Category Archives: bell pepper

Lightened Up Lasagna Soup

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TGIF!! It has been a long week here. Well, a long couple of weeks actually. This flu that is flooding the country found it’s way to my house and,even though I had the shot, I got hit hard by it. Kevin on the other hand, who didn’t get the shot, was fine. Although there was quite a bit of hand washing, Purell usage, and banishment to the sofa for a few days. It’s OK, I was as comfy as I could be considering the circumstances. A trip to the ER, IV fluids, and Tamiflu helped me to kick the worst of it. But the residual cough is a killer. My heart and prayers go out to everyone that has/is suffering from this! 
Now, on to the good stuff, the food! I was so happy when I was able to (and had the desire to) cook again. It seemed strange to be back in my little kitchen after so long away. But cooking is like riding a bike right? So I jumped back on and peddled away.
I had been eyeing a recipe by Paula Deen for Lasagna soup before my desire to eat anything more than jello and popsicles kicked in. So that was the first thing I wanted to make when I felt better. However, and I do so love Ms Paula, it was packed full of fat and calories! So I tackled the challenge of trying to remove a bit of both from the recipe. 
I am so very happy to announce that even though the fat and calories were reduced, the flavor was not. This is some seriously good soup guys! Even Mr “Soup is not a meal” raved about it and ended up finishing his bowl and part of mine. He was also very happy to package the leftovers in a freezer bag for a future meal. I was, as you cam imagine, very pleasantly surprised! 
I myself referred to this soup as a little bit of heaven in a bowl, so you know how I felt about it. Seriously though, give this soup a try, you will not regret it I promise!!
Lightened Up Lasagna Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used 1 teaspoon)
6 broken whole wheat lasagna noodles
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, packed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, plus some for sprinkling

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauce pot  Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, approx 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the noodles, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with a little extra mozzarella cheese if wanted.

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Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese

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This recipe came about from the request of several people on my Facebook page. I had an impromptu survey asking what Mac and Cheese everyone would like to see me come up with and this was the overwhelming winner. I mean it was a landslide! I was excited. I love Philly Cheese Steaks and Mac and Cheese so the idea of smooshing them together made me a very happy camper. I mean, is there such a thing as too many Mac and Cheese recipes? I think not! I am thinking I should create a label for the blog for just my Mac and Cheese recipes. I am very curious to see how many I have!
For many people, myself included, Mac and Cheese is a comfort food. We know it might not be the lowest calorie dish (ssshhhhh if we don’t say it out loud it isn’t true!), but it isn’t a dish we have all of the time so we can splurge in those times when we just need a warm hug for our tummy right?

I really thought long and hard about this recipe. I mean there are so many views on what a true cheese steak is. Most people I know that are from Philly love the original cheese steak. It is just cheese and steak, usually the cheese being a cheese wiz type product. Some prefer the provolone instead. I have been reminded by my best friend, who is from Philly, that if you order a cheese steak in Philly you do not get onions, mushrooms, and peppers on it. They are items you have to request. So I guess my recipe does not reflect a true authentic cheese steak but I love onions, mushrooms,and peppers, so this is my loose interpretation. To my wonderful Philly fans, you are welcome to leave out the veggies, I will not be offended. But I am telling you, yummmm yummmmm, this was great with those veggies I promise!!
It was hard for me to not just eat this off of the spoon!!
Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded white American cheese
1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar cheese
3/4 pound good quality deli roast beef, sliced as thick as bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bell pepper, chopped (any color, I mixed green and red)

10 to 12 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Butter flavored non stick spray

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and given up their liquid. Add the roast beef and continue to cook until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt, whisk in flour 1 minute then milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, thicken sauce 5 to 6 minutes. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.

Preheat broiler.

Drain pasta and return to hot pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped meat and veggies to combine, stir in cheese sauce and coat. Transfer mac n cheese to casserole and top with remaining cheese. Spray the top with the butter flavored spray and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Brown under broiler 3 to 4 minutes, serve.

ENJOY

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Chipotle Chicken Braid

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This meal has been fighting me for a while. A few weeks ago I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was making this dish and several people expressed interest and said they couldn’t wait for the blog post and recipe. That night I set about the task of getting this all cooked up and must have lost my brain for a bit during the process because I forgot to add the salsa and the cheese. We just added them on top afterward and it tasted wonderful, but I didn’t feel right taking a picture and posting if I didn’t make the dish exactly as the recipe I am posting calls for. So I knew I had to make it again, and soon.
A few days later I was talking with my son’s girlfriend about how much we missed seeing them and asked her if they would like to come over for dinner. I figured I could kill a few birds with one stone, see the kids, make the dish again, and have more guinea pigs tasters available. In the end it was a fantastic night. I saw my kiddos, I prepared the dish correctly, and everyone loved it!! But then my camera batter died and I ended up using my iPhone to take the pictures! It fought me, but I won!!

