My First Pad Thai Dish

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 02-06-2011

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This afternoon I decided I wanted to make some kind of new noodle dish. I thought an Asian style dish would be a nice change from our usual Italian pasta dishes. I found a recipe for Pad Thai that sounded simple to make and fairly quick, so I gave it a try. I made huge changes to it, since it really had hardly any vegetables in it, and I love vegetables.

The result was a super yummy Thai noodle dish! It was slightly spicy and very flavorful.

This was my first time cooking with rice vermicelli noodles, and I cooked them exactly according to the package instructions (place in boiling water, and remove the heat, let stand for 5 minutes, then rinse in cold water), but my noodles seemed fairly clumpy after. I used a fork to get them less clumpy, but I am still wondering if there is a trick to make the vermicelli noodles free of clumps. Any suggestions?

Here is one of my special ingredients: coconut vinegar!

Pad Thai Noodles
Adapted from allrecipes.com
*serves 4

8 oz rice vermicelli noodles
1 red bell pepper
½ small package lean ground turkey
½ lb precooked shrimp (peeled and shelled tails removed)
3 cloves garlic
3 green onion stalks
3 carrots
3 handfuls broccoli
2 stalks celery
½ vegetable bouillon cube  (dissolved in 1 cup boiling water)
½ cup organic ketchup
½ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut vinegar
Garlic powder
Ground black pepper
2 cups bean sprouts
Chopped peanuts to garnish

In a large frying pan brown the turkey. Meanwhile prepared all vegetables (dice and chop them). Add the green onions and garlic cloves to the browned turkey. Season with garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Add the precooked shrimp. Cook for a couple minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables (except the bean sprouts). Cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the lime juice, ketchup, coconut vinegar, fish sauce, and dissolved bouillon cube  (in water). Stir to form a sauce. Sprinkle on more ground black pepper and garlic powder. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. In a large pot boil water. Once boiling at the vermicelli noodles. Remove from heat. Keep in the hot water for 5 minutes. Rinse well in cold water. With a fork separate the vermicelli noodles to get rid of any clumps. Now add the bean sprouts to the noodles (stir them in). Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix everything well. Serve hot!! ( I microwave mine again to make it steaming since the rinsing the noodles cools off the dish a bit too much I think). Garnish with peanuts.


My First Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 13-01-2010

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Yesterday afternoon I decided to make a shrimp noodle dish for dinner. The last time I was at the grocery store I checked out every brand of Alfredo Sauce in the pasta isle and every single one had soy of some kind in it. I was not impressed. So I went home without any pasta sauce. I decided to search online for a recipe for home made Alfredo Sauce. I found a recipe for light  Alfredo Sauce  at this website.  I was attracted to this recipe because it was for light Alfredo Sauce, and there was no cream in the recipe which was a huge plus.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but did add a few extra items to it. The recipe calls for 3 tbsp of flour, I used 4-5 heaped tbsp to make the sauce a bit thicker. I also added lots of dried basil, parsley, and oregano to give the sauce some pizazz. To spice things up a bit I added a couple dashes of ground cayenne pepper.

The sauce turned out really well. It was zesty but not as spicy as my last shrimp pasta dish.

For the meat and vegetables I used my recipe for spicy shrimp penne, and changed it to fit the ingredients that I had on hand. I used tons of spinach since I didn’t have any mushrooms, and an extra red bell pepper. This time I used precooked shrimp with the tails already removed (a huge bonus).

I severed my sauce with spaghetti noodles and a green salad on the side.

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This is one recipe I will be making again!

Stouffer’s Italian Cheese Ravioli for Lunch

Filed Under (Pasta, Review) by Lisa on 14-12-2009

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A couple days ago I decided to have a frozen meal for lunch. I chose my Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Italian Cheese Ravioli. This was my first time having this entrée, so it was an interesting experience.

The box describes this meal as “Ricotta and Romano cheeses in a hearty tomato sauce”.

The nutritional information is what sold me on this ravioli. There is 20% of your daily intake of calcium in this one meal! That is tons. Since I know I never get enough calcium, this one piece of information was enough to sell me on this pasta in its self. Calorie wise this entrée scored well in my books having only 260 calories.

The box states to microwave the meal for 4-5 minutes. I microwaved it for 4 minutes and it was perfectly cooked.

I was very pleased with the portion size of this frozen meal. There were 7 pieces of stuffed ravioli in the dish, and plenty of sauce. Seven pieces doesn’t look like much or sound like much, but it was quite filling! This meal filled me, and kept me full as long as it should have (unlike the shrimp scampi from a little while back that didn’t keep me full for more then 2 hours).

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Taste wise I would give the Italian Cheese Ravioli a 9/10 (ten being the best possible score). The pasta was just delightful, and the sauce was as hearty as the box describes it.

