Dinner Delights

23 Aug

Its been a few