Salsa Mac and Cheese with PACE salsa

No pics today, as this recipe was devoured by two hungry men…LOL. I was actually searching for a recipe about dressing up that CANADIAN KD – better known as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! Thankful that I found this one on the Pace Salsa website! It comes together very quickly once you have prepared the pasta. It should actually feed four people. I skipped the tortilla chips since I was already carb heavy with the macaroni.

Pace* Salsa Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2-pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups Pace® Chunky Salsa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) uncooked elbow macaroni or cavatelli pasta
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Step 1

Heat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is heating, season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well browned and cooked through. Remove the beef to a plate.

Step 2

Add the green pepper to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove the green pepper to the plate with the beef.

Step 3

Heat the salsa, fajita seasoning and water in the skillet to a boil. Stir in the elbows (press the elbows down to submerge in the salsa mixture). Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8 minutes or until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally. Return the beef and green pepper to the skillet with the macaroni and cook until the mixture is hot. Season to taste. Sprinkle with the crushed tortilla chips and cheese.

Step 4

Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the cilantro just before serving, if desired.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage

Recently, we started to buy Aidell’s Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage at our local Costco. It is so very useful in many recipes and the fact that it is neither pork or beef makes it even better. Our local grocery store now carries acorn squash. These two items are a match made in heaven!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage

Ingredients

  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 1 package of Aidell’s chicken with feta and spinach squash cubed
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of spinach, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese (or sub your favorite cheese)
  • 2 T of pecorino Romano
  • sea or Himalayan salt

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional, but keeps the mess away).

Cut each acorn squash in half, top to bottom OR across the middle, and remove the seeds. Use the first 2 teaspoons of olive oil to brush each squash, then sprinkle with salt. Place squash halves in oven for 40 minutes, or until fork tender, but still retaining their shape.

2 While the squash is roasting, brown the cubed sausage in a skillet until cooked through. Next, add in remaining olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until veggies are soft. Mix in spinach and sprinkle mixture with a little salt. Cook until spinach wilts.

3 Once squash is finished cooking, use a fork to gently mash the inside. Then divide sausage and veggie mixture evenly among the squash halves. Top each with 2 T of feta cheese and a 1/2 T of pecorino Romano. Place squash back in the oven for a few minutes to melt and brown the cheese.

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.

Carbonara with Shrimp and Scallops

Dinner with friends again, so I opted to make this old recipe again, which it seems I never posted before? I added some shrimp to the original.

Carbonara with Pan Seared Scallops

Ingredients for Scallops

  • 12-16 large scallops 3-4 per person + deveined shrimp
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for Carbonara

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon diced
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic leave whole
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmigiana Reggiano grated
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 14 oz (400g) pasta of your choice -I used Linguine

Pasta Carbonara

1. Start cooking pasta in large stainless-steel pot.

2. In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and 3/4 of cheese.

3. In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and ½ green onions.

4. Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)

5. When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.

6.. Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.

7. Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops (+ shrimp)

1. Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.

2. Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.

4. Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)

6.  Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don’t move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.

7.Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)

8. Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.

10. Transfer to paper towel covered plate.

11. Keep warm in oven, if making in batches.

12. Add butter to another frying pan. Cook shrimp until pink flipping once!

13. Add shrimp and scallops to pasta and mix well

14. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.

Baked Salmon with Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

On the road again and a little late with this week’s recipe. Visiting friends and opted to make dinner for them, as I usually do once or twice…this one looks a little difficult, but not really. The result was well worth it, served with an amazing asparagus with cream cheese and prosciutto (next week’s recipe).

Baked Salmon with Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillets (skinless) – 5, about 150 g/ 5 oz
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice- 2 tbsp.
  • Olive oil- 1 tbsp.
  • Garlic cloves (minced)- 1
  • Old style Dijon mustard- 2 tbsp.
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tsp.
  • Salt- to taste

LEMON BUTTER GARLIC SAUCE

  • ¼ Cup Unsalted butter melted
  • Garlic cloves (minced)-1 1/2 tsp.
  • Heavy cream/ half and half- 1/2 cup
  • Parsley finely chopped
  • Black pepper

In a medium bowl combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and Dijon mustard. Mix well.

Place salmon fillets into the skillet, pour the mixture over salmon fillets and rub. Season with ground black pepper and salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven.

