Bloom Everyday

Inspiration for Healthy Living.

Archive for Pasta

Easy Spicy Cajun Pasta Cream Sauce

So Mark and I picked up some of this spice. We were so excited to give it a try. Be careful though! It’s not so spicy but more super salty. So check out my balanced recipe of spice and creaminess. Perfect on pasta!\

What You Will Need:

oil, 2 tbsp
red onion, medium, sliced
red pepper, half, sliced
pepper
cajun seasoning of your choice, 1 tbsp
red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon
grated parm, 1/8 cup
fat-free half-and-half, 1/4 cup (or more depending on how much you want to make)
pasta water, 1/3 cup

1. In a pan, drizzle some oil.

2. Add the red pepper flakes to flavor the oil.

3. Add the red onions, cook on medium heat to get them soft.

4. Add the red pepper, and cook down ’til they are just soft.

5. Add the cajun seasoning.

6. Next add the half-and-half.

7. Add the parm!

8. Reserve some of the cooked pasta water. This will help loose the sauce up and help it stick to the pasta. Enjoy!

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Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Pasta Bake

Growing up, I loved cheddar and broccoli pasta. So here is my version. I got creative one night in the kitchen, and my husband and I loved this. A healthier version of one of my comfort foods. It’s essentially mac and cheese with veggies – but it is oh so good!

What You Will Need:

pasta, your favorite shape, 3/4 pound
cauliflower, frozen, 1 cup
garlic, 4 cloves, diced
onion, small, half, diced
margarine/oil, 3 tablespoons
flour, 3 tablespoons
skim milk, 2 1/2 cups
extra sharp cheddar, 2 cups
broccoli, frozen, 2 cups, diced finely
grated parm
bread crumbs
salt & pepper

1. Cook the onions in sauce pan until the become soft.

2. Add the garlic, and cook until you can just smell it.

3. Next add the flour, stir until incorporated. Cook off raw flour taste.

4. Next add the milk.

5. Cook until bubbly, stir in cheese! It will be thick and cheesy. Add salt & pepper to taste.

6. Cook the pasta as directed. Add the cauliflower the last minute of cooking in the boiling water to heat through. Drain and return to pot. Add the cheese sauce.

7. Stir in the finely chopper broccoli.

8. Place in a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and parm cheese. Bake in 375 degree oven until bubbly and top is golden brown.

9. Delicious!

Perfect Spinach Walnut Pesto

My husband and I just love our pesto. We will buy it at CostCo. every now and then; but nothing beats our favorite homemade recipe. You can substitute any nut in the recipe, we love almonds as well – but you can also use original pine nuts or pistachios.

What You Will Need:

basil leaves, 2 cups
spinach leaves, 6 cups
garlic cloves, 8-10 whole
walnuts, toasted, 1 heaping cup
parm cheese, 2/3 cup
lemon zest, 1 teaspoon
lemon juice, 1 lemon
olive oil, until pesto is smooth
salt & pepper, to taste

1. This recipe is really easy. Toast the nuts in a pan, usually until you can smell them.

Toss the nuts a few times to toast evenly.

2. Put everything in food processor.

3. Pour in olive oil while blending until smooth. This will…

…turn into this!

4. Put it on everything! Pasta, grilled cheese, vegetables…it’s great on just about anything.

Easy Pan Fried Pasta

Remember when I made stuffed shells? Well, I had some left over shells that I needed to make something with. Growing up, this was a staple in our household! My mom would make us fried pasta with the leftovers either for lunch or for dinner later that week. You can make this recipe just with the pasta alone, or do what I do, and add whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge or frozen in the freezer.

What you will need:

Leftover pasta, in red sauce
oil
salt & pepper
tomato sauce, if needed
parm cheese, finely ground
veggies, optional

1. In a large skillet, heat some oil on medium-high heat.

2. Add your leftover pasta to the pan, add more sauce if needed. Add in veggies if desired. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Do not move too much, you want your pasta to get a  nice golden brown color on the bottom.


