….

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Tortellini Primavera - a quick and healthy pasta dish made on the lighter side!

Tortellini Primavera #WeekdaySupper


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Tortellini Primavera is a creamy, cheesy pasta dish made with with lots of vegetables.  It is quick, easy and healthy ~ perfect for a weeknight!

Like most people, we are always looking for quick and easy recipes for weeknight dinners.  While frozen pizza or takeout seem like a quick fix for those busy nights, we always prefer something healthier, tastier, and homemade.  But like I said, it has to be easy, right?  This Tortellini Primavera is all that, plus it’s super tasty!  With all the vegetables, the cheese, the creaminess, the cheese-filled tortellini, and being easy to make, you really can’t go wrong.  …

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pasta pizza pie

Pasta Pizza Pie

Pasta Pizza Pie combines two Italian favorites (and two of my favorites!) into a delicious pizza-inspired baked pasta.  First, you start by baking a pasta “crust.”  Then you spread your favorite pasta sauce over the crust and top it with your favorite toppings.  I used a 12-inch saute pan in lieu of a pizza pan, and it worked great!

Pasta Pizza Pie puts a fun twist on pizza and a fun twist on pasta,…and incidentally since it’s also a “pie,” this Pasta Pizza Pie is perfect for today, March 14th (3.14)…”Pi Day!”


Pasta Pizza Pie
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped*
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)*
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced *
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk (I used skim)
  • 8 ounces (1/2 of a 1 pound box) rotini-shaped pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1½ cups of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Muir Glen Tomato Basil)
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • * substitute with your favorite pizza toppings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-inch saute pan or pizza pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last minute, add minced garlic and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir egg, milk, pasta and ½ cup cheese. Spread pasta mixture in prepared pizza pan. Bake this pasta crust for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove pasta crust from oven and spread sauce over crust. Top with onion-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Shake crushed red pepper flakes over cheese.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Campbell’s Kitchen

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Every time I make Baked Tortellini with Spinach, I am left with 6 ounces of fontina cheese.  While I would happily make it 3 more times, I have also had this Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta dish on my list of things to make for some time now.   The first time I made this dish without mushrooms, and it was good, but I felt it needed something more.  It needed mushrooms.  Mushrooms are not typically my go-to for anything, but it really cried out for something earthy and meaty.  Sauteed in a little garlic, the mushrooms were the perfect addition to this dish.  I used some Parmesan cheese for some of the fontina in the original recipe to give the recipe a little more bite.  Topped with buttery, garlic breadcrumbs, Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta is a delicious and sophisticated twist on macaroni and cheese ~ perfect for company or Sunday dinner comfort food.

Looking to use up the leftover mascarpone cheese?  Try Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta
 
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells, uncooked (penne or other similar shaped pasta works too)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1¾ cups (6 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I use baby bellas)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter (I use light butter)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine flour and milk in a large sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook for about 10 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute mushrooms, with a pinch of salt, until softened (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add 1 clove of minced garlic in the last minute, if desired.
  5. Remove milk mixture from heat and add cheeses, whisking until mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Add cooked pasta and mushrooms, stirring to coat and combine.
  7. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and pour pasta mixture into pan.
  8. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add breadcrumbs, stirring to coat. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over pasta mixture.
  9. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Adapted from Cooking Light, November, 2006

healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta with evaporated milk

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta is a one-pot, easy recipe with a cajun twist made healthier!
  Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com
This Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy, one-pot stovetop dinner made with lots of vegetables and spicy chicken in a creamy sauce.  The hands-on cooking time is around 20 minutes, which means with a little advance prep (chopping vegetables and chicken), this can easily be a weeknight dinner, or a quick dinner any time.  The recipe is also easily halved to make dinner for 2.
healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta
 I used this recipe from Southern Living for my inspiration, but made several modifications to lighten up the dish.  For the cream sauce, I used fat free evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, and the result was great.  It had a creamy texture without being heavy.  I also eliminated the butter in favor of cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil for the vegetables.   I reduced the amount of pasta and added more vegetables.  There is a lot of flexibility with the vegetables to add more or change it up to use up what you have on hand.  The result is a lighter version of Cajun Chicken Pasta that is simply delicious!

