Tag Archives: pasta

3G Baked Penne – Grown Up Gourmet & Gluten Free


I made a lasagna the other day and had some left over Ricotta and left over roasted cherry tomatoes  so I whipped this version of a baked penne – for grown ups.  I made this one using a gluten – free corn pasta, but your favorite gluten free, or regular pasta works too.

If you have time – roast the cherry tomatoes with a bulb of garlic (slice top off) – drizzle EVOO over all of it and bake at 400 for 20-25 min.  Use all of tomatoes and juice and 1-3 cloves of garlic out of the bulb (squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin).  Heat some Honey – Oat  Gluten Free Bread for dinner and use the roasted garlic instead of butter.  To shorten the prep time, use minced garlic.

Gourmet Baked Penne

Mix

4 cups cooked penne

with:

ricotta spinach basil oregano garlic mixed with penneBaked Gourmet Gluten Free Pennesingle serving 3G Baked Penne2 cups ricotta cheese

1 egg (slightly beaten)

3 dashes Franks Red Hot

1/2 cup steamed and drained spinach

1/2 c left over roasted cherry tomatoes with and juice from roasting (I had a about 5 more raw ones that I thew in whole but tried to keep them nearer the top so the tomatoes roast and burst into the casserole)

salt to taste

1 tsp minced garlic (or roasted garlic – see above)

1/8 tsP black pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp basil

1/8 c shredded mozzarella

2 TB parmesan cheese

Once blended pour into a greased casserole dish, top with

plus 1/8 – 1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Raise heat to 400 and uncover for last 7 min.

Serve & enJoy.  Want to see more posts like this? Like this post and comment to let me know! Follow me on Twitter, Pinterst & Facebook too!

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part 1: Quick & Budget Friendly Pork Schnitzel & Pasta


Recently, my time has been rushed and we’ve been in need of some quick & easy recipes.  Same with everyone right?  Well I am tired of arguing that making food your self is more expensive then grabbing a pizza – so in this series of blog posts I am out to prove it!

Today I was at the store and Pork Schnitzel strips were on sale,  so I grabbed them.  I had some gluten free multi-grain bread crumbs and some gluten free pasta at home as well and so this meal was born! Not only that but it was cheap too! Fed 4 people (2 younger kids, 2 adults) for under $11 (that’s about $2.65 a serving….. try getting take out for that!

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)                 $4.71
  • GF Bread Crumbs                      $1.00
  •  1 egg                                           $0.20
  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti             $1.50
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered    $0.50
  • 1 small head broccoli                   $1.00
  • EVOO (3 TB)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste                     $1.70
  •                                            total       $10.61

Time from prep to plating,  about 15 mins …..

Pork Schnitzel & Pasta:

  • Porkporkschnitzel and pasta

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)
  • GF Bread Crumbs  (1/4-1/2 cup)
  •  1 egg

Pasta

  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small head broccoli-washed & cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 TB EVOO
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed.  While pasta is cooking, quarter the tomatoes, and chop broccoli.  In one bowl, beat egg, then dip the pork in the egg and dredge thru the breadcrumbs.  If you have enough bread crumbs, let it sit for a couple minutes then repeat to get a nice coating.  Spray skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet on med -high.  When there is 5 minutes left on the pasta, place the pork on the hot pan.  Cook for about 3 min per side. When pasta is done, drain & rinse, add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta and toss, serve along side the schnitzel. enJoy.

