Posts Tagged ‘pesto’
On one of my most recent adventures to Nashville, I (of course) stopped in to Trader Joe’s to stock up on old and new favorites. This particular journey I found myself flinging all kinds of newly found items into my shopping cart. One item that became a projectile happened to be dried mini cheese ravioli. Just like a girl, I got all excited over their small cuteness.
Once I got them into my kitchen I found I couldn’t just throw them into just any old sauce – they were just too special. So I made a creamy pesto sauce by mixing pesto and Greek yogurt together and tossed in some roasted asparagus, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes. Roasting vegetables has become my go-to vegetable cooking method and the combination definitely did the mini raviolis justice. But feel free to use regular (less exciting) sized ravioli if you cannot find minis.
Two years ago: Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo
CREAMY PESTO WITH MINI RAVIOLI, ASPARAGUS AND SUN DRIED TOMATOES
8 oz. mini cheese ravioli (I used Trader’s Joe’s)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 2% Chobani)
1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, drained
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and return to pot.
- While the pasta cooks, place the asparagus in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Top with garlic slices, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; gently toss to combine.
- Place into the oven and roast for 8-12 minutes, or until tender but crisp. Let cool before cutting into 1.5-inch pieces.
- In the pot with the pasta, add and combine the asparagus, pesto, Greek yogurt, and sun dried tomatoes. Serve.
To make up for yesterday, I am giving you a skinny chicken pasta dish for dinner tonight. That way you won’t feel guilty about all those cookies you will then eat for dessert! For those of you who did not make an eating-habit resolution (like myself), you still need to make this. It’s always a good time to eat something healthy AND delicious.
I’m at a loss of what else to say, because after two weeks of mental freedom I am back to the grind getting ready to set up more 12 hour experiments while attempting to write up two papers to be published on my research and then my dissertation in time to graduate this spring. Eeeek! Hopefully the food juices will not run completely dry inside of my brain in the meantime.
One year ago: Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Hawaiian Pizza
Two years ago: Spinach Tomato Tortellini
SKINNY CREAMY ITALIAN CHICKEN SKILLET
1/2 bottle Lowry’s Garlic Herb Marinade
2 Tbsp pesto
4 small chicken breasts
PASTA AND SAUCE
8 oz. penne pasta
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 small onion, minced
Salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 tsp all-purpose flour
4 tsp pesto
Crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
- Combine marinade and pesto in a large Ziplock bag then add chicken breasts and squish to coat. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
- Saute marinated chicken in a large skillet sprayed well with non-stick spray over medium heat for 5-6 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then cover loosely with foil to stay warm and set aside. Carefully wipe out skillet with a spatula or wet paper towel. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil then season with salt and add penne. Cook until al dente then drain and set aside.
- Still over medium heat, add oil to the skillet then add onions and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until tender, then add garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for 30 more seconds. Carefully add chicken broth then let simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and evaporated milk then whisk in flour, pesto and crushed red pepper if using. Simmer until thick and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked and drained pasta then toss to combine. Portion out to plates then top with cooked chicken.
Source: Iowa Girl Eats
Remember how I mentioned I wanted to make something else with the leftover arugula pesto on Monday? Well here it is! It’s another pasta dish, but this has white cheddar int it – one of my favorite cheeses. While preparing and practicing my presentation for my committee meeting today, I was in serious need of some comfort food. White cheddar macaroni and cheese was already super comforting by itself, but the addition of the pesto added great flavor. I even served this mac and cheese with some chicken sausage. It’s an adult version of hot dog mac and cheese.
My meeting is at 10am central today. Here’s to hoping I will be super relieved and happy when I talk to you tomorrow!
One year ago: Bean and Cheese Taquitos
WHITE CHEDDAR AND ARUGULA PESTO MAC & CHEESE
13.25 oz. box uncooked whole wheat pasta
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz. freshly grated white cheddar cheese, divided
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup arugula pesto
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions, minus a few minutes of the cooking time since it will be going in the oven.
- While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add flour and whisk until smooth to create a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden and has a nutty aroma. Add milk and cream, bring to a boil while constantly whisking. Reduce heat to low and add all but 1/4 cup of the cheese, then cook for a few minutes while stirring until cheese is melted and mixture thickens. Add nutmeg, then taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Add pasta to a baking dish and pour cheese sauce over top. Stir to distribute sauce, then stir in pesto. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 5 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.
Source: Adapted slightly from How Sweet It Is.
With cooler temperatures creeping up on me, I am desperately trying to use up all the basil leaves left on my basil plants before they start to freeze off at night. It will likely result in a freezer-full of pesto because new ones sprout up when I’m not looking. Any other basil-utilizing suggestions?
Of course I couldn’t freeze all of the pesto, so I made these lasagna rolls that I had bookmarked long ago. The homemade pesto in this was essential for me. Even though I’ve never made this recipe with store-bought pesto, I could definitely tell that there was fresh pesto rolled up in there. Good thing I have a stock-pile of homemade pesto to last me through the winter so I can make these lasagna rolls again. Maybe I’ll venture into the world of homemade lasagna noodles next time. Look at me living on the edge .