I modified this from a recipe I found on Pintrest. I loved the idea of it, but wanted to add some flavor that I just felt the dish was lacking. I knew I didn’t want to just go for jalapenos and blow peoples heads of with that kind of heat. So I went with chipotle, and nice warm heat. The kind that makes your mouth tingle, but in small amounts is just nice and warm. If you are extremely sensitive to spicy food you can cut the chipotle chili powder in half, or even use regular chili powder in its place. But I can tell you we all love the flavor of this dish as is.
I have made this dish with puff pastry dough and crescent roll dough. I was able to stretch the puff pastry dough much more so I was of course able to add more chicken mixture to the braid. The second time I used the crescent roll dough. It was smaller so I reduce the chicken mixture from my original recipe. It worked out well both ways. With the crescent roll braid I was able to comfortably have 4 entree size portions.  

Chipotle Chicken Braid
adapted from a recipe on pilsbury.com
serves 4


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bell pepper, any color, sliced thin 
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small, or one large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar chunky salsa (I used a 16-ounce can of a specialty white corn and *black bean salsa, medium heat), drained
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 egg white, beaten


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press to 8×12 inches

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and sautee until the onions begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chicken and sprinkle the chili powder mixture over the contents of the skillet. Stir to combine and cook just until the chicken begins to turn slightly white on the edges (it will finish cooking in the oven). Remove from heat.

Spoon chicken mixture in 4-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. With a sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press edges to seal. Lightly brush with egg white.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. If the dough begin to get to dark to quickly cover with foil to stop the browning process.

*The first time I added black beans to the mix, but since I found the black bean salsa I omited them this time. You can drain a can of black beans and add them if you want a higher protein/fiber content

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Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp

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By now you know about my obsession errr love for soup. You also know that my dear boyfriend does not share this love with me. In fact it has gotten to the point that I don’t even mention I am making soup until the last minute. That way he can’t try to figure out something else to make for dinner! This little dilemma has led me to try to compromise a bit here and there. There either needs to be meat in the soup or I need to make something else on the side. 
Once I let this idea sink in (and stopped pouting because I wanted things to just go my way), I realized this wasn’t such a bad idea. I have been asked for more sandwich recipes, and soup and sandwiches is a nice casual dinner or lunch idea right? I mean I love going out and getting the soup and sandwich combos. So I started writing ideas and looking online and through my books/magazines for even more. Gumbo just popped into my head as a great place to start. I have been wanting to make it for one, and there is a ton of meat in it. I mean how could he argue with a meal that has chicken, sausage, and shrimp in it? Right, he can’t!

I found a recipe in Saveur (I love them) for a basic Gumbo, but I knew there were things I wanted to add. Mine might not be a “traditional” Gumbo, but it packed full of flavors with that little zing that we both love. I added shrimp and jalapeno, as well as some Franks Red Hot to boost the flavors. I already had andouille sausage and chicken thighs in the freezer so it was on!!

When Kevin came home from work the first thing he said when he walked through the door was “What smells so good?” YES….chalk one up for me!! Wow do I sound like a little kid or what? Oh well, I don’t care, I like winning hehehe!

Sorry for the awful pictures, this was taken right when we first moved and there were boxes everywhere and no place but the dimly lit kitchen to take the pic. 
Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp
adapted from a recipe in Saveur Magazine
½ cup canola oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz. andouille sausage, cut into ½” pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
1 cup flour
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne
1 28-ounce whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained and crushed by hand
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
10 oz. bag of frozen sliced okra
4 cups chicken stock + more stock if needed to thin soup (can use water)
Several dashes of hot sauce to taste (I used Franks Red Hot)
Cooked white rice, for serving



Heat ¼ cup oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, season chicken with salt and pepper, and add chicken to pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add sausage and bacon, and cook, stirring, until their fat renders and bacon is browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. 


Add remaining oil, and reduce heat to medium-low, stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until this mixture is reddish caramel, about 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, and pepper, jalapeno, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf, and cook for 3 minutes. Return chicken, sausage, and bacon to pot along with okra and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, okra is tender, and gumbo is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and shred meat, and stir meat back into gumbo. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, and add shrimp. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink through. Serve with white rice on the side. 

