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Andouille & Veggie Tortellini

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Andouille & Veggie Tortellini

An impressive Italian entrée, on the spicy side, without a lot of complicated steps!  Keep in mind the portions in this recipe yielded two hearty servings. Double portions to serve four people, etc.

With cheese tortellini in the house ( 9 oz. package ) I wanted to prepare it in a way other than with just red sauce.

I had half a bag of frozen peas in the fridge, along with half a bag of frozen broccoli.  I chopped just the florets off the broccoli and heated the peas and broccoli together in the microwave for 4 minutes. Feel free to substitute any veggie that you think might sound good in this recipe–I just made this one up as I went along!

When I removed them from the microwave I drained the excess water, added a spoonful of olive oil, and a generous shake of parmesan cheese.

Then I had one link of pre-cooked andouille sausage ( available at your grocery store deli ) that I chopped into small cubes.  I added that to the veggie and cheese mix and heated for another two minutes.

 

After that was finished, I set it aside and began to boil the tortellini.  Tortellini only takes about 5-7 minutes to finish, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

Once the tortellini was finished I drained it, added a bit more olive oil to it in the strainer and then dumped both the andouille & veggie mix AND the tortellini into a large serving bowl.  I stirred it around a bit more, added some more shaker parmesan cheese, and that’s it! Less than 20 minutes and you have a delicious Italian dish, with a bit of  kick. 

Enjoy!

Easy Mini-Pizzas

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Easy Mini- Pizzas

I can’t even pretend this is a real recipe, but more like a “reminder” that you can usually make something delicious out of what you already have lying around your kitchen.  For a quick, easy meal one of the staples I go-to are mini pizzas ( aka English Muffin pizzas! )  Not only are they quick, you can make them super low-calorie too.

On hand I had a pack of english muffins, a jar a spaghetti sauce ( you don’t need the “pizza” sauce they sell ), and some shredded cheddar.  Ideally I would have liked mozzarella but I didn’t have any in the house .  I also had some “shaker” parmesan cheese that I decided to add. 

As far as toppings go I had some leftover veggies: red pepper, white onion, and some spinach.  I diced all of those, added on top of the sauce and cheese—and Voila!  For a little extra flavor I added a dash of basil to the top of each one before I put it in the oven.

Cook in a preheated oven at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Serve with a salad and you have all your food groups covered.  It’s healthy, tastes outstanding, and takes no time at all.

Enjoy!

Fish Tacos

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 Fish Tacos

 

I used to be anti-seafood.  The closest thing to seafood I could handle was clam chowder.  But over the years, and now being married to someone who loves anything from the water, my tune has changed.  And after I had fish tacos for the first time at Empire Brewing Company, I was hooked. ( Pardon that terrible pun.)

I found a few fish taco recipes online and decided to give it a go this past Friday.  Lent seems to be a good time to try out some new seafood recipes!  I combined the recipes I found –on pinterest, of course- taking what I thought sounded best from each one.  I’m happy to report, it was a huge success!  Nothing beats Empire Brewing Company’s fish tacos, but this was a close second.

Here is a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need ( this recipe yields 4 very generous tacos! ):

One pound Tilapia

Panko Bread Crumbs

Soft Taco Shells

Eggs

Cabbage/Carrots ( I bought a bag of the pre-shredded coleslaw mix to keep it easy )

Red Onion

Cilantro

Sour Cream

Shredded Cheese

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Two limes

(I also bought a can of black beans and some chunky style HOT salsa to add to leftover rice I had in the house for a side dish.)

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Fish tacos are a bit different than your traditional tacos because they don’t have any of the typical things on them that you would expect.  But that’s what makes them so good.

The first thing I did after I had all my ingredients was make the “java slaw” that goes on them.  I emptied the bag of carrots and cabbage into a large mixing bowl.  I added a tiny amount of red onion ( I’m not a huge red onion fan, so you can decide how much you want to add. ) After that I ripped apart about a handful of cilantro and tossed that in the mix.

In a separate mixing bowl I whisked a cup of sour cream ( I used the light version to make it healthier ) until it was runny.  Once the mixture looked like salad dressing I opened the can of chipotle peppers and drained the adobo sauce right into the sour cream.  I whisked some more.  I tasted the mixture and it wasn’t quite spicy enough so I took out two chipotles and mashed them up ( they’re very soft so it’s easy to do ) and added them to the mix, and whisked some more.  The mixture turned a light orange color.  I then squeezed the juice from a whole lime in the mix and whisked one more time.

Once the mixture was all set I poured about a 1/4 of the dressing out at a time, stirred the cabbage, and then repeated.  This way everything got equally coated.  After it was all mixed I put it in the fridge to really set in while I made the rest of the meal.

I sliced the fish into thin strips ( about 2 inches wide ).  The look of them reminded me of long fish sticks. Then in a separate bowl I cracked two eggs and whisked them.  I got a shallow dish and filled it with panko crumbs.  I dipped each fish piece in the egg mix, then rolled them in panko crumbs, and then placed them on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.

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In a 425 preheated oven bake the fish for 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through to ensure they are cooked evenly.

While the fish was baking I added a can of black beans and a few tablespoons of salsa to the leftover rice I had. I stirred that mixture until it was all even and then heated in the microwave for 5 minutes.  If you don’t have leftover rice just make a few cups and add some beans and salsa to it once it’s done cooking. It was a good side dish for the tacos.

Once the fish is baked place 2 pieces inside the soft taco shell.  I added a sprinkle of shredded cheese on top and then a heap of the java slaw.  A squeeze of lime to garnish it was the perfect finishing touch.  Roll it up, and enjoy!

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Pulled Buffalo Chicken

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Pulled Buffalo Chicken

This is probably one of the easiest ( and tastiest ) things I have ever made.  For two hearty sandwiches, with significant leftovers, this is what you’ll need:

2 Frozen Boneless Chicken Breasts

1 Small Bottle of Franks Red Hot

1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Seasoning

And, THAT’S IT.

Put the frozen chicken in the crock pot. Dump the entire bottle of Frank’s on it. Sprinkle the Hidden Valley Ranch packet on top.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

After it’s  been 8 hours pull apart the chicken by using two forks and separating it.  By this time the chicken will be so tender it will literally fall apart.  Cook for one more hour on low.

Then, serve on rolls and enjoy!

I garnished my sandwich with lettuce and ranch dressing, but it would have been just as good plain.  A simple macaroni salad makes a perfect side dish. Or a garden salad, or chips, or coleslaw…..the sky is the limit!