Four Things To Make With Leftover Pasta

Leftover Pasta

Pasta is a very inexpensive staple and a little goes a long way. It is very easy to cook much more pasta than you might need for a simple meal. You may think there is not much to do with leftover pasta other than throw it away. However, you don’t have to waste those extra portions of pasta. Store cooked pasta by tossing it with a tablespoon of oil and storing it in a zipper storage bag. Pasta should be used within three to five days of being cooked.  These four things to make with leftover pasta will give you an idea of the meals you can throw together with your leftover pasta. It doesn’t matter what shape or style noodle you have; all these can be made with any kind of pasta.

  1. Chicken Noodle Soup: Pour a 15 ounce can of mixed veggies and two 15 ounce cans of chicken broth into a medium sauce pan. Add either some leftover chicken or a 4.5 ounce can of chicken breast. Bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste and then add the leftover pasta. Boil for another minute. Serve this yummy chicken noodle soup with whole wheat crackers.
  2. Pasta Salad: Pasta salad is a perfect dish for leftover pasta. It is easy and makes a great lunch the next day. Place one carrot, ¼ of a green or red pepper, and ¼ of a small onion into a food processor and chop for about 30 seconds Place four ounces of cooked pasta into a bowl and add the carrot mixture. Add a ½ cup of light mayo and ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning. Add a couple of splashes of red wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve this delicious pasta salad with wheat crackers or a whole grain roll.
  3. Veggie Stir Fry: Grab a bag of frozen veggie stir fry from the freezer section of your favorite grocery store. Prepare according to the package directions. Reheat the pasta by dropping it into boiling water for 45 seconds. Drain and place the pasta on plates. Spoon the veggie stir fry over the pasta. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese.
  4. Baked Spaghetti: Baked spaghetti is an easy dish and can easily be adapted to your individual tastes. Place four to six ounces of leftover pasta in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Mix together ½ cup cottage cheese, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Spread over the top of the pasta. Pour a 28 ounce jar of prepared pasta sauce over the pasta and cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle ¼ cup parmesan cheese on top. Bake for another five minutes.

Don’t be afraid to cook extra pasta and use the leftovers in the easy and delicious recipes. These four things to make with leftover pasta can make dinner time a little less stressful or give you a quick lunch for the next day!

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Warm Up This Season With Lentil Soup: A Recipe You’ll Save in Your Cookbook

Lentil Soup

This is an easy recipe that will leave everyone wanting more! Lentils are a great source of fiber and have many other health benefits. The recipe below makes approximately 6 servings and includes meat products. If cooking for a vegetarian crowd, you do not need to include the ham and instead of chicken broth use vegetable broth. There are two sets of directions below:

1) slow-cooker directions

2) stove-top cooking instructions.

Please follow whichever suits your needs. Enjoy!

 

Here is a list of ingredients that you will need:

1 ½ cups dried lentils                ½ teaspoon dried thyme                 1 ½ cup chopped celery

3 cloves minced garlic               ½ teaspoon dried oregano              1 ½ cup chopped red onion

2 cups diced cooked ham         ½ teaspoon dried basil                    1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon black pepper         32 oz. chicken broth                         ½ teaspoon salt

1 Slow Cooker (at least 3 ½ quart)

 

Directions:

  1. Combine lentils, garlic, onion, ham, and celery, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaf into the slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth.
  3. Put lid on slow cooker and set heat on low
  4. Let cook for 11 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Prep Time: approximately 20 minutes

Cook Time: 11 hours

Total Amount of Time:  approximately 11 hours 20 minutes.

 

If you do not have a slow cooker, use a large deep pot.

Directions:

  1. Put 3 tablespoons in the pot over medium heat.
  2. When oil begins to sizzle, add in the onion. Stir frequently.
  3. When onion is soft (after cooking for approximately 2 minutes), add the celery, and let cook for another 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  4. Next, add the garlic, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, lentils, and ham.
  5. Let cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in chicken broth.
  7. Add bay leaf
  8. Wait until it comes to a boil. Then, turn heat down to low and cover pot with lid. Let cook and stir occasionally for approximately 35 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  9. Add more chicken stock if soup is thicker than desired.
  10. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Prep Time: approximately 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Amount of Time: approximately 55 minutes

 

Other vegetables can be added for more flavor. Consider adding carrots, diced tomatoes, snap peas, and/or green beans.

 

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A Citrus Salad with Fried Rosemary and Olives

A salad is a nice crisp course that can go with any meal, or be a meal itself. Even at restaurants, you can have a salad before your meal or have a dinner salad off their menu. Many restaurants have a variety of salads and their own dressings.

At home, it’s easy to throw a salad together for lunch, before a meal, or even a dinner. If you fix the same salad every time though, it could be boring.  You’ve tried cob salad, traditional salad, ceasar salad, and other salads that can be easy to make, but it’s time to try a new salad. One that will capture your senses.

Recipe #1:

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 3-inch rosemary springs
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 6 Cara Cara oranges
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

First, pour 1 inch of vegetable oil into a heavy saucepan. Use a deep-fry thermometer and make sure the bulb is in the oil and watch for it to get to 350 degrees F. Put the rosemary springs in and fry until crisp and bright green. This will only take 10-15 seconds. Transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and season them with the kosher salt. Add the olives to the oil and fry until the bubbling has ceased.

This will take a bit longer at about 4 minutes. Place them on the same plat and tear the rosemary leaves off the springs and mince them. Next chop the olives.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut, peel, and white pith from all of the 12 oranges. Cut crosswise into ½” rounds and arrange them on a platter. Season the oranges lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then drizzle the olive oil over them and add your rosemary and olives.

