Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Calzone Casserole

Yeah, I had never heard of it either.  And to be quite honest, after eating tonight's dinner I wonder why you don't just make it into a calzone.  It has all the same ingredients as a calzone, but is just formed different.  Oh the lengths food editors will go to come up with a new recipe.

Tonight's recipe is inspired by a Cooking Light recipe called Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole (see here), but I changed it very much so here's the adapted recipe:

1 pkg Pampered Chef Pizza Dough mix (or any pizza dough you have) + ingredients to make the dough
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (thinly sliced)
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
salt & pepper to taste
1 large bunch fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
1 1/4 c. ricotta cheese
1 c. Italian cheese blend
1 c. cooked chicken breast
2 Tbsp. Garlic Oil
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend

The Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Prep the dough according to package directions.  Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a 12" square.  Place the dough in an 8x8 baking pan.  Leave the excess over the edges. 
2. Heat oil in dutch oven and add onions and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown.  Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.  Salt and pepper the onions and keep warm.
3.  Add spinach to pan in batches, stirring often, until the spinach wilts (about 4 minutes). 
4. Add spinach, ricotta cheese, Italian cheese, and chicken to the onion mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well.  Pour spinach mixture into the prepared pizza dough crust.  Fold edges over the top and brush with garlic oil.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning blend over the top. 
5.  Bake in oven at 425 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

This was not Drew's favorite dish, but I really enjoyed it.  The fresh spinach tasted great and the ricotta was very mild.  I would make this again for a pot-luck event. 

An Apple a Day

Our harvest

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chick and Champ

Tonight's dinner was one of those easy to throw together kind of meals you need for a Monday night.  In about 30 minutes, dinner was on the table.  It was flavorful and comforting.

The menu: Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Tenders (Cooking Light), with Green Onion Champ (Cooking Light) and green beans.

For the Spicy Honey- Brushed Chicken, I swapped tenders for the recipe-called-for chicken thighs because I got a great deal on tenders this week at the market.  After getting half of my tenders in the rub mixture, I went ahead and cooked some plain ones alongside the ones for the recipe so I can use it for a recipe later in the week.  The only thing I changed about this recipe is the glaze that is brushed on at the last minute.  The glaze calls for honey and apple cider vinegar.  I wanted to kick it up a notch on the spice, so I added about a teaspoon of Siracha to it.  Drew likes his food really spicy, and the results were definitely spicy.  They had a great flavor.  I would definitely do this treatment for chicken tenders again, using alternative spices because it adds lots of flavor without adding any fat!  Gotta love that.  Since they are very figure friendly, we thought we would add a little bit of ranch and buffalo sauce for dipping - a great pairing.

For the uninitiated (as I was before this afternoon), "champ" is an Irish term for buttery mashed potatoes.  This version is very comfort-food pleasing.  For some reason, potatoes are not often on our menu.  We both grew up in household that ate potatoes often, but I still haven't added it to our list of "often" foods.   This might be because that list is incredibly short!  If you get a chance to try this recipe, do.  It is really good and flavorful.  A new cooking technique for me was the addition of green onions to the milk, heating it up and then adding it to the potatoes before mashing.  It infuses the green onion flavor very nicely into the potatoes and could have many applications.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Mondays is hosted by Organizing Junkie.  This is my first time to post and link to this meme, so if you are new here are a few things about me and the blog:
  1. I cook most nights of the week that I am not too tired. 
  2. I cook a new me recipe almost every time I cook. I am what some may call adventurous in the kitchen.  
  3. I am priveleged to do the two above things because it is just me and my husband, no kids.  I realize life will not always afford this luxury, so this blog helps me chronicle this season in life and the food we eat.
  4. I have decided it's time to keep myself accountable for my menu planning.

  So here goes our first week.

Monday: Spicy Honey Baked Chicken Tenders, Green Onion Champ (potatoes), Green Beans (steamed)

Tuesday: Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole

Wednesday: BBQ Flank Steak Sandwiches (w/ some sort of starch)

Thursday:  New Orleans-Style Shrimp, Corn on the Cob, New Potatoes

Friday: Grilled Chicken and Tapenade Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Frozen Lemonade with Coconut Rum

Saturday: Out to dinner with friends

Sunday: Mexican Tomato Bean Soup with Corn Dumplings

I am also going to try to get some baking done this week.  Stay tuned for updates.

What's on your menu for this week?