The only downsides of this entrée are: the amount of sodium in this meal 580 mg or 24% of your daily intake, and the amount of  cholesterol 40 mg.

Despite the down sides of this pasta, I will be buying Stouffer’s Lean  Cuisine Italian Cheese Ravioli again! It’s the perfect meal for work or just a lazy day at home when you don’t feel like cooking!

Spicy Shrimp Alfredo Penne

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 26-11-2009

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I have always been a big fan of Alfredo sauce. Until last night I had never had it anywhere except restaurants. I decided that needed to change. I found a recipe for Peppered Shrimp Alfredo at allrecipes.com It sounded delicious, and had 125 reviews most of which were positive. Many reviewers said it was better quality then anything they had ever had in a restaurant.  That sold me on the recipe, so it was off to the kitchen to test it out.

I had never cooked with shrimp or prawns before, so I used precooked medium/large frozen shrimp.

I changed the original recipe slightly. I used white mushrooms instead of Portobello, parmesan cheese instead of Romano, and I added 1 ½ cups of baby spinach since it needed to be used up.

I did get a bit carried away with the cayenne pepper, misreading the 1 tsp of cayenne that the recipe called for instead thinking it said to taste. It was spicy but not too spicy and the garlic bread neutralized it a bit.

The penne turned out fabulous! This is one recipe I will be making again. I agree completely with the recipe reviewers, this recipe is way better then anything similar I have had in a restaurant.

I served the penne with green salad and garlic bread.

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Do you have a favorite Alfredo recipe?


Macaroni and Cheese For Lunch

Filed Under (Lunch, Pasta, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 21-10-2009

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The weather these days has really cooled off. This afternoon I was really cold, so I decided whatever I had for lunch it had to be warm or hot. I was in the mood for cooking but couldn’t decide what to make, so I went with something quick and easy. I made macaroni and cheese (from the box) with a few special additions.

To give my lunch some added protein I added two sticks of turkey and  chicken pepperoni. I also added about 1 tablespoon of low fat grated cheddar cheese to my macaroni. This gave it an added zest that was very pleasing.

To balance out my meal I had my macaroni and cheese with a large amount of raw carrot sticks, and some left over green onion/garlic dip from a couple days ago.

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How do you like your Mac and Cheese? Do you have a special recipe for it?

Artichoke and Sausage Egg Noodles

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 18-12-2008

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Today it was a snowy afternoon, so I decided to make a nice warm and spicy dinner.

I combined two pasta recipes from my Pasta Bible cookbook by Feni Wright, and came up with a unique recipe. Note it’s not for those with mild taste buds, this one is hot and spicy! I served the pasta with Pillsbury crescent rolls straight out of the oven. Both of my parents loved it. I liked it too, even though it was almost too spicy for me.

Artichoke and Sausage Egg Noodles

2 farmer sausages

4 cloves garlic

several stalks fresh chives

1 red pepper

1/3 cup vodka

1 white onion

Salt

Black pepper

Oregano

Basil

Parsley

Red pepper flakes

540 ml chunky tomatoes (I used the ones with garlic and olive oil)

Organic ketchup

parmesan cheese (grated)

Prepare vegetables, and chives.

Cook the sausage in boiling water until well cooked (several minutes).

Once the sausage is cooked remove from water, and cut into pieces.

In a separate large frying pan fry the sausage with the vegetables and chives until the vegetables are tender. Add all the seasonings, and spices ( to your taste). Let the mixture cook for several minutes. Then add the chunky tomatoes, and ketchup. Add more of the same seasoning you already added (if desired), and boil for a few minutes. Then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Boil water (with oil and salt) for egg noodles. Add noodles and cook according to package (7-8 minuets). Drain. Serve hot. Sprinkle on fresh parmesan cheese if desired.

Lasagna Dinner

Filed Under (Cooking, Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 25-10-2008

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Yesterday I was in the mood for pasta, so I decided to make a lasagna. I served it with green salad and garlic bread. Here is the recipe.

Lasagna

1 package ground beef

1 carrot grated

1 medium white onion

Fresh chives

3 stalks celery

Frozen spinach

Water Cress

1 medium sized tomato

1 red pepper

1 package of whole grain lasagna noodles

1 large bowl of grated cheddar cheese

Salt

Pepper

Parsley (dried flakes)

Basil (dried flakes)

Dill (dried flakes)