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta
 
Author:
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat linguine or fettucine
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (divided), adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk
  • chopped green onions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and heat oven medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken to a plate, tented with foil.
  4. In the same saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute for 9 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and mix with vegetables. Add evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add linquine, toss to coat
  6. Garnish with green onions, as desired, and serve immediately.

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

mushroom and leek pita pizzas

Mushroom and Leek Pita Pizzas

After a long day of work and play, it’s nice to have some healthy quick and easy meals ideas on hand.  These Mushroom and Leek Pita Pizzas fit that bill quite nicely.  Mushrooms and leeks are a delicious combination, and a little garlic and crushed red pepper give this pizza a little pizazz.  The whole wheat pitas serve as a sturdy crust.  Topped with some low fat ricotta and lots of vegetables, these pitas turned pizzas become a healthy dinner in less than 20 minutes.

Mushroom and Leek Pita Pizzas
 
Yields: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup leeks, sliced (approximately 1 leek)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (5 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 whole wheat pitas
  • ¼ cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, for drizzling
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  3. Add leeks and mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully to not over cook garlic). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place pitas on prepared baking sheet. Spreach each pita with 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and top with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (if using).
  5. Bake until pita is golden and cheeses begin to melt, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Whole Living

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Vegetable and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Back when I was working outside the home, I brought my lunch every day.  I usually brought a peanut butter sandwich, pizza or leftovers from dinner the previous night.  Occasionally I brought an organic microwavable meal.  While not an ideal option, I could prounounce all of the ingredients, it was quick and convenient.  It was also pretty tasty too.  One of my more recent favorites was Black Bean Tortilla Casserole.  

I don’t have much of a need for microwaveable meals these days now that I stay at home with Adam. So when I saw a recipe for Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole, I was pretty excited to recreate the convenience food I enjoyed and make it a healthier option. 

The original recipe looked like it could use a little sprucing up, so I added spinach, onion, used more garlic and changed up the spices.   I love the additional vegetables in this dish.  It’s a lighter and healthier option, and is also quick and easy to prepare.  Leftovers reheat nicely…which I guess sort of makes it a microwavable meal, only better!  

Vegetable and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Yields 6 servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 corn tortillas, warmed and halved
2 cups salsa
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned (about 7 minutes). 
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and chili powder, stir for 1 minute. 
  4. Add black beans and spinach and stir to combine.  Cook until beans are warmed through (about 2 minutes).  Remove from heat.
  5. Arrange 5 tortilla halves in baking dish.  Top with half of the bean mixture and 1/2 cup salsa, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat with another layer of bean mixture, salsa and cheese.  Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa and cheese. 
  6. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes or until center is hot and cheese melts.  Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbling, 5 minutes OR if your dish is broiler-safe, put under the broiler until cheese is bubbling and browned.