Serves 4 to 6

ENJOY!!!

White Wine Braised Chicken

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Last night was the first night that we have had the kids over for dinner since we moved. They have been getting settled into their new place and we have been getting settled into ours. It was nice to have a bit of family time so we could all relax and take a deep breath after all the craziness (moving sucks…just saying). So I really wanted to make a nice hearty home cooked meal for them. Plus I had gotten a phone call from my son saying, “Mom I really miss your food!”. Tasty dinner coming right up!!
I have been making sandwiches, and fast food knock offs all week. I decided I wanted a meal that was balanced, filling, and full of good stuff. I mean we know what kids eat when they are on their own right? Protein, veggies, and some nice crusty bread seamed like a wonderful choice. I really do miss cooking for the whole family. It is nice for Kevin and I to have our own space but I’m seriously going through the empty nest thing here!!

I made this with skin on bone in chicken thighs because, well I just love the flavor and juiciness of thighs. But you could do this just as easily with breasts if you prefer. I would use skin on bone in breast though if you want that nice golden brown crust on the meat. I wish I had browned mine just a tad bit longer.
This one of my meals that I call a “kitchen sink” meal. I threw a tons of stuff in the that was on hand. Beans, veggies, herbs, you name it. That is the beauty of a recipe like this. Once you  have the meat and braising liquid you can go crazy and make it your own! 
Everyone loved it and it just ended up being a nice tummy filling comfort food kind of dinner to share with my family! I hope you give it a try!!
White Wine Braised Chicken
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed clean of grit
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 19-ounce can of Cannelinni beans, drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears of corn)
  • 8-ounces frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, opptional


Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and, working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and wilted and absorbed most of the chicken fat. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine using a wooden spoon to scrape up and browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep it warm.

Add the beans and corn to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the corn kernels have softened. Add the peas, chives, and lemon juice and cook for an additional few minutes to heat up the peas. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

Ladle the broth and veggies into a bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs. Serve with crusty bread.

ENJOY!!


Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad for #laborday #sundaysupper

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Happy Labor Day everyone! I was trying to think of something different than my usual BBQ regulars. I knew we were grilling steaks and making a spinach salad but I wanted a pasta salad, because well, I love pasta. I decided to go to my Southern California roots do something with a Latin/Mexican flair. I was watching Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman and saw a pasta that she was working on and it gave me TONS of ideas. But you know that as a food blogger I can never leave anyone’s recipe alone, so off my little mind went with ingredients dancing in my head. I figured go big or go home, so I threw all of my favorites at this pasta, well not ALL of them, but most of them. Wow, who knew that my little thoughts would go so far?

I love it when my little mental foodie trips take me to a good place, and this of surely did! There is creaminess, spicyness, all of the things you would want from a great side dish. I know I have said we love things hot here, but trust me this is not too hot. You will love every bit of this pasta salad. I will bet money on it!! Kevin said that from now on if someone asks us to bring a dish to a BBQ this is the one we are bringing!!

Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad

1 pound curly pasta (rotini, cavatapi)
1/2 fat free condensed milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced ham
1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco (can sub feta) cheese
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook according to package directions. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, combine the evaporated milk, oil, Queso Fresco or feta, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, black beans, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix it into the salad. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.

ENJOY!!!

Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings byENOFYLZ
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!
We’d also love to feature your Cookout recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

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This was the main dish for Elitia’s birthday meal. If you saw the last post for the Lemon Pepper Rice you will know that it was her 21st birthday and I wanted to make her something special for dinner. I knew she liked seafood so when I saw these shrimp in the store I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I had seen a recipe in Saveur for a shrimp dish that had feta cheese in it. Feta cheese you ask? Yup, feta cheese. I know many people think seafood and cheese don’t go together but I am here to tell you yes they do! Of course I am a huge feta cheese lover. The salty, the creamy, all I can say is just yummmmm! 
When I brought out the ingredients for the meal I had a head over my shoulder. 
Kevin – Ummm what are you making?
Me – Dinner
Kevin – Haha I mean what are you making for dinner?
Me – Shrimp
Kevin – *glaring* I can see that, but what are you putting with it?
Me – Peppers, tomatoes, and some feta cheese
Kevin – Feta cheese?
Me – Ummm yes that is what I said
Kevin – Okaaaay 
Me – Your faith in me is staggering
I just love our little chats over meals don’t you? He was also wondering why I was leaving the shells on the shrimp. I explained that it adds more shrimp flavor to the dish. If you don’t mind peeling shrimp it is great to cook them with the shells on. But it is just too messy for this dish so tails on is fine. Also, don’t stress about the amount of time the shrimp cooks. Kevin kept asking me over and over “Are you sure they should cook this long?” and yes they do cook a long time, but they came out fantastic.
I reduced the amount of oil and feta cheese that the original recipe called for to try and lighten it up a bit. I also used reduced fat feta for the same reason. I feel I could have used more red pepper flakes because we like heat, but Elitia and Dylan both said they liked it the way it was and with the Lemon Pepper Rice this dish is a winner!
Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
adapted from Saveur Magazine
1 1/2 pound large shrimp, tails on
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 green onions, chopped
1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 ounces reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons milk
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions, bell pepper, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and feta cheese and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over Lemon Pepper Rice.
ENJOY!!

