Shrimp Pasta with Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

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I didn’t really know what I was making when I was making dinner tonight. I had three recipes in front of me, that somehow morphed into one dish. It all worked together very well. I had the pasta, a dipping sauce for the shrimp, the shrimp and tomatoes, and the brussels sprouts all separate. I took a step back and realized this dish would be perfect as a pasta dish (instead of having the pasta on the side.) And I was right.

Had I known I was going to do this, I would have thickened the spinach sauce up a bit – but the flavors were all great.

Though this was not the dish I had intended to make for this month’s Pasta Please, I figured I should share it, because as life seems to prove time and again, I’m bad at getting blogs done. So if I have something that qualifies, I should get it in!

Pasta Please is a fun monthly roundup, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, but this month at SliceOffMe.

pasta please

Shrimp Pasta With Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
8 oz dried spaghetti noodles
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb uncooked shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 lb Brussels sprouts
olive oil, enough to fry the brussels sprouts
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup baby spinach
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook per the box’s directions. Drain and set aside.

2. When the pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Add the shrimp and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, trim the stems. Peel back and separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a cast iron skillet pour in the vegetable oil to sufficiently cover the bottom. Heat until sizzling. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves and fry, flipping continuously so they don’t burn. Once they have browned and begin to fold, remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on the lined baking sheet.

4. In a blender or food processor combine the spinach, green onions, yogurt, milk, vinegar, mustard, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Process until smooth.

5. Place the drained Brussels sprouts leaves in a bowl and toss with red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Heat a skillet with Pam over medium heat. Cook the shrimp and cherry tomatoes, for approximately 3 minutes or until the shrimp are no longer pink.

7. Toss the pasta with the sauce, shrimp, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts leaves on the top.

* serves 4
* Besides Pasta Please, this dish is being shared with Small Victories Sunday

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Rosemary-Lemon No-Knead Bread with Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip

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2014 has started on a busy foot. I’ve been applying to jobs and working for free. If you’re thinking about going to law school, this is something to consider. Do it because you love it. Not because you think you’re going to get rich quick. I mean, maybe you will. But you probably won’t. It’s good that wasn’t ever my plan.

I’ve been counting my calories again, because I let myself go this last year and gained far too much weight. I’ve been indulging too much and not exercising at all. So 2014 that will change. It’s not a new year’s resolution. It’s just a new life resolution.

I like to indulge though, that’s the problem. One of my favorite things to indulge in is spinach dip. I am obsessed with the spinach dip that Safeway sells. In fact, just typing that makes me start salivating. It’s that good. I decided yesterday to make a homemade, way lower calorie spinach dip. It’s definitely different than what I get at the store, much less creamy, but delicious in its own right.

This dip is my entry to this month’s AlphaBakes challenge. The letter for January 2014 is Y. This dip is made with yogurt, cheese, spinach, and artichokes. The yogurt definitely makes it meet this challenge requirement!

AlphaBakes Logo

Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
(source)

Ingredients
6 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 oz plain yogurt
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 green onions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

1. Combine all the ingredients together in a baking dish. Mix together well. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Voila!

Anyway, you can’t have spinach dip without having some delicious bread to dip in it. So I decided to participate in Cooking with Herbs and create a lemon-rosemary loaf. Karen asked for some citrus to be included with our herb cooking. The combination of lemon and rosemary was divine!

I followed a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. Additionally, a post at Serious Eats also really helped me with this loaf. The science behind this no-knead bread is fascinating. You let the dough sit for 12-18 hours and let the yeast do its business on kneading on its own. While this bread isn’t something you can whip up in a few hours, the amount of work to create a beautiful loaf of bread is minor.

I followed the Williams-Sonoma recipe, but I put the uncooked dough in the fridge for three days as per Serious Eats. I also determined when the loaf as done based on the temperature of the inside of the bread, which I also learned from Serious Eats.

This may have to be my go-to recipe. It’d be so easy to manipulate into many wonderful tasting breads.

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If I can lose weight and eat bread and spinach dip, I think this will be a good year/life.

IMG_9322* Besides AlphaBakes and Cooking with Herbs, this delicious duo is also being shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Curried Lentil Squash Stew

IMG_9025This month I hosted Food ‘n Flix, showing the French  film Delicatessen. As I mentioned in my announcement postDelicatessen is a dark movie. The movie focuses mainly on Louison, an unemployed clown, who answers an ad in a newspaper for work. This ad however actually designed to lure unknown victims to the building, so that he can butcher them for meat.

Let me say, this isn’t a movie based in the world as we know it. Rather, Delicatessen is a post-apocalyptic film in a time where people use food as currency.

In the beginning of the movie, when Louison arrives at the butcher’s in a taxi, he pays the cab driver in lentils (and his shoes.) I love lentils, and such, I ran with that thread in making this dinner of lentils and squash. I wonder how much all of the components of this dish would be worth in Louison’s world.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you enter your post-apocalyptic or French or wherever you decide to take it dish before May 29th to be included in our round-up. Please no cannibalism! 😉

Curried Lentil Squash Stew
(source)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger powder
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 summer squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
5 oz baby spinach

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and carrots, for about 8 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, and salt. Cook, stirring until fragrant.