3. Lastly, add some parm cheese on top.

4. You’re done! Easy dinner in minutes.

My hubby and I love this easy dish, we hope you do too!

Katie @ BloomEveryday

Vegetarian Loves ME: Stuffed Shells Edition

Last night was one of those nights where I was tired, had an evergrowing to do list, was short on time, and still hadn’t thought of what to make for dinner. I had a chat with my Nana and she gave me the great idea to make Stuffed Shells.

I still needed to exercise for the day, so I went on a run to our favorite grocery store and picked up some large shells and ricotta cheese.

You’ll need:

> Large Pasta Shells, 1 box
> Your favorite red sauce (like our recipe), as needed
> red pepper flakes, as desired
> Fresh herbs (I used oregano, tarragon, basil), 3 tbsp
> Italian Seasoning, dried, 1 tsp
> Garlic powder, 2 tsp
> frozen broccoli, small dice, 1 1/2 cups
> ricotta cheese, part-skim, small container
> parmesean, shredded, 1/4 cups
> chicken tenders, three
> milk
> bread crumbs
> egg
> flour
> oil

1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the  ricotta, herbs, seasoning, broccoli, parmesean, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.

And get this!

2. Cook shells as directed, drain, and then coat with thin layer of pasta sauce to prevent them from sticking together.

3. Place red pepper flakes in the bottom of two baking dishes. Put a thin layer of red sauce on the bottom of the dishes.

4. Fill the shells with the cheese fillings and arrange in baking dishes. Cover the tops with sauce.

5. Place in a 375 degree oven while you prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, dip the chicken in a milk and egg mixture. Then coat in the bread crumbs and flour. Cook in oil until golden brown.

6. Pull one of the dishes with the shells out and place the chicken around the dish.

7. Sprinkle some parmesean cheese on cook until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Yum!

– Katie @ BloomEveryday

What is your favorite go-to meal when you cannot think of what to make?

Mediterranean Pasta Dinner for Two

Happy Sunday!

It’s a gloomy day here, but today is a beautiful day. 🙂

If you lead a busy life like Heather and I, sometimes you need to plan a date night with that special someone! That’s exactly what I did last night with my sweetie. We took a trip to the Mediterranean. Here is my recipe for a yummy, easy, healthy dinner and an easy side dish.

I picked some fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden to use in this recipe. But you can use fresh ingredients from your local store or farmer’s market. This is a fresh dish that will be pleasing to even the biggest vegetable loather (my husband doesn’t like tomatoes but loves this dish!).

Here’s what you will need:

2 cups cherry (or similar) tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2/3 cup basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup good oil
red pepper flakes, as hot as you like
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1) In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, pepper flakes, salt,  and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for a minimum of 5 hours – to marinate (or can be stored in the fridge during the day if you are planning to make it later than 5 hours).

Chop…

Add basil…


Add oil…

And mix…

2) When you are ready for dinner, boil water and cook the angel hair pasta as directed (should only take 4 to 5 minutes). Drain the pasta and put back in the pot. Add the marinated tomatoes. Mix in the cheese.

Cooked pasta…
Add marinated tomatoes…


Add the parm…


Viola! Dinner is served…

For a super simple side dish…here’s what you can do. At your local bakery or at the supermarket, pick out your favorite loaf of bread. We love ciabatta! It’s light and airy, but chewy and crisp on the outside.

I took half the load, wrapped it in foil, and put in the oven to warm it through.

Then stop by your local olive bar and pick out a few goodies…we chose olive tapenade, roasted garlic, and feta and olives. We dipped the bread in some oil and put some of our picks on top. So tasty! And a really easy, no fuss side dish (this is a perfect idea too if you are going to entertain). Less work for you!


This is a great meal for a little getaway! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

– Katie @ BloomEveryday

What’s your favorite meal that transports you?

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