Chicken Veggie Alfredo Lasagna

Quite a few fellow bloggers have been making lasagnas recently and having a hodge podge of random ingredients on hand, I figured I’d jump the bandwagon and use up the miscellaneous amounts of items in my fridge. I didn’t have any tomato/pasta sauce on hand (which is a reminder for me to make a big batch soon!) so I searched online for a quick alfredo sauce to use up the cream I had. I came across This Recipe from AllRecipes.com to use as a guide and made my adaptations outlined below (and this is not a figure friendly dish as written!):

Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 stick butter
10 oz cream cheese (1 brick + 2 oz cream cheese)
1 tablespoon garlic salt (I used The Spice house brand)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

In a saucepan, melt butter.
Add cream cheese and whisk to melt until smooth.
Add garlic salt and stir in heavy cream.
Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
Stir in fresh herbs and toss with pasta…. or use in a lasagna as I did below:

Chicken Veggie Alfredo Lasagna
original Joelen recipe
(to use up random ingredients on hand)

1 cooked chicken breast, sliced
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
9 lasagna pasta sheets (dry)

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– In a baking dish, spread 1-2 tablespoons of prepared alfredo sauce.
– Place a layer of 3 dry lasagna pasta sheets.
– Top with half of the chicken, squash, zucchini and mushrooms.
– Sprinkle with half of the cheeses.
– Place another layer of 3 dry lasagna pasta sheets.
– Spread enough prepared alfredo sauce over pasta sheets to cover.
– Top with remaining chicken, squash, zucchini and mushrooms.
– Sprinkle with half of the remaining cheeses.
– Place top layer of 3 dry lasagna pasta sheets.
– Spread enough prepared alfredo sauce over pasta sheets to cover.
– Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
– Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden brown & bubbly.

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Baked Parmesan & Romano Wings

Baked Parmesan & Romano Wings platter
served with marinara sauce
5 lbs chicken drummettes

salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder
onion powder
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place chicken wings on baking sheet in a single layer.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, & onion powder – toss to coat.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven after 30 minutes and set aside. Do not turn oven off!
In a large bowl, add melted butter and cheeses; stir to combine.
Add chicken and pan juices to butter/hot sauce mixture and toss to coat.
Clean baking sheet and line with new sheet of foil.
Place coated chicken on baking sheet and bake in hot oven for 10 minutes.**
To serve, plate on serving platter. Spoon on an remaining juices/sauce from the baking pan over the chicken wings.
To accompany the wings, serve with marinara sauce.

** To make ahead, prepare as directed above, until the second baking. You can make this in advance and keep warm in a 250 degree oven an hour prior to serving in place of baking the second time for 10 minutes.

Penne w/Saffron, Tomatoes & Herbs

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Penne w/Saffron, Tomatoes & Herbs
shared at the event by Shirley
recipe courtesy of Massimo Buttura

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives, such as Gaeta (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons salted capers—soaked briefly, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 asparagus (about 1/2 pound), cut on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths
4 slices lean bacon (3 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch matchsticks
1 cup dry white wine
4 quarts vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 pounds linguine

In a large, shallow serving bowl, combine the tomatoes with the olives, capers, anchovies, celery, scallion and thyme. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and half of the basil, cilantro and chives and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside for up to 2 hours.

In a large skillet of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until almost tender, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh in cold water.

In the same skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and remove from the heat.

In a large pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil with the saffron. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Salt the stock generously and return to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook, stirring, until al dente. Drain the linguine and add it to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the asparagus mixture, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Sprinkle the linguine with the remaining half of the basil, cilantro and chives and serve at once.

Toasted Spaghetti with Clams

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Toasted Spaghetti with Clams
shared at the event by Robert
recipe courtesy of Ferran Adria

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound spaghetti, broken into 2-inch lengths
2 garlic cloves, minced
Crushed red pepper
3 cups bottled clam broth
1 cup water
3 dozen littleneck clams, rinsed
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the spaghetti and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and a large pinch of crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the clam broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and cook over moderate heat until the pasta is barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Nestle the clams into the pasta, cover and cook until the pasta is al dente and the clams open, about 7 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water if the pasta is too dry. Stir in the parsley and serve.

WW: Eggplant Rollatini with Tomato Basil Sauce

For dinner tonight, I had a special guest over… my 6 year old nephew. To keep things healthy yet kid friendly, I made something similar to a lasagna (a favorite of my nephew’s) – Eggplant Rollatini. Little did he know that it was completely vegetarian! I served this with a baked bone-in chicken breast, seasoned with italian seasoning. Thankfully it was a hit and he enjoyed it… so did the rest of the family.

*Tip: You could make this in advance and is freezeable too, just like a traditional lasagna!

