Monday, May 30, 2011

Spaghetti with Artichokes

{Meatless Monday}

I promised to post this about a month ago....   This has become an absolute favorite!  It is so simple and easy and is such a great spin on traditional spaghetti with red sauce.  It probably ends up on my menu about every other week.  I just love it because it is simple and cheap and really good!

This is another recipe from The Pioneer Woman...if you have never been to her blog, click on over!  She is amazingly talented and her pictures are gorgeous.  But make sure you have some free time, because you can get lost in all the splendor! ; )

Here's what you need for this super easy meal...

]2 Tablespoons olive oil 
2 Tablespoons butter 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
½ whole medium onion, diced
1 can Artichoke Hearts (14.5 Oz.) drained 
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 Oz.) 
1 cup heavy cream 
½ cups chicken broth (more as needed) 
½ teaspoons nutmeg 
Salt and Pepper, to taste 
1 pound Thin Spaghetti 
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated 
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Cook spaghetti as desired.  Drain and set aside.
Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.
Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top. Add chives. Toss lightly to combine.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Creamy Tortellini Soup

{Meatless Monday}

We really loved this soup!  It turned out a little too spicy for my younger kids because I couldn't find a white sauce mix in the store, so I grabbed a White Gravy mix that turned out to be very peppery.  AND without thinking, I still added the cayenne pepper.  Probably should leave that out next time!  ; )
I know that the title says Tortellini...but when I dug in my freezer, all I came up with was some frozen that's what I used! They are completely interchangeable in this recipe!

1  1.8-ounce envelope  white sauce mix   ( I used a 2.4 oz. of Gravy Mix)
6  cups  water 
2  14-ounce cans  vegetable broth 
2-3  cups  sliced fresh mushrooms 
1  cup  chopped onion 
6  cloves garlic, minced 
1  teaspoon  dried basil, crushed 
1/2  teaspoon  salt 
1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano, crushed 
1/8  teaspoon  cayenne pepper (If you use a Gravy mix, omit this because it gets a little spicy!)
2  7- to 8-ounce package dried cheese tortellini  ( I used two bags frozen Ravioli--that's all I had!)
1  12-ounce can  evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
6  cups  fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
 Note:  I did end up adding some flour and water mix to thicken it up a little!

Regular Stove-top Instructions:

Mix sauce/gravy mix with water and broth using a whisk.  Add in mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper, if desired.
Bring to boil.  Reduce heat slightly and continue boiling for 20 minutes, or until onions are tender.  Add dry or frozen tortellini.  Cook at a low-med. boil for 5-10 more minutes until those are cooked.  (The frozen ones generally float on the surface when they are done.)
Reduce heat to low and stir in evaporated milk, milk, and fresh spinach.  Cook just a few minutes more.  Then serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese.  Makes 8-10 servings.

We had it with Quick Oatmeal Bread and it was a delicious combination!

Crock pot instructions:

Place dry white sauce mix (or gravy mix) in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Gradually add the water to the white sauce mix, stirring until smooth. Stir in broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper(?).
 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
 Stir in dried or frozen tortellini. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour more or high-heat setting for 45 minutes more.
Stir in evaporated milk, milk, and fresh spinach. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8-10 servings.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Southern-Style Veggie Sliders

{Meatless Monday}

I love it when I find a recipe that is a total KEEPER!!  These look kind of strange at first glance!  I had the hardest time finding canned Black Eyed Peas at Walmart...and I think I've maybe used one recipe in my life that called for them.

This recipe was the 2nd place winner in BH&G for Veggie burgers.  It was so good, I can't wait to try the 1st place winner: Greek Spinach Veggie Burgers.  Mmmm.  Anything with feta is my friend!

My family loved these.  EVERYONE ate them and wanted more!  To actually get through dinner without any complaints is such a miracle...I might make these on a weekly basis!  I served them on my own homemade rolls that I had toasted in the I think that made them extra yummy!

The slightly spicy mayonnaise adds a yummy twist...but it wasn't even too hot for my little ones.

So if you've never tried a veggie really should try this one!!  BUT,  you have to know that they in NO way taste like a burger in flavor or texture.  But they are super yummy in their own right.  My husband liked them so much he suggested that I make up a huge batch, shape them into patties and then freeze them for him...instead of buying those expensive Boca burgers.  I think when I go to Walmart today, I will snag a few cans of Black Eyed Peas and try it out!!

So, here's what you need: 
2  15- to 16-oz. cans  black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 
1    egg, lightly beaten 
1/2  cup  finely chopped red sweet pepper 
1/4  cup  fine dry bread crumbs 
1/4  cup  finely chopped celery
3    green onions, finely chopped 
1/2  tsp.  garlic salt 
2  Tbsp.  olive oil 
1/2  cup  mayonnaise 
1  tsp.  Cajun seasoning ****See recipe below****
12-16   soft dinner rolls, split and toasted
    Lettuce leaves

  In large bowl mash black-eyed peas with a potato masher.

Add egg, sweet pepper, bread crumbs, celery, green onions, and garlic salt; mix well.

Shape bean mixture into twelve to sixteen  1/2-inch-thick patties about 3 inches in diameter. (One tip I have read is to refrigerate these for 30-60 minutes...she said it helped them not fall apart as much when you cook them.)

   In large skillet heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add half of the patties to the hot oil. Cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through, turning once. (I did mine all at once in my HUGE skillet.) Remove and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.  (I cooked them until they were well browned and a little crispy on each side...just to give them a little more "bite".)

   In small bowl stir together mayonnaise and Cajun seasoning.

Spread cut side of each roll with the mayonnaise mixture. Place a burger on bottom half of each roll; top with lettuce and add roll top. Makes 12-16 sliders (6 servings).

***Cajun Seasoning Recipe***
I am not about to go to the store and spend $5 on some special mix of spices, so I simply googled Cajun seasoning and then mixed up some of my own.  Here is a link if you want to make a larger portion of it to keep in your cupboard:  Cajun Seasoning

I just basically made a small batch of's what I used:
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme (I just chopped up my regular thyme)
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano

Mix all up in a bowl.  This made enough for at least 2 or 3 recipes of the burgers.

I hope you will be adventurous and try these!!  They really are yummy and easy to put together.  I love having a new recipe that is so different from our normal fare.  We eat a lot of pasta...and lots of the new recipes I try are pastas, so I am happy to add a yummy veggie burger into the mix!