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Tag Archives: meatless meal

Pomegranate, Feta, and Chive Pinwheels

Everywhere we go everything is decorated. And while there may be a whole spectrum of ‘holiday’ colors, red and green are by far the stars of this show. One thing I don’t see a lot of? Festive dishes.

Hold on, let me stop you right there. I’m not talking about the traditional holiday favorites. Or even all the cute ones made to look like Holiday favorites, like our Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread or our Christmas Tree Pancakes. Those are a given. I’m talking about ‘decorated’ festive dishes made specifically with Christmas colors in mind. My Mom used to say that at least half of her enjoyment in a dish wasn’t just taste or even presentation, but about the colors and whether or not they spoke to her. She loves a vibrant presentation, and I can honestly say that I’ve come to appreciate one as well.

Pomegranate & Feta Pinwheels 2

Red pomegranate arils and bright green chives stud a bed of snowy white feta and whipped cream cheese, and it’s all wrapped up into perfect pinwheels. Talk about the total package! Visually engaging with a mouth-watering flavor combination, these just beg to be included in your Christmas buffet or at any holiday party.

Pomegranate, Feta, and Chive Pinwheels

Pomegranate & Feta Pinwheels

8 oz whipped cream cheese
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup chives, chopped
⅓ cup pomegranate arils, rinsed and gently patted dry
4 fajita size tortillas

Directions

  1. In a medium size bowl, stir together the cream cheese, feta, chives and pomegrante arils.
    2. Spread the cream cheese out evenly over all four tortillas.
    3. Roll each tortilla tightly (like you would a Swiss or jell roll) and wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the filled tortillas for at least one hour, or overnight if making ahead of time.
    4. Use a serrated knife to slice each tortilla into 12 pinwheels before serving.

recipe adapted from Melanie Makes

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3 Cheese Gnocchi Macaroni & Cheese

Easy. Peasy. And, yes, cheesy. (Sorry, had to go there. The rhyme was just too tempting.)

Gnocchi Mac And Cheese 2

Two of my favorite things, both equally indulgent, in one fantastic dish? Yes, please! Fluffy potato gnocchi basking in a rich, creamy cheese sauce worthy of gracing the plate of even the hautiest of Mac & Cheese snobs? Fill ‘er up, and I’m already calling dibs on seconds.

Gnocchi Mac And Cheese 3

It’s awe-inspiring. Has my kitchen ever churned out such a fine bowl of creamy comfort before? And The taste!

There’s just a small price to pay for a few decadent cheeses. And some calories. But the finished product absolutely pales in comparison.

Three Cheese Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

Gnocchi Mac And Cheese

2, 16 oz, pkgs potato gnocchi
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
3-4 tsp minced garlic
1 cup half and half, or milk (warmed)
1 1/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper, to taste
finely-chopped fresh parsley or basil, for topping

Directions

1. Cook the gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. While the gnocchi cooks, get started on the cheese sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and the broth until evenly combined and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the butter or olive oil. Add in the garlic and saute, stirring, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, and whisk until combined. Add in the milk, and whisk until combined. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches a low boil. Then remove from heat, and stir in the cheeses until they too are melted and the cheese sauce is smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
4. Combine the cooked gnocchi and cheese sauce together in the pot you cooked the gnocchi in, and toss together until the gnocchi are evenly coated. Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of finely chopped, fresh basil and/or parsly and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan, if desired.

recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Greek Quiche

I could easily eat Greek (or Mediterranean flavored ) food all day, every day. Not even joking.

I have yet to come across another flavor pallet, that is not only bursting at the seams and win robust favors jam-packed into every single bite, but all-around pretty healthy as well.

(I’m sire they’re out there, I just haven’t fallen for em yet.)

Greek Quiche

Quiche for dinner, you say? But with all that egg-y ness how can it be? The salty feta, the tangy olives, the juicy, sun dried tomatoes, the marinated artichoke, and all the traditionally Greek seasoning palette make for a Mediterranean flavor fest in every bite.

Greek Quiche 3

The egg is just the glue that binds it all together, and it doesn’t detract or disappoint. Far from it. Somehow it manages to get even better with every bite.