Also, don’t forget to add you favorite brownie/bar recipe to the #BYOBrownies link up party!
One year ago: Pesto Burgers
CHICKEN PESTO LASAGNA ROLLS
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
Salt & pepper
1 cup shredded chicken
15 oz container of low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup of your favorite chunky marinara sauce, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 8×8-inch pan with non-stick spray.
- Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until mixed. Let cook for a minute. Stream in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper, and then cook until thickened.
- Place 1/4 cup of white sauce in the bottom of prepared pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the chicken, ricotta, 1/4 cup mozzarella, pesto, salt, and pepper. Spread ~1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll up. Place the roll in the prepared pan. Repeat for the remaining noodles.
- Spoon the remaining white sauce over the lasagna rolls. Spoon the red sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for ~30 minutes, until hot, bubble, and the cheese begins to brown.
Source: Adapted slightly from Confections of a Foodie Bride.
Warning: These meatballs require 2.5 hours of baking time. And having the oven on at all, let alone that long, during these hot summer days seems like borderline insanity. Which is why I baked these in the morning over the weekend and had them for lunch, before the temperatures rose up too high for my A/C to successfully ward off from entering my apartment. However, any spike my A/C bill was worth it to produce these tender, flavorful meatballs. And yes, I am still the very broke grad student who just paid a $500 deductible for car repairs. Sometimes I fail at being frugal when I comes to delicious food.
But I am getting a break from the heat this week. The highest high predicted for the next 7 days is 88 which is almost twenty degrees less than what I’ve been plagued by for the past month. Hooray!
In other hot-weather-related news, I bought a slip ‘n slide at Target for $4.91. Best $5 purchase ever?! I thought so too. Now to convince a friend with a yard and hose to let me frolick around…
BAKED TURKEY RICOTTA MEATBALLS
Makes 20 meatballs
2 lbs ground turkey
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup bread crumbs
8 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium low heat; add the oil and onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach; it will wilt with the carry-over cooking from the onions and garlic. Let the mixture cool for about 4-5 minutes off the heat.
- In a large bowl mix together the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, ricotta and Italian seasoning. When the onion mixture has cooled fold that in. Add the turkey and, using your hands, mix until everything is well combined. Form into 20 meatballs (about 2 inches in diameter). Wash your hands. In another bowl mix together the tomatoes and pesto.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, then evenly place the meatballs on top – you may have to squish them together some, but they’ll shrink a bit during the cooking. Top the meatballs with the remaining tomato mixture. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 2.5 hours. Let sit for a few minutes when done baking to let them cool and to allow the juices to stay in the meatballs. Serve hot over whole wheat pasta topped with Parmesan cheese.
Source: Heather’s Dish
Ask and you shall receive. On my last pizza post, many of you left comments to keep the pizzas rolling so here’s this week’s installment! This time I’ve made a recipe I found on Bev Cooks awhile back. You make a pesto using spinach leaves for the sauce, and top it off with red pepper, Italian sausage and of course Mozzarella cheese. It’s a pretty fantastic little dance of ingredients. And they certainly look good together too!
Of course as with all of my pizza recipes, you do not need a stone and peel to make pizza at home. Just cook it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet as you prefer, but I am convinced that the crust comes out as pure perfection when using a stone. So you really should get your hands on one sooner rather than later. Probably my favorite kitchen item ever. And I am sure you can tell how well-loved it is by it’s stained appearance in pictures.
By the way, is anyone shocked that I rate every pizza I make as 2-3 servings? Maybe I am just a fat kid but there’s hardly a pizza made in my kitchen that ends up producing more than 3 servings. Maybe I cut my slices too big, but I don’t care O:-).
One year ago: Review: Just Tell Me What to Eat!
SAUSAGE, RED BELL PEPPER AND SPINACH PESTO PIZZA
2 cups baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp
1 Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin sticks
1 recipe thin-crust pizza dough
1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with pizza stone on bottom rack.
- In a food processor add the spinach, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, and a pinch of salt and pepper. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until pesto-y. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a medium skillet and add the sausage. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Set aside.
- To the same pan, add the red pepper. Add a little more oil if needed. Add a dash of salt.
- Transfer pizza dough to the preheated pizza stone using a cornmeal dusted pizza peel. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
- Remove pizza and stone and evenly spoon the pesto over the crust. Sprinkle a little cheese on top. Then add the sausage and peppers. Then more cheese.
- Return pizza and stone to the oven and bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown and cheesy is bubbly. Slice and eat.
Source: Bev Cooks
Sometimes my pizza toppings are composed of a random array of things found while digging through the junkyard that is my refrigerator. Those pizzas don’t regularly manage to find their way onto this screen, but once in awhile I create something worth repeating beyond the realm of simply using up leftovers. With the amount of pizza eaten in my kitchen, one is bound to squeak out every once in awhile.
This is another one of my pasta-dish-gone-pizza recipes. The first was the Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza, inspired by none other than my Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo. But instead of cajun seasoning and broccoli, you have spinach and pesto with your chicken alfredo pizza. Isn’t coming up with new pizzas fun? I remember when choosing between pepperoni or just cheese seemed like a difficult choice. Now the topping options are endless and I must try them all!!