 

 

 

 

 

No Noodles about it – this Chicken & Noodle Casserole is Gluten Free


I love casseroles, I love comfort food, I don’t love gluten (or rather it doesn’t love me). Here’s my gluten free cheesy chicken & noodle casserole recipe.  I have to admit that I started off making this as a tuna casserole – which I love but the rest of my family does not  – I was on my own for supper so I thought I would take advantage of it.  Unfortunately, once I started boiling the noodles and making the white sauce, I realized I had no tuna – so to fridge for the remaining roast chicken left overs it was!  It turned out awesome and as a bonus – I got to clear the fridge of misc leftovers too!

chicken and noddle casserole individual serving

Cheesy, Chicken & Noodle Casserole

  •   1/2 bag of Gluten Free (Rice) Noodles (I used mini shells)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced orange peppers
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chicken (leftovers work great!)

chicken and noddle casserole cooked

  •   about 2 cup white sauce (recipe below) * you can also use a can of undiluted cream of chicken soup – but read the ingredients if you are looking for gluten free – there is wheat in most of them.
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 tomato – chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • ** any other veggie you want to throw in! (use up leftovers here too! Broccoli  is great)
  • 1/4 cup GF bread crumbs (I use a multi-grain that I get from The Gluten Free Cookery, (available at select gourmet and butcher shops)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

White Sauce

  • 2-3TB margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose Gluten Free Flour (mine is a rice blend)
  • 1c- 1.5c milk
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper (to taste)
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 – 1 1/5 tsp Dijon Mustard (I go heavy on the Dijon because I really like it) or use 1 tsp dry mustard

White Sauce:  Heat saucepan over med high heat, melt butter/margarine, add flour and stir to form “paste” , add Dijon mustard, add pepper & salt, add milk slowly a little at a time stirring constantly until you get a thickened mixture.   You can add the shredded cheddar here – and keep stirring but I like to add the cheddar to the mixture after – this is the same way you’d made a cheese sauce for broccoli or scalloped potatoes…..

Casserole:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees C. Cook pasta according to instructions, when done, drain & rinse with cold water (this stops them from cooking any more and getting mushy and gross).  While pasta is cooking, place peppers and onions in a bowl covered in plastic wrap and microwave for 2 min (or saute).  Assemble all ingredients except bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese, in a bowl, mix.  Add noodles & white sauce.  Mix, pour into a greased casserole dish top with bread crumbs, then mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered  for 20 minutes (10-15 min longer if you have assembled this ahead of time and everything has cooled down – you want it to be hot (a min of 74 degree C).   enJoy.

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In the Stoup-Italian-style Chicken Meatball Stoup that is!


I won’t lie – stoup isn’t my expression I stole it from Rachael Ray – it’s a soup that eats like a stew! Not only that – but its perfect for a rainy day like today.  This is a recipe – adapted from Rachael Ray’s Just In Time Cookbook, (Double Dumpling Chicken Stoup) I just tweaked it a bit for our family and – well what we had in the fridge at the time!  I consider this one kid friendly – the 4 and 6 year old both liked it – and my 40 year old kid (AKA Dad) wasn’t even finished his second helping when he declared “This is definitely a keeper! ”  I reheated some for lunch and he took some for work and it will reheat beautifully.

Italian Chicken Meatball Stoup (Joy style)

  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 1-2 broccoli stalk – peeled, half chopped into small pieces, the other shredded with a grater (keep the florets for another dinner)
  • 4 medium to large carrots – peeled, trimmed and shredded using a grater
  • 1 small – med zucchini – peel and chopped or shredded
  • 1 red onion – peeled and grated or chopped finely
  • 2 dried bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups veggie stock (I use homemade stocks with no salt added so adjust seasoning accordingly if you are using store-bought stock)
  • 1LB extra lean ground chicken
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs (I use ones that contain a bit of Romano cheese as well as seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup grated (fresh is best) baby Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package (one that feeds 2-4) fresh gnocchi (potato stuffed pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen peas – thawed
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot (large saucepan) over med-high heat.  Add oil to hot pan, allow to heat for a couple of minutes.  Add onions, broccoli and zucchini and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the stocks and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the ground chicken, garlic, nutmeg, bread crumbs and beaten egg and some black pepper and Parmesan cheese (can also add a bit of salt 1/8-1/4 tsp if desired).  Combine with your hands until thoroughly mixed. Form into tiny meatballs – it will make a lot of meatballs!! – about the size of shelled peanut or walnut.  Add to stoup.  Cook for about 4 minutes (simmering in a slow boil).  Add gnocchi to pot and cook (boil) for another 5 minutes .  Add thawed peas. Turn the heat off and allow to stand in pot for 5 minutes before serving.  We had this garnished with parsley and assorted buns (pumpernickel was my fave). enJOY.