Adapted from Everyday Food, January/February, 2011

Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone

Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone

Years ago, I aspired to make risotto for the first time.  But I hesitated, because it was a little intimidating and seemed quite difficult.  Coincidentially, around the same time, I happened to catch a cooking show about risotto.  The chef explained step-by-step how to make it and alleviated any uncertainty I had.  Armed with a recipe from Cooking Light, I was bound and determined to perfect the art of making risotto!
Fortunately, risotto was just as easy to make as the professionals on television led me to believe.  Years later, we are still enjoying that same recipe, however since then I have incorporated a few changes to the original recipe.  I swapped oregano for thyme, added lots of fresh spinach and used vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian dish.
While we enjoy this risotto as a vegetarian entree, it of course makes for a wonderful side dish.  Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone is a household favorite, suitable for company, and a definite crowd pleaser.
Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 14 ounces vegetable broth
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice (or other short-grain rice)
  • ¾ cup chopped shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine boiling water and mushrooms; let stand for 10 minutes. Drain through colander over a bowl. Reserve 1¼ cups soaking liquid, and chop mushrooms.
  2. In a small sauce pan, bring soaking liquid and broth to a simmer (do not boil), keeping mixture warm over low heat.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots and garlic; saute 5 minutes, or until the rice gets browned and toasted.
  4. Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed (about 5 minutes); stirring frequently.
  6. Add remaining broth mixture ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until each portion of the broth mixture is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
  7. Remove pan from heat. Add mushrooms, cheeses, oregano, spinach, salt and pepper, stirring gently until combined and cheese melts. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 servings
Adapted from Cooking Light
Spinach and Mushroom Frittata with Smoked Gouda {Alida's Kitchen}

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda

On Monday, I shared with you a summery dessert that uses 4 egg yolks.  I also promised you a healthy way to use up those remaining egg whites.  A promise is a promise!  This Mushroom Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda uses exactly 4 egg whites.  How is that for even-steven!

Now I’m not normally a ‘smoked’ fan, but smoked gouda is truly the perfect complement to the earthy mushrooms in this frittata. The spinach gives beautiful color and flavor to the dish as well. From the original recipe, I increased the onion and added garlic. To compensate for these additions, I increased the olive oil by 1 teaspoon.

The result is a delicious protein-packed veggie-filled dish that is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a light dinner served with a side salad (saving room for Lime Tart for dessert, of course).

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ½ cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, until tender (approximately 5 minutes). Add spinach, cover and cook until wilted (1 minute).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, ¼ cup cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture to egg mixture, mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into cake pan and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until eggs have set. Cut into 4 wedges and serve.

 

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/4 frittata)
Calories = 177 ~ Fat = 9.6g ~ Carbs = 8.8g ~ Fiber = 1.5g ~ Protein = 13.5g

Adapted from Health Magazine, March 2007

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Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I am always looking for tasty vegetarian options for the grill, and these Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers are a definite winner.  The thirsty mushrooms soak up the balsamic vinegar and garlic, yielding an amazing flavor.  Paired with the goat cheese, it is a combination that pleases both non-meat and meat eaters alike. 

These burgers are very quick to make.  Just mix the marinade in the baking dish and let the mushrooms and peppers soak.  You can even get your preparation out of the way the day before, intensifying the flavor by letting everything marinate overnight.

On each burger is a slice of red pepper topped with a portobello mushroom, topped with goat cheese, topped with another portobello.  Then sprinkle on a little more goat cheese, top with spinach, close the sandwich and eat!

Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Yields 4 servings
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grates
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 4 equal pieces
8 portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound total), stems and ribs removed
4 onion hamburger buns
4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled or log; if using a log, cut into slices to place in between the mushrooms)
several spinach leaves
  1. In a shallow dish (a 13 x 9 baking dish works well), whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, turning to make sure everything gets coated.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to overnight.  
  2. Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Grill bell pepper, skin side down, until blackened, about 10 minutes; remove from grill and place in Ziploc bag. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin; set bell pepper aside.
  3. Starting with dome-side down, grill mushrooms, covered, until lightly charred.  Flip and grill the other side of mushroom until lightly charred and mushroom is tender.  (approx. 3 to 4 minutes per side).
  4. Dividing evenly, top bottom half of each bun with bell pepper and mushrooms.  Put goat cheese in the middle of the 2 mushroom caps.  Top with spinach and sprinkle with remaining goat cheese.  Close burger, and serve immediately.

Alternative:  This recipe would also make an excellent salad (great for someone who is watching carbs or if you just want more veggies).  To make this into a salad, follow the directions above through step 3.  Then slice the mushrooms and peppers, toss with a bowl of spinach or mixed greens and top with goat cheese.

Adapted from Everyday Food