Eggplant Rollatini with Tomato Basil Sauce
courtesy of Weight Watchers Best Eats cookbook

1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 8 (1/4 inch slices)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 small zucchini, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange the eggplant on the baking sheet in one layer and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Bake until browned, about 10 minutes on each side. Reduce the oven temperature to 400F degrees.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium hat. Add 2 cloves of the garlic and cook, stirring occassionall, until fragrant. about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the basil; bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 10 minutes.

To make the filling, spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, onion, and remaining 1 garlic clove; cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; allow to cool slightly. Stire in the ricotta, parsley, egg, remaining tablespoons basil, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the salt and pepper.

To assemble the rollatini, spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread 3 tablespoons of sauce in the dish. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling at one end of each eggplant slice. Beginning at the filled end, roll up the eggplant slices and place, seam side down, ina single layer in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rollatinil sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until heated through completely, about 25 minutes.

Serves 4
Serving size: 2 rollatini
WW Points value: 3 Points

Chicken Florentine

The following recipe was made for my Food Network Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and get other recipes made for the event HERE.

Chicken Florentine
shared at the event by Teresa
(a Paula Deen recipe, found HERE)


2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
6 chicken breast halves (about 4 pounds), cooked, boned, and shredded
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Remove the outer wrappers from the box of spinach. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the spinach and put into a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the spinach and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.

Place the mixture into an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dot with the butter.

Wrap the uncooked casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. Place each pan into a plastic freezer bag and seal. Place into freezer.

Allow casserole to thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes until bubbly.

Eggrolls & Asian Appetizers Roundup!

Eggrolls are a popular Asian appetizer but it’s also found in American contemporary cuisine filled with various flavor combinations. Today, my friends and I got together to learn more about eggrolls by spending the afternoon rolling some with an assortment of fillings! For my eggroll adventure, I provided several different kinds of fillings including:
Mexican:
ground beef seasoned with southwestern seasoning,
multi-colored bell peppers, black beans, corn, mexican cheese blend

Italian:
ground italian sausage seasoned with italian seasoning,
romano cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach, italian cheese blend
Asian:
ground beef, garlic, onion, ginger, hoisin sauce, tofu, scallions
Vietnamese shrimp rolls:
shrimp, vermicelli noodles, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, bean sprouts

Unpictured
Gourmet: ground beef, caramelized onion, blue cheese, bacon, garlic, artichokes
Dessert: apple cinnamon cream cheese & sweet plantains

Here are pictures from the event:

For lunch to round out the meal, I also served up:


Bamboo Infused Rice


Shrimp Springroll Salad:
Sweet & Sour Meatballs:


Chocolate Chip Cookies:

To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted Asian appetizer recipes. As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event’s winner is Tammy of My Little World! Tammy will be receiving a Basting Brush (to help with future lumpia making) and a bar board/knife set compliments of Pampered Chef. Congratulations Tammy and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers…

Tammie of My Little World
from Ohio
Filipino Lumpia
Tammie takes me back to my childhood with her post on Filipino Lumpia. I grew up making these with my mom where it was a grand production that was sometimes labor intensive. Check out Tammie’s blog for the great recipe and a how to instruction on rolling them up!

Carrie of Carrie in the Kitchen
from Virginia
Lettuce Wrap Chicken Satay
Looking for something healthy asian appetizer? Not all asian appetizers are fried so check out Carrie’s blog for a Lettuce Wrap Chicken Satay. It’s perfect for those who are watching their carbs (like me)!

Heather of The Shannon’s Kitchen
from Florida
Crab Rangoons
Heather tempts me with her crab rangoons! I don’t think I can ever go to a Chinese restaurant without ordering these babies to whet my appetite before my entree comes. Check out Heather’s blog for the recipe!
Jennifer of Jenn & Food, Perfect Together
from Piscataway, NJ
Chicken & Shrimp Dumplings (Shu Mai)
Jennifer breaks in her new bamboo steamer by making these tasty pouches of goodness! She even provides some tips and hints in using a bamboo steamer. Check out Jennifer’s blog for details and the recipe for her dumplings!
Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles
from Philadelphia, PA
Summer Rolls
Bridget shares with us her beautiful spring rolls! They are one of my favorite type of asian appetizers because it’s fresh, light and filling. Check out Bridget’s blog for her fabulous pictures and recipe!
Alex of Eating Leeds
from Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Salt & Pepper Squid
Alex got me hungry reading her submission to the Asian Appetizer’s blogging event. I happen to love Salt & Pepper Squid! Check out her blog for the recipe!

Ramki of One Page Cookbooks
from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Parathas
Ramki shares with us some information on parathas, which are Indian are non-leavened flatbreads. Check out her blog for some great information and varation to this popular Indian appetizer!