Summer Poppy Seed Salad 

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We decided to change it up and make something besides burgers and hot dogs this year. Instead I made two big pans of lasagna. I have made many different kinds of lasagna before on the blog, but these were pretty basic like this. I made one with ricotta and mozzarella and one with just mozzarella. They both turned out really great!

This afternoon, I was scouring out the scene in my fridge and pantry to see what I could make for dinner. Plenty of leftover lasagna, so that is the main course! But I did spy a bunch of veggies that looked like they were on their last leg, so I decided to make this beautiful summer salad. I found this poppy seed dressing a while back at Fresh Market, and it is my new favorite. img_8456

So I took half a head of ice burg lettuce, 1 small head of purple cabbage, one cucumber (peeled and chopped), 1 small tomato, 1 yellow squash (thinly cut on a mandolin), and a handful of sliced black olives

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I mixed it with about half the bottle of dressing until all the veggies were coated. I also added a touch of salt and pepper.  It tastes super yummy and fresh, and the squash also gives it a nice crunch! I am going to let it hang out in the fridge for a bit, and add some fresh avocado on top! These are my favorite kind of recipes; ones that you make up on the fly and use up leftovers before they go bad!

*****I spy some bananas that turn in to bread soon. I also found some blueberries, so I might come up with a new concoction! See ya real soon!

What can I do with this?

I had leftover mozzarella sticks, and I needed to use them before they went bad. I don’t like food waste. I recently almost cried when my green olives had mold growing on them. I did cry when the last of my cherries were all rotten. When the last 2 of my English muffins had mold, I thought that maybe it was the mold that was out to get me. Don’t even get me started on that rotten tomato. So when I remembered about these guys, I was determined to use them before salmonella took over my fridge.

Introducing the cheese stick quesadilla. It tastes like you think, and you are welcome. You could either dip it in left over pizza sauce or sour cream. I tried both and they pass the test.

All 3 judges gave it a perfect 10. In all 3 judges, I mean it is a girl night and I could never pass this off on my husband without meat.

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Evening all! So I made this dish for dinner tonight (just me) along with some smoked sausage, peas, and Alfredo pasta for the rest of the family. It was enough to feed four, so I have leftovers for myself and 2 coworkers.  I also ate some sausage. It was super yummy! img_6011

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Ingredients

1/2 pound spaghetti (or whatever pasta you have)
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of asparagus, cut in small pieces- snap the bigger ends off and disregard
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper- add just more than you think
2 tablespoons heavy cream
However much Parmesan you want

Directions

Cook your pasta (or use leftovers)
In a skillet heated with 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil, cook down all your seasoned veggies for a good 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes cover you skillet to burst your tomatoes. Add in your pasta with the rest of the butter and oil. Mix well. Add in your cream and cheese. Combine well. Vegetarian’s delight! Make vegan by disregarding the butter and cream. Add sausage, chicken, or shrimp for a protein packed meaty meal. The possibilities are endless!

Veggie Cauliflower Rice

Hello again! So I found a head of cauliflower that I totally forgot about in the vegetable drawer. I decided to try something crazy and make it in to rice. I have seen lots of these recipes floating around. Many call for a bag of riced cauliflower. Well, that seems a bit strange to buy when you already have a head of cauliflower! It had a few brown spots on it, which is still totally safe to eat, so I just cut it up in to chucks and put it in the food processor. 055

Then I added a few more veggies…056

I added these veggies to a bit of olive oil with a generous portion of salt and pepper. Then I cooked them down a bit for about 6 minutes. 057

Then I added the cauliflower and snap peas and cooked for about 10 more minutes all together. I added a bit of teriyaki, but I also think if I had it, I would have added some sesame oil.

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Such an easy and healthy dish!

Pantry Raid- Sausage and Fennel Pasta with Arugula

Hey guys! I hope everyone is well. I didn’t really get a chance to blog this weekend. It was pretty busy. Becca had a cheer competition and her team won first place!

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Sunday we went to see Zootopia. It was a great movie! I highly recommend it.

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I didn’t add a meal plan this week, because I have 2 meals from Blue Apron and some random ingredients leftover from last week that need to be used up. Blue Apron from this week was Beef Empanadas. They were pretty delicious. We even have another serving that I froze for an upcoming meal. 028.JPG

Tomorrow I am making their Chicken Souvlaki. It looks super tasty. I also made another frittata kind of like this one, but with mozzarella and  prosciutto instead. TH my college friend is coming over for Chinese. Friday we are going to start Becca’s birthday celebration weekend. Medieval Times (first time going) on Friday,  birthday slumber party on Sat., and birthday dinner with grandparents on Sunday.

Tonight, I made a sausage and fennel pasta with arugula. This is proof that as long as you have a few key ingredients in your pantry and fridge, you can always have a yummy meal. Here is how it went down.

 

Ingredients

I box pasta- I used mini-farfalle (tiny bow-ties)
1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 pound ground mild Italian Sausage
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
2 heaping spoons Marscapone (or cream cheese)
2 handfuls of arugula
Parmesan Cheese- as much as you like \
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil…
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook your fennel down in about 3 tablespoons olive oil (with a good pinch of salt and pepper), about 5 minutes. Add your sausage and brown.

Boil your SALTED water. Add pasta and cook until al dente (has a bite to it, not mushy). Remember to reserve a mug full of starchy cooking water.

Meanwhile, add the garlic and tomato paste. Incorporate and cook about 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and soup. Mix well.

Add in the Marscapone. Mix well.

Combine in the arugula and add in the pasta. Mix well and top with Parmesan. Add some starch cooking water if needed.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to combine at the end.

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Pantry Raid- Homemade Hamburger Helper

Finally Friday!!!! So I mentioned in the last post that I was basically going to do a pantry raid to figure out what to make with my ground beef. That is what I did tonight! I basically made a homemade hamburger helper. There were some onions, which Becca picked out, but Katie declared them delicious and yummy.  Here is how I made it…

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 container mushrooms, sliced or chopped
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 container of reduced salt beef broth
1 small can or tomato soup
1/2 small container of heavy cream
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 box of Rotini pasta
1 mug pasta water

Directions

Boil pasta water.
Meanwhile, brown your beef, onions, and mushrooms. Do not drain.
Add your flour. Stir well, then add your beef broth and tomato soup. Stir well until it becomes thick.
When your pasta is aldente (chewy), add it to the sauce plus a cup full of pasta water, and the heavy cream.
Mix well until all incorporated.
Take off heat, mix well, and let sit for 5ish minutes and stir. This should be a perfect Hamburger Helper consistency.

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Leftover Loving- Veggie Pasta Salad

Evening guys! We all finally got home about 8:30 tonight. The girls both had cheer practice, but in different places, so it was a bit crazy. We made it work, but we got home late.

We usually give the girls a light dinner  about an hour before practice; sandwich, quesadilla, eggs and toast, etc. Since this is the first week of school, they are extra hungry.  So I let  them have a snack when they come home from practice.

After that they get ready for bed. Hopefully any homework that needs to be done is done. I’m really hoping that they get their homework done in their after school program. I will definitely help with whatever they need, but there is only so much time.

So tonight I made this concoction. All I did was take leftover pasta and mix it with leftover veggies ( spinach, orange pepper, and carrots), black olives, chopped bacon, and a tiny bit of Caesar dressing that was at the end of the bottle. So easy! You could totally add whatever veggies, protein, or dressing that you have leftover.
Add in your favorite cheese and veggie dressing for a vegetarian option.

Leave out the meat and use balsamic vinegar for a vegan pasta. So many endless options!

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