Lemon-Tomato Pasta Al Fresco

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If you're looking for a pasta dish that is fresh and different, then this simple dish is the one for you.  I loved the zesty lemon flavor and I loved that it's a great way to use up all those fresh tomatoes that are so plentiful and inexpensive right now.    If you can't find pine nuts at an affordable price, try it with toasted walnuts instead.   The kids loved this one as they do with most pasta dishes.  (Only one more week until school starts now!  Not that I'm counting down or anything.) ;) 

 Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 lbs. plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. bow-tie pasta or ziti
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, diced and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishment

Directions:  Whisk together oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, and pepper in a large serving bowl until blended.

Add tomatoes and parsley.

Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours (I only waited 1/2 hour).

Shortly before serving, cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, firm but tender.  Add onion during last 2 minutes of cooking.

Drain well.

Add pasta to sauce in serving bowl; toss to mix.  Top with cooked chicken and scatter on pine nuts.  Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese if you wish.


Warm Cashew Chicken Salad

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This is another summery recipe that everyone really enjoyed.  Sometimes the little ones get a little turned off by the greens, but there was enough other yummy stuff in this dish to keep them distracted.  It probably also helps that I like to chop my spinach and lettuce fairly small to make it harder to pick around.  :) We loved the flavor on this one! 

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
4 Tbs. soy sauce, divided
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1-1/2 Tbs. peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 medium carrots, cut into thin strips
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
3 Tbs. chopped cashews

Directions: In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and red pepper flakes, to taste. Cover and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly golden.

Add the chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Transfer to a clean bowl (not the one the raw chicken had previously been in).
Place the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and carrots and saute for 3 minutes.

Add the green onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Return the chicken and any juices to the skillet. Add the orange juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring. Let boil for 30 seconds; remove from heat.

Mix the chopped lettuce and spinach on a large, deep platter or in a wide, shallow bowl. Spoon the chicken mixture over the top. Sprinkle with cashews and serve immediately. Enjoy!


Menu 8/23 - 8/29

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another week, another menu...

Monday--BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Tuesday--Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Thai Haystacks (new)

Wednesday--Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage
French Peasant Bread (so easy and so good)!

Thursday--Spicy Black Bean, Chicken and Chorizo Burritos

Friday--French Bread Pizza

Saturday--Beef Enchiladas
Chi-chi's Corn Cake (new)

Sunday--Garlic Bow-Tie Chicken Pasta

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits Knock-Off

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  (husband's favorite)

Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!



Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My family went gaga over this rustic Italian dish and I ended up wishing I'd made a double batch for my family of 7.  Serve it up with a salad and some of our favorite French Peasant Bread for a perfectly yummy and well-rounded meal! 

 Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

1-1/2 cups whole wheat ziti (or other short pasta)
2-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. Italian-style turkey sausage (mild or hot), cut into 4-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
6 large mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 can (15-oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to the pot.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil and toss to coat. 
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink inside, 8-10 minutes.

Transfer the sausage to a clean plate and allow to cool while preparing the rest of the sauce.  Into the same skillet, add the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, and thyme.  Cook until the onion is almost soft, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the sausage into 1/4-inch slices and place in a 9x13-inch greased baking dish along with the sauce and pasta.

Toss to combine.  Top with fresh tomato and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake until heated through and cheese is melted and slightly browned, 20-25 minutes.  

Makes 4 servings (I only made a single batch, thinking a 9x13-inch dish is always enough for our family (2 adults and 5 kids), but I wish I'd made more).



Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How much did I like these muffins?  Hmmm, let me count the number of people I told to try these.  Then count the number of people I made them for and you'll start to get a little idea.  I love the buttery texture of these and the hint of lemon just added the perfect touch.  I used 100% whole wheat flour to counterbalance all the butter and still thought they were some of the best blueberry muffins I'd ever had.  :)

Click here for printable recipe.

The ingredients:

2 cups flour (I used King Arthur's white whole wheat flour)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. cold butter, cut into 6-pieces
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. melted butter
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs (you want to be able to see small pea-sized clumps of butter still).

In a separate smaller bowl, lightly beat together egg, milk, lemon juice, lemon rind and vanilla until blended.

Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until just blended (do NOT overmix). NOTE: Batter will be somewhat thick.
Fold blueberries into batter.

Spoon batter evenly into well-greased muffin pan.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended.

Spread mixture evenly over tops of muffin batter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°. Muffins should be golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 12 standard size muffins. Enjoy!


Menu 8/16- 8/22

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sorry about the crazy spacing here.  Some days I just don't get blogger.
Monday--Warm Peanut Sesame Noodles with Peanut-Sesame Chicken

Tuesday--Peking Chicken Wraps (new)

Wednesday-Garlic Chicken Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Thursday-Creamy Primavera Bake (new)
Roasted Cauliflower (great for kids)
Friday-Bruschetta Pizza

Easiest Chicken Enchiladas Ever)

Sunday--Karen's Cinnamon Rolls  (yum!)

BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Sandwiches

Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!



About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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