30 Minute Lasagna

Generally, when I come up with dishes, I look for inspiration from other home cooks/chefs/Facebook posts/Pinterest/etc to help me. This recipe originated from Rachel Ray and I changed it due to my crazy schedule. I’m sharing it because it is easy, it’s fast, it makes ALOT, and it’s changeable! Lasagna isn’t an easy dish to do for dinner but this one makes it not seem so bad. It takes literally 30 minutes to make and is delicious! Try it out! You’ll see!

30 Minute Lasagna

Makes 6-8 servings

 

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground beef or mild Italian sausage (your preference)
  • 1 lb Bowtie pasta
  • 1 small container of Ricotta cheese (approximately 10 oz)
  • 1 Medium white onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup Fresh spinach
  • 2-3 cups of Spaghetti sauce or your favorite jar of sauce
  • 3 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped- 1 tbsp set aside for topping)
  • 1/4 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese (grated)

 

In a large skillet, cook the meat on medium heat and break into smaller pieces. While the meat is cooking, boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta until it is el dente (8-9 minutes). Drain the pasta and set aside. After the meat if fully cooked, add in the onion, garlic, and spices. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Stir every minute or so.

IMG_20171125_171447169

Next, add in the sauce and spinach. Stir gently until everything is combined. Lower the heat of the skillet to low and fold in the pasta along with the ricotta cheese.

Cover the top of with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, at 400° to melt the cheese.

IMG_20171125_172938036_HDR

Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and serve. As always, enjoy!

  • For a lighter option: use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and use whole grain pasta.

IMG_20171125_174959637_HDR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are a must have during the holiday season. Every year, I find myself experimenting with new recipes, old recipes, and traditional recipes. True fact: I will never use white chocolate. Why? It’s not real chocolate and it tastes nothing like real chocolate in delicious cookies. Aside from that, find ingredients you love and test a way! This recipe, I did just that. I love a chewy oatmeal cookie. I also love chocolate and dried cranberries just scream, it’s the Holidays! Give this spicy recipe a try, and see for yourself.

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately 24-36

 

  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1 cup Brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 sticks Unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 1 cup Old fashioned Oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Dried cranberries

 

Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment, add in the eggs, sugars, spices, and vanilla. Mix for about 1 minute on a medium low speed until everything is combined. Add in the melted butter, flour, and baking soda. Mix until a dough has formed. Finally, add in the oats, chocolate chips, and cranberries. Turn the mixer on low for about 30 seconds to combine the dough completely.

IMG_20171209_124010724

Next, with a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and lightly press into a ball shape. Please the dough on the baking sheet about an inch apart from the other cookies. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and cool.

IMG_20171209_155051619

Yes, your home will smell of gingery spices. Enjoy these cookies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miranda’s Tasty Chili

 

 

With the colder weather approaching and football season upon us, why not cook up a delicious chili for your tailgate. When I was growing up, and the snow would pile up, my mom would start a big batch of chili. We would eat it for a couple days, especially if we were snowed in. Although, my recipe is different in taste and texture, it still brings back memories with every bite. Give my chili recipe a try at this weeks tailgate or even for a large crowd during the holidays.

 

Miranda’s Chili

12-18 servings

 

  • 2 1/2 lbs Ground Beef (80/20)
  • 1 large Yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 large Green pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper (de-seeded and finely diced)
  • 3 Garlic cloves (diced)
  • 2 cans Diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Mild chili beans
  • 1 can Black beans (drained)
  • 1 can Dark red kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can Corn (drained)
  • 3-4 cups Tomato juice (depending if you want it thicker)
  • 1 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp Franks hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Corn starch (approx. 5 tbsp-optional)

 

In a large pot, begin cooking down the ground beef on medium heat. After it has started to turn brown, add in the garlic, onion, and peppers. Cook this mixture down for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle in 3 tbsp of corn starch. This will start the thickening process of the chili. Stir until it is all dissolved.

IMG_20171028_074436883IMG_20171028_074829663

 

Add in all the beans, tomatoes, and all remaining spices except the hot sauce and sugar. Stir and then add the tomato juice. Bring the chili to a small boil and then turn the heat to low. Add the hot sauce, sugar, and remaining corn starch (to thicken even more). At this point, you can transfer the chili to a crock pot to continue cooking for 4-6 hours.

IMG_20171028_075844770IMG_20171028_080812984

About an hour before serving the chili, add in the corn and parsley.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and/sour cream. As always, enjoy!

IMG_20171104_102828385

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awe! Kale… Chips!

So let’s talk about kale for a second. It’s a green, leafy, bitter veggie that most people turn their nose up to until they try it. It’s a powerful food because it’s packed with vitamin A and K along with fiber and is great for your heart. So why not make it into a party food, that I guarantee will be a hit. These chips were made within a half and hour, are so crunchy, and so full of flavor that no one will believe that they are good for you! Give this recipe a try and I promise, you’ll have kale at every party and event you host!

 

Kale Chips

 

  • 1 bunch of Kale/ 1 bag fresh chopped Kale
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Dash of nutmeg

 

First, strip the kale from the stems. Wash the kale and towel dry. (bagged kale will have this already done) Break the kale into pieces, the size to your liking and place in a large bowl.

