Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Caprese Salad

Nothing says summer to me quite like a good old caprese salad.

Ripe tomatoes, Sweet basil and fresh mozzarella with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

This is all you need to make a delicious caprese salad:


I love the balsamic glaze from Trader Joe's (Trader Giotto's). It is so inexpensive but doesn't sacrifice flavor for cost. The key is to have fresh ingredients. Fresh mozzarella is a must! And today most grocery stores have a really nice selection of cheeses.


I usually serve this for lunch or as a Friday night appetizer.

You can even make little caprese stacks. All you have to do is layer the tomato, basil and mozzarella slices on top of one another and drizzle the glaze on top. You can make a mini version of this salad too by using boccincini, cherry tomatoes and basil and put them on skewers! SO cute!

I hope you make a caprese salad this summer! You wont be disappointed.

Note: the tray is from Ikea

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easy Pasta Bake

Are you sensing a theme here yet?

I love home-cooked meals. I love trying new recipes and I have more cookbooks than I care to count. But, a lot of nights, I resort to quick tried and true recipes that are my family's favorites.

My easy pasta bake is one of them.


For the past year, my family has incorporated more gluten free meals into our diet. The biggest struggle has been finding a pasta that stands up in taste and texture. We have tried brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta and corn pasta and all fell short. But then Barilla came out with their own gluten free pasta and it is the best! It tastes the most like "real" pasta and it holds up really well in sauces. I used Barilla gluten free penne pasta for this recipe.

Here is all that you will need to make this easy and delicious dish.


Ingredients:

1-1/2 boxes of Barilla Gluten Free Penne Pasta
1.33 lb pouch of Butterball Ground Turkey
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (we love Rao's)
1 medium can of tomato sauce (or two small cans)
half of an onion, chopped
Minced garlic, fresh or dried (1 TBSP)
Goya Adobo (I use it in everything!) (I just sprinkle it on) (eyeball it)
Crushed red pepper flakes (1 tsp)
And my secret weapon when cooking with ground turkey instead of beef is Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce (a couple of glugs)
Parmesan and Mozzarella for topping

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta
While you're waiting for the water to boil, season turkey with Adobo, red pepper flakes, and worcestershire sauce
Brown turkey, onion, garlic, over medium-high heat until no longer pink
Add tomatoes and cook until pasta is ready
Add some sauce to bottom of glass baking dish
(I use a 9x13 Pyrex for this recipe)
Add pasta and more sauce (reserve some for extra to put on the table)
Sprinkle with grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve with a salad and bread and you have a fast and satisfying meal!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice Casserole

I find this time of the year always to be so hectic. Take the school activities, sporting events, all the last minute end of the year things that come up and add them to the regular day-to-day hustle and it sometimes leaves me no room to make dinner. This is where the make ahead casserole comes in. Our favorite is my Chicken and Rice Casserole. And bonus, it's gluten free too!


I made it even easier by using several premade ingredients such as Perdue cooked and seasoned chicken, boil in bag brown rice and jarred alfredo sauce. You can most certainly grill your own chicken and made your own white sauce but when time is an issue, premade is the way to go.


Ingredients:

1 package of Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken (Grilled Italian Style) 9 oz
1 bag of Success Boil-in-bag brown rice (cooked)
1 jar of your favorite alfredo sauce
1/2 bag of frozen peas thawed
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
Slivered almonds


Directions:

Mix first 5 ingredients and place in round casserole dish
Top with breadcrumbs and almonds
Bake in 350 degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes

I usually assemble this way ahead of time and then its ready to pop in the oven whenever you want it.

Note: I have tried many gluten free bread crumbs and I find that Gillian's is by far the best!

I hope this helps with your end of the year mealtime rush!