Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spinach & Artichoke Pasta with Vegetables

This easy Cooking Light pasta uses frozen spinach and artichoke dip as its base.  It look less than 30 minutes to put together and both Corey and I liked it, so it's a keeper.


Recipe Notes
I am neutral on the pine nuts.  I may leave them out next time.  I also folded the basil into the pasta instead of sprinkling it on top of the pasta as the original recipe called for.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
388 calories - 10.9 g. fat - 19 g. protein - 55.5 g. carbohydrates - 5.3 g. fiber

  • 8 oz. uncooked rotini pasta (1/2 of a 1 lb. box)
  • 2 c. cut asparagus (approx. 2-inch dice)
  • 1 c. chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2/3 c. fat free or 1% lowfat milk
  • 8 oz. package frozen spinach/artichoke cheese dip (such as TGI Friday's), thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded (approx. 1/4 c.)
1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  During the last three minutes of cooking, add asparagus and bell pepper to the pot.  Drain after cooking and keep warm.
2.  Combine milk and spinach dip in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook five minutes or until slightly thickened.
3.  Combine pasta and vegetables, spinach/cheese sauce, salt, and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Toss to coat.
4.  Sprinkle with basil, pine nuts, and cheese.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fig & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

This Cooking Light appetizer has been in my recipe folder for years, so I finally decided to try it this weekend.  The fig compote can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days in advance to make day-of prep easier.


Recipe Notes
The original recipe calls for chopped walnuts on top.  I am not a huge nut fan, so I left them off.  If you want to include them, sprinkle 5 tsp. finely-chopped walnuts on top of your bruschetta before roasting.

  • 1-1/4 c. chopped dried Mission figs
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. coarsely chopped orange sections
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1/3 c. fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 40 half-inch-thick slices of French baguette
  • 5 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1.  Combine figs, sugar, orange sections, orange rind, orange juice, rosemary, and pepper in a small saucepan.
2.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until figs are tender.  Uncover and cook 5 additional minutes or until mixture thickens.
3.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
4.  Preheat broiler.
5.  Top each baguette slice with 1-1/2 tsp. fig mixture and 1 tsp. goat cheese.  Arrange on a baking sheet covered in foil.  Broil for 3-5 minutes (depending on broiler) until toast and goat cheese begin to brown.

Melon & Crispy Prosciutto Salad

I found this salad in an issue of Southern Living over the summer.  It brings together that salty/sweet combination of melon and prosciutto quite nicely.


Recipe Notes
I served this with chicken enchiladas, but it would work well with just about any grilled protein (steak, chicken, pork chops).  The recipe calls for honeydew melon, but you can use just about any melon.  I personally think that the recipe makes too much dressing - I only used about 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing that the recipe made.

  • 4-oz. package of prosciutto
  • 6 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 10 c. loosely-packed arugula
  • 1/2 small honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and cubed or coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 c. pistachios, coarsely chopped

1.  Arrange prosciutto on a foil-lined baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until crispy.
2.  Whisk together mint, olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
3.  Toss greens and chopped melon with vinaigrette.  Top with crumbled prosciutto, crumbled feta, and chopped pistachios.  Serve immediately.