3. Stir in the lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Add the squash and potatoes. Cover and simmer for an hour.

5. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until wilted.

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Pistachio Spinach Pesto

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This month at Pasta Please, Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes hosted the pasta challenge of pesto. Each month a host provides a theme around pasta. Last month was peppers; this month’s was pesto. The pesto couldn’t have come at a better time, because I know you’ve all seen the pesto dishes I’ve been making lately (with different veggies and different nuts.) For this pesto dish I decided to use pistachios and spinach.

Matt’s been on a huge pistachio kick lately. We get flavored pistachios each week from the farmers’ market. This week we got onion-garlic and I figured that would pair well with my pesto.

I still have that cup of pesto in my refrigerator. Besides putting it on noodles, how do you suggest I use it?

pasta please

Pistachio Spinach Pasta

Ingredients
a bunch of spinach, washed and pressed in a paper towel to remove moisture
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
8 oz noodles, cooked

Directions

1. In a food processor pulse together the spinach, garlic, cheese, and pistachios. Pulse until a paste is formed.

2. Add the olive oil a little at a time, pulsing consistently. Continue until you have pesto consistency.

3. Serve over noodles.

* serves 4
* Besides Pasta Please this dish is being shared with Tasteful Tuesday Party, Recipe Box, Tasty Tuesdays, &  Tempt My Tummy

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

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I’ve been having a huge spaghetti squash obsession lately. Last week while I was staying with my parents’ I made the Spaghetti Squash Casserole I posted about recently. Since I didn’t have all the same ingredients I had the first time, the dish instead had portobello mushroom instead of kale and turkey breast instead of ground beef. This spaghetti squash obsession basically means every spaghetti squash recipe I run into.. I have to have it.

I saw this Martha Stewart recipe on 33 Shades of Green and immediately started drooling. And really, the drooling was worth it. This dish was great.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
8 oz ground turkey
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups frozen spinach, thawed

Directions

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon take out the seeds and other innards (like inside a pumpkin.) Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Once the squash is cooked remove. Using a fork scrape the flesh into threads. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring until soft about 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the mixture between two bowls.

3. Stir 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese into one of the bowls of the garlic-onion mixture. Mix in the breadcrumbs, turkey, and salt and pepper to taste using your hands. Form this mixture into about 12 meatballs.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Brown the meatballs, turning them to brown each side and cook all the way through (about 6 minutes.) Remove the meatballs and transfer to a palte.

5. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook the mushrooms with salt and pepper over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic-onion mixture, meatballs, and chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir through until heated.

6. Serve the meatballs and mushroom mixture over the spaghetti squash.

* serves 4
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Wednesday Extravaganza

Spinach Ricotta Quiche

I should be studying. 

Spinach Ricotta Quiche

Ingredients
1 refrigerated pie crust
2 cups spinach, cut up and cooked in a skillet
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

 1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. Gently pat down the pie crust in the plate and poke holes across the bottom of the crust.

2. In a bowl mix together the spinach, cream, eggs, ricotta, cheddar, salt, and pepper. Pour into the crust.

3. Bake for 40-45 minutes and let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

* 452 calories per serving
* serves 6

Lentil Chicken Soup and Spinach Pinwheels

I’ve written about this before, but I’ll mention it again since it’s relevant right now because of the dish I’m posting. I’ve lost about 50 pounds since August of 2010. This has all been thanks to the website myfitnesspal. Besides the wonderful calorie database, it also has a great community of other individuals also losing weight. I’m part of a group over there called RECIPE SWAP. Each week two members of the group share a recipe for everyone else to cook.

Last week nattiec21 shared this recipe with the group. It definitely pushed me outside of my “normal” ingredients. I have never cooked with kale before and really, I’m not even sure if I’d ever eaten it before. Also, I had an unopened package of lentils in my cabinet, but I had never used them before. The nice thing about the group is I get stuck on the same flavors sometimes, the same ingredients, and the same dishes. This allows me try things I just wouldn’t otherwise.

I made this dish with those cute spinach pinwheels in the picture. They worked similar to croutons and were very delicious. Overall, I’d rank this dish high on the recipe chain and I would make it again.

Lentil Chicken Soup

Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tbsp fresh basil
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup dry brown lentils

Directions

1. Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the heated saucepan. Cook and cover for 5-7 minutes, allowing the vegetables to begin to tenderize, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and the dried lentils. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the chicken, tomato, and basil. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

* serves 3
* 228 calories per serving
* shared to be by nattiec21

Spinach Pinwheels

Ingredients
1 8-oz package refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
2 wedges Laughing Cow creamy Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
several handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped (I didn’t measure this)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Split the crescent dough in half along the center to form a rectangle. Press the perforated edges of the dough together with your fingers.

3. Spread each rectangle with one block of the creamy Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder and spinach.

4. Starting on the long side of the dough, roll together as if you were rolling a cinnamon rolls. Cut into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Continue until you have used up all of the crescent roll dough.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

* makes 10 servings
* 3 pinwheels per serving
* 165 calories per serving