Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pesto Tortelloni Salad

I made this the other day, for a friend that recently had surgery, along with a pasta Frittata. I wanted her to have a fresh, easy meal and since she only had the use of one hand serving this would be a snap!

Both dishes I made her were pasta based...I must equate pasta with comfort?

Anyway...most people think Tortellini-which is what I thought I was buying. But when I pulled the bag out of my pantry, lo and behold it's Tortellini's big brother-Tortelloni!

I love these, they're big and plump and cheesy and well...comforting. 

Tossed with a super simple pesto-amazingly SIMPLE, and roasted red peppers, sooo good. I almost hated to give it away, and the youngest unit almost cried when she learned it wasn't staying. 

Even if you've never made pesto, this will make a believer out of you! I don't know why I never thought of using a ready made dressing as the base for a pesto? How easy and actually really delicious. You're really making pesto, just subbing a ready made vinaigrette for the olive oil. It is delicious on rice salads, lettuce salads even poultry prior to grilling!

1-8 oz. package Tortelloni or tortellini, cooked per instructions and set aside
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
2 green onions sliced
1/4 cup bottled zest Italian dressing-your favorite brand
10-12 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese-grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Prepare pasta per directions, drain, rinse in cool water and drain again. 
2. Place in a large bowl with red peppers and green onions
3. In a food processor or blender place basil, galic, salt and pepper, chop and with blade running drizzle in dressing using slightly more to make it a dressing consistency.
4. Pour over all and toss to combine.
5. Refrigerate to chill and serve. 


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and Buns In My Oven and Daily Dish

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Elote Dip

Our youngest child recently spent a week in Arizona with her best friend and her mom. They stayed with relatives and visited the Grand Canyon, a spa, Arizona State and more. 

One of the places she raved about was Elote Cafe in Sedona. (I know-she's her mothers girl-raving about food!) she just could not get over how delicious the corn dip, that they are famous for, was.

So I decided to surprise her one day and try to make it. It just so happened my parents gave me a big bag filled with corn also! Sweet, fresh Iowa corn-the best!

This dip is generally served warm with the seasoning and cilantro sprinkled on top. I upped the easy quotient by incorporating it all together and serving it without warming it up (it's hot and humid now).

It disappeared in my house. I'm certain the same thing will happen in your home heated or not. 

I threw in a minced red jalapeƱo which gave it the heat we love, but feel free to leave it out, it's delicious and creamy and full on corn and you'll want to make this again and again. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Picadillo Stuffed Summer Squash

It seems like the summer has flown by, maybe that's because we didn't really have that much of one?

It's taken until almost August before our garden really started to produce anything other than radishes and peas. 

Now I can't give the cucumbers and squash away fast enough let alone eat or cook with them. But I found a new fave way to eat squash and this dish freezes beautifully so you could have a taste of summer on a rainy, dreary day like today.

I combined two of our favorite dishes and it worked so well, we all loved the flavors and it really was easy. We love Picadillo, a Spanish dish that is hearty and so full of flavors, stuffed into tender, fresh, sweet, zucchini and summer squash right from our garden. 

Baked and then covered in obey, gooey cheesy goodness, I bet even the most picky eaters would love this dish!

We normally eat Picadillo over couscous, rice or mashed potatoes but I love the additional benefits of eating this delicious summer vegetable. 

You'll probably have leftover filling, don't throw it away! Picadillo is delicious over a baked potato, in a frittata or omelet, even in a quesadilla! You can find my recipe for Picadillo here.

1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
3 cloves garlic grated or minced
1 14 oz can whole or diced tomatoes-crushed with their juice
1 4 oz can tomato sauce-reserving half
1/4 cup green olives-chopped
1/4 cup olive brine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Oregano
Pinch Cinnamon
1/2 cup frozen peas(optional-but so nice) 
4-6 medium summer squash or zucchini-halved and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the middle to create boats, save 1cup of the pulp removed.
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot, brown and crumble meat. 
Add in the onion, celery, green pepper and the pulp (chopped) and stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. 
Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add in the tomatoes and 2oz. of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Soy Sauce, Olives, brine, Oregano and Cinnamon. Stir to combine, cover and lower heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Lastly stir in the peas, if using.
Check seasoning, add in 1 tsp of pepper, I doubt you'll need salt. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a large casserole dish with non stick spray. Add 1 oz. of water to the reserved tomato sauce and pour in the bottom of the dish. 
Place the "boats" in the dish. Use 1 tsp of olive oil and brush each "boat"; season with salt, pepper, Set aside.
Scoop picadillo into zucchini boats, packing it in and distributing evenly (store extra if you have any). Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese, then bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and Buns In My Oven and Daily Dish