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Spinach Artichoke Chiacken Rice Casserole | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Rice Casserole

Tracking PixelSpinach Artichoke Chicken Rice Casserole transforms cheesy spinach artichoke dip into a delicious healthy casserole with chicken and rice that is easy to make and the whole family will enjoy! Thank you to Minute® Rice for sponsoring this post. 

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Rice Casserole | alidaskitchen.com

Kids and eating – one of life’s great mysteries. One day they love broccoli, the next day they declare it is the worst thing ever (and follow that up by eating up all their broccoli, asking for more,..but it’s still the worst 😉 ) Enter busy weeknights and these fun challenges definitely keep parents on their toes. Pantry staples that I always have on hand and know my family likes, such as Minute® Rice, make it easy and fun to come up with easy recipe ideas, like this Spinach Artichoke Chicken Rice Casserole….

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Black Bean Spinach Baked Quesadillas | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Spinach Baked Quesadillas

An easy recipe for cheesy, vegetable-packed Black Bean Spinach Baked Quesadillas baked right in the oven – no flipping required! 

Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Black Bean Spinach Baked Quesadillas | alidaskitchen.com

We have a few recipes we make on a regular basis that the kids love (Taco Pasta Salad, Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Bake, Lighter Baked Tortellini and Stove Top Spinach Mac & Cheese, to name a few). While we keep the ingredients for some (or all) on hand at all times, somehow this past weekend, we discovered our cupboards were bare!…

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Lighter Baked Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com

Lighter Baked Tortellini

Lighter Baked Tortellini is made with a lighter garlic, fontina sauce, chopped spinach, tossed with cheese tortellini, sprinkled with Parmesan bread crumbs and baked until bubbly. Quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight (or any time!)

Lighter Baked Tortellini | alidaskitchen.com

Quick and easy dinner recipes that will please the whole family are essential – especially once school starts.  My kids request this Lighter Baked Tortellini every week,…with good reason. It is garlicky, cheesy, packed with spinach and so tasty! Fortunately it is easy to make and can be made ahead to be baked before serving. …

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson. The opinions and text are all mine.

An Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap recipe with spicy, protein-packed chicken, lots of veggies that is made in minutes is great for a quick after school snack, a light lunch, or any time!

Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap | alidaskitchen.com

Back to school time is upon us!  Whether your kids (or you) are already back to school or getting ready to in the next couple weeks, it is an exciting time…and busy.  From gathering school supplies to homework to activities, quick and easy snacks for after school is essential. This Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap is packed with spicy, buffalo chicken, lots of vegetables, cheese all wrapped in a tortilla. It is nutritious, tasty and can be made in minutes!…

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Balsamic Blueberry Salad | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

Balsamic Blueberry Salad #SundaySupper

Balsamic Blueberry Salad combines peppery arugula, tangy feta cheese, sweet blueberries and other fresh vegetables, tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette. Perfect for a simple summer meal, potlucks or any time!

Balsamic Blueberry Salad | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

 

We picked up 10 pounds of blueberries during our most recent visit to the farmer’s market and have been enjoying delicious blueberries by the fistful.  While I have been busy making pancakes, baking cakes and other goodies, we have also been enjoying this Balsamic Blueberry Salad recipe. It is a fresh, flavorful summertime favorite that everyone loves….

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Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas | alidaskitchen.com

Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas #SundaySupper

Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas are stuffed with black beans, corn, spinach, made with three cups of cheese and covered in an easy-to-make homemade enchilada sauce. {vegetarian, gluten free}

Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas | alidaskitchen.com

This recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas has been a family favorite for years. From the traditional combination of black beans and corn to the deliciously surprising addition of spinach to the three full cups of shredded cheese that everybody loves, this recipe is always a crowd pleaser. Even better is that it can be made ahead and leftovers reheat well….

