Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup & Giveaway

Summer nights are coming to an end. Get ready for cooler temperatures with this hearty slow cooker minestrone soup.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 1

While I like to use my slow cooker year round, now is the time of year when slow cookers typically are used most. Not only has school started for those of you who are students or have kids but the temperatures are starting to decline. As such, the demand for easy weeknight dinners has increased and warm soups/strews are becoming more appealing. I may no longer be a student and do not have kids, but I can still appreciate a comforting soup on a cool night (whenever those decide to get here in TN).

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 3

Red Gold was nice enough to send me some of their tomatoes to play around with in my slow cooker. I figured since we are on the verge of summer and fall why not make a soup that takes advantage of the remaining summer produce? This minestrone is almost like the kitchen sink of soups, made with cannellini beans, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, spinach, rosemary, pesto, and a can of Red Gold’s petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Just wait until those aromas smack you in the face upon arriving home after it cooked all day, you’ll want to dive right in there.

I also happen to have a Red Gold Apron to giveaway to one reader. To enter use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and answer the prompt in the comments section. But wait, there’s more!

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 2

Red Gold is hosting a “Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way” running from today September 17 through October 8 on their Facebook page. As the promotion title suggests, they will be giving away two Red Gold branded Crock-Pots every day during for three weeks. Click over to their Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/RedGold.

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas

Two years ago: Loaded Baked Potato Dip
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Roasted Pear, Parmesan & Spiced Pecan Salad

It is possible to whip up a salad in under 30 minutes and have it be both healthy and fun. Try this roasted pear, parmesan & spiced pecan salad.

Roasted Pear, Parmesan & Spiced Pecan Salad 1

Last month for the Secret Recipe Club, JJ (84th & 3rd) was assigned to my blog and she made her own version of my bagel for one recipe which looked even better than mine. Shortly afterwards I received the next month’s assignment and lo and behold I was assigned to JJ’s blog this month! After reading her “about” page more she sounds like someone I can relate to: thinks about lunch while eating breakfast, loves to travel, practices yoga, runs, and does both in order to eat cake. I’ve always said that I work out not because of what I eat, but for what I want to eat!

That being said, I do try to eat healthy outside of my dessert fetish and am always looking for fun recipes which are also healthy. Guess it was meant to be that I would be paired up with JJ this month because she really does know how to make even healthy food fun with things such as vegan salted caramel truffles, 5 minute chimichurri sauce, and ombre key lime popsicles. And this salad was anything but boring. A bed of baby spinach and arugula topped with sweet roasted pears, salty Parmesan cheese, and spiced pecans. The sticky spiced pecans are pure gold.

Roasted Pear, Parmesan & Spiced Pecan Salad 2

One year ago: Potato Nachos

Three years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats
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Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip just got even better with the addition of goat cheese. This super creamy dip is perfect for any occasion.

Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip 1

This mini road trip of mine has been a lot of fun and I am so glad I thought of doing this on my way to Rochester, NY for my friend’s wedding. The only problem is figuring out how best to divide my time. Before setting out I thought I had it all planned out but of course every stop I make there never seems to be enough time and wish had an entire month instead of just one week. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego now? Cleveland, OH! I hope to check out the location for their Tabletop board game cafe while I am there. But in the meantime, check out this dip.

Everyone loves a good spinach artichoke dip, especially the creamy sinful ones. I once made a healthier version using Greek yogurt but now it’s time to share it’s more devious counterpart – goat cheese spinach artichoke dip. Although it’s not too terribly unhealthy the cream cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, and milk were all essential to creating this incredibly creamy dip. I started out by adding only 4 ounces of goat cheese but ended up adding the entire 8 ounce log because I simply love goat cheese. Apparently many other people share this sentiment with me as it was quickly devoured.

P.S. Thank you to my lovely hand-model, Sherrill!

Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

One year ago: Healthier Elote

Two years ago: Banana Peanut Butter Bread Pudding
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Leprechaun Pizza

If a leprechaun ordered a pizza, this is what it would look like. Green spinach crust, pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, and four-leaf clover bell peppers.

Leprechaun Pizza 2

St. Patrick’s Day is a whirlwind of corned beef, rainbows, green food, and Guinness. This recipe is no exception from that list, with a green spinach pizza crust, topped with green basil pesto, mozzarella and goat cheese, followed by green and yellow bell peppers cut to look like four-leaf clovers. I actually tried to find green cheese but decided the white was a nice contrast for the appeal factor.

Using half the spinach pizza dough, this recipe makes one medium pizza. If you want to use it all, make a larger pizza or two medium ones but make sure to double your toppings. Or you could make dinner rolls with the other half. How about cheese stuffed spinach dinner rolls?

In other news my pizza stone and peel are just big enough to make a 13-inch pizza (therefore making this one medium pizza). Although I do have a 16-inch pizza pan, I am now in the market for a 16-inch or larger pizza stone and peel. Because pizza stones rock. If you don’t already own one I strongly suggest adding it to your wishlist. Assuming you like to make homemade pizza on a regular basis.

