Recipes

Ground Turkey and 3 Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

Turkey and  3 cheese stuffed pasta shells
Tired of plain old spaghetti and are looking for a fun pasta dish? I have just the right recipe for you “Stuffed pasta shells” I have always ignored the boxes of jumbo pasta shells in the grocery store because I found them intimidating. Last weekend I was feeling adventurous so I finally decided to try the jumbo shells. These large pasta shells can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients from ricotta cheese to crab meat .This recipe is made with a meat sauce and as always I substituted ground beef for ground turkey.
I have to say I was extremely surprised by how relatively easy this dish was to prepare .It is a great dish to make with your children because they will love stuffing the ingredients into the shells. It is absolutely delicious and I enjoyed making it.

Ingredients

20 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground turkey
1 jar tomato sauce (I used Whole Foods sun dried tomato and basil sauce)
1 small medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
1 tsp  fresh thyme  finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.(I used Trader Joe’s brand which had a little cheddar cheese included)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
5 button mushrooms chopped into small pieces
1 cup frozen spinach thawed and drained
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Start by boiling pasta shells in a large saucepan. Add salt and 1 tsp olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. After pasta is cooked , drain and set aside to cool.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and saute’ mushrooms for about 2 minutes. Add onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme to pan . Saute’ till onions are translucent for about 3 minutes

  • Add ground turkey to pan and cook for about 8 mins until turkey is fully cooked. Add tomato paste, onion powder and 1 cup tomato sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.When turkey mixture is cooked set aside and start working on ricotta mixture.
  •  Mix 11/4 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, spinach, beaten egg and pepper in a bowl.

  • The ricotta mixture should look like the picture below. Trust me it tastes better than it looks.

  • Spoon a tbsp of ricotta mixture into each pasta shell and then follow with a tablespoon of the turkey mixture. Place each stuffed pasta shell over a layer 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce in a baking dish. I did not have one so I used a roaster. Don’t judge, I broke the last shallow baking dish I had.

  • Arrange pasta shells like the picture below.
  • Pour a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the pasta shells and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and serve.
    • Dinner is ready to serve !

    

    Ground turkey and 3 cheese stuffed pasta shells

    


     
    

    Easy Garlic shrimp

    Seafood is one of those things that you either love or hate , I am definitely on team seafood. Some health professionals recommend eating 2 portions of seafood each week e.g salmon and shrimp because they are a good source of protein and minerals. As we all know white meat is better that red meat health wise, so if you are not a big fan of seafood you can start with shrimp as it is easy to cook. My darling boyfriend is a seafood lover and there is one dish that he loves ‘Garlic Shrimp’  He has asked me to make it so many times that I could make it with my eyes closed. I decided to share this easy recipe with you and I can assure you it is very tasty too!

    Ingredients
    1/2 pound shrimp
    2 cloves garlic
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 lemon juiced
    2 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 tbsp olive oil

    Directions

    •  Mix lemon juice, garlic,  red pepper flakes , 1 tbsp olive oil, shrimp ,salt and pepper in a medium size bowl.
    • Meanwhile heat the rest of the olive oil in a griddle pan.
    • Place shrimp in pan , make sure they are not too close together to prevent them from steaming.
    • Cook for about 3 minutes each side
    •  Once shrimp is cooked on both sides serve immediately . I served mine with mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli. Yummy!

    Basmati Rice Medley

    One of my favorite things to eat is rice and I am always looking for new ways to make it more exciting. Thanks to one of my favorite grocery stores ‘Trader Joes’ I found just what I needed to up my rice game. I found a colorful package of rice which contains a blend of Aged Indian Basmati Rice, Wild rice, Dehydrated garden herbs and vegetables.What I liked about the little package of gold compared to other rice blends is that it does not contain salt , preservatives or ingredients with names I cannot pronounce. If you happen to be at Trader Joe’s I recommend you pick up the Basmati Rice Medley package.
    I decided to serve the rice with roast chicken and sweet plantains. Although the rice has some vegetables in it, I added more fresh vegetables from my kitchen for more nutritional value. The end result was delicious and has become a regular on my weekly rotation.