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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad

An easy recipe for Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad made in minutes using lean boneless, skinless chicken breast and your favorite vegetables! Perfect for a weeknight, or any time you want a delicious, flavorful meal made simple! Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad | alidaskitchen.com
During the week, dinnertime is a busy time.  Once Adam gets home from school, we all want to play outside on the playground, go to a park, do Legos, in other words, pretty much do anything except stand in the kitchen to make a elaborate dinner.  There will be plenty of time for elaborate dinners in later years… I want to spend time with my kids now!  So when it comes to quick and easy meal ideas that require very little preparation, I am all over it!  This Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad recipe can be made in about 15 minutes (or less) using ingredients I have on hand at all times.  No muss, no fuss, no running to the store.  Just a simple, delicious dinner is served!

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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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Stovetop Spinach Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese #WeekdaySupper

 Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy mac ‘n cheese from scratch made on the lighter side with the healthy addition of spinach and without any butter.  {can be gluten free)

Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese | alidaskitchen.com

This Stove Top Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite go-to recipes for quick and easy weeknight meals.  The kids love pasta and cheese, I love that it is made on the lighter side (without any butter) and takes less than 20 minutes to make.  …

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Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Pesto Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Spinach Pesto Pasta is an easy vegetable and cheese pesto pasta recipe made lighter using Greek yogurt. {nut free, can be gluten free}

Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

This Spinach Pesto Pasta recipe was inspired by two of our favorite dinners – this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta.  I make one of these recipes at least once a week, at the request of my kids.  They are all quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight.  Besides, with all of the vegetables and Greek yogurt, who am I to say no when they ask for such an easy, healthy dinner!  …

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Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | alidaskitchen.com

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Transform a classic dip into a bold and zesty party favorite with this easy to make Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip!  Thank you to MIRACLE WHIP (through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network) for sponsoring this post.  

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | alidaskitchen.com

Many, many years ago, I was asked to bring appetizers to a Labor Day party. I chopped some veggies, concocted a couple dips on the fly and was good to go.  The dips were a ranch dill and a spinach artichoke.  They were both creamy, easy to make, and used the same secret ingredient.  …

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Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #ShareTheTable #ad

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake is a tasty, cheesy veggie-filled baked pasta dish that the whole family will enjoy happily around the dinner table.  It is quick and easy to make, can be made ahead and leftovers reheat perfectly! 

Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

As we strive to maintain a connection and grow with our kids, we find that enjoying dinners together is so important. While we frequently eat together, it is not often that we all eat the same thing, which means I am in the kitchen making custom requests instead of enjoying our together time.  So my quest is often to find something that everybody likes.  Enter this Three Cheese Spinach Pasta Bake.  Made with a delicious combination of pasta, three cheeses, tomato sauce and spinach, it is so simple and tasty and loved by my entire family! …

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Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #brunch #FreshTake #cbias #shop

Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake

{This recipe for Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake is part of a Kraft FreshTake #shop hosted by the social shopper media company #CollectiveBias.  This story and all opinions are my own. #FreshTake}

Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #brunch #FreshTake #cbias #shop

Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake is made with a mix of vegetables, quinoa, three cheeses and seasoned bread crumbs.  It takes minutes to prepare and then bakes into delicious brunch perfection!

With Easter Sunday only a few weeks away, I am working on planning our brunch menu. We always like to have something carrot cake-inspired (Carrot Cake pancakes are definitely a favorite!)  We also enjoy having  a savory egg bake, packed with lots vegetables and cheese.  This year, I wanted to give our egg bake a southwestern twist.  Then I discovered that Kraft Fresh Take has a new Southwestern Three Cheese flavor.  The savory blend of garlic, cumin and red chili pepper bread crumbs along with the Colby, mozzarella and cheddar cheese sounded just perfect for this Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake!