Crushed red pepper flakes

Ketchup

Your favorite tomato based pasta sauce 700ml

Louisiana hot sauce

Prepare vegetables, chives and watercress (chop to desired size). On medium to high heat in some extra virgin olive oil fry the ground beef. Once it is nicely browned add all the spices and herbs. Stir well for a couple minutes. Now add your prepared vegetables. Cook until nicely tender and brown. Now add the Louisiana hot sauce, ketchup, and pasta sauce. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. While you are doing this get a large pot out and sprinkle olive oil in it. Fill it with cold water, and add a few shakes of salt to it. Bring to a boil and add the lasagna noodles. Cook or about 8 minutes or until soft (caution do not over cook them though, they will also get baked in the oven so they don’t have to be perfectly soft). Once the noodles are cooked, drain and run over cool water (to make them easy to handle). Now grease a baking pan with olive oil. Now layer the bottom with noodles. Then put a layer of meat mixture on top of this. Now add a layer of cheddar. Repeat whole layering procedure once again. When you are done you should have a layer of noodles on top. Sprinkle cheddar on top of this. Bake in your preheated oven at 350 degrees, for 30-45 minutes.

Below are some images of the dinner.

Tagliatelle with Green Sauce

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 19-10-2008

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A few nights ago I was in the mood for pasta. I found a recipe in one of my favorite cook books: Reader’s Digest Low-Calorie Cookbook (page 139) Tagliatelle with Green Sauce.

The recipe intrigued me so I gave it a try. This was my first time making this type of pasta, and I must say, I love it! I will be making this recipe again. It was also a big hit with my mom. Enjoy!

Note: I did add a few things to the original recipe. This is the original recipe with my additions.

Tagliatelle with Green Sauce

10 oz baby spinach

3 oz watercress (remove thick stems)

1 cup frozen peas

1 pound fresh tagliatelle

3 tsp corn starch

1 cup no fat sour cream

4 tbsp dry flaked parsley

1 tbsp basil

Salt

Pepper

A few stalks of green onion minced

A small amount of minced chives

¼ cup water

A few shakes of red pepper flakes

A few shakes of garlic powder

Rinse the first two ingredients and place in a pot with only the water that remains on the leaves. Cover and cook on medium heat until the vegetables wilt (3-5 minutes). Add the peas and cook through. Drain the greens and save the liquid for later. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta in it according to package directions (about 8 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached). Drain, set aside covered. In the pot where the vegetables had been cooking blend the sour cream and corn starch into a paste. Add the ¼ cup water. Add the basil, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir on medium heat until bubbles start to form. Then add the greens, including the green onion and chives (as well as the spinach watercress mixture). Heat the sauce through. Drizzle all of the sauce over the pasta. Mix well.

I severed this with baked bbq chicken and it was lovely, with garlic bread on the side, and herb dip and vegetables for a few added vitamins.

Below is an image of the dinner (my dad’s plate). J

Spaghetti and Meat Balls

Filed Under (Cooking, Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 10-10-2008

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This afternoon I was in the mood for cooking. I decided to make something that I had not made before; meatballs. I found a recipe in a Company’s Coming Casseroles cook book by Jean Pare page 75. I modified the recipe greatly. Here is my version.

Meat Balls

1 lb lean ground beef

1-11/2 cubes of cheese bread (any bread will do)

¼ cup water

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Tomato soup 10 oz

Horseradish 1 tsp

Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp

1 egg

1 stalk green onion cut into small pieces

¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl combine the beef bread cubes, water, onion, salt, pepper, and eggs. Knead until well mixed. Make balls and place in a heated frying pan. Brown. Place in a casserole dish.

In a bowl combine the tomato soup, horseradish, worse shire sauce and ¼ cup of water. Mix well. Place over the meatballs. Bake for about 35 minutes.

 

I decided to serve the meatballs with spaghetti and garlic bread.

Here is my own spaghetti sauce recipe.

Spaghetti Sauce

½ lbs lean ground beef

1 medium sized onion

1 medium sized tomato

1 red pepper

1 stalk of celery

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

Several shakes of salt

Several shakes of pepper

A few shakes of: garlic powder

A few shakes of: basil

A few shakes of: parsley

A few shakes of: red pepper flakes

A few shakes of oregano

Your favorite spaghetti sauce ( I use Classico Vodka Pasta Sauce) 700 ml

 

In a large frying pan, brown the ground beef. Add the onion. Add all the herbs and spices. While these are cooking prepare the vegetables (chop to desired size). Gradually add to your frying pan. Let the vegetables cook as long as possible 10 minutes min, 15-20 minutes preferred. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes. Simmer (if needed).

Serve with your favorite spaghetti noodles.

Simple Garlic Bread

Cheese bread

Garlic Powder

Olive Oil Margarine

Grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place desired amount of cheese bread on a cookie sheet. Spread desired amount of margarine over the bread. Sprinkle garlic powder over. Place a small-scant amount of cheddar cheese on top of each piece of bread. Bake in the over for about 6 minutes.

 

Below are a few images of the dinner.

Enjoy.

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