Thursday, March 10, 2011

March Meal: Baked Pasta with Turkey Sausage

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Printable Version
*This makes a HEAPING full 9x13 pan or two 8x8s

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces frozen baby spinach, thawed and drained well (can substitute 1 9-oz. bag fresh spinach)
12 ounces precooked smoked chicken (or turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (I find this in the same section/aisle as the hotdogs next to the precooked kielbasa and chorizo – I use the Jennie-O brand and it is precooked in a U-shape.
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 4 ounces shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.

Stir in tomatoes, oregano and basil; simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. (If using fresh spinach, add it to the pot of boiling pasta right at the end and cook until wilted.) Drain, and return contents to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, spinach and cubed mozzarella to the pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop pasta into lightly greased 9X13-inch pan (or divide evenly between two 8X8-inch pans). Top with grated mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

*Freezable Meal: Prepare recipe right up until the baking step and then cover with a double layer of aluminum foil. Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To bake, increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If baking from frozen, bake covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer.

Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

Julie's February Meal: Thai Beef

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
4 TBSP veg. oil, divided
3 TBSP fresh chopped ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp red pepper flakes
2TBSP rice vinegar
1lb flank steak

In a large zipper-topped plastic bag, prepare marinade by mixing teriyaki sauce, half the veg. oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice vinegar.  Add beef and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge.  OR freeze (in freezer bag) and then defrost before cooking.

In a skillet, over medium-heat, add remaining oil, heat, and saute steak till cooked to your liking.

(For meal exchange, I cut the steak into pieces for a stir fry.  Cook meat, set aside, saute vegetables and then combine the two.  Add cornstarch if you wish to thicken)

--From Saving Dinner cookbook

Sarah's March Meal - Chicken and Black Bean Taco Filling

2 T olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 lb fully cooked black beans
1 bag frozen corn
1 large jar salsa
1/2 c. water
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. salt

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with 1 t. cumin, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t.pepper.  Add chicken to skillet. Cook until chicken is fully cooked.  Remove chicken and shred, and return to pan.  Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min. 

You can freeze at this point or just serve it in tortillas with shredded cheese for tacos.

Can be used as a taco filling, but there are other options as well.  Use it over chips for Nachos. Quesadillas.  Mexican Lasagna. Served over rice with shredded cheese on top. Mexican pizza topping. With Scrambled eggs for breakfast burritos. Taco Salad. Thinned with 1 can tomato sauce and 1 1/2 c chicken stock, plus some extra spices and tortilla chips for Chicken Tortilla soup.

Claudine's March Meal--Chicken Lentil Soup

1-12 oz. can chicken

1/4 cup chicken soup base

1/4 cup dry onions

1/4 cup split green peas

1/4 cup rice

1/4 cup lentils

1/4 pearl barley

1/4 cup split yellow peas

1/4 cup salad pasta

1/4 cup shell pasta

Prep: Combine all ingredients EXCEPT pasta in large pot. Add 6-8 cups water. Cook for 30 minutes, adding more water as soup thickens.

From Freezer: Thaw. Heat to boil in pot and then add pasta, cooking for 15 more minutes. Add water as needed.

Serve with Rhodes Bread. (Place frozen dough in pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 4-7 hours, until dough is 1" above pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Freezer meal: Poppyseed Chicken- by Becca

Poppy Seed Chicken

2-3 pounds cooked chicken-cut into bite sized pieces

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 C of Sour cream

60 Ritz crackers crushed (I believe that this is about a stack and half if I am remembering correctly)

1 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

6 TBS margarine-melted

Place the chicken in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Mix the soup and sour cream and poppy seeds together. Pour over the chicken. Crush the crackers and mix with the melted margarine. Sprinkle over the top of the chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-45 mins. or until bubbly