Avocado Super Smoothie

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This is amazing! It’s thick and creamy without the dairy and even my kids couldn’t detect the “green” in this smoothie. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Avocado Super Smoothie –

  • 1 cup kale, washed and stems removed
  • 1 cup baby spinach, washed and big stems removed
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 small apple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water, or more depending on how thick you prefer
  • Ice

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Directions –

Place all your ingredients in a blender carafe – starting with the liquid and topping off with the heavier items. Process for about 30 seconds until well blended. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

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Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Every once in a while I make something that isn’t worth making again, and this is a good example. It was bland and I forgot that I really don’t like the texture of wilted spinach – it grosses me out! I bet the hot spinach artichoke dip on the previous post would be amazing poured over pasta. I meant to try it; but when I make the dip, it’s meant for an appetizer and not an experiment ūüėČ If I ever do I’ll be sure to post about how it turned out. Thanks for reading!

Spinach Artichoke Pasta – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 6 Tablespoons¬†Butter
  • 4 cloves¬†Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 bags¬†Baby Spinach
  • 2 cans¬†Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
  • 3 Tablespoons¬†Flour
  • 3 cups¬†Whole Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup¬†Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup¬†Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup¬†Low Sodium Chicken Broth (less Or More)
  • 12 ounces, weight¬†Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • 1/2 cup¬†Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste

Directions –

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.

Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

Weeknight Italian Wedding Soup

Quick Post:¬†This recipe couldn’t be easier! For those cold nights it’s perfectly warming and comforting. We had another blast of cold weather the past few days which was surprising since it’s recently been in the high 70s regularly. I always love taking advantage of a cool night by making it a good excuse for some comfort food and carbs in the form of these lovely breadsticks. I didn’t change a thing about these recipes and we were all happy about how they turned out. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Italian Wedding Soup – adapted from Bev Cooks

  • ¬†3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (12 oz) package¬†Al Fresco¬†tomato and basil chicken meatballs
  • ¬†1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red
  • ¬†1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a small skillet and brown the chicken sausages on all sides, until heated through, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

In a deep pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add the crushed pepper along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until the veggies start to soften, 6 minutes.

Add the wine and stock. Bring to a light boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 minutes.

Add the chicken sausages and spinach. Simmer for about 5 more minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Almost Famous Breadsticks – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 package yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups AP flour,plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt

For the Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic¬†powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano
Directions –

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

Spring Green Risotto

I needed a side dish for my salmon in foil, so I immediately thought starch and vegetables, and this fits my needs perfectly because this risotto recipe is two sides in one. I came up with this by combining two risotto recipes that I found on FoodNetwork.com. I liked that Ellie Krieger used asparagus, peas and spinach and far less ingredients than Ina Garten’s; but I like that Ina uses butter, lemon zest, and more parmesan. I think I came up with a good mix of healthy with a little added richness by using more cheese, a little butter and brightness from the lemon.

This is definitely more fussy than the average rice recipe – but it’s not at all difficult to manage. Mine probably took more than 30 minutes, but it turned out great. Obviously, I left out the peas and spinach because once the asparagus was added, there was no room in my pan for anything extra. The lemon zest is a must to brighten up the flavor of the risotto or it would be a one note dish. I was tasting it before adding the zest and I was a disappointed because it was a little bland. The lemon woke up the flavors – even M noticed something different. He did like it though, which is always appreciated since he can be really picky and hard to please at times;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spring Green Risotto – a mix of these two recipes

  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cups white wine
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, steamed and cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 10 ounces frozen peas (not enough room in the pan…maybe next time)
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-3 cups baby spinach (oops!)

Directions –

Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine
and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes.

Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the asparagus and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest and more broth if the risotto seems too thick.