Lemon Asparagus Tortellini

I’ve shared my favorite pizza recipe on here recently, now I’m sharing what I consider my favorite pasta recipe. We have had this dish at least once a month in our house– if not twice or more– ever since I found a version of it in my Rachael Ray Big Orange Book. There she describes it as “jaw droppingly delicious” and she’s not exaggerating!

She uses penne, whereas I prefer cheese tortellini in this. I also do a little more lemon than she does. Other than that, I give all creds to her. Good job thinking up this recipe, Rachael! 

First you cut the pieces of asparagus into, like, 1/2 inch pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook them in it until they are bright green. Remove from pot and add tortellini and cook to package directions.

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The next part of making the sauce goes quick so I like to have everything pre-measured out next to my pan to help it along.

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Sauté garlic in butter/oil for a minute or two, then whisk in flour and cook for another minute or two.

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Add half and half, Dijon mustard, veg stock, asparagus, and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. If it’s too thick for your liking, add some pasta water to thin out a bit. 

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Toss sauce in with tortellini, garnish with some added parmesan on top, and enjoy!

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Lemon Asparagus Tortellini
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package tortellini
  2. 1 lb. asparagus
  3. 2 lemons
  4. 1 tablespoon butter
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  8. 3/4 cup half and half
  9. 2 tablespoons flour
  10. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  11. Parmesan cheese
  12. salt
  13. pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces, cook for about 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Remove.
  2. Add tortellini into boiling water and cook to package directions.
  3. Melt butter and olive oil together. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add half and half, vegetable stock, Dijon mustard, 2 lemons juices, 1 lemon zest, and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Combine sauce with tortellini. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. You can thin out sauce by adding some pasta water if needed.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Say The Blessing http://saytheblessing.com/

What We’re Eating This Week

I’m a BIG FAN of meal planning. I usually plan for 4-5 days and we’ll eat out on Friday and/or Saturday nights. I try to do a good mix of easy meals and new recipes throughout the week, too. If it is a new recipe you can probably expect a blog post on it the next week or two! So, here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Mac and cheese
Monday: Quesadillas 
Tuesday: Grilled steak and chicken
Wednesday: Bible Study– out
Thursday: Frozen meal
Friday: Out
Saturday: Out

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Unstuffed Peppers

I like stuffed peppers, and have even featured them on here before, but I don’t love them. At least not enough to include in my monthly rotation of favorite meals. I think the process of eating it out of the full pepper is what gets me. It’s awkward to break into and then you have to cut up the pepper into bite-sized piece unless you want a big hunk of it with your filling.  

Can anyone else relate?

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That’s why I took the flavors (and ingredients) of stuffed peppers and turned it into an UN-stuffed pepper casserole. I diced up two whole red peppers and incorporated them into the rest of the mixture instead of stuffing the contents into the peppers.

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The rest of the mixture I mentioned was ground beef, whole wheat rice, and a can of diced tomatoes. Brown the ground beef, drain it, add the peppers and tomatoes and let cook for 5-10 minutes (or until the rice is finished cooking in my case). You don’t want to cook down the peppers too much, after all they are supposed to be the star of this dish!

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Then I added it all together into a cute casserole dish I have, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked for 15 minutes.

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It was soooo good. I definitely like this a lot more than the traditional stuffed peppers. So next time you want to make some stuffed peppers, try unstuffing them !

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Unstuffed Peppers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 can of diced tomatoes
  3. 2 peppers (any color)
  4. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  5. 2 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Cook rice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Brown ground beef, drain. Add back to pan with tomatoes and peppers. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  4. Mix together rice with beef mixture. Place in casserole dish. Top with cheese.
  5. Cook in oven for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted and browned a little.
Say The Blessing http://saytheblessing.com/

What We’re Eating This Week

I’m a BIG FAN of meal planning. I usually plan for 4-5 days and we’ll eat out on Friday and/or Saturday nights. I try to do a good mix of easy meals and new recipes throughout the week, too. If it is a new recipe you can probably expect a blog post on it the next week or two! So, here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Pasta
Monday: Zucchini boats
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Bible Study– out
Thursday: Shrimp Fried Rice
Friday: Out
Saturday: Out

BBQ Chicken Salad and Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Remember my bucket list saying I wanted to do a 5K? Well I’m training for it now [gasp]. Slowly but surely learning to run. As silly as that sounds, I just hate running so much that it’s literally like teaching myself something new every time I put on my shoes and begin my training that day. 