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Rollover, and over, and over again! Turkey


If you have been reading my posts – you know I like helping to make meal times simpler – now here is another rollover meal.  The great thing about this is that I actually made 3 meals out of this one.  Utility turkeys were on sale the other day so I grabbed one.  Now, utility turkeys are not exactly the best turkey around but it worked for these meals just fine!  I bought one that was 10.5LB – and made 3 meals a lunch and turkey stock out of it.  With side dishes it ended up being $7 per supper (to feed 2 adults 2 little kids) … budget friendly – YES!

Meal 1 – Classic Roasted Turkey

I tried something a little different with the classic roasted turkey this time, our kids don’t like stuffing (dressing) so I just rinsed the cavity and poured the juice of a lemon in, and rubbed with a little salt, then added some broccoli stems , carrots and onion in for flavour.  I added about 3 cups of water to the pan and roasted the turkey breast side down (I’d heard of this but had never tried it) on the premise that the birds juices would keep the breast nice and moist (it did).  I also had a 1/2 LB of bacon so I took some slices and laid them on the top of the bird as it cooked (about 1/2 way thru) not sure it added to the flavour since I was cooking it breast side down – but who doesn’t like the smell of bacon cooking?? Mixed with the smell of the turkey roasting – well suffice to say we were all pretty hungry when it came to supper time!

We served this with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli and salad.

Pssssst – to make really yummy gravy – when you remove the neck of the bird previous to cooking – throw it into a small sauce pan with a carrot and onion & spices and let it simmer while the turkey cooks.  When the turkey is resting strain everything out of the stock and add it to the turkey drippings before you thicken with milk, cornstarch or flour.


Turkey Stock

Use your left over veggies from inside the bird and the carcass as well as a bay leaf, thyme and onions to a slow cooker fill with water, place lid on and cook on low overnight.  After it is cooked, I cool it for a few hours in the fridge, strain the fat off the top and freeze. I like to freeze a few small snack bags of stock (they hold about 1 cup) for easy use, as well as a large freezer bag of 4 cups for soups later!

Meal 2  – Creamy Stuffed Shells with Turkey

OK, before you read these ingredients – I morphed this recipe from one I found online.  While I think the “gravy” portion of this is kinda weird and couldn’t get my mind around it – I tried it anyway and it was good!  Next time however I think I would add lemon juice to the gravy and a little lemon rind to the filling.
Another variation I would try is add dill to the filling and lemon to the gravy or substitute out the gravy for a hollandaise or white sauce.

1/2 box (or about 16 jumbo pasta shells) – you can substitute cannelloni shells
4 oz cream cheese (softened) – I used plain but you could change to herb
3/4 c shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 c mashed potato (left over from night before)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 c left over turkey
1 1/2 c left over gravy
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the shells according to package directions.  Chop up turkey into small chunks (or you can put it through a food processor to grind it up if you don’t want to use your hand to mix it), add mashed potatoes and mix together until well mixed.  Put this mixture into mixer bowl, add spices (lemon rind if using),  cream cheese and 1/4 c of mozzarella. Add salt and pepper if desired.  Mix on medium for a few minutes until smooth.

Put about 1/2 the gravy into the bottom of a (sprayed with cooking spray or EVOO) lasagna type glass or baking pan.  Fill cooked shells with filling. I use a rice paddle or for large quantities use a pastry/icing bag. place seem side up in pan onto top of gravy.  Top with gravy (I found I have to heat the gravy to have it spread correctly) then top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered with tinfoil for 45 min then uncover and bake for another 10 min or until top is beginning to brown.   Serve with a salad and veggie.  EnJOY

Meal 3 – Hot Turkey Sandwich or Turkey Sandwich

After night 1 – We actually freeze  a dish made up of turkey slices, left over  stuffing (if it was made) and mashed (if there is any) and a side of gravy, so we can easily pull it out to make turkey sandwiches (Hot for Mom and Dad and toasted for the kids) for a no fuss classic comfort food on a busy night!