Greek Quiche

Greek Quiche 2

1 pre-made Quiche/Pie Crust
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a heaping 1/4 cup of Sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), roughly chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, or regular black olives, roughly chopped
1 cup Artichokes,marinated in oil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup of milk
4 eggs
3 tbsp fresh Oregano, diced, or 3 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions

1. Unroll/roll out the people made pie crust and place it evenly into a 9 ” pie pan. Use your fingers to gently crimp the edges. This step is purely meant to be aesthetically pleasing, and totally optional!
2. In a medium-large skillet, add the olive oil over and heat over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add in the diced onions and cook until they just start to turn translucent, or about 6 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and let them cook together for a few minutes longer. Remove the skillet from heat, add in the olives, artichokes stirring everything together, and let the mixture rest.
3. While the veggie mixture is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and spices. Add the cooked veggies to the prepared quiche crust. Top with the crumbled feta cheese.
4. Gently pour the egg mixture over top of the veggies, and don’t worry if it doesn’t quite completely cover everything or if it swamps the veggies, either way it will turn out fine.
5. Bake the quiche at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until the top just starts to brown. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, everything is completely cooked through.
6. Remove the cooked quiche from the oven and let rest for a minute or two before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Do you share our love of all things Greek? Or Mediterranean flavored? Here’s a few other ideas you might like:

Greek Chicken Burger Sliders with pickled red onions and a lemonmint yogurt dressing 3

Greek Chicken Burger Sliders with Pickled Red Onions & Greek Yogurt Sauce

Greek Spinach Feta Chicken Pockets

Greek Spinach Feta Chicken Pockets 

4 Sons 'R' Us: Greek-Style Oven Fries

Greek-Style Oven Fries

Grilled Caesar Asparagus

I always find myself trying to keep things simple in the summer time. Maybe it’s the way everything seems to slow down, and for the most part, take a more leisurely pace. Of course, that could just be the heat. Or the fact that all the kids are home, and for people who don’t drive they sure do make a lot of plans to go all over the county, and everything takes us twice as long to get our little butts around to doing. And that we essentially throw our traditional school year schedules out the window. So yeah, summer meals. I’m in no rush, but everybody’s still got to eat.

In the evening’s, I’d much rather be sitting around outside with a good book, their play and laughter the perfect back ground music, than inside in the kitchen.

 image

That’s where asparagus enters into our meal-time picture. Grilled with a little oil, salt, and pepper, asparagus makes for a simple summer side dish. Top that beautiful grilled green bounty with your favorite caesar dressing, croutons, and some shredded Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a perfect meatless meal that’s filling without weighing you down, and ready in a breeze. Serve stalks as is, or chop them into quarters for a more traditional, ‘tossed-salad’ type dish.

Grilled Caesar Asparagus

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
croutons
shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Toss the asparagus spears in the oil, salt and pepper them, to taste, and grill them over medium-high heat (turning once or twice) until crisp-tender and slightly charred.
2. Serve topped with the caesar dressing of your choice, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and another round of fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

Do you ever find yourself perusing Pinterest, or Facebook, or even sitting in a lobby flipping through a copy of Taste of Home only to see yet another salad ‘meal’ recipe and just keep flipping (or scrolling) because you just know either you’ll be the only one who likes it or it’s got a 50/50 shot at best? I can’t tell you how many times this has been me. If it’s been you too, then this is the salad recipe for you. This salad and dressing are packing the protein and the dressing is so yummy they’re not even gonna guess it’s got a good for em base.

 Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad With A Cool Avocado Dressing

Let the little bit of spice give ’em a kick in the pants. After all hasn’t Mom always told you to eat your greens? They’re good for you. Geez! Sorry. Seriously, sorry. Sometimes the mom in me just comes waltzing right on out and into my conversations. There’s really no stopping it. But back to topic. Healthy AND tasty.

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Cool Creamy Avocado Dressing

This is a salad for the people. The people who love salad. The people who suffer through salad. And especially the people who take one look at a salad and stick there nose up in the air because a salad can’t possibly be a satisfying meal.

Give it a try, and tell me if it doesn’t leave em asking for more 🙂 Top it with tortilla strips or a few crushed tortilla chips for that crunchy piese de résistance. And then try to hide the smirk while you politely refrain from telling them ‘I told you so’. Nope, scratch that. You can totally smirk.

