Spinach Casserole

This would seem to be your normal quiche, although there is no crust! It is actually a KISS recipe (Keep It Simple Stupid) and can easily made by a child with some parental supervision. It is pictured here with a little Pace Medium Salsa on top prior to serving. And yes, you could serve it for breakfast!!

Spinach Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh spinach OR 20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

3. Spread mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is set.

4. Serve immediately.

Notes

The original recipe from Taste of Home called for a full 8 ounces of cream cheese, but we find this to be extremely rich and more like a spinach dip.

Cold Asparagus Salad

Hopefully, you are still able to get fresh asparagus where you are! This makes a wonderful summer salad side dish and is fairly easy to prepare. We enjoy edit with a great hamburger and potato salad. There’s very little prep involved too. Follow the asparagus directions as shown and do not overcook it.

Asparagus Salad COLD

Ingredients

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped asparagus
  • 2 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon (check labels for Whole30)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (check label for Whole30)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until tender yet firm. Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Setaside OR place asparagus stocks, trimmed, in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, Drain!

2. In a small bowl mix the Dijon, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Arrange the asparagus on a plate, top with egg and bacon and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers

Another Costco use up – LOL. Two people can hardly use up a whole package of their asparagus in less than a week? This was very tasty along with some Costco roasted chicken.

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers – Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1/2 cup bacon cooked, reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cut asparagus in bite sized pieces and separate the tips from the stalks.

3. Add the stalks to salted, boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Add the tips and cook for a minute or so more – or until the stalks are crisp-tender.

5. Drain.

6. Cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

7. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

8. Crumble the crackers and set aside.

9. Grease a 2-quart (9×9) casserole dish and add half the cooked asparagus.

10. Top with half the cream of mushroom soup.

11. Add half the cheese and repeat the layers.

12. Mix the reserved bacon grease with the cracker crumbs. You may substitute 2 tablespoons of melted butter if you like.

13. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

14. Top with the crumbled bacon.

15. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and bubbly, 25 – 30 minutes

Expert Tip: Separate the tips of the asparagus and the stems after you cut the stalks up. Add the stalks to boiling water first and let them cook about 2 minutes before adding the tips. That way the stalks will be cooked through but the tips won’t be mushy.

Meatless Lasagna

One of our close friends has decided that he would stay away from meat for awhile. It just so happened that he was coming for dinner one Sunday! For anyone else that might have someone like this in their lives, this recipe fit the bill and it tasted great! Who needs meat? It comes together fairly quickly and I was able to prepare it the day before and just refrigerate it until just before he arrived on Sunday. Bring the casserole out of the refrigerator 30 minutes of so before placing in the oven!

Meatless Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. package lasagna noodles
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 large zucchini (cut in half (lengthwise) and sliced)
  • ¾ cup green bell pepper (chopped)
  • ¾ cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 oz. jars pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Prepare the Lasagna according to package directions!

2. Add olive oil to a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, onion and garlic and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and dried basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch dish. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Layer lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, and sauce (in that order). Repeat layering, and top with remaining cups mozzarella cheese.

10. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

We enjoyed this recipe at our daughter-in-laws as an appetizer, so much so that I served it as a side with the previous blog – Baked Salmon. It is definitely a keeper! Once the asparagus is blanched, the recipe is K.I.S.S. So simple that even a child could prepare it up to the point of baking! Great for BBQ season, too. Unfortunately, I ran out of the prosciutto so I just put the extra on the pan and drizzled it with more extra virgin olive oil.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8-ounce asparagus fresh
  • 10 slices dry-cured ham prosciutto
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • olive oil

1. Cut each prosciutto slice in half crosswise.

2. Spread cream cheese and garlic onto each half slice of prosciutto.

3. Wrap cream cheese topped prosciutto around each asparagus spear.

4. Place wrapped asparagus onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.

5. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes or until meat has browned

NOTES

If you want to use multiple slices of prosciutto, go ahead. Since they are cured, using more than one won’t affect the cooking time.

Sprinkle pepper on the cream cheese. This will give the roasted recipe a bolder flavor.

Brush the prosciutto with olive oil. This is optional, but it will make the prosciutto crispier.

Soften the cream cheese. It is so much easier to spread when you let it sit at room temperature for a bit first.

Southern Fried Cabbage

I am sure that I am not alone on Pinterest when I find a great recipe, make it, eat it and FORGET TO TAKE A PHOTO!!! Such is the case with me again. Nevertheless, it turned out great! Trust me!!!

Southern Fried Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds cabbage chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or more to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes optional, to taste

Instructions

Sauté the bacon in a heavy skillet until crispy.

Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.

Spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until they just begin to become translucent.

Add the cabbage and garlic; sauté, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and seasoned salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is as tender as you like and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Stir in the bacon and serve.