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I’m doing Couch to 5K and have really enjoyed it so far– well as much as I can. I’m building up to running longer lengths of time. I don’t know how I will get to the point where I can run 20-30 minutes straight, but hopefully I stick with it and get to that level!

Because of this new found running thing, I figured we should eat a little heather. I like making entree salads, but talking Graham into it for a dinner is a little hard sometimes. He likes my BBQ Chicken Pizza so I figured I’d take those flavors and put it into a salad. And what do you know? He actually LIKED it. Win!

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I also topped the salad with some cilantro mixed into my homemade ranch for some extra pizazz.  

Got any advice for me for the 5k?? Any other running-haters out there?

BBQ Chicken Salad and Cilantro Ranch Dressing
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. chicken breast
  2. 1 cup BBQ sauce
  3. 3/4 cup homemade ranch
  4. 1 tablespoon cilantro
  5. 1 container of spinach blend (or lettuce will work too)
  6. 1/4 of medium red onion, diced
  7. 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
For the salad
  1. Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce for at least one hour.
  2. Cook on med-high for about 4-5 minutes each side. (Until no longer pink)
  3. Remove chicken and diced up. Add a little more BBQ sauce to the cooked chicken if you think it needs extra flavor.
  4. Combine spinach mixture, chicken, red onion, and mozzarella. Toss thoroughly. Top with dressing.
For the dressing
  1. Mix together 3/4 cup of ranch with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro.
Notes
  1. I used the cilantro squeeze tube instead of fresh but either works well!
Say The Blessing http://saytheblessing.com/

What We’re Eating This Week

I’m a BIG FAN of meal planning. I usually plan for 4-5 days and we’ll eat out on Friday and/or Saturday nights. I try to do a good mix of easy meals and new recipes throughout the week, too. If it is a new recipe you can probably expect a blog post on it the next week or two! So, here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Salmon, kale chips, and rice
Monday: Meatball subs
Tuesday: Creamy Herb and Chicken
Wednesday: Bible Study– out
Thursday: Out
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Out

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Have you ever been in the middle of cooking (or even about to start cooking) and realized “shoot, I totally don’t have one of the biggest ingredients I need for this?”

This is a result of that. 

Cheeseburgers are a usual staple in my house. My father-in-law makes the absolute best ones I’ve ever had, and I’ve been trying to replicate them slowly but with no luck. Well I was planning on making cheeseburgers and after a long shopping trip realized I hadn’t bought buns.

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Yes, I could have gone to the store since I wasn’t planning on making them until mid-week. But once I’ve been to the store once in my week I really try to avoid going back. 

I had the option of making burgers without buns or burgers wrapped in lettuce (Graham refused that) and then I remembered I shouldn’t go back and buy the buns, but use what I have in my pantry and save money.

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And thus Cheeseburger Quesadillas were born!

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Cheeseburger Quesadillas
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 4 flour tortillas
  2. 1 lb. ground beef
  3. 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons ketchup
  5. 1 tablespoon mustard
  6. 1/4 of an onion, sliced
  7. 1 cup cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook ground beef over medium-high until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add onion slices back to pan with a touch of oil if you don't have any beef grease still hanging out in the pan and cook down for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add beef back to pan with worcestershire, ketchup, and mustard. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Divide cheddar cheese evenly onto four tortillas.
  5. Spoon beef/onion mixture onto one side of the tortillas and fold over.
  6. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes until tortillas are browned.
Notes
  1. You can do the ketchup/mustard ratio to taste!
  2. I put the tortillas on a cooling rack on top of baking sheet to get crispy on top and bottom.
Say The Blessing http://saytheblessing.com/