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Its a New Year – 5 steps towards accomplishing your goals & Clean Out the Fridge Primavera.


I don’t make resolutions.

That’s right I said it – I don’t make resolutions.

Resolutions revolving around New Years are for the most part – empty – made to in an effort to appease the masses – some thing done to say you have.  I mean really – how many New Years resolutions have you made and kept – for longer than a week or past the 1st week of February? Look at any gym 7 weeks into the year.  Where as the first week in January you had to wrestle the treadmill from the other 500 people, now you could bowl in in between the machines.
Long ago I gave up on the typical New Years resolutions. Any “resolution” I have made and kept have always been made as a promise to myself – whether that be to lose weight (who hasn’t made that one before?) – quit smoking (gasp – yes I’m an ex ex ex – smoker – actually have been and ex smoker now for longer than I was a smoker) or whatever else was made because I was sick and tired of doing whatever I was resolving to quit and funnily enough – never at New Years.    Instead of a resolution, I think of it as a promise – a promise to myself – samatics you might think – but to be fair I am far more likely to give up on a resolution than I am to break a promise.  If its a promise to myself – who better to avoid disappointing.   This year to further cement my promise and to help you cement yours – I’m sharing with you my tips on how to keep your “resolutions”.

 1.  Be real.  If you really want something to stick be realistic of your abilities.  If you resolve to win a marathon and you are not a runner – Break it into smaller steps – promise to yourself that you will run – a little each day and work towards a marathon.  Maybe winning the marathon can be next years promise.

2. Plan.  If you want it to happen – you need a plan surrounding the how to make it happen. Period.

3.  Confidence.  Make it attainable by including smaller goals to build your confidence.

4.  Write it down – write down your promise. Then write down your plan.  Write down your smaller goals – if you are a visual person like me – I cross off each smaller goal as I accomplish it – the more things I can cross off – the better I feel about myself and the more likely I am to keep moving in the right direction.  Another fantastic visual tool is a vision board.  Get out your old magazine and cut out words and pictures that represent what accomplishing that goal means to you. Paste them on a bulletin board or Bristol board. Put it somewhere you see it and take a minute to reflect on it when you are feel down – then revisit your list of things you have already done to accomplish it.

5.  Forgive.  Forgive yourself – if you miss a small goal, take a step backwards, stall out at some point, relapse – whatever – realize you are human and not a machine.  Life happens.  Forgive your self and start again.

6.  Timelines.  Give your self a timeline and check in with yourself – are you on target?  Better yet – do you have a buddy working towards an alike goal or even an unlike goal – check in with one another and encourage each other to keep going.

If you follow these steps – whether you want to lose weight, get healthy, give up junk food, quit smoking, run a marathon, or fly to the moon, I promise you will have more success than trying on your own.

And now my easy recipe of the week.

Clean Out the Fridge Primavera

1/2 box penne (or whatever you are cleaning up)
2  sweet potato  fingerlings
1/4 head broccoli
1/2 c frozen peas
1 cooked chicken breast
chicken stock
basil
white wine
black pepper & garlic & onion
EVOO

The ingredients in this change – depending on what I have left over in the fridge and need to get rid of – carrots, celery, green beans, spinach or whatever else you have also works!

Cook penne according to instructions.  While pasta is cooking, in another pan heat EVOO.  Add garlic, and thinly sliced onion.  While those are sauteing for a few minutes, peel and thinly slice sweet potato, (carrots), chop broccoli and other vegetables (chopped chicken if using).  Add to garlic mixture.  Add basil -(I like a lot) – a couple handfuls of fresh chopped or about 5 TB of dried. Add black pepper.  Add chicken stock (or vegetable stock), add white wine.  Simmer until pasta is finished.  Drain pasta add to vegetables, turn heat down and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until liquid reduces.  Serve topped with fresh parmesan.

From my kitchen to yours – happy & healthy eating!