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Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #meatless #SundaySupper

Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos #SundaySupper

Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos are protein-packed with black beans and quinoa, and healthy vegetables.  Easy to whip together and then baked to perfection!  {great for the freezer}

Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos | alidaskitchen.com

We eat meatless several times a week, and one of our favorite meatless staples is black beans.  Whether they are in tacos, burgerschili, enchiladas, even brownies, we can’t get enough!  While we have several recipes the we love, it is fun to try  something new – especially when that something new involves two other favorites – spinach and quinoa.  While they may not be your typical addition to a burrito, spinach and quinoa…well, it just works!  Combined with black beans, cheese, onion, chili powder, and more, wrapped in a tortilla, Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos are not only delicious, but they are super easy to make too!…

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Avocado Green Smoothie - a healthy, #vegan smoothie made in minutes | www.alidaskitchen.com

Avocado Green Smoothie {health key™ system}

Collective Bias Social Fabric-disclosure

Avocado Green Smoothie is a nutritious, vegan smoothie made in minutes.  Combining fresh fruits and vegetables, this healthy pick me up is a delicious way to get your little ones to eat their veggies!

Avocado Green Smoothie - a healthy, #vegan smoothie made in minutes | www.alidaskitchen.com

The other day I went to my local Rainbow Foods to pick up some produce.   Their cored, fresh pineapple is a favorite, and a welcome addition to our diets as we make an effort to increase our fruit and vegetable intake after the New Year.  As I continued shopping the produce section, I noticed little tags that said ‘organic,’ ‘gluten free,’ and ‘vegan.’  I learned this was part of their health key™ system, which is a wellness program designed to simplify your shopping experience and make it easier to select healthier foods….

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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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vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna - takes 10 minutes to prepare using only 5 ingredients.  This is so good!
I am excited to share this recipe with you. Easy Ravioli Lasagna has become one of our favorite weeknight dinners!  It has the delicious flavor of lasagna yet is made with only 5 main ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare ~ perfect these days when I find myself juggling a newborn and a busy 3 year old at dinnertime.  This lasagna can also be made ahead (like before leaving for work or, in my case, before the kids wake up) so it’s ready to just pop in the oven at dinner.

Easy Baked Ravoli Lasagna

From the original recipe, I increased the sauce, added some red pepper flakes, and actually reduced the cheese (surprising for a cheese-lover like myself, but it was way too much and took away from the overall dish).  This Easy Ravioli Lasagna is made with spinach, but I think sautéed mushrooms and garlic would also be delicious.  We have made this several times, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.  Speaking of crowds, this recipe can easily be doubled to fit a 13″x9″ lasagna pan and you’ll have enough to serve a crowd or have lots of leftovers for lunches.  It reheats beautifully!

Easy Ravioli Lasagna
 
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups pasta sauce (I use Muir Glen Tomato Basil)
  • 20-ounce package cheese ravioli (refrigerated or frozen)
  • 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour ½ cup pasta sauce over bottom of dish.
  3. Layer bottom of dish with half of the ravioli.
  4. Cover ravioli with ½ cup sauce and top with spinach and half of mozzarella (1/2 cup).
  5. Repeat with remaining ravioli, sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
  6. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until bubbling and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Slightly adapted from All You, March 2009

vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna

easy vegetarian spinach manicotti with no boil noodles

Easy Meatless Manicotti


I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for Fall.  It is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking, plus I love the cooler temperatures.  Even though the season has not technically changed, Labor Day is kind of an unofficial kick off to the Fall season.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.  I have already made a pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, chili and cornbread, beef stew, and a few other Fall-inspired goodies to be posted soon.  (Ok, confession…I may have done some of this before Labor Day).

In any case, this Easy Meatless Manicotti is one of my favorite dishes and is a perfect comfort food for the cooler temperatures.  There are a couple time-saving steps in this recipe to help make it “easy.”   First, no boiling of the noodles is required.  Not having to boil the noodles is not only a time-saver, but filling firm shells is a whole lot easier than flimsy cooked shells.  This recipe also uses a jarred pasta sauce, though if you want to make your own, go for it!  The filling is very flexible – I’ve used cottage cheese or ricotta, and either works fine.  I have used frozen broccoli in place of the spinach; I have added onions, shredded zucchini, whatever extra vegetables that needs to be used up.  Leftovers heat up beautifully, which make for great lunches or quick dinners.  Easy Meatless Manicotti is healthy and delicious and a regular in our dinner rotation.