Leprechaun Pizza 1

One year ago: Kale Quiche
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Spinach Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza is one of my favorite things to make for dinner. The obsession first started with the novelty of making my own pizza in whatever shape or size you desired (at one of my birthday parties there were elephants, butterflies, monkeys, etc). Then came the endless possible combinations with different sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Finally there were the different kinds of dough. It started out simple enough with regular, thin, and whole wheat, but then morphed into more creative outlets such as stuffed crust, garlic bread crust, garlic dough, rosemary beer dough, Greek yogurt dough and even Cauliflower Crust. While most people are debating between sausage or pepperoni, I am still trying to decide on the base let alone the toppings.

Spinach Pizza Dough 1

To make my life even more difficult I created another new dough option, spinach dough just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Although pizza doesn’t normally come to mind when thinking of this holiday the green color couldn’t be more perfect, accomplished by adding pureed spinach to my regular pizza dough recipe. It’s also a sneaky way to trick any kids nearby into eating a little spinach because it adds more color than flavor, and what kid doesn’t enjoy oddly colored food? Just tell them it’s food coloring ;-).

Spinach Pizza Dough 2

This dough could also be used to make a Christmas pizza – red pizza sauce and Mozzarella cheese on top of a green dough. Heck you could use supreme pizza toppings and dub them “ornaments”. Haha oh I’m so witty. But since we don’t want to rush off into winter now that we’ve finally caught a glimpse of spring, stick around for Wednesday when I’ll tell you how to make a “Leprechaun Pizza” using this spinach pizza dough, pictured below.

Spinach Pizza Dough 3

Three years ago: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
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Southwestern Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

If I could eat avocados in every meal of the day, I’d be one happy camper. Which means I was super excited to have a double dose in just one meal with this salad – fresh sliced avocado in a salad topped with avocado dressing. The dressing is definitely the star of this dish, but along for the ride is some oven-fried chicken which has taco seasoning mixed into the breadcrumb coating. Crunchy, creamy, fresh and zesty. What more could you want?

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

One year ago: Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder
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Goat Cheese, Spinach & Tomato Quiche

Have you heard this nonsense that TN may no longer observe daylight savings time? It has been proposed that after the clocks advance this spring, to never change them again in the state of Tennessee. At first I heard that the entire state was going to be in Eastern time which made absolutely zero sense since most of the state resides in Central time – thankfully that was wrong information. But either way I don’t like the idea. TN borders so many states that it undoubtedly would cause problems for cities (such as Memphis) on the edges. However I would be okay with a nation-wide end to daylight savings. No more winters with 4:30 pm sunsets? Sounds fantastic to me.

This quiche was actually made the morning after all that snow hit east TN. I figured it was a good opportunity to make my parents breakfast and actually beat my dad to the punch because he had the same idea, but I woke up earlier. I decided to let him cook breakfast on Valentine’s Day instead.

Goat Cheese Spinach Tomato Quiche

Two years ago: Crispy Parmesan Green Beans

Three years ago: Feta & Broccoli Pizza
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Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

Before I talk about food, I forgot to tell you how badly they butchered my last name at graduation. Over the years my family and I have heard all kinds of mispronunciations but one version tends to prevail and I am always prepared to hear it. However, sometimes people like to get creative by adding extra letters and graduation day was no exception. It was so bad even my own family and friends weren’t sure if it was actually me, despite prefacing it with my first and middle names. “Va-see-lick” – where the heck did you see an L in my last name, sir? Were you thinking of a basilisk? But I couldn’t be upset for long because he knew he screwed it up and mouthed a very apologetic “I’m sorry!” as I walked up the stairs. He even pulled me aside afterwards to apologize again and ask me how to pronounce my last name. Oh the joys of having an unusual last name (although I still like it despite all that).

These chicken rolls look more difficult to execute than they truly are (just like my last name). A ricotta-spinach mixture is rolled up in a thin chicken breast, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, and then baked until crispy before topping with marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil. The end result is an entree that looks fancy without all the fuss. I made these on Thursday last week for dinner, ready upon the arrival of my parents (for graduation the next morning) and served with a mixed spinach salad. It was a hit! And then we had pie for dessert O:-).

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

One year ago: Buttermilk Biscuits

Three years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
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Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Pizza

I don’t know what it is about pizza but I have a very hard time capturing appetizing photos of pizza slices. No matter what angle or lighting I use, I rarely enjoy looking at the photos I take of pizza slices. As a result I tossed every single one for this pizza and was left with just unsliced photos. Maybe that’s why I don’t make pizza as much as I used to these days, because of its unphotogenic nature? Thankfully, I always take pictures before I slice into anything just in case so I at least have a shot of the whole pizza itself.

Pictures aside, the toppings on this pizza are perfect for fall and butternut squash happens to be one of my favorite fall/winter squashes to cook with. In fact, at the end of the season last year, it went on sale so I stocked up and froze it after being peeled and cubed. But that’s long gone and this pizza was made with fresh butternut squash from this season.

 Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Pizza

One year ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
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Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I tend to gravitate towards certain items every time. One particular thing I enjoy ordering is a cheesy spinach and chicken dish (usually called Pollo Adobe). Inspired by a craving I decided to make single serving enchiladas stuffed with a similar blend of ingredients.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas 1

I made them slightly healthier by using whole wheat tortillas and Laughing cow cheese instead of queso and they hit the spot. I actually wish I had made a full-sized batch to have leftovers to enjoy, but thankfully it’s easy enough to make for the next time the craving strikes!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas 2

One year ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake
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