Bow Tie Fiesta

This recipe was a spin off of the recipe you can find here. I didn’t have all the ingredients it called for, so I decided to use what I had, which just so happened to slim it down a little. It was SO good! My 3 year old even cleaned his plate, except for the tomatoes, which he refuses to eat.

Slimmed Down Bow Tie Fiesta
Makes 6 servings, 419 calories per serving

-1 lb. ground venison (of course you can use ground beef, but it will change the calorie count. I would get the leanest you can find. For those of you super strict about your calories, 1 lb of ground venison has about 544 calories. This way you can do a swap)
-1 cup mini bow ties
-1/2 white onion, chopped small
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tbsp smoked paprika (you can use regular, but it won’t be as good. 😉 )
-1/4 tbsp cumin
(you could also add some chili powder, but I was out)
-1 can RoTel original
-1/2 can of white beans
-2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
-1 tbsp tomato paste (I like the kind in a tube you keep in the fridge. It’s an amazing and wonderful invention!)
-salt to taste
-2 cups mild cheddar cheese (you can really use any cheese you have. Monterrey Jack would be great)

Brown your ground meat and cook your pasta. Drain the meat leaving just a tiny amount of fat in the pan. Put the meat in a bowl lined with paper towels to help soak up some of the fat. Throw your onions in the pan with the little bit of leftover fat. Cook until they start to get translucent, then throw in the garlic. Add your meat back to the pan, along with your beans and rotel. Stir it around and then add your spices and your salt. Stir, then add your laughing cow cheese wedges. It will mix in quicker if you cut them up first, but I just threw the wedges in there and let them melt as I stirred it. Add your cooked pasta to the pan and make sure everything is incorporated.

Transfer everything to an 8×8 square dish. Top with the cheese and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until all bubbly and gooey.

It is SO good! If you wanted to slim it down more, you could use reduced fat cheese, but my hubby would never go for that. Haha!

Posted in beef, calorie conscious, pasta, tomatoes, venison | Leave a comment

Baked Southwestern 4 Cheese Chicken Spaghetti

It just so happened that I was craving comfort food and my mind wandered to baked pasta and chicken.  Then it meandered a little further to creamy, cheesy, tomato sauces with green chiles for a little heat.  I looked around on the trusty internet and saw a few interesting baked pasta dishes, but nothing that really struck my fancy.  So, of course I came up with my own.  And boy am I glad I did!

Jaime’s Baked Southwestern 4 Cheese Chicken Spaghetti

Source: Me

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed tossed with my smoky southwestern rub (note: you could defintely add more chicken.  We only had 1 breast to use in the freezer)

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 serving spaghetti, cooked al dente

1 cup alfredo sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 tbsp chopped green chiles

1 handful 3 cheese Mexican Blend shredded cheese, plus extra for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small sauce pan combine alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, green chiles, milk and a handful of the 3 cheese blend.  Cook over medium heat until well combined.  In a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add chicken cubes.  Brown chicken on each side, then add to the sauce.  Spray a 9 x 9 casserole dish with cooking spray.  Put al dente pasta in dish.  Pour sauce over and toss to combine with pasta.  Cover the top with more of the 3 cheese blend and bake for 15 minutes or until top is bubbly and brown.

Next time I think I will make more sauce.  I like a lot of sauce with my pasta and while baking it, a lot of the sauce was absorbed.  But it was still good; going back for seconds and thirds good!

Posted in chicken, pasta | Leave a comment

Steamed Potatoes with Garlic Basil Butter

I was inspired to create a simple, easy potato dish after having BirdsEye Steamfresh Potatoes with Garlic Butter.  These literally steamed in the microwave, right in the freezer packet they came in.  They were ready to eat in about 5 minutes and they were SO good!!  I got a great deal on the 2 packets I bought, but they are normally priced around $2.50 each and it is barely enough for my family of 3…and that is only because Logan doesn’t eat a lot these days.  At that price, it isn’t very economical even though it is convenient.

For just a little more time, and a LOT less money I created a dish that is just as good, if not better.  And I’m sure it is better for you since it doesn’t have any preservatives.

There are no pictures because I am 7 months pregnant and hungry.  Sorry about that…

Steamed Potatoes with Garlic Basil Butter

Source: Me

Serves: 2

2 Idaho potatoes (you could use any potatoes you have on hand though)

2 tbsp water

1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, pressed

2 basil leaves, chiffonade

salt & pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, add the water and olive oil.  Cube the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and add them to the pan.  Toss to coat the potatoes.  Cover and turn to medium high.  You will see the steam start to build up.  After about 3-4 minutes, remove the lid and stir the potatoes then replace the lid.  If your potatoes start to stick and you seem to running out of liquid, add a little more water.  The water’s purpose is to create the steam, you don’t want to boil the potatoes.  Turn the heat down to medium low.  Once the potatoes are fork tender, remove the lid and add the butter, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

I topped mine with a sprinkling of Romano cheese.  All I have to say is YUM!!!

Posted in potatoes | Leave a comment

5 Ingredient Pasta Carbonara

I’ve made this bacon, egg and cheese pasta several times.  This is a different and super easy recipe from the show on Food Network, The Five Ingredient Fix.  I whipped it up for a quick lunch this week and it was SO good!!  She uses spinach and of course I omitted it.  This carbonara has a strong black pepper taste, and I opted to use more parmesan than she calls for which made my sauce a little thicker, but still yummy!