easy vegetarian spinach manicotti with no cook noodles

Easy Meatless Manicotti
 
Yields: 7 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces nonfat cottage cheese
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning (or dried oregano)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (or 24-28 ounce jar pasta sauce)
  • 1 package (14 noodles) manicotti noodles - uncooked
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups mozzarella, Parmesan, and cottage cheese, along with the spinach, garlic, Italian herb seasoning, red pepper and salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Spray 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour ½ of the sauce in the baking dish.
  4. Fill the manicotti noodles* with filling mixture until full, about 3 tablespoons.
  5. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles, making sure the noodles are covered.
  6. Slowly pour ½ cup water around the perimeter of baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with nonstick foil (or spray foil with cooking spray) and bake for 1 hour. Let sit uncovered for 10 minutes and serve.
Notes
Filling tips: Put filling in a ziploc bag, cut off a corner and fill shells OR I have found an iced tea spoon is the perfect size for spooning the filling in the shells.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 shells

 

Adapted from Cooking Light

chicken and potatoes spinach salad with mustard vinaigrette

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette | alidaskitchen.com
 With temperatures hitting record highs this summer, I am always happy to be able to cook a quick and healthy dinner that does require turning on the oven.  This Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette can be made on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes.  It’s served over a bed of fresh baby spinach, making it healthy and delicious.  I’d say this dish fits the bill of quick and healthy, making it a perfect dinner!

I actually found this recipe in a magazine at least 10 years ago and gave it to my mom.  She has made it regularly ever since, and everybody is happy when she has it on the menu.  This salad became an instant family favorite!  While the original recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, my mom bakes chicken breasts and shreds them.  In this recipe, I poached the chicken.   The original recipe calls for watercress, but the spinach gives the salad a bit more substance.  Arugula would also be a tasty substitution.  Basically what I’m telling you is that this recipe is flexible.  Go with what works for you to make this a family favorite of your own.

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Put chicken in a large sauce pan and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Add a couple pinches of salt. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, put potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. While chicken and potatoes are cooking, whisk together mustard, vinegar, garlic, honey, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. (Note: I then pour vinaigrette into a cruet for ease of pouring).
  4. Once chicken is cooked, transfer to a separate bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over warm chicken and let sit for a minute to soak in. Then use 2 forks to shred chicken.
  5. Cut cooked potatoes into quarters (or halves, depending on size).
  6. Place spinach in a large serving bowl. Add potatoes and chicken, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, drizzling with additional vinaigrette as desired.
Notes
You can add the vinaigrette to the serving bowl and toss, but I prefer to let others control the amount of dressing on their salad. For me, a little goes a long way!

Adapted from Real Simple

lighter baked tortellini fontina cheese with spinach

Baked Tortellini with Spinach

I’m a sucker for anything with cheese.  Cheese pizza, a cheese sandwich, cheesy pasta, it’s all good.  When I saw a recipe for Baked Tortellini, I was beside myself.  Cheese tortellini itself is good.  Bake it in a light cheese sauce, and we’re golden.  In fact, the dinner I had planned was immediately scrapped so that I could make this!

I decided to add some spinach, which was very welcome and an easy way to boost the nutrition of this dish.  I added a little cayenne pepper to perk things up a bit, and also added garlic.  We can’t have pasta without garlic, right?  Baked Tortellini with Spinach is cheesy pasta perfection, made healthier, with a little kick.

Baked Tortellini with Spinach
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups skim milk, heated (I microwave it for about 1 minute)
  • ½ cup fontina cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 16-20 ounces cheese tortellini (I used 2 10-ounce packages)
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. Set water to boil in a large pot to cook tortellini.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until flour lightly browns. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, continuing to whisk constantly.
  4. Add hot milk and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. While the milk mixture is simmering, add tortellini to boiling water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package instructions.
  6. Remove milk mixture from heat and add in fontina cheese and cayenne pepper, stirring to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain cooked tortellini. Add tortellini to the cheese sauce (milk mixture) and stir until coated. Add chopped spinach and stir until evenly distributed.
  8. Spray 2½ quart baking dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into dish, using the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to spread evenly throughout.
  9. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Cover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Notes
This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, up through step 8. When ready just sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake as usual.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 366
Fat:  8g
Carbs:  46g
Protein:  18.5g