Cod with Grilled Ratatouille Pasta

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One of the families past favorites is Cod Ratatouille en Papillote. I was so happy to find a way that we all liked veggies we just don’t normally eat. Eggplant? Zucchini? Not everyday food for us in this house. I have been lucky enough to sneek them in a few dishes that everybody liked but this was a BAM in your face you are eating eggplant right now! So like I said, pleasantly shocked errr surprised that everyone fell in love with the dish. 
Now it is summertime and I am going through a grilling obsession. It is  bad, really bad, I want to gill everything!! It has gotten to the point that my dogs go to the other side of the yard when I am standing by the grill. They just aren’t going to take any chances! But my mind was not on how to grill my dogs eewwwww *shudder* but rather on this cod dish we had loved so much. How could I make that dish on the grill? I contemplated using tin foil but I decided against that since it really isn’t grilling so much as steaming something on the grill. 

I had just read a blog post from a friend of mine, Melissa at Chin Deep and she had just done Baba Ganoush using grilled eggplant. Yessssssss I will grill all of the veggies that were in the dish, grill the fish, and then put it all together. We have a plan working now!! I could just taste all of those wonderful flavors. Oops gotta run to the store! So I picked up a few more things to grill through the week. One of them being Melissa’s Baba Ganoush, and got home in record time! As I sit down to flip through my new Everyday Food magazine what do I see? Grilled Ratatouille Pasta! Wow here I thought I was being so original *sigh* oh well. But I did like the addition of the pasta to the game and they didn’t have fish with theirs so it is kind of a marriage of the two recipes now. I don’t really care, all I know is that it tasted very very good. There were 5 people eating and this dish got a thumbs up from all of them. How could I be any happier?
How pretty do these babies look? Is it bad when you get all giddy over fresh produce? Hhmmm maybe I need to get out of the kitchen more often.
With the grill on medium-high heat, and lightly greased, we tossed all the veggies on the grill. It takes our grill about 5 minutes or so per side but your grill times may vary so start checking after about 3 minutes or so.
See how yummy they start looking? I kept wanting to pick a tomato off and eat it but I knew I would burn myself!! But it was worth the wait for the finished dish. 
This really is an amazing dish. The fish, the veggies, the pasta? Mmmmm heaven!!
Cod with Grilled Ratatouille Pasta
4 6-ounce fish fillets
1/2 pound curly pasta
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into thick slices
1 orange bell pepper, halved, stemmed, and seeded
1 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into thick slices
1 small to medium red onion, halved
4 tomatoes, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup ( a generous handful) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, reserve a tablespoon or so for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water to boil, salt well and add the pasta, cook according to package instructions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the hot grill and place the vegetables on the grill. You may have to work in batches. Brush the veggies with oil and salt and pepper them. Cook on each side until browned and tender. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. 
Rough chop the veggies and add them to your cooked pasta along with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and the parsley and toss.
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and place the fillets on a clean oiled grill.  Allow to grill without moving until the fish becomes opaque about half way through. Carefully turn fish and finish cooking. 
To serve place a heaping pile of the pasta in a bowl and top with a fish fillet, sprinkle with parsley.
ENJOY!!
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Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon

