Tagged: mozzarella

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It pains me to admit that I so rarely fiddle around with new recipes in the kitchen. When you’ve got a handful of quick recipes that make everyone happy it’s very easy to fall into a routine of just making the same things over and over again. I was feeling creative last night and with only six ingredients – ingredients that I always have on hand, but have never combined this way – I made a fabulous, healthy, and gorgeous dinner in 30 minutes. Seriously.

Pesto Pepper 2

Now I’m not going to lie to you. I have never had “traditional” stuffed peppers. I love peppers, don’t get me wrong, but I just never found the concept of mushy peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice all that appealing. Sounds pretty bland if you ask me.  This recipe is far from bland and packed with flavor! I also don’t cook the peppers to mush – I like them to have a little texture left to them. But if you like your stuffed peppers that way …

 Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced it in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  •  2 tablespoons of good quality, store bought pesto (if you have homemade, even better!)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peppers, open side up,  and place in the oven. Let cook for about 10 ten minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, cook the chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet sprayed with a little nonstick spray over medium high heat until cooked through – about 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa and pesto to the pan. Stir well to combine.

Remove the peppers from the oven and carefully spoon the chicken and quinoa mixture into each pepper cavity. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup the mozzarella. Return to the oven and let cook ten minutes more until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Let cool about 5 minutes before serving!

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

 

 

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

 

 

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

Pesto Flatbread Pizza

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s imperative to inform you that if my taste-buds could express emotions,  right now, they would be in ecstasy! They would be crying tears of joy while simultaneously doing one-handed-back-hand-springs.

I’m afraid, however, that my taste-buds are incapable of such feats. (I know. It’s sad.) Your taste-buds will have the same emotional experience if you make this evenings’ recipe for yourself. Who knows. Maybe you’ll have more luck with the one-handed-back-hand-springs.

These flatbread pizzas are INSANELY versatile! I made a shrimp version a few of us had and chicken for the rest. You could easily leave off the meat all together and load up on the veggies. I put spinach on mine. Tomatoes, peppers, and sauteed mushrooms would all be divine on this pizza,too!

The combination of succulent shrimp with creamy ricotta, gooey mozzarella and the sharp bite of pesto is quite an amazing experience. The recipe I’m sharing is enough to feed five people two pizzas each. Do yourself (and your taste-buds) a favor and make these tonight. 🙂

Pesto Flatbread Pizza

  • 10 flatbreads (I used onion flavored, they were tasty)
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar store bought pesto
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes more. (Shrimp will transform from their original translucent gray color to a lovely opaque pink.)
Add the wine and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of pesto onto each flatbread. Top with small dollops of ricotta cheese and baby spinach. Divide shrimp evenly among the flatbreads. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Cook the flatbread pizzas on a large baking sheet (I used two) for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately. Top with red pepper flakes and oregano for an extra one-two punch of flavor!

 

 

Shrimp Caprese with Penne

As per usual, I am on a tight budget this week and I didn’t want to go toooooo crazy when I went grocery shopping today. Suffice it to say that I was absolutely tickled when I saw that shrimp were on sale at my local grocery store today!!! :happy dance:

These particular shrimp were $3.99 a pound when they are usually $8.99 a pound!
How freakin’ exciting is that?! I must dance again. :happy dance: I love sweet deals!!

Anywhosers, I knew I had pasta at home. I thought a little more and recalled that I had some garlic, white wine and mozzarella cheese as well. It didn’t take much for me to decided to nab some grape tomatoes and fresh basil for one of the most scrumptious quick-cooking dinners I’ve made in quite a while.

Shrimp Caprese with Penne

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
    (depending on how big you like your tomatoes), seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

Cook the pasta to package directions and desired doneness.

  1. (When you strain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the water for the sauce.)

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet with the garlic and red pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook about 3 minutes per side until they’re a lovely pink color.
Add the wine to the pan and cook another 2 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta, reserved water, basil and mozzarella.
Stir to combine and serve immediately!

    (Italian Lesson of the Day: Most of us are familiar with Caprese Salad, which is simply fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. The term Caprese actually means “in the style of Capri,” which is an island off the southern coast of Italy where these three ingredients are readily available and used often in local cuisine.)

    An evening in Italy – sorta

    The sensational aromas of garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil are still permeating in the air of my little apartment. Tonight’s meal was like a little trip back to Italy – sorta. (I say back because in the summer of 2008 I was privileged enough to take a two week Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, and Tunisia. It was an absolutely amazing trip! But lets get back to dinner, shall we…) My intention for tonight’s meal was a simple, traditional baked ziti. Yum. To my dismay, when I checked the pantry, all I had were farfalle (bowties) and spaghetti. LIGHTBULB! Spaghetti Pie!

    I think one time I watched Giada De Laurentiis make a spaghetti frittata once, maybe that was my inspiration? Maybe I was just hungry. Either way, I decided to serve it was a lovely italian side dish – broccoli rabe. Continue reading