Adapted from Eating Well

individual frittatas made in a ramekin

Individual Spinach Frittatas

We often enjoy frittatas as a healthy, high-protein meal with lots of vegetables and cheese.  While I typically make them in a pie plate and serve in wedges, I thought these individual frittatas would be a cute way to mix things up.  Who knew when cooked in a small, preheated ramekin, the frittata would take on new heights – literally!  I looked through the oven window only to see my cute little frittatas puffing up like a souffle.  All without the beating of egg whites.  How about that!

The recipe below is written to serve one, but can very easily be multiplied to serve 2 or 4 or however many you desire.  Parmesan or Gruyere are both delicious in this, as is mixing up the herbs and seasonings.  The original recipe used 8-ounce ramekins but I used 7-ounce ramekins and they worked fine.

Individual Spinach Frittatas
 
This frittata puffs up like a souffle, which makes for an impressive presentation. While this recipe is written 'for one' it can easily be multiplied to serve more.
Yields: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons grated aged cheese, such as Gruyere, divided
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1½ cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (or your favorite herb mix)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Place 7 (or 8)-ounce ramekin on rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. While oven is heating, in a large bowl, whisk egg, egg whites, 1 tablespoon cheese, milk, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened (2 to 3 minutes). Add spinach and cook until wilted (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  4. Add spinach mixture to egg mixture.
  5. Remove baking sheet from oven and coat each dish with cooking spray. Immediately pour egg mixture into dish and top with remaining 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake until frittata is puffed up and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Everyday Food Light

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Easy Spinach & Cheese Lasagna

While working on clearing out the cupboards in advance of our upcoming move, I found myself faced with 3 boxes of lasagna noodles.  How did that happen!  At least it is something I am happy to use, unlike the random can of soup that I have been avoiding.  In lieu of my usual lasagna recipes, which tend to be a bit more labor intensive, I decided to go with something easy and quick to prepare.  This Easy Spinach and Cheese Lasagna is exactly that…and so good!

This lasagna is first simplified by not boiling the noodles.  I used no-boil noodles, but have used regular noodles in the past and they have worked just fine.  Another step is saved by using a good quality pasta sauce from a jar.  A from scratch sauce would of course be fabulous, but we’re going for easy here.  Mix the filling, layer it up with the sauce and noodles, add water, and pop the pan in the oven.  In a little over an hour, you have an easy, healthy, delicious meal.  This lasagna makes plenty for serving guests, or you can enjoy some great leftovers!    

Easy Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
Yields 6-8 servings

15 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (divided)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and drained well
3-4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
9 to 12 no-boil uncooked lasagna noodles

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9×13 inch non-reactive baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Paremsan, egg, spinach salt, pepper and Italian herb seasoning.
  3. In another bowl, combine the remaining mozzarella and Paremsan cheese.  This is for the  topping, so set aside.  
  4. Pour 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking pan.  Top with a layer of noodles and then a layer of the ricotta-spinach mixture.  Repeat with another layer of noodles and ricotta-spinach mixture.  Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheeses.  Pour 1 cup water around the edges of pan.  
  5. Cover very tightly with non-stick foil (or foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake for 1 1/4 hours.  Let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes before serving.  

Adapted from Whole Foods

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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
Tortellini Soup with Chunky Tomatoes and Spinach - made in less than 30 minutes!

Tortellini Soup with Chunky Tomatoes and Spinach

(Photos updated 2/23/2012)

As the weather turns cooler, we find ourselves gravitating toward soups, chili, baked pasta, all of those warm comfort foods. I have had a vision for this tortellini soup for quite a while, but simply have not had an opportunity to execute it. Until now…

Filled with healthy vegetables and hearty tortellini, Tortellini Soup with Chunky Tomatoes and Spinach is the perfect comfort food for a crisp fall day, or any day for that matter.  And guess what?  It can be made in under 30 minutes!  Had I realized that, this soup would have been made long ago.

