Posts Tagged ‘easy dinner’

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

With the Pinewood Derby Monday night, my family needed an easy meal.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Olive oil
Shallot, diced
1 pkg mushrooms
1/2 c broth
1 1/2 c cream
Bow tie pasta
1 bunch parley, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, minced

Cook pasta per package.

Heat oil in skillet; toss in shallot. After about a minute toss in mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for a few minutes; add in broth and cream. Add herbs. Simmer. Toss in pasta and serve.


My picky kid ate baked chicken, and yours can too!

Last week the Monkey said he would eat baked chicken. I took this with a grain of salt – he’s claimed he would try things before, then “change his mind” at the last minute.

But I’ve learned that in parenthood you seize opportunities like this when you can, so I came up with a very basic – but flavorful – chicken that he would be willing to eat*. And I’m sharing with you for that picky kid in your life:

I chose boneless skinless chicken thighs to bake. They’re relatively inexpensive, flavorful, and the serving sizes are just spot on.

As I preheated the oven to 350F, I placed the chicken in a simple marinade of salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. I let it marinade as the oven preheated, so about 15 minutes. You could probably marinade longer and get some more of that flavor into the chicken, but I didn’t have time.

I then coated the bottom of a baking dish with a thin layer of olive oil, then placed my chicken on top. I wanted to roast an orange bell pepper to place on our salad – I decided to just place it on top of my chicken in in the baking dish, and sprinkled on a little extra salt and pepper. Shoved it in the oven to bake for an hour.

In that hour I made the mashed potatoes – a good go-to side for a picky kid. And ya’ll, those mashed potatoes were awesome! You can’t go wrong with butter and sour cream. It was all well until my picky kid spotted a speck of black pepper. Well, lesson learned on the black pepper, I suppose.

We dressed our salad with the orange bell pepper – which sweetened a bit and just turned out awesome – and a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

A nice, simple family meal – that even a picky kid will love!

*He’s anti-sauce, and a rub would have been equally offensive to him. We’re dealing with picky here, people.

Mediterranean Flavors

OK, I’ve never been to the Mediterranean. It’s one of those “when the kids are older, maybe we’ll go…” things for BHE and me. But I am loving the flavors right now, as we’re approaching summer and we’re wanting foods that are a bit more light and fresh. I made this recipe for chicken gyros last night. It involves a lot of chopping, but the end result is delicious, refreshing and healthy.

Last Friday I made Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Sauce and served it over fettucine:

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Pasta

I’ve made this before, and don’t remember how I came up with it. I think I cobbled 2 or 3 recipes together… Anyway, the flavors are great and it’s a a great break from your basic tomato sauce. And roasting garlic is never a bad thing, is it? Here’s the recipe:


2 eggplants, cubed
6 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper
small onion, chopped
baby bella mushrooms (about 1/2 package), sliced
1/4 – 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced (pits removed)
red wine vinegar
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes*
crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Place cubed eggplant and whole garlic in baking dish, add some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. If serving over pasta, it’s a good time to set your water to boil.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, onions and mushrooms and saute until onion is just starting to soften. Add splash of red wine vinegar; add olives and tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper, and throw in oregano, parsley and basil. Simmer.

Once eggplant is roasted, add to the sauce. Crush garlic with fork and add to sauce. Simmer on low until your pasta is ready. Top with shaved parmesan and crumbled feta cheese.

I’ve only served this over pasta (whole wheat fettuccine), but it would probably be great on a bed of polenta or couscous.

*We just planted our garden, and amongst the bell pepper and zucchini are 9 tomato plants. When our tomatoes come in, I’ll likely swap to fresh tomatoes.

**Fresh is best, but if you have to use dry that will work too.

Dinner Last Night – Linguine with Clam Sauce

This recipe is another result of my raid through Mom’s copies of Family Circle:


You can find the recipe online here. It’s a solid recipe, but I wasn’t WOWed by it. I will make it again, but with some changes. First – I needed more kick, and therefore more red pepper flakes are in order. Red pepper flakes always improve things! I also might add some halved grape tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes next time – I saw another recipe on their site for linguine with red clam sauce, and a meshing of these two recipes might be more to my liking.

Do you have a favorite recipe using clams?

Dinner Last Night – Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I visited my mom recently, and dug through her copies of Family Circle and pulled out all the recipes I want to try. Roasted Cauliflower Soup sounded really awesome, and is very low cal.

I made it last night, and it was pretty delicious. The cauliflower was roasted with onion and garlic, and picked up a lot of those flavors. I served it with buttered Italian bread; it’s a thin soup, so think it needed something else with it – salad would also be nice, or a sandwich. I went back for a second bowl – and it’s so low cal, that was OK. Or at least I tell myself that, ahem.

I added grated cheese to the servings for my boys, in order to get them to at least taste it, but it did not pass their standards (to be fair, the Bear wouldn’t try it; Monkey just didn’t like it). More leftovers for me! I’m eating it for lunch today.

Strong to the Finish, ‘Cuz I Eats Me Spinach…

Spinach & Bacon Pie

A couple of months back I made this recipe for zucchini pie. Well, today I decided to revisit the recipe – but I wanted bacon. And bacon tastes really good with spinach. And baby bellas? Perfect with spinach.

So I replaced the zucchini in the recipe with 5 pieces of bacon (cut up), about 2 handfuls of spinach, and about a half-cup of sliced baby bellas mushrooms.

Verdict: Tasty! AND we have an extra pie for tomorrow night. Score!

Easy Dinner: Tostadas

I made this up on the fly the other night. It’s not the most original meal in the world, but it’s pretty healthy, satisfying and very easy.


First, do your taste buds and your body a big favor and DO NOT buy the ready-made tostadas at the store. Instead, buy tortillas (I prefer corn tortillas for this, but some in my family prefer flour and those work very well). Heat the tortillas in a 425F oven until getting crispy. This will take about 10-15 minutes – just keep an eye on ’em.

Cook some beans. We did red beans this time (The Bear’s favorite color). Next, cook (on stove) some ground turkey or chicken. Once that’s cooked, add a can of rotel and season with about a tablespoon of chili powder. Feel free to throw in some cumin in there too.

Once it’s all cooked up, start layering: lettuce, meat, beans. Top with cheese, salsa (we went salsa verde, which I LOVE) and avocado.

The great thing about this recipe – everyone can fix their tostada to suit them. If you have little ones, this is so vitally important! You can also easily make this vegetarian by just removing the meat from the recipe.

Sorry this recipe is not more exact. I made it last week for dinner, took the nice picture, and meant to blog sooner. Oops.