Blog Archives

Chicken and Spinach in Creamy Paprika Sauce

Hope you will love this recipe as much as we did! Our spinach was not looking good, so I needed to cook it up! Pinterest to the rescue AGAIN! Fortuitously, we had purchased some smoked paprika when we were in Budapest years back and I had never used it. Since I only had chicken breasts I used them and it turned out fine. as you can see below. I cooked up some wonderful Parmesan and garlic green beans with pine nuts to accompany the dish.

Chicken and Spinach in Creamy Paprika Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (for seasoning chicken)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper (each for seasoning chicken)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Creamy Paprika Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (sodium free)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (juice of squeezed lemon)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp paprika

1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika, rubbing it evenly over both sides.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet (I used cast iron skillet) over medium high heat and cook on the first side for about 3 minutes. Flip, and turn the heat down to medium and cook for another three minutes. Remove and set chicken aside on separate plate.

Making Creamy Sauce:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the now empty skillet. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently about 2 minutes. Add flour using a sifter until well mixed. Add wine next and cook for 1-2 minutes to allow alcohol to evaporate.

 Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and lemon juice. Add salt and paprika. Mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning (if necessary) at this point.

Spinach:

Add in the spinach and cook for additional 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted.

Return the chicken to the skillet and cook covered for 2-3 minutes if your chicken breasts are thin; or for 5-7 minutes, if they are thick.

Serve immediately.

Zucchini Lasagna

Quite a while back I had posted a KETO lasagna recipe using zucchini zoodles. Now that we are Keto Conscious I have given myself a little more leeway with what we eat. But…this recipe is really still Keto but assembled in a little different manner, for those who do not own a spiralizer! It was great with a few different ingredients.

20200515_130814

 

 

Oven Ready in 9 x 13 pan

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchinis
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 24-ounce jar marinara or Bolognese sauce
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  • fresh basil garnish
  1. Trim both ends off the zucchini.
  2. Use a mandolin to cut the zucchini into 1/8-inch slices. Sprinkle salt over the zucchini slices, then lay them out on a layer of paper towels to drain. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Pat the tops of the zucchini slices with paper towels until dry.
  4. While the zucchini is resting, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  5. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spatula, until beef is browned and cooked through.
  7. Add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Place the ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, Italian seasoning, egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 2- or 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  11. Place 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add 1/3 of the zucchini slices on top. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the mozzarella cheese.
  12. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, then let stand for 5-7 minutes. Cut into slices, then serve.

20200515_190806

 

Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Eureka! Shrimp in the freezer. What to do? Checked the ingredients I had on hand and found this recipe for dinner. The worst part is cleaning the shrimp, so just cheat and buy them already cleaned and deveined…LOL. Substitute whatever protein you have available. As always, my changes are in red lettering.

IMG_20170512_211736

Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

  • 5 medium tomatoes, fresh, chopped into large cubes ( one can of diced with juice depending on how much you like tomatoes)
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small lemon
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more)
  • paprika
  • 10 oz fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until melted. Add fresh shrimp and half the minced garlic. Make sure shrimp is not crowded. Cook for 1 minute on one side until pink on that side. While it’s cooking, generously sprinkle paprika and salt over uncooked side of the shrimp. Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until pink on the other side.
  2. To the skillet with shrimp, add chopped fresh tomatoes, cooked spinach, and remaining amount of minced garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more). Mix everything well, remove from heat while you cook pasta.
  3. In the mean time cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent pasta from cooking and getting mushy.
  4. Add pasta to the skillet with shrimp and vegetables with 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on the juiciness of your lemon, it could be 1/4 of small lemon or 1/2 lemon). Don’t add too much lemon juice. Season with salt and more crushed red pepper. Warm it up on medium heat until shrimp is cooked through, and all ingredients are heated through.
  5. To serve, top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites    Serves: 10

dsc_0028

Ingredients

  • 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
  • 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  2. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  4. Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
  5. Serve with crusty warmed bread

Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Curry

A cold night in the Yucatan calls for a nice warm curry! It was 24 degrees C…LOL. One of my favourite chefs, Stefano Faita of Montreal fame created this tasty dish AND its VEGAN for my friend, Jaromey!

Packed with protein and flavour, this vegetarian one pot curry is quick and easy. For a milder flavour, rinse quinoa before using.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. curry paste, or to taste
1 tbsp. garam masala, or to taste
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 cup canned diced tomato
2 small to medium sweet potatoes, small dice
1 (14-ounce) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup quinoa
1 cup packed baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
Add vegetable oil to large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high. Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add quinoa. Stir. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender, adding remaining 1/2 cup stock if curry looks too dry.
OPTIONAL – Right before serving, stir in spinach. Let spinach wilt slightly. Finish with lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve.

