Posts Tagged ‘spinach’
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.
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.
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!
I don’t eat salads very often, mostly because I get bored of them very quickly. But when a salad like this one comes along it’s a love affair. After the salad I went nuts over last year that involved roasted butternut squash it should be no surprise that this most recent culprit also includes the same fall ingredient. It is paired up with dried cranberries, pistachios, and feta, all mixed into a bed of baby kale and spinach. There’s even these things called red winter berries in there which I had never even heard of until now. I don’t know how to describe them if you are unfamiliar, but they are a bit chewy – in a good way!
Speaking of salads, remember when I told you about the Advocare 10 Day Cleanse? Well I finished! I definitely felt lighter and unbloated even after only 2 days. Now at the end I can actually see a little bit of my abs that I knew were hidden under there somewhere. I learned about this cleanse from Steph who is doing the 24 Day Challenge and hosting a Gobble Gobble Challenge as well. Her amazing results are what inspired me to try the 10-day. I’ve shared my Day 1 and Day 10 photos below (self-conscious moment).
One year ago: Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.
But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.
Happy SSS! After a week full of ice cream, it’s time to share a smoothie that has spinach in it – but doesn’t look like it! Normally when I make smoothies I go for the vibrant green monster. But every now and then I try something new. This particular smoothie caught my eye because pictures of the original recipe still showed a pink smoothie despite having a little bit of spinach blended in. When I made it, it did not come out as pink but it isn’t green either. It was a good change from my normal routine and the addition of tropical flavors was perfect for the summertime.
I know I was just complaining about the heat being back, but with rain predicted the rest of the week it’s actually staying below 90 for a few days, hooray! I’m really loving this milder summer Memphis has had thus far because that means I can turn on my oven guilt-free (and high-bill free). I should probably bake a bunch this week just in case it’s never cool again, but that also means I need to clear out some space in my freezer to store them. The three ice cream flavors I currently have in there are not being devoured fast enough! Who wants to come over for an ice cream party??
But today’s post isn’t about ice cream or baked desserts, is about baked meat! Some people are a little weirded out by fruit and meat combos. I happen to thoroughly enjoy things such as hawaiian pizza, orange beef and chicken, kebabs, pineapple fried rice, and the first offender is likely my mom’s pineapple burger. Fruit and meat entrees are especially desirable during the summer and this recipe hits the spot. A (not-dried-out) pork loin chop is topped off with an avocado-mango salsa and served with a spinach quinoa. It’s a light yet filling meal, but if for some reason you need a little more try scooping up some of the salsa with corn chips! I actually had a little bit of leftover salsa and ended up doing that exact thing the next day.
Last week, Stephanie (another student in the lab who is planning to graduate this spring) and I attended an electronic dissertation formatting workshop. It was 3 hours long and we both wanted to strangle someone by the time it was over. Actually, we had that impulse before we even got to the workshop because we had an assignment to complete prior to the workshop which consisted of going through a 35 page mock dissertation and editing the formatting errors! Thankfully I did learn something from all of that, but think it could’ve been acquired less painfully. At the same time, neither of us now have very high hopes of finishing the write up of our dissertations in time to start the formatting review process the first of April. Especially since we both have lab work we’re still trying to finish up. It’s a good thing one can just finish whenever you’re done in grad school instead of only two days a year.
Anywho, pardon my rant. I will make it up to you with yet another recipe involving Meyer lemons. It’s cheese tortellini, mixed up with bacon and spinach then covered in a Meyer lemon cream sauce. Feast your eyes upon that plate of glory. (And watch as my frustration magically dissipates a little.)
Other than pumpkin, I think butternut squash may be my favorite type of squash. But for some reason I only think to cook with it during the winter and the same with pumpkin during the fall. To solve this problem, I decided to buy more butternut squash than I needed for this recipe, and saved the remaining peeled and cubed pieces in my freezer. Muwahaha! Now to just remember it is there to use later. That may be the bigger problem because if you saw how stuffed my freezer was year-round, you’d understand. “How long has that homemade ice cream been in here?? And what flavor is it? ::sniff::” Seriously happened. Also discovered frozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies the other day. How do you forget about those? Oh yea, they were blocked by the 10 packages of butter I stocked up on when it went on sale. Serious food blogger problems in my fridge.
But I digress, let’s focus on unfrozen food such as this pasta. The butternut squash is pureed to function as the sauce itself, and what a fantastic idea! It’s complimented very nicely with the spicy sausage and the winter-ific sage. And don’t forget the spinach to finish off this healthy meal. But I decided to curb that a little by serving it with pull apart garlic bread. Mmm garlicky carbs.
And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my big brother!! Happy 33rd!
One year ago: Blizzard Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Cooking for one is a challenge. Normally I don’t mind leftovers because they are great for lunches, but I find myself overrun with leftovers these days. Both in meals and desserts. I am convinced at times my fridge looks like I am feeding a family of 4. I have been freezing as much as I can but at the rate I’ve been going, soon my ice maker will be filled with non-ice items.
Every now and then I run across a single-serving meal that is quick and easy to make, and it immediately goes on my to-make list. This simple yet delicious pasta dish is great for a busy weeknight or when the thought of adding another tupperware full of leftovers to your fridge makes you shudder.
Oh fall, how I love you (even though spring is my favorite) and all the heart warming food you bring – football feasts, seasonal flavors, pre-hibernation worthy foods, and of course soups! Whenever it first starts to get cold, especially on a cold rainy day, I always crave tomato basil soup and a gooey grilled cheese. If only I had a fireplace to go with it (instead I have a fireplace scented candle and a fireplace dvd). But thankfully, I have more curiosity into the world of soups than to just stick with tomato all the time.
The first soup of this fall season is this chicken gnocchi soup. It is supposed to be a copy cat recipe of the soup at Olive Garden, although I cannot say how close it resembles because I’ve never had theirs. I haven’t been to an Olive Garden in a long time because of my habit to eat at local restaurants more often than chains. But either way, if this soup is at all like theirs then it might be my favorite on their menu.
I served it with toasted whole wheat pita wedges that had been buttered and sprinkled with garlic powder inside. Mmmm.