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Cool Avocado Dressing

For the Southwest Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup of drained can corn or thawed frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced roma tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, or more to taste
crispy tortilla strips or tortilla chips

For the Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
1 small jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and roughly chopped, optional
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mild or medium salsa
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
juice from 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4- 1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
tiniest of dashes of cayenne pepper, optional

Directions

1. Add all of the Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping the sides down as needed. If using it, add in the cayenne pepper before adding additional salt and pepper to taste. If your dressing is too thick, then add in a little extra milk and stir until you’re reached the desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl, except for the tortilla strips/chips,  and toss to combine.
3. Toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing or drizzle dressing over individual servings, especially if you’re not planning to polish off the entire salad in one meal.
4. Garnish the salad, or servings, with tortilla strips, or tortilla chips and freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Are your hungry, hungry omnivores still looking for more protein and/or a denser dish? Serve it topped with grilled chicken strips and they’ll love it.

recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Mediteranean Tortellini Pasta Salad

 It was the day after Christmas, and all through the house children were playing with plenty of arguments over tv time and game systems for their parents to dowse.

The wrapping paper was all picked up and Santa’s supplies packed away with care, when I realized, ‘Oh, crap!’ Dinnertime soon would be there.

The sons’ were all asking, wondering what there was going to be to eat.

And this Mom had nothing. I’d never even thought to pull out any meat….

None. Nada. Zilch.

It was then that a little light from heaven shone down…right into my fridge. And my heart and belly (and my Mommy-conscience) leapt with joy! (Let’s be honest, what was I going to rhyme with Zilch or fridge?!)

Pasta with Cucumbers, Tomatoes and vinegrette dressing…maybe even a little Feta cheese.

An easy, meatless meal? Yes, please.

Oh, had I been craving some good pasta lately. And the lasagna I’d had for dinner on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas day still hadn’t cut it.

And thus to us, a new recipe was born.

Mediterranean Tortellini Pasta Salad

 Mediterranean Tortellini Salad

1 lb tortellini
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing

⅓ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper, to taste

Note: Serving a crowd? No worries! The recipe easily doubles. Just don’t cry any crocodile tears over the empty bowl that comes home and the fact that you have no leftovers to enjoy later on.

Directions

1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Soak the onions in a bowl of clean, cold water. Drain after 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl add the onion slices, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, cheese, and tortellini. Gently toss them together.
4. In a different bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk everything together until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the tortellini salad and gently mix until everything’s nicely coated with the dressing. Serve this salad warm or at room temperature.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash

I’ve been seeing pictures of stuffed squash blossoms in the foodie world for a few years now, and I’ve been intrigued. I love squash, but really had no idea what in the world they might taste like. It got me thinking though. Then a year or two ago, my Pinterest feed got flooded with tons of pictures and recipe ideas for stuffing zucchini. Now the wheels were really turning. So this summer when my mother-in-law planted a ton of squash, I kept my fingers crossed that I could beg persuade her to let me have A LOT of the crop. And she did!

And then this happened.

 Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash

Beautiful, fresh yellow squash stuffed with creamy pimento cheese and topped with crispy panko bread crumbs and parsley.

It’s one of the best ways to enjoy squash, well in our opinion at least. This dish works well as a side or even as a vegetarian main meal. Not a fan of yellow squash? Try using zucchini instead.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash 3

While this dish is a no-brainer for us in the summer with the influx of dirt cheap, and/or free, squash, it’s also become a holiday staple. It’s rich, it’s indulgent, and the combination is perfectly Southern.

If you were on the fence about what to make, or scrambling to find a last minute recipe for your familys’ Thanksgiving meal, this one’s sure to be a hit.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Squash 2

recipe adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

4 medium squash or zucchini
pimento cheese, your favorite brand or homemade
⅓ cup panko crumbs
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp parsley flakes

Directions

1. Cut squash in half horizontally. Place squash in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam about 6 to 8 minutes, just until tender. Let cool and then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.
2. Place squash, cut side up on a baking sheet.
3. Salt and pepper the squash.
4. Fill each squash cavity with pimento cheese.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, butter, and parsley.
6. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the ‘stuffed’ squash.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is warm and melted.
8. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes to lightly brown the panko crumbs.

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