Tag Archives: dinner

Whole grain rotini with balsamic marinated chicken and asparagus

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This recipe is super simple, fairly healthy, and does not require a lot of ingredients. It’s rare to find a pasta dish that is both healthy and comforting and although portion control is always important, I didn’t feel too guilty going back for seconds (read: thirds). That’s a winning pasta dish in my opinion. Continue reading

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Easy Pasta with bacon, peas and lemon

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Last night was another “clean out everything in the fridge” night. I was away this weekend at a conference and haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week so when I got home on Sunday night I was truly at a loss as to what to make for dinner. I debated calling for Indian take out but my checking account is verging dangerously close to a $0 balance. All my bills happen to come out in the first few weeks of the month and so I always have to be a little more careful in the beginning of the month. So, even though every fiber in my being wanted to call for take out or delivery I decided to open my almost empty fridge and see what I could scrounge up for dinner. Continue reading

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turkey chili rice

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I couldn’t think of what else to call this recipe. It’s sort of a combination of turkey chili and fried rice. Or maybe it’s just a chili recipe that I added rice to. Whatever. It’s not a very creative name but the recipe itself did turn out yummy and it comes together really quick too.

It was a last minute dinner, as many of mine are, and I came up with this recipe as a way for me to clean out my fridge and pantry. I used ingredients I always have on hand like rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, onions, garlic and spices. These kinds of dinners don’t always turn out well but in this case, it did. It’s pretty healthy too. Except I served mine with a generous helping of cheddar cheese and a big handful of crunchy tortilla chips. I wound up eating the “turkey chili rice” like a dip, using the chips as my utensils. So, if you eat it that way it’s not that healthy. It’s pretty good on it’s own too so the chips and cheese are optional. Continue reading

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Easy steak & black bean quesadillas

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Mmm…Quesadillas. These quesadillas are my go to quick, easy and satisfying dinner. What’s not to love about a warm, crispy tortilla oozing with melted cheese and meat or vegetables? The awesome thing about quesadillas is that they are incredibly versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything as long as you start with a tortilla and cheese. You could leave out the cheese but why on earth would anyone want to do that? Plus its the glue that holds the quesadilla all together. So, scratch that. You cannot make a quesadilla without cheese BUT you can make them vegetarian or use chicken, shrimp, beef or any other kind of filling you prefer. Continue reading

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Eating light before turkey day with Asian flavored cod

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I started following weight watchers again about 2 weeks ago. I did it once before and lost about 20 pounds. Unfortunately, I’ve put all that weight back on in the last few years. I probably couldn’t have picked a worse time to start trying to lose weight. I mean Thanksgiving is two days away and there are often pre Thanksgiving events, like Friendsgiving, that are just as calorie heavy as turkey day itself. But there is always an excuse to NOT lose weight. In the summer there are barbecues and cookouts. In the winter, when it’s cold, it’s easy to load up on carbs and comfort foods like mac and cheese. Each season brings with it a number of holidays where food is involved. You have to learn how to navigate those holidays with moderation, balance, and eating well beforehand. This is one of the reasons why I love the Weight Watcher’s program so much. It’s not a “diet” in the traditional sense. It’s more of a lifestyle change. Continue reading

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Pasta with asparagus & peas

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I know I’ve been posting a lot of pasta recipes lately but here comes another one and this one doesn’t have anything to do with fall. In fact most of the flavors incorporate traditional springtime ingredients. But, I make no apologies! It’s delicious and quick and wonderful. It’s also a Matt approved meat-free meal.

Between the asparagus, peas and lemon this pasta is full of freshness and bright flavors. The weather has been a bit dreary here in New Jersey and this pasta was the perfect pick-me-up I needed. I happened to have 1/2 lb of penne to use up so this recipe makes a bit less than my usual pasta recipes do. I’m also trying to work on portion control especially when it comes to carbs. I’m always tempted to pile on the pasta and help myself to seconds (and thirds). Cooking less ensures that I will eat less. If you want to use a full pound of pasta, just double the recipe. Continue reading

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My version of zuppa toscana

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I don’t care what anyone says about Olive Garden. Their Zuppa Toscana soup is one of my favorite soups around. That and their breadsticks. So good! There are so many different versions of Zuppa Toscana out there and I’m sure they are all good but I decided to create my own based on the Olive Garden version I love so much. I have no idea what they put in theirs but I think my version comes pretty darn close and it’s incredibly simple. It’s also a one pot meal which makes cleanup a breeze. Continue reading

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The perfect fall pasta with butternut squash and kale

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Last night was the first night that really felt like winter to me. I was craving something comforting for dinner and pasta is the quintessential comfort food for me. This recipe combines many comforting flavors, especially for the fall and winter seasons. Butternut squash, Tuscan kale, and spicy sausage make up the backbone of this dish and the flavors go perfectly together.

What I love most about this dish is that the butternut squash actually becomes the sauce for the pasta. It’s pureed with chicken stock, mixed with some half and half and parmesan cheese and simmered until it becomes thick and creamy. I saw this idea on one of Rachael Ray’s shows and thought it was genious. I love butternut squash but I’ve never thought to turn it into a sauce for pasta. I bet you could also use canned pumpkin puree as a substitute if you didn’t have butternut squash on hand. This recipe has many different components and does require a number of steps and ingredients but it is really quite simple to follow and it’s so worth it! I’ve broken down the ingredients and recipe into two parts – making the squash sauce, and assembling the rest of the dish (the pasta, kale & sausage). Continue reading

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Dinner last night

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I really enjoyed my dinner last night. It was the first time I actually looked through my blog to see what I would make for dinner instead of going through a cook book or pinterest. Over the years I’ve started posting more and more original recipes and it was sort of exciting for me to look through and see all the posts I’ve written.

I usually decide what I’m going to make for dinner based on what I have available in my fridge and pantry. I happened to have some beef stew meat in the freezer and decided to make spicy chipotle beef. I didn’t have fresh cilantro so I had to omit that but other than that I followed my recipe. It was just as good as I remember it being except in the original version I used 2 whole cans of chipotle peppers which turned out to be too spicy, even for me. Always learning in the kitchen! Continue reading

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Spicy lemon chicken pasta

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Let’s talk about rotisserie chicken. It is delicious. It is a time saver. It is perfect for lazy cooks like me. One night last week I went to the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken. I got two meals out of it and I probably would have been able to even stretch that to three had I not given my dog a couple generous portions throughout the next few days. For the first meal we simply ate the chicken plain and I served a side salad along with it. Rotisserie chickens give you A LOT of meat so I had to come up with a way to use up the leftover chicken meat. I came up with this dish, spicy lemon chicken pasta. It’s so simple and really quite yummy. Continue reading

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