In the meantime, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Pour in heavy cream and bring to a boil. The sauce should thicken a little bit.

Take off the heat and stir in parsley and season with black pepper and salt to your liking.

Pour the sauce over the baked salmon and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes

 Preheat your oven to 425°F /220°C with the rack in the center.

In a medium bowl combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and Dijon mustard. Mix well.

Place salmon fillets into the skillet, pour the mixture over salmon fillets and rub. Season with ground black pepper and salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on thickness.

In the meantime, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Pour in heavy cream and bring to a boil. The sauce should thicken a little bit.

Take off the heat and stir in parsley and season with black pepper and salt to your liking.

Pour the sauce over the baked salmon and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes

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.

Weeknight Bolognese Sauce with Zoodles

Checking the pantry and freezer, I found I had all of the ingredients for this sauce, including a very nice medium zucchini for spiralizing. I also had a pound of ground veal which I had not put in the freezer since I bought it two days before. You can use beef or whatever…

Zoodle Bolognese…

Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • Zucchini noodles or the pasta of your choice
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.

2. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté until softened stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and sauté stirring often until fragrant, around 1 minute.

4. Add the ground veal and sauté using wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks until the veal is fully browned, around 5 minutes.

5. Add salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, wine, milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and baking soda and stir until well combined.

6. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

7. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes stirring periodically.

8. Serve immediately over zucchini noodles or pasta with a sprinkle of Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Noodle (Zoodles) Pad Thai

Affirming that all of our followers in USA had a thankful Thanksgiving! For us Canadians, we celebrated Thanksgiving way back in October. Anyways, this is a great recipe using “zoodles” in a slightly more exotic way. Think you Asian food fans might enjoy it. I have included the nutrition info at the end of the recipe.

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (divided)
  • 1 pound (454 g) chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced thin (I used yellow as I had no red)
  • 3-4 green onions sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (480 ml) bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) roasted peanuts
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • lime wedges optional

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar (I used Sukrin Gold substitute)
  • ½ teaspoon (3 ml) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili garlic sauce or more to taste

1. Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.

2. Make the Sauce: in a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (rice vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and chili garlic sauce), set aside. If you want to use sriracha hot sauce, add as much as you like or you can add it afterwards.

3. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles. The zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.

4. Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow all the moisture to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water.

5. Carefully wipe the same pan remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.

Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetables until the egg is cooked.

6. Add the zucchini noodles back into the same pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minute or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.

7. Serve with roasted peanuts and cilantro. If you want to add lime wedges, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the noodles right before serving.

Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 2149mg | Potassium: 1312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1865IU | Vitamin C: 54.3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2.5mg

https://bestrecipebox.com/zucchini-noodle-pad-thai-chicken/ 2/2

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Who doesn’t like fajitas, whether beef or chicken or shrimp? This is a fairly simple recipe which does NOT use tortillas. Say goodbye to some carbs!

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 packet Fajita seasoning OR make your own SEE Photo below!
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream and salsa (Garnish)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high, drizzle with Olive oil.

3. Add cooked chicken, peppers and onions. Sauté on high heat to get a nice sear on the meat and veg (about 1-2 minutes) for added flavor! Remove from pan.

4. Mix the cream cheese and seasoning packet into skillet until melted, add chicken and veg back to pan, mix well to coat evenly.

5. Add to casserole dish, top with cheese.

6. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: YIELD: 8 SERVING SIZE: 1/8 of pan

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 209 TOTAL FAT: 13g TRANS FAT: 0g CARBOHYDRATES: 6g NET CARBOHYDRATES: 4g FIBER: 2g PROTEIN: 17g

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving has passed for us Canadians. American Thanksgiving is coming up very soon. I have been viewing an interview with the president of Butterball who was stating that this year in particular, turkeys would be much larger birds as a result of a shortage of workers to process turkeys during COVID, which resulted in turkeys growing much larger before they were sent to the processors. Small turkeys between 10 and 12 pounds will be extremely hard to find this year! And it definitely is squash season.

If you are not into a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all of the trimmings OR if you are not a large family but just a couple, then this could be perfect as a smaller dinner. You could make it vegan using no protein at all!

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or half a teaspoon dried
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups torn curly kale
  • ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.

3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.

6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.

7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they’ll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.

8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash.

Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within4 days.

Nutrition