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Roasting potatoes and veggies is one of my favorite ways to cook them, aside from grilling. The flavors gets concentrated and the outside gets crispy, just the thought of it makes my mouth water! I am so happy that I finally learned to love vegetables. I am sad it took me so long, I was missing out on so much! Of course if you throw a little bacon in there it doesn’t hurt either right? But like I say, everything in moderation so as long as you aren’t eating bacon with every meal (which I sooo could) you are doing fine. 
This night was one of those refrigerator clean out meals. Find a protein, find a side, and awaaaaay we gooooo! Those kinds of nights used to scare the bejeeezus out of me. I used to get frazzled “Oh no, no recipe? What the heck am I going to make? Aaaahhhhhh someone call Domino’s!!!” But now I embrace te challenge of coming up with something off the cuff. The other night I grabbed odds and ends out of the fridge that needed to be used up. I ended up making chicken in herbed rice pilaf with red peppers and peas and added a bit of leftover marscapone cheese at end. Who knew creamy rice pilaf would be so good? Plus WALA no leftovers!! I love it when nothing goes to waste!!

One thing I know I can never go wrong serving here is potatoes. When my father was alive he would be happy to just make a meal out of those. Whenever he wasn’t so sure about what was on the menu and if he would like it, he would ask
Dad – Are you making potatoes
Me – Yes Dad
Dad – Oh good, at least I know I will have something to eat
Me – Thanks for the vote of confidence Dad
Dad – Well hell a guinea pig needs to eat something right?
Me – Ya Dad, don’t you have a wheel to run in somewhere?
Dad – Yup you are mine, a total smart ass!
Me – Love you too Dad
I miss my Dad!!

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon
2 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Kosher salt,
Pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium high heat until it begins to crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Allow the bacon fat to cool a bit
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, red pepper, garlic, shallots, and bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the mixture once halfway through. 
Remove from the oven, top with chopped bacon and parsley.

Food Star Friday – Crab Stuffed Mushroom "Throwdown"

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My Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Paula Deen’s Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Happy Food Star Friday everyone! Today I am doing a little twist to my regular Food Star Friday post. I decided to have some fun and do a recipe “Throwdown”. I love Paula Deen, even if her food hasn’t been the healthiest in the past. I just love her sense of humor, love for her family, and basically her joy of life. I do have to admit though, another thing I love is her crab stuffed mushrooms!! I know, I know, not the healthiest thing in the world. But hey, like I say, all things in moderation. I don’t eat them everyday so if I have a few here and there (like once a year maybe) I don’t think it is that bad right? However, I decided that I wanted to try to make one of my favorites a little healthier so I can enjoy them a little more than once a year.

Like I explained in my posts for Manic Monday and my Crab Salad Sammies, we found ourselves pleasantly surprised by a gift of 4 very large and very fresh dungeness crab last week. I was so excited. As we were cleaning them I kept nibbling. They were so tender and sweet I almost wanted to just dig in and eat them plain, but I had known, almost from the minute the crab hit my kitchen, that I wanted crab salad sandwiches and stuffed mushrooms. Once I got down to the business of planning the recipes I realized that I was very torn. I knew I loved Paula Deen’s crab stuffed mushrooms but have been trying to make things a bit healthier. So that was when my son suggested a “throwdown” between the two recipes. What a great idea right? It was a way to really be able to compare the two recipes side by side and get honest opinions.
Everyone was in the kitchen as I combined the stuffing for each recipe, commenting and wondering how it would go. Once the mushrooms hit the oven we all adjourned outside to not only beat the heat of the kitchen, but to relax and enjoy a cold drink. One the timer went *DING* the relaxing stopped. Into the kitchen we all piled to take a peek of the little beauties as they came out of the oven. Everyone wanted to grab them right then and there but I chased them outside so I could get the platters set up and the crab salad sandwiches made. As soon as I got the food on the table outside (and took my photos) they dove in.
What was the verdict? Everyone of course loved the creaminess of Paula Deen’s, well they do have cream cheese in them, but I was surprised to hear them say they loved mine as well. Mine had more crab in it so that flavor came though. At the end it was a tie. They said that there would good things about both and they would want them both again *sigh* the whole point of the “throwdown”, to have a winner!
So I guess I will need you to check them out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
1 pound of very large mushrooms, stemmed and the ribs carefully scraped out to make room for the stuffing
4 tablespoons butter
5 green onions, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 pound crab meat, picked clean of shells
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (I used Old Bay)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop stems and set aside. Spray a shallow baking dish with butter-flavored spray.
Melt butter in skillet, add reserved chopped stems, green onions and red bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Combine cooked ingredients with bread crumbs, crab meat, seafood seasoning, salt, and pepper. Fill each mushroom with as much as possible. Top each mushroom with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until mushroom caps are tender and cheese is crispy.

ENJOY!!!