Citrus Salad Recipes

The above recipe can also be altered just a bit. To add some more citrus to the dish so it’s not sweet, you can cut a lemon and add it to the dish. Also, if you’re looking for some green to add to the plate since it isn’t a traditional salad, try adding spinach or arugula.

When trying any recipe, you don’t have to follow it exactly that way, unless you’re baking. For this salad, you can add any citrus you want and different kinds of olives. You can also add different greens and dry different dressings. You don’t have to use extra virgin olive oil every time. Try a vinegar dressing. Not every dressing will work. You don’t want to put a thick, heavy cream based dressing with citrus.

If you think the recipe seems a bit simple, try adding something that you think will go with the dish to make it more complex and delicious. If you want a big crunch factor, try adding something crunchy. You can even add more fruit if you desire it to be sweeter.

 

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The Gluten Free Christmas Guest

Gluten Free Christmas Guest

During the holidays, cooking holiday recipes can be so time-consuming.  Lest not forget the diligent work it takes to prepare the holiday feast.  It is also a time when family and friends gather around the table to share, eat, and rejoice during the holiday season. One of the most common activities you can do in the kitchen with family and friends is spend time during the season’s most celebrated holidays.  The most beloved memories come from the kitchen preparing festive dishes.

But, what about those holiday guests who are on strict diets such as the “gluten-free” diet? For the gluten-free Christmas guest, you must be kind-hearted to remember that this guest eats certain types of food in their diet and you must be considerate when cooking for your “gluten-free guest(s)”.

Although, for those who don’t know what it even means…let’s get filled in about the “gluten free” diet. This includes, naturally, gluten-free food: meat, fish, nuts, fruit, vegetables, rice, corn, potatoes...for instance. Well, if you are going to be considerate of those guests, make sure you know who will be eating these dishes because every crumb counts and you must prepare your regular dishes separate from those of the “gluten free” dishes.

Holiday Gluten-Free Style

First of all, you must serve eggnog during the holidays. There is a great recipe you can make that surely will not bother other guests, and that is the gluten-free eggnog. This is a superb drink for a holiday diet.

But, don’t cook for gluten-free guests if you’re not confident that you can make a gluten-free dish.  Some people can get sick for up to 7 days if given, accidentally, gluten food.  So, to be on the safe side, you must be absolutely

confident that you are able to prepare these types of meals for your conscious friendly guests. Three words suggested: holiday diet, educate and prepare.

So, for those guests with “special dietary needs”, it is just a little knowledge and preparation before starting an awesome holiday meal with the right ingredients.  For instance, holiday dishes that have no gluten, are beef, roast turkey, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits.

Also, here are some recipes that can be served during your holiday gathering without the glutes.

Here are some fine desserts you may want to experiment for your gluten free Christmas guests…and I’m sure those that aren’t even on the gluten free diet will want some too: Chocolate Mousse, “Perfect Creme Brulees” or last but not even the least, because you may want to make enough for leftovers…is the gluten free Strawberries in Bruleed Marshmallow crème.

So, when celebrating this season’s visually appealing, beautifully textured dishes, some being gluten-free, remember the real reason why we celebrate for the holidays with the feast of giving, it isn’t just an analogy, it is the time of celebrating, for those who do, and for those who love to eat, even if it’s a special diet like gluten-free, even those dishes are worth trying.  Experiment and enjoy!

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Hearty Shepherd’s Pie Recipes

 Shepherd Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a classic and hearty dish that is guaranteed to satisfy your tummy as well as your taste buds. This delicious English dish graces tabletops all over the nation when dinner is served. Shepherd’s pie contains nearly everything that you could ask for in a food for it covers most of the food pyramid. In order to make the best shepherd’s pie, you need to make sure that it’s packed with nutrients and flavor.

Shepherd's Pie Filling

Shepherd’s pie consists of a filling and a topping. In order to make the filling, you’ll need the following ingredients: olive oil, butter, a pound of ground beef or lamb, a cup of beef stock, tomato paste, 2 garlic cloves, 1 can of creamed mushroom soup, an onion, 2 tablespoons of flour 2 carrots, a cup of peas, ¼ cup of water, ¼ cup of sour cream, a tablespoon of rosemary and/or marjoram, worcester sauce, black pepper, 2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup of cheddar or parmesan cheese, and most importantly, tons of love!

Shepherd's Pie Topping

To make the topping, you’ll need to peel and dice 6 large potatoes. You’ll also need ½ cup of milk, ¼ cup of milk, 6 tablespoons of either cheddar or parmesan cheese,½ teaspoon of black pepper, a dash of salt, and any other herbs that you would like to add in. You’ll also need paprika to sprinkle on the topping’s surface.

You will also need a large baking dish along with a skillet large enough to contain the contents of the filling. Modify the recipe as you see fit. Oh, don’t forget to add tons of love!

Chop up all of the vegetables and put them in a bowl. Be sure to stir them up. Lather up the skillet with olive oil and/or butter and cook your meat of choice. Once the meat looks three quarters done, add the vegetables to saute them until they are browned and soft. Once they look brown enough and around halway done, add Worcester sauce, creamed mushroom soup, tomato paste, and herbs onto the vegetables. Add the flour as well before blending them together.  Sprinkle black pepper over the vegetables as generously as you like as they simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While the filling is cooking, boil the potatoes in salted water. Let them boil until they’re fully cooked. Once they’re fully cooked and softened, mash them. To the fully mashed, add the ½ cup of milk, 4 tablespoons of butter, black pepper, and 6 tablespoons of either cheddar or parmesan cheese. Mix them together until they are fully blended.

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the ½ of the shepherd’s pie topping onto the bottom of the baking pan, then pour all of the filling on top of it. After spreading the rest of the topping mix onto the filling, sprinkle the top of the pie with paprika, and place it in the oven.

This recipe takes around 35-40 minutes to cook. Enjoy!

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