    Ingredients
    2 cups Basmati rice Medley
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 small yellow onion chopped
    2 cloves garlic minced
    1tsp fresh ginger minced
    4 sticks of asparagus sliced
    5 button mushrooms sliced
    11/2 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1/4 cup cilantro chopped
    1 green onion chopped
    salt and pepper to taste

     Directions

    • In a heavy saucepan combine rice, chicken broth, olive oil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with tight fitting lid and and simmer for 15 minutes. Once rice is cooked remove from heat and let is cool . I like to make my rice the day before or in the morning so it is not too soft and mushy when I mix it with the vegetables later on.
    • In a large pan or wok heat a little olive oil.  Add garlic,yellow onion and ginger and cook until onions are tender (about 1 min). Add curry powder and cumin to onion mixture and cook for another minute.
    • Add a mushrooms and asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes. Make sure not to overcook asparagus, it should not be soggy but have a crunch to it.
    • Add about a 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan then add rice. Cook rice until it is heated up and combined with the other ingredients.
    • Add cilantro and green onion to rice mixture and remove from heat.
    • Serve with chicken or any seafood of your choice. I served mine with roast chicken , boiled plantains and cherry tomatoes.You can also eat this alone if you are not a meat eater.

    Chicken Mozarella Sandwich

    Looking for a quick weeknight meal ? try these delicious chicken mozzarella sandwiches. This is a recipe I came up with one evening by accident. I had planned on making basil chicken with rice until I realized I was out of rice. My sister has been bugging me to post a sandwich recipe so I thought why not make chicken sandwiches for dinner. Since the chicken had already been marinating in the fridge this recipe took me less than 20 mins to prepare which was a plus. If you are a working girl like me and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I suggest marinating it the night before so it is ready to cook when you get home from work.

    Ingredients
    4 boneless chicken thighs
    1 clove garlic minced
    1/4 red onion sliced
    2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    Olive oil
    3 dorot chopped basil cubes (can be found at Trader Joe’s)
    8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
    1 tomato thinly sliced
    salt and pepper to taste
    4 plain bagels toasted
    3 tbsp mayonnaise
    1tsp Dijon mustard
    1 tsp chopped fresh chives

    Directions

    • Add garlic, thawed basil cubes, balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil ,salt and pepper to chicken thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. (You can use finely chopped fresh basil if you don’t have the frozen basil )
    • Add 2 tbsp olive oil in heated pan and cook marinated chicken thighs until chicken is cooked and browned.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    • mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and chives in small bowl and set aside.
    • Place slices of mozzarella on top of each chicken thigh and cook in oven until cheese starts to melt.
    • Meanwhile toast bagels and thinly slice the red onion and tomato.
    • Spread mayonnaise dressing on bagel, add onion slices, then place chicken and cheese over onions and top with sliced tomato.

    Spaghetti with lemon ,basil and Salmon

    Last week after a long day at work I was very hungry and needed healthy meal  that would not keep me in the kitchen too long.After staring at refrigerator for 2 minutes, I remembered watching an episode of everyday Italian on the food network where Giada made a quick wholewheat spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon dish that seemed to die for. I always have pasta, salmon fresh herbs and in my fridge so I decided to give the recipe a try.
    After 20 minutes of cooking I was sitting down in front of the television wondering why I had not made this dish before.The dish was absolutely amazing and adding fresh garlic and lemon to the spaghetti gave it a very light and fresh taste.The only difference is that I did not have wholewheat spaghetti so I used regular which still produced great results.This recipe will definitely be a regular on my menu,thanks Giada!

    Ingredients
    1/2 a pound spaghetti
    2 cloves garlic minced
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Salt  and pepper for seasoning
    2 pieces of salmon
    3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    3 tablespoons capers
    5 cherry tomatoes halved
    1 lemon zested and juiced
    4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
    1 tsp dill
    1/2 tsp paprika

    Directions

    • Before you start cooking it is important to have all ingredients ready that way everything comes together at once.Start by seasoning salmon with dill, salt ,pepper and paprika and set aside.Make sure lemon has been zested and juiced before making pasta.
    • In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat and add spaghetti.Cook spaghetti per package instructions, make sure its not too soft.
    • While pasta is cooking , heat olive oil in a skillet and add seasoned salmon .Cook salmon for about 3 minutes per side  depending on the thickness and remove from pan.
    • In the same pan add spinach and tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
    • Drain Pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers , basil ,remaining olive oil , salt and pepper to bowl and toss to combine.Feel free to add more olive oil if it is too dry.
    • Serve in wide bowls with spaghetti at the bottom , then spinach and salmon at the top.enjoy!

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