I put a range of 4 to 6 cups for the broth, so you can adjust to your preference. I like my soup on the chunkier side, so 4 cups of broth yielded the perfect consistency for me. I also used frozen spinach, which worked really well.   I recommend using both low sodium broth and tomatoes, so you can control the sodium by adding salt to taste.

As a great weeknight dinner, or a quick any time meal, we are looking forward to enjoying this soup all fall/winter long, and I hope you will too!

Tortellini Soup with Chunky Tomatoes and Spinach
 
Yields: 3 to 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 to 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium diced tomatoes, including juices
  • 9-10 ounces tortellini (fresh or frozen), any variety
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach, chopped (if frozen, thaw and squeeze out excess moisture)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic, and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add broth and tomatoes. Turn heat to high, cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
  4. Within the last minute of cooking the tortellini, stir in Italian herb seasoning, crushed red pepper and spinach. Taste, and add salt and pepper seasoning, as desired.
  5. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with Parmesan cheese.

 

Adapted from Food Network

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Vegetable Quichetata with Roasted Garlic Hummus and Goat Cheese

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Sabra, I was invited to create an original recipe suitable for a cocktail party using Sabra hummus.  My head has been swirling with several tasty ideas ever since, and I am very excited to share with you my creation!

We all know the basic difference between a crustless quiche and a frittata.  A crustless quiche is made with milk (or cream or half & half) and mixed with your veggies/meats.  A frittata is made with no milk and with whatever mix-ins you want to use.

Well, when you use hummus, but no milk, is the hummus a substitute for the milk, or is it considered a mix-in?  The answer wasn’t quite clear, so I married the two, and the ‘Quichetata’ was born!

In this variation of a Quichetata, I used Sabra’s Roasted Garlic hummus, spinach, roasted red pepper and goat cheese.  It is amazing how well you can really taste the hummus, which is good and garlicky, and balances nicely with flavors of the goat cheese and vegetables.  The result is fabulous.  Made in a mini-muffin pan, these Quichetatas are the perfect hot h’ors d’oeuvres for your next cocktail party, holiday party, open house or brunch.

Hummus Quichetata
Yields 24 mini-muffin-size quichetatas

8 large eggs
6 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, plus additional for topping
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 2 12-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray.  Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and hummus together until combined.  Add roasted red pepper, spinach and goat cheese, whisking until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
  3. Distribute egg mixture evenly among mini muffin cups (cups will be full).  Sprinkle additional goat cheese over each cup.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until eggs are set.  Serve immediately. 

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was given Sabra’s hummus for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

    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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    Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese

    My husband and I are creatures of habit.  We have a salad with dinner (almost) every night.  It’s usually spinach or mixed greens and tomatoes with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds.  It’s simple.  It’s tasty.  It’s routine.   


    So when I had leftover goat cheese from the Tomato and Leek Frittata with Goat Cheese, I wanted to shake our routine up a bit.  Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese became a welcome change from our usual salad.  The creamy goat cheese with the bitter radicchio with the sweet apricots is a combination that is simply a-ma-zing!  

     

    Since I had mixed greens on hand, I decided to use that in place of the spinach.  This salad is equally delicious using just spinach.  I reduced the amount of the oil in the vinaigrette, which is nice and light and just pulls everything together.  Soaking the apricots is an excellent method to plump up the fruit into soft juicy bursts of sweetness.

    Have a Happy Father’s Day weekend!  

    Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese
    Yields 4 servings
    1/2 cup dried apricots
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    coarse salt and pepper
    1 head radicchio, halved, cored and roughly torn
    5 ounces fresh spinach or mixed greens
    2 ounces soft crumbled goat cheese 
    1. Place apricots in a small bowl and cover with boiling water; let stand for about 5 minutes.  Drain and pat try with paper towels.  Cut into small pieces, if desired.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
    3. Add spinach and radicchio to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add apricots.  Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.
    Adapted from Everyday Food (November, 2007)