Quinoa Mac & Cheese

My little guy loves mac & cheese…I mean, really loves it. I know it’s the one thing that he will always eat without fighting me. He’s starting to be picky and also with sitting at the table to eat, so needless to say, our dinners have not been very enjoyable. I’m looking forward to this phase being over.

I’m always trying to find new ways to incorporate protein into his food, because he doesn’t like meat. He loved this and it was great to send in for lunch to daycare. Madeline was just so-so on it, but I made it her eat it anyway. 🙂 I remember my mom making me eat baby brussel sprouts and baked lima beans as a kid…I now like brussel sprouts, but not the limas. This recipe is also easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand, so I know I’ll be making it again. The original recipe called for a breadcrumb topping, but I’m not a fan of crust on my mac & cheese, so I left it off.

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 tsp minced garlic
2 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
salt 
Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. I used vegetable broth to cook the quinoa. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the eggs, minced garlic and milk in a large bowl. Add in the cooked quinoa and cheese. Mix well until some of the cheese melts. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with leftover grated cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Let set 5 minutes before serving. 
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Pasta Pie

I’ve seen pasta pies all over Pinterest and I thought it was about time that I try one out. My husband is not a fan of spaghetti, so I hoped he would like this. I’m a pasta lover and could eat spaghetti several times a week, but we rarely have it because he complains about it every time.

This recipe is time consuming but it’s worth it! While doing this, I found several things that would help the next time I make it.

1. Find the largest rigatoni you can find. It will be easier to fill.
2. Make sure you really crumble the meat.
3. Fill the rigatoni with as much sauce as you can, use a straw to push it all the way to the bottom.

I’m looking forward to making this again now that I have one under my belt.

1 lb Rigatoni
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef and ground pork mix
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
8 oz grated mozzarella cheese
In a large stockpot, slightly undercook the pasta in salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and then rinse with cold water. Place back into the pot and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish. 
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the beef and pork mixture and cook until brown. Add in the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional two minutes to cook the garlic. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. 
Butter a 9 inch springform and set aside. Take the cooled pasta and toss in the Parmesan cheese until the pasta is well coated. Tightly pack the pasta into the pan. Fill the rigatoni with the meat sauce, pushing down the sauce all the way to the bottom of the pasta. While you’re filling the pasta, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover the top of the pie with the grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes and then remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. To loosen the pan, run a knife along the edge and then unhook the latch to remove the ring. Cut into wedges to serve with any remaining sauce. 
Source: Noble Pig

Shrimp Scampi Linguine

This was a quick and easy recipe. The sauce is very flavorful and my husband thought it tasted great as leftovers the next day.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 oz) low-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 Tbsp flour
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
12 oz linguine, cooked according to package instructions
Red-pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook until soft for about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.

Pour 1 cup of the chicken broth and the flour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend well.

Add the remaining broth and the broth-flour mixture into the pan, bring to a boil whisking constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook for 3 minutes until shrimp are cooked. Stir in lemon juice, butter and parsley. Pour shrimp and sauce over cooked linguine.

Recipe from Parents.com

Mushroom, Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

I made this the other night for dinner and it was good – but so much better as leftovers the next day. It’s adapted from a Kraft recipe.

8 oz thin spaghetti
3/4 cup fat free italian dressing
2 cups fresh mushroom, sliced
1 lb uncooked cleaned shrimp
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup of dressing over medium heat. Stir in mushrooms, cooking 5 minutes until mushrooms start to cook. Add the shrimp and parsley. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink and mushrooms are tender. Toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes to warm through.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Mix ingredients and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of dressing. Toss lightly.