Odds & Ends: Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup

I think we throw away way too many leftovers as a whole.  Society has become such a “throw it away, buy new” entity – and it’s just laziness and lack of imagination that causes it.  When your fridge has a bunch of semi “meh” veggies – make soup.  When you have leftover meat, throw it in the freezer – when you make soup – pull out the odds and ends of chicken – add it in to your soup.  You can do the same with ends and pieces of vegetable as well.

I always have chicken stock in the freezer, so if we clean out the veggie drawer, the odds and ends of chicken, and add in our stock – we have Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup.  This one is a bit different than my other Vegetable Tortellini Soup recipe.  This one works really well in the winter, and as a week night dinner.  Just grab a package of refrigerated or frozen tortellini and you’re set.  Use spinach, kale or escarole – or don’t add greens at the end – anything works here!

Continue reading “Odds & Ends: Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup”

V-8 Soup – Easy Vegetable Soup for the Freezer

This soup is one that is super easy to throw together and offers a great way to use up vegetables you might have over stocked on.  You can also supplement with frozen or canned if you feel the need.  Mom likes to add a can of black beans for added fiber and protein – I try to keep it LOW fat and low cal – so adding calories is not my goal.

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Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

I love the concept of cooking once and making multiple meals out of the results.  Putting a pot of marinara in the slow cooker is a great way to quickly put something tasty together, freeze the leftovers, and having at least 4 meals out of the product.

This is a really easy and tasty marinara sauce.  You could put other veggies in it if you like, it’s all to your taste – just consider this your “starter” or “base” to continue on from.  I thaw some of this and serve it over my Lasagne Roll Ups with Kale, use it to make Skillet Lasagne, add meatballs for spaghetti, or even spread it on a pizza crust to enhance a yummy homemade pizza. Continue reading “Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce”

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

We try – and sometimes succeed – to make Monday a meatless Monday when dinner time rolls around.  When I described this meal to my kids they wrinkled their noses – but – they liked it!  you could add in veggies if you like – I kept it simple for the first try.

I roasted my red peppers right on the gas burner of my stove.  Char them up on the outside and put in a sealed bowl (cover with plastic wrap) for about 20 minutes – the char and the skin just slides right off.  Cut off the tops and take out the seeds and voila – roasted red peppers.  You want them to get BLACK – so don’t be scared!

roasting red pepers

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Fettuccini
  • 3 Medium to Large Red Peppers, Roasted, Seeded & Peeled
  • 2 Medium Shallots - chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic - minced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. Cook Pasta according to package directions to al dente - almost completely cooked
  2. In a small skillet heat 1/2 tsp Olive Oil and sautee shallots and garlic until translucent - don't overcook
  3. Place shallot mixture in your blender with red peppers, remainder of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend well.
  4. When pasta is done, drain but reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce
  5. Return pasta to pan and spoon over about 2/3 to 3/4 of the sauce and mix well - if it's not enough sauce - add a bit more - if its enough sauce but looks a bit dry - add a bit of the pasta water.
  6. Turn pasta out into a large serving bowl and top with shaved parmesan cheese
  7. ENJOY!
http://lookslikehomemade.com/roasted-red-pepper-pasta/

Fast & Simple Easy Ranch Dressing Recipe

If your house (and kid) is anything like mine – Ranch Dressing is a major component in getting vegetables down the hatch.  My son will only eat a salad with ranch dressing, and only eat raw veggies if dunked in ranch dressing…..the problem is – Hidden Valley Ranch in the bottle from the grocery is gross, and litehouse Ranch is awesome, but expensive.

If I’m a with it mom that week, I have a packet to make ranch from, but I’m usually NOT that “with it” – so I came up with this fast & easy Ranch Dressing recipe that pleases the kiddos and is made from mostly pantry staples.  They’re staples in my fridge/pantry – probably in yours too.

Fast & Simple Ranch Dressing

Fast & Simple Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 C Mayonnaise (can use light or fat free if you want)
  • 1/3 C Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Dill Weed
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Salt (more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper (more to taste)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your immersion blender or a whisk, refrigerate and enjoy!
http://lookslikehomemade.com/fast-easy-ranch-dressing-recipe/

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini season will be here before you know it. Especially if you live or spend your winters in the warmer climates like I do here in Arizona. These were fun to make a just delicious, even my main man liked them and he has extremely discriminating tastes. Try this when zucchini season hits I think you will like them too. One last thing, just bake them to el dente’ otherwise they get mushy. Hope you enjoy them.

Zucchini Boats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6

1 boat

Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 3 Zucchini washed and split lengthwise, ends removed and scoop it out a little
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 6 Ozs. Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3 Ozs. Parmesan cheese, grated or flaked
  • 6 Basil leaves, fresh sliced thin
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced very fine
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a bowl mix the garlic, salt and pepper, let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Brush the zucchini with olive oil, making sure to use it all evenly between the boats.
  3. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper mix over each boat and then top each boat with mozzarella.
  4. Place tomato slices along the top of the boats evenly and top with basil.
  5. Place the boats on a foil lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
http://lookslikehomemade.com/zucchini-boats/