You can find the recipe here.

Posted in bacon, eggs, pasta | Leave a comment

Lemon & Herb Chicken Kabobs

These turned out so good!  I am taking dinner in a few weeks to some friends who just had a sweet baby girl.  I think I will make these and maybe some scallion rice to go along with it.  Who doesn’t just love food on a stick?

Lemon & Herb Chicken Kabobs

Source: Me

3 tbsp McCormick’s Lemon & Herb spice blend

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1/2 tbsp dried dill

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Bell Pepper, large cubes

Mix everything except the chicken and the bell peppers in the order listed, whisking in the olive oil at the end.  Put your bell pepper cubes in a small bowl and use a large spoon to ladle a little of the marinade over them.  Mix together to make sure all the peppers have marinade on them.

Add the chicken to the rest of the marinade and toss to coat.  I let everything marinate for around an hour.

When you are ready to grill, get the heat around medium.  Then skewer your meat and peppers, alternating when it seems right.  You can do every other one, but I didn’t have enough to do that.

If you use bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them while the marinade is doing it’s thing.  I had some metal ones, so I just used those.  I always just have to remember to use a rag when turning them.  The metal gets hot!!

I try not to turn my kabobs more than necessary.  You want to make sure each side gets a good sear.

Posted in chicken | 1 Comment

Grilled Korean Rib-Eye

This turned out awesome!!  Even my husband who honestly usually prefers straight up Dale’s as a marinade went on and on about how good this steak was.  There are no pictures after it came off the grill because I was so hungry when I finished cooking I just plain forgot to take more.  The leftovers even heated up well!

Here is a picture of the meat hanging out in the marinade:

Grilled Korean Rib-Eye

Source: CDKitchen

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (I was out so I used regular white vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar (I prefer a local honey in my marinades for the sugar content, so I substituted that here)
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into very thin rounds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used 2 tbsp sriracha sauce instead for some good heat)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
kosher salt
black pepper in a mill
2 rib-eye or market steaks, about 10 ounces each

In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, scallions, red pepper, and sesame oil. Set the steaks on a work surface, season on both sides with salt and pepper, put them in a glass baking dish, and pour the marinade over them.

Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning 2 or 3 times. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

Prepare a hot fire in an outdoor grill or preheat a stovetop grill. Cook the steaks until they are just rare, about 4 to 6 minutes per side, or a little longer for medium rare.  (We go for about medium at our house)

Transfer to warm plates, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and serve.  (I didn’t do this last step.  Instead I reserved some of the marinade after I put the meat on the grill, brought it to a boil and reduced it into a yummy sauce to pour over the steak.  It did not disappoint!)

Posted in beef | Leave a comment

Asian Pantry Pork Tenderloin

I call this a pantry pork tenderloin because I had to use some dried ingredients instead of fresh.  I just used what was in my pantry because I wasn’t going to run to the store for the few fresh ingredients I needed.  I am a big believer that if you keep certain staples on hand for Asian foods, you can always throw something together with that hint of the far east.  Honestly, I would have rather used fresh green onions and fresh grated ginger, but I had to use onion powder and ground ginger.  Sometimes you just work with what you’ve got.

Asian Pantry Pork Tenderloin

Source: Me

1 pork tenderloin

2 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp ground ginger

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup Thai Coconut Curry Culinary Broth (you can use regular chicken stock, but I had this on hand so I threw it in)

1 tbsp sriracha sauce (omit if you don’t like it a little spicy)

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Mix everything except the tenderloin in a large ziploc bag.  Seal and shake it up to make sure everything is combined.  Add the tenderloin and let marinate at least an hour.  I prefer 3-4 hours.  If you can, turn the bag every hour or so.  If you can’t, don’t worry about it.

I recently read about the 7,6,5 method of grilling pork tenderloin.  Using a gas grill, pre-heat on high for 7 minutes.  Put your tenderloin on the grill for 7 minutes.  Turn it to the other side and leave it for 6 minutes.  Then leave the lid closed and turn off all the burners and let it sit for 5 more minutes.  This should result in a perfectly cooked tenderloin.

Above is the result, right off the grill, following the directions for the 7,6,5 method.  It looks great!  After letting it rest about 10 minutes, I cut it into medallions.  The middle was a little under-done for my liking.  We just reserved that for leftovers and it should finish cooking through when it is reheated.

I also reserved the marinade after putting the tenderloin on the grill.  I brought it to a boil and let it reduce to a sauce.  It is full of flavor, so a little goes a long way!  I drizzled a little of the sauce over the sliced tenderloin before serving.

It tasted fantastic!  This is one of the best pork tenderloins I’ve ever made!  Next time I might do 8 minutes, 7 minutes, 6 minutes to see if it gets done a little more to my liking.

I served the tenderloin with roasted potatoes.  I know I’ve posted about these before, but to show how just how easy they are, I’ll type it out again.

Roasted Potatoes

3 russet potatoes, cubed

olive oil

grill seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Place cubed potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grill seasoning.  Toss to coat.  Roast for about 20 minutes.


Posted in pork | Leave a comment