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Top 3 Easy less than 6 ingredient recipes – Cajun Shrimp Pie (sorta), Penne and Cranberry Apple Pork Chops Recipes!


Here is my quick – using up the leftovers in the fridge recipes.  These are great for that busy season – and to use up any leftovers.

Now I do have to point out that the Cajun Shrimp Pie was originally a recipe my Mom made for us when were kids  and she always called it Cajun Shrimp Pie – why I’m not sure.  Now that I am older and cook I look at the ingredients and other than the thyme … and the shrimp. In any case, I (of course) switched it up a bit, but none the less its great for left over rice.

The Penne Primavera (ish) recipe is an easy way to use up a few left over veggies and lemons.

The Pork Chops – well great to use up that one last apple, and the frozen cranberries in the fridge.

Here we go!  Another culinary mission is a foot!

Cajun Shrimp Pie

I apologize – I didn’t actually take a picture until it was in the oven, and there are a couple more than 6 ingredients in this one but still easy!

Ingredients
Crust
3 cups (a little more or less is fine) cooked rice
2 eggs – beaten
1 TB butter melted

Filling:
1 Cup uncooked med shrimp + 1/4 c salted water (my mom always used 1 small tin of salad shrimp & liquid but we prefer “real” shrimp 🙂
1 small onion – chopped finely
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas

2 TB cornstarch mixed with 4 TB water

1/4 tsp Thyme

Optional 4 slices processed cheese

Optional – hot sauce – we use Bayou Butt Burner Hot Sauce (2-3 glubs of it)

In a bowl, mix cooked rice, beaten eggs and butter together and press into a sprayed pie plate to form a “crust”

In a saucepan saute onions, add shrimp (if using uncooked), when onions are softened and shrimp is cooked add milk, and bring to a slow simmer, reduce heat, add cornstarch mixture, and thicken, add peas and thyme and salted water, allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Pour into rice crust.  Top with slices of processed cheese (you can try brick cheese, but processed works nicely :))  Bake at 375 for about 25-35 minutes(until slightly browned) and cheese is bubbling.

Prep Time 5 minutes, baking time about a 1/2 hr.   Leftovers make great lunches!  You could also make this into a “seafood pie” by adding crabmeat and scallops to the shrimp mixture.  Play with it – enJOY.   Serves with a salad.

Easy Cranberry – Apple Pork Chops

  Ingredients:

4-5 Boneless Pork Chops (small)
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1 apple – peeled, cored sliced
1 c apple juice (or cider)
1/3 c  cranberry juice

In a sauce pan, on a med-high heat a little oil or spray with non-stick spray.
Add chops – and brown – don’t worry about cooking them through.  Once they are browned reduce heat to low-med and add juices, and rest of ingredients.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and cook for an additional  minutes or until liquid reduces a little.  Serve with a baked potato, salad and roasted demonica squash.

Hint the liquid is awesome over the roasted squash.  EnJOY!

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 15-20 min

Primavera-ish – Clearing out the Crisper Penne

Boil 1/2 or 3/4 box of penne according to directions.
In the meatime:

Heat a saucepan to med- high, add whatever left over veggies (we had some chicken so I threw that in too) you have – we had 2 small fingerling sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced into long slices), broccoli, chicken breast, onion or whatever you have (green beans, carrots, parsnips, asparagus etc) Add the juice of 2-3 lemons, and the zest of 1 lemon, add about 1 c of chicken stock (or veggie stock – I happened to have chicken stock), a ton of basil (1/4 c of dried).  Saute/simmer until veggies are cooked, add pasta and simmer for a few more minutes. Add peas.  Serve & enJOY

Prep Time – 5 minutes  Cooking time: 20 min.

Hope you enJOYed (ok ok I will give the JOY thing a rest 🙂  ) these simple and healthy (well except for the process cheese business) ready to eat in no time meals!  Don’t forget to like this post & leave a comment!

Tried any of my recipes?  I want to know how it turned out leave me a comment!

From my kitchen to yours, Healthy & Happy Eating!

Joy