I didn’t have the energy to grocery shop or cook today so I dug through the fridge and pulled out some flour tortillas, cheese, spinach and bacon and set to make something with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Success!
Bacon Spinach Quesadilla
Makes one quesadilla
- 1 large flour tortilla
- 2 slices of bacon
- cream cheese
- pinch of granulated garlic
- Mexican-style grated cheese
- Handful of baby spinach
Fry bacon in a medium pan. Meanwhile, spread a thin coat of cream cheese all over the tortilla. Season with garlic powder and pepper.
Set bacon aside to drain on a paper towel and add spinach to the pan. Cook until spinach is wilted.
Chop the bacon into bits. Sprinkle the grated cheese on one half of the tortilla. Add the bacon and spinach. Fold tortilla in half and place back in pan. Brown on both sides until cheese is melted. Cut in half and devour.
I’m cutting to the chase with this recipe. This baked tortellini skillet has all the flavors of lasagna without the cumbersome noodle wrangling. Plus the cheese from the tortellini adds some extra flavor to the overall dish.
This is a perfect weeknight meal!
Baked tortellini lasagna
- 6 oz. dried cheese tortellini
- 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2/3 cup whole milk cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
- 2.5 cups marinara
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the tortellini three minutes shy of their recommended cooking time. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a 12-inch oven-safe pan. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the moisture is evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Mix together the cottage cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, 2/3 cup Pecorino Romano, and salt and pepper to taste.
Coat the bottom of the pan with 1 cup of marinara. Toss in the tortellini and spread out evenly in the pan.
Next add the cheese mixture, spreading it out with a rubber spatula. Layer on the mushrooms, then another 1.5 cups of sauce. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Serve with Italian sausage and a simple garden salad.
Pesto. I love pesto. I’m a traditionalist and tend to prepare it in the classic Genovese way but recently a friend told me his method, with cream and white wine, and I thought I’d try it.
I loved it! Pesto can sometimes have an overpowering garlic taste (it does contain raw garlic) so this version provides the flavor of pesto but is a little smoother.
If you use the Costco basil pesto then it’s a super quick meal, just perfect for a weeknight.
Weeknight meal: creamy pesto with chicken
- 1 lb. spaghettini
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2/3 cup pesto
- 3/4 pound leftover rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat. Add the wine and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the pesto and chicken.
Drain the pasta. Add to the sauté pan and toss till evenly coated with sauce. Add salt and pepper. Squeeze a lemon over the top. Serve with a side salad.
Being unwell and a parent is like an uphill battle sometimes. You still have to get food on the table whether you feel like roses or crap. On my really down days, I’ve been known to order a pizza or three. But sometimes I can muster up the strength to make something healthy and tasty in a relatively short amount of time.
This green curry recipe is adapted from one I found in Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve made it three times in the past month and have added my own flair to it. The problem is, I don’t remember what that flair is, which is why I’m sharing it here.
It’s quick, flavorful and has vegetable(s) in it! A winner in my recipe book.
Green coconut curry with tofu, chicken and peas
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- pinch of cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
For the curry:
- 6 chicken tenders (about a pound)
- 1 brick of extra firm tofu, cubed
- 3 tablespoons green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 can of coconut milk (found in the Asian cooking aisle)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 lime
Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc. Add the chicken. I marinate the chicken tenders the night before when they are still frozen so they are thawed and marinated the next evening, but if you have time, marinate for an hour before cooking.
Start on the rice as you prepare the rest of the meal.
Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil to a large nonstick pan over high heat. When oil is hot add the tofu cubes and brown them on as many sides as you have patience for. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Cook the chicken in the same pan, browning on both sides. Set aside.
Pour out the remaining oil and wipe out pan with a paper towel. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce and sugar and whisk till combined. Add the frozen peas and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low until peas are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the curry sauce with the tofu.
Serve over jasmine rice with a squeeze of lime juice.
I’ll never stop promoting Costco rotisserie chicken. It’s only $5 and not only is it delicious hot off the shelf (I sometimes don’t even bother with a plate or silverware), but the leftovers can be used for myriad dishes such as pesto lasagna roll ups, quick matzo ball soup and homemade chicken stock.
Tonight on the menu is white chili. My friend Danielle introduced me to the notion of non-tomato chili about eight years ago and when I thought of the dish for tonight I was surprised I hadn’t blogged about it yet.
This one-pot wonder has similar flavors to traditional chili. With the addition of salsa verde and sour cream you give chili night a new twist.
White chili with chicken
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 can diced green chiles
- leftover rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
- 1, 16-oz. jar salsa verde
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans great white northern beans, drained
- 1 cup sour cream
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Sauté the onions and peppers till onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the chiles, chicken, salsa, stock and spices. Bring to a simmer, turn to low and simmer one hour.
Add the beans and cook another 10 minutes. Add the sour cream just before serving. Top with cilantro sprigs and shredded cheddar cheese.