For more great recipes from Stefano, check out this CBC link to his TV show –

In the Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Blame it on Costco! Too many great vegetables luring us to buy them. The result…better cook these before they spoil! Pinterest to the rescue, another great recipe worth sharing.

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups cabbage (I skipped the cabbage this time)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen) (didn’t have any)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
Large handful spinach, or more (skipped this too)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (and/or fresh)
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Directions
Prep veggies: mince garlic and dice onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms. Roughly chop cabbage if using, and cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and all veggies (except spinach if using).
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are desired tenderness.
Stir in spinach or not, and salt to taste.

*Notes:
Vegetable soup freezes wonderfully!
The frozen veggies work great as “fillers” if you want to quickly and easily add more veggies.

Strawberry & Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

ingredients
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
directions
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!

Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.

  • Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup

ingredients
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…

Creamed Spinach

A long time ago, we used to go to Detroit for dinner at the famous Joe Muirs Seafood Restaurant. It has moved to a great location in the RenCen overlooking the Detroit River and Windsor, my hometown!

http://gmrencen.com/dine/joemuerseafood.axis

My side dish was always the creamed spinach which went very well with a steak. And…its still on the menu after over 90 years!

Since we had an excess of spinach I decided to use it before it went bad and opted for this recipe from Tyler Florence of Food Network. One thing cooks know is that what seems like a lot of spinach does not make much once it is cooked It says the recipe makes 6 to 8 servings. I  ended up with 4 healthy servings. Then again I love creamed spinach. Its the perfect side dish!

Creamed Spinach (courtesy of Tyler Florence – The Food Network )

Ingredients

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh baby spinach, stemmed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle with a 2-count of oil, add the butter, and stir it around so it melts. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach in batches, pushing it down with a wooden spoon to help it wilt. Keep adding more spinach when there is room in the pot. Cook the spinach until it is dry, then lower the heat and add the cream and nutmeg. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Toss in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/creamed-spinach-recipe2.html?oc=linkback

Jack’s Icebox Salad

My mom used to belong to the Women’s Institute when I lived on the farm. This salad often appeared at family functions with different variations. I was surprised to see it again at a recent birthday party, brought along by our friends Jack and Carlos. This was Jack’s version. If you leave out the bacon it is VEGAN!

Chop up romaine lettuce and spinach and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.

Add the following in layers –
1 cup shredded celery
6 hard boiled eggs chopped
10 oz. frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
8 green onions sliced
6 oz. sliced water chestnuts
8 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon

Dressing – 1 cup mayonnaise + 1 cup sour cream + 2 Tablespoons sugar. Spread the dressing over the bacon layer!

Top with –

1 cup grated medium cheddar
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon.

Cover with Saran wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours!! Trust me on this one…it sets better…

When ready to serve cut into squares and place on chilled salad plates.

Seafood Lasagna

For a very special dinner, we like to prepare this seafood lasagna in a white sauce. Yes, it is very rich, but there is never any leftover!!! Use whatever seafood you favour, but I like shrimp, scallops, lobster or crab in any combination. Think New Year’s Eve!!! The recipe can easily be halved…

If seafood isn’t your thing, substitute chicken! Add some slivered almonds to the Parmesan cheese sprinkling….

Seafood Lasagna (Cooks.Com)

8 Tablespoons butter

8 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup cream

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

1 package “no-boil” lasagna

10 ounces of spinach (you could use frozen if thawed and drained)

16 ounces of ricotta cheese

8 ounces of mozzarella cheese (I preferred Manchego from Spain)

8 ounces of Provolone cheese

1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

2 sliced onions

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tomato, cut and peeled

1 1/2 pounds of seafood

parsley and rosemary to taste

Sauce:

Melt butter and add flour. Take it off the burner, add cream, milk and broth. Put back on burner. Stir constantly.

When everything is mixed, take it off the heat. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Lasagna:

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter and a little oil. Add tomato, parsley and rosemary. Add all of the seafood.

Preparation:

In a greased lasagna pan pour some sauce, place a row of lasagna, followed by 1/2 of the seafood, some mozzarella or Manchego, ricotta (mixed with the spinach), and Provolone. Press it down before adding a second layer. Follow same order as first layer, ending with another layer of lasagna noodles and sauce to cover the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Cover with foil if it is browning to rapidly!!!

It will be rich, so do not give your guests large portions to start with. Serve with a nice fresh salad.