Broccoli with Mushrooms

My apologies for not posting last week, as I was undergoing surgery and was convalescing at home as per doctor’s orders. It fell to my spouse to be the chief cook and bottle washer, among providing nursing care! I am back on my feet and back in the kitchen once again!

This weeks recipe is fairly simple, just broccoli and mushrooms as a side dish for some wonderful sausage with spinach and feta (COSTCO). A simple dish to prepare… If I were to make this again, I would add some chopped cooked bacon!

Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 500 grams cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed, and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard

4 large eggs, optional*

1. Add the olive oil, butter, mushrooms, onions, salt, and ground black pepper to a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms have browned -about 15 minutes.

2. Next, add the dried thyme, garlic, sprouts, and mustard. Stir to combine with the mushrooms. Allow the sprouts to sear and caramelize – about 15 minutes.

3. *While the sprouts are cooking, you can fry the eggs, sunnyside-up, if you are adding a fried egg to the top of your serving. Otherwise, skip this step.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara and Spaghetti Squash

Since we now find spaghetti squash very often in our grocery stores, I decided to give this recipe a try. I also happened to always have the Norwegian smoked salmon (Costco) . They went together very well indeed! It actually tasted better than my photo shows.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash, shredded (save the other half for another dinner OR freeze it)
  • 3.5 g smoked salmon cut into ½ inch strips
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives

Instructions:

*See instructions below if you are unsure how to bake a spaghetti squash!

While the squash is baking, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and pepper.

Put the cooked, shredded squash into a pan on the stove on LOW heat.

Place the butter along with 1 tablespoon of warm water into the pot with the shredded squash and stir to coat.

Add the egg mixture to the pot and stir vigorously. The goal here is to cook the egg sauce onto the pasta without scrambling it.

The sauce is cooked by the residual heat from the pot bottom. If the sauce is not thickening after 5 minutes of stirring, the pot should be heated again. Place the pot back on to a heated burner (lowest heat) and continue to stir the pot so the egg does not scramble.

When the sauce begins to thicken, add the parmesan cheese and continue to cook until the sauce is heated through and thickened.

Add the salmon strips to the spaghetti squash and stir to combine.

Serve garnished with chopped chives

*How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Instructions

1. Using a paring knife, cut around the middle of the squash making very small cuts with a paring knife. Continue cutting around the middle until you reach your original cut. Go back over the cutting line with your paring knife making your cuts a little deeper. Go all the way around again. The squash should come apart. Scoop out seeds.

BAKING IN OVEN FOR ONE OR MORE SPAGHETTI SQUASH

1. Spritz the cut side of the spaghetti squash with avocado, olive, or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down in baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 60-75 minutes until fork tender.

3. Allow the squash to cool before removing the strands of spaghetti with a fork.

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash

Amazingly, as I write this I note that is recipe#450! Outside today (August 19) the skies are sunny here in our part of Mexico, but the winds are beginning to howl with the approach of Hurricane Grace. Thankfully, it will pass south of us, but we still expect winds and rain.

Rarely do we see acorn squash in our part of Mexico; for that matter, we rarely see butternut squash or spaghetti squash. Whenever we find them, we grab them up! This latest squash recipe, incorporating sweet potatoes, is awesome!

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash

If you need to feed four people,use two acorn squash…

  • 1 large acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream OR coconut milk with cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the sweet potatoes only (optional)
  • 1/4 cup hard cheese like: parmesan, pecorino Romano (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Prepare squash and sweet potatoes.  If using the sweet potatoes, drizzle the olive oil over the tops of them.  Place in baking dish.  Add heavy cream, salt, pepper and thyme to the center of the acorn squash.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove and grate cheese over the top.  Bake an additional 20 minutes of until squash is soft.  Bake uncovered.

Buen provecho amigos!

Zoodle Pad Thai

After spiralizing my zucchini, I was ready to prepare the sauce and ready my garnishes. It is a fairly simple cooking process, for which I use my trusty wok. Use less zucchini for two people,but otherwise follow the instructions. A spoonful of real peanut butter isn’t a bad option to the sauce? I am addicted…

Zoodle Pad Thai

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis (about 10-ounces each), made into zoodles with spiralizer ( I used one larger one for two people)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 green onions, sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Sauce

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

Garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Peanuts
  • Lime wedge

Instructions

For the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside until needed.

Heat a wok, or large skillet (preferably with high sides) over medium-heat. Add the oil and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add the 2 eggs to the pan and lightly scramble for about 30-40 seconds. Add half of the green onions, and peanuts to the skillet, toss for about 30 seconds.

Add the zoodles and the set aside sauce to the skillet. Use tongs to gently toss the zoodles into the sauce to evenly coat all of the zoodles.

Garnish with the remaining uncooked green onions, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro and a lime wedge.