One year ago: Cake batter Fruit Dip
CHICKEN & SPINACH ALFREDO PIZZA
1 recipe thin-crust pizza dough
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack for 15 minutes.
- On a cornmeal dusted pizza peel, roll out the pizza dough. Spread the pesto and Alfredo sauce over the dough within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with chicken pieces, spinach and sprinkle cheeses over top.
- Shimmy off the pizza peel onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Ever order a pizza but start with a salad, convincing yourself it will prevent you from eating too much pizza? That never works for me. I will still annihilate half by myself, so I would’ve consumed less calories without the
stupid healthy salad . Maybe putting the salad on the pizza is the way to go.
Caesar salad was actually the first salad I ever liked. Probably because it has the least amount of vegetables in it and I used to despise all vegetables besides carrots, corn and potatoes (as if they counted as a veggie). Green things were very much absent from my diet growing up, but boredom of the food selections of my undergraduate meal plan that met my picky-eating ways forced me to dive into the actually very expansive options available (oh the benefits of going to a gigantic school).
But back to talking about this pizza topped with Caesar salad. It is cooked with a pesto sauce base and topped with Mozzarella, Paremesan and chicken. Then once out of the oven, you assemble the rest of the salad right on top! A little drizzle of dressing and some extra shredded Parmesan, but leave off those croutons because you will find them transformed into a pizza crust.
One year ago: Apple Harvest Oatmeal
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD PIZZA
Serves 3 to 4
1 recipe pizza dough
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish
2 cups leafy romaine
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1/4 cup light Caesar salad dressing
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack for 15 minutes.
- On a cornmeal dusted pizza peel, roll out the pizza dough. Spread the olive oil and pesto over the dough within a 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with chicken pieces and sprinkle cheeses over top.
- Shimmy onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
- Allow pizza to cool slightly then top with romaine, tomato and dressing. Add additional Parmesan is desired.
Source: Inspired by Mellow Mushroom’s “The Caesar!” pizza.
Yesterday morning I ventured to the DMV exactly when they opened, and sure enough there was already a line of 30-some people. It took me an hour and a half to get out of there but for the DMV that’s like speed dating. Afterwards, I was very tempted to play hookey because it was a gorgeously sunny mid-70 degree day. Somehow I managed to drive into lab anyway, only to convince the rest of my lab members to go somewhere we could sit outside for lunch. It felt good to check the DMV off my to-do list and then unwind outside for a bit. Don’t you wish you could pause life sometimes?
Unfortunately this story has zero to do with the chicken dish I am sharing with you today, I just felt the need to share.
Planning meals ahead of time is not a skill I have mastered. Which is why I was so excited to discover that not only does this chicken only have to marinate for an hour, but it actually cannot be marinated longer/overnight because the balsamic vinegar will start to break down the chicken. Perfect for the poor-planner like me! And to make things even better, with the addition of two other simple ingredients you end up with a pretty fancy looking plate of chicken. Fast, easy, flavorful AND pretty – I love it all.
Also, the brussels sprouts couscous posted yesterday was a perfect match for this chicken.
One year ago: Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Quesadillas
GRILLED BALSAMIC CHICKEN WITH MOZZARELLA AND PESTO
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 large ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into four thick slices
Pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- Place chicken and one cup of balsamic vinegar in a large plastic bag. Seal bag tightly and place in fridge to marinate for one hour. (Don’t marinate this recipe overnight because over a long period of time, the acid in the vinegar may break down the chicken breast, forming a mushy texture.)
- Place the other cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot on the stove and bring to simmer. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes, until vinegar has reduced and is thick like syrup. Take off stove and let cool while you cook the chicken breasts.
- After chicken breasts have finished marinating, preheat grill (or prepare grill pan on the stove). Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, about eight minutes per side. Remove chicken and place on a plate.
- Turn broiler on high and place one slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast. Place chicken breasts on a foil-covered sheet tray and broil for three-four minutes until cheese melts.
- Top each chicken breast with a dollop of pesto and drizzle balsamic reduction over top.
Did you make anything special for dinner on New Year’s Eve? After a line-up of options, my friends and I decided on this dish before the nights’ events. The green part of this recipe is what won my vote. Yes “the green part”. Recently I have become obsessed with brussels sprouts. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had them much in my life, or really at all until recently. Guess I have my overly picky child-self to blame for that. How many other things have I been missing out on all these years?
Anyway, this pasta dish is fairly simple yet incredibly tasty and I already want to make it again. It is automatically being placed into my regular rotation of meals, which is a rare event since I am almost always cooking up something new. There are too many amazing recipes out there to try and as a result my “regular dish rotation” list is pretty short. But I digress… make this and you won’t regret it!
One year ago: Homemade Vanilla Extract
PESTO PASTA WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGE & ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb (16 oz.) pasta (used gluten-free shells)
4 chicken sausage links (used roasted red pepper & asiago), sliced into 1/4″ thick coins
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
- Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussels sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
- Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
Source: Gimme Some Oven