 

Next, pour the spices on the kale along with the oil. Toss the kale with your hands until all of the pieces are coated. Place the kale on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 400°.

IMG_20171008_174048822

Bake the kale chips for 10 minutes then lower the heat to 325°. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove the chips from the oven and cool completely before placing in a bowl for serving. As always, enjoy!

IMG_20171008_185146256_BURST000_COVER_TOP

 

 

 

Harvest Kale Salad

Kale hasn’t been a veggie that I can say I was comfortable using in my cooking. I thought it tasted bland and dry. The only flavoring, besides salt, was butter and after a while that isn’t just unhealthy but boring. Recently, I tried coming up with some salads that would be healthy, flavorful, and allow me to use fall veggies. This salad does that plus you can adjust it to what you like. For example, skip that feta cheese and use goat or blue cheese. My point, don’t be afraid to try new food out of your comfort zone. You may just fall in love with it. Get it? “Fall”! Try this recipe out and see for yourself just how delicious it really is.

 

Harvest Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing

Serves 6-8

 

  • 4-5 cups Fresh kale (wash, dried, chopped, and stems removed)
  • 3/4 cup Dried cranberries/cherries
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (cubed and roasted)
  • 1/3 Feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup Almonds (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • S & P

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar

 

First, preheat the oven to 375°, peel and dice that sweet potatoes. Toss in the olive oil, cinnamon, garlic powder, and S & P. Place on a cookie sheet, lined with foil. Bake the potatoes for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

IMG_20170909_135659240

While the potatoes are cooking, prep the kale, almonds, and dressing. (Dressing: combine all the ingredients and whisk together) Place the salad in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes, salad dressing and remaining ingredients. Toss gently, refrigerator for one hour, and serve. As always, enjoy!

IMG_20170909_163004593

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

Disclaimer: This is a Rachel Ray recipe that I have altered to my liking

Craving Buffalo wings? Love a messy sloppy Joe? Want something a little healthier with and whole lot less guilt? This is your dish! The first time I made this for my husband, he had 3 sandwiches and enjoyed the leftovers the following day. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and whole lot of flavor packed into a meal that literally takes 20 minutes to prepare. Try this recipe, of Rachel Rays’, that I have altered to be less runny, a couple less ingredients, but just as delicious!

 

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

Serves 6-8

 

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Chicken
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Carrots (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Celery (diced)
  • 1/2 cup White onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (grated)
  • 2 large Whole Pickles (diced-optional)
  • 1 medium can Tomato sauce (10-16oz)
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Franks Hot Sauce (1/2 cup-Medium heat)
  • 6-8 Hamburger buns
  • 1 cup Blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup Blue cheese dressing (optional)

 

First, preheat a large and deep skillet on medium to high heat. Add the ground chicken and season with S & P to your liking. As the chicken begins to cook, break into small pieces (like taco meat) and turn the heat to medium. Cook the chicken thoroughly.

IMG_20170806_170617599

Add in the chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Season again if you would like. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies have started to soften. Stir frequently. If the veggies are approximately the same size, they will all cook perfectly together.

 

Once the veggies are cooked and meat has started to brown a bit, combine the tomatoes sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and chicken stock into a bowl. Pour over the ground chicken and veggies and turn the heat to medium low. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add additional hot sauce to make the sloppy joe spicier and/or tomato sauce for a runnier texture.

 

IMG_20170806_171705173

 

Serve on toasted buns. (5 minutes at 400°, in the oven) Add blue cheese dressing to the buns and pour on the chicken sloppy job mixture (about 1/3 cup) onto the bun. Add chopped pickles and blue cheese crumbles. Serve and enjoy! This is a very messy meal but it is totally worth it!

IMG_20170806_174747631

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Meatball Soup

 

Since fall in right around the corner, and we all want something warm to eat, why not try a soup that is not only delicious but is great for your waistline. My turkey meatball soup is jam packed with veggies that can be changed to your liking. For example, I didn’t include butternut squash but the next time I make it, it sure will include it! Use veggies that you have from the farmers market or your own garden. And surly, don’t skimp on them either. This soup freezes well and is awesome the next day.

 

Turkey Meatball Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 lb Ground turkey (85% lean)
  • 1 Carton chicken stock or broth
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Medium onion (1/2 chopped fine for the meat, 1/2 rough chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped and separated)
  • 1 cup Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 box Frozen spinach (defrosted and squeezed) or 2 cups fresh spinach
  •  S & P to taste in soup and meatballs
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Butter (unsalted)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Greek dressing

 

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with tin foil. In a large bowl, combine the turkey,  fine chopped onion, 1 garlic clove, bread crumbs, half the parsley, garlic powder, S & P, egg, milk, and Greek dressing. Use your hand to mix and form the meatballs. It should make about 12 regular size meatballs or 24 mini meatballs. Bake for  35-40 minutes and cool for 5 minutes before putting the meatballs into the soup.

 

While the meatballs cook in the oven, in a large pot, melt the butter on a medium to high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes to soften the veggies. Add the garlic, beans, chicken stock, parsley, and S & P. Stir and cover for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach. Add the meatballs after they have cooled from the oven.

 

Cover and simmer the soup for about an hour. Serve with garlic bread or biscuits.  As always, enjoy!

IMG_20170815_175127705

If stock is used, you may need to season the soup more with salt than you would with the broth.