Tag Archives: cheese

On Patrol

Spinach and Shells

spinach_and_shells

Trying something new with my site, in theory things should now be MUCH faster and hopefully posts/updates will stop disappearing.   Today’s post is a healthier twist on my standard lazy night dinner, a recipe that started back in college as it is easily double and can be made on little to no sleep.  Just requires some pasta, a leafy vegetable, and shredded cheese of some form!  In college this normally meant thin spaghetti, frozen spinach with onions, and whatever fake stuff was on sale.  Now that I have a bit more money, and still no time, I’ve been able to upgrade this recipe while reducing the sodium that goes along with fake cheese and fake (or canned) vegetables.  It still comes together in under 30 minutes, so perfect for late nights after work or for a late lunch when the day is slipping away.   As a bonus – it’s a green dish perfect for St. Patrick’s day!!!

Shells with Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb shells
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and cook for an additional 10 minutes before adding the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per instructions then reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Return the pasta, water, and garlic/onion mixture to the pasta pot.
  3. Stir in the spinach then top with cheese and season to taste with pepper and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/on-patrol.html

I’m also sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their hangover challenge as I’m fairly certain the first time I made this in college that was the case.   This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge or freezer, and no need to stick to just one vegetable!

A Long

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

butternut_mac_cheese

I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of TripleSBites!  Last night we had our awesome twitter party, which included a few of our awesome sponsors and lots of tasty recipes.  Today’s feature is one that takes a bit of prep work but offers a great twist on a classic dish.  While a few of my twists on Mac & Cheese haven’t been blogworthy (hello, cauliflower) but this one is out of the world!  To save some time I used a few of my Gourmet Garden treats and also added just a touch of a new goody: Chili Cumin from Acala Farms.  Normally I use mustard seed in my mac & cheese but decided to switch it up this time!

A Long

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili cumin oil
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), halved
  • 1 lb elbow noodles
  • 1 tsp Italian Spices paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 tsp Chunky Garlic paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 425. Mix together the olive oil and cumin oil and pour in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the squash in roasting pan, cut side down. Roast for 45 minutes.
  2. Turn oven down to 350 and remove squash from oven for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile cook the elbow pasta per the box, rinse and then return to the pan.
  4. Stir the squash in to the cooked pasta, along with the spices, greek yogurt, and goat cheese.
  5. Place in to a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/a-long.html

Another HUGE HIT!  For a quicker version, drop the baking part and serve right after mixing everything together.  Always been a big fan of the breadcrumb crunch but some nights there just isn’t time.  If using a gluten free pasta, add 2 tbsp of milk to the dish before baking to prevent the noodles from drying out.

Have you entered the Giveaway yet?!?


Heels on High

Smokey Loaded Potato Soup

loaded_potato_soup

This is most certainly the season for snow, considering there is snow on the ground with more forecasted for tomorrow afternoon – fun times!  However this means lots of time at home messing around in the kitchen – which is perfect considering the awesome blog event I’m taking part of starting Feb. 2nd!  As part of this I got lots of goodies, one of which I already mentioned, and a few more that I’ll be talking about over the next week or so.  One of the more interesting items that arrived was a container of mixed spices thanks to VooDoo Chef – I knew  that testing it would be a bit difficult as a single whiff indicated that this stuff was good and POTENT.   I had been toying with the idea of a loaded potato soup for a few days at this point, and decided that this package of Red goodness would be a great way to add a smokey taste to my potatoes – allowing me to skip the roasting step.

 

Heels on High

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, cut all the whites the flip and cut half-way down the green
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Spice
  • 2 lbs butter potatoes, in large cubes (eights)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the white parts of the spring onions and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and Red Spice and stir well then continue cooking for 3 minutes before adding the potatoes. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the potatoes from burning but allowing them to brown.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree soup, or remove in portions to a stand blender. Blend in the greek yogurt, then begin adding the cheese - allowing it to melt before adding more.
  5. Season to taste with pepper and top with the green sections of the spring onions. Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

If you don't have Red Spice, most Creole spices will work - just make sure to go for a smokey one and/or add a bit of cayenne powder

For a Vegan version, replace the extra sharp cheddar with your favorite meltable vegan cheese - such as Daiya or Chao!

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/01/heels-on-high.html

Perfection!  The spice had the perfect balance of smokey and cheesy without any one ingredient being too overpowering.  This soup also gave me an idea for another dish that I’ll be sharing next week during TripleSBites.  By the way, this blog challenge will also include my first (!!!) giveaway!  More details coming Monday February 2nd so be sure to check back!

Note:  I received VooDoo Chef’s Red Spices as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts February 2nd.  I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.  

Get Better

Poblano Mac & Cheese

poblano_mac_cheese

First Monday of November – and with that time for the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was sent out of the US and south of the border to check out Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie blog which is packed full of spicy traditional dishes.  I’m a huge fan of spicy food, and over time my husband has also grown to appreciate the delicious  that comes from a good pepper.  Leslie’s blog had so many delicious treats to pick from, and more than a fair number of them used ingredients or techniques that were new to me – which are my favorite dishes to pick!  In the end I decided to go with one that had a new ingredient as well as a new technique – as a bonus it’s a technique that wouldn’t have worked at my old place with our electronic stove.  So enough teasing – time to share her incredible Poblano Mac & Cheese which made enough for a fantastic dinner and a tasty lunch the next day.  I had to a make a small change due to allergies but since her recipe was already vegetarian perfection it was only the lime/cilantro that had to go away.  I used wasabi arugula from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm but any variety would work – just figured the added spice would fit right in!

Get Better

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula, chopped
  • 12 oz. grated Manchego

Instructions

  1. Roast the poblano peppers directly over an open flame until the skin is charred and blistering. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal for 5 minutes. Remove the skin, and then seed and dice. Set Aside
  2. Cook the pasta per instructions on box until al dente. Rinse and remove to a lightly oiled casserole dish.
  3. Preheat oven to 350
  4. Melt the better in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add in the flour and stir until well combined, then slowly whisk in the milk. Cook until thick, around 7 minutes, then add the spices along the pepper and arugula.
  5. Turn off heat, and slowly stir in half the cheese. Once melted stir in to the pasta, then top the pasta with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes - then serve and enjoy!

Notes

Manchego cheese was a pain in the arse to locate at my grocery store but well worth it - that stuff was AMAZING!

http://dancingveggies.com/2014/11/get-better.html

I also bookmarked another handful of dishes for the future, most of which will need to wait until next summer when fresh tomatoes are available.  The first on the list are her entomatados with the rajas con crema close behind.  So many amazing dishes to try – a few of which I had never even heard of!  Needless to say this SRC was another smashing success.

Are You Ready

Tailgate Round-Up

One more sign of fall – Football season is here!  I’m not a huge fan of football, more of a hockey girl, but now that we are living in a football town I feel like I have to at least show some team spirit.  So with that in mind, below are some awesome dishes perfect for tailgating.

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

 Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Garlic Feta Dip

Garlic Feta Dip

 Hot Artichoke Dip

Hot Artichoke Dip

These are also the same dips that I rotate in and out for gaming days – with the Garlic Feta Dip being everyone’s favorite.  It also makes a great burger topping, be it meat or otherwise.   Chili is also the perfect group dish since it can easily be doubled and switched to a stock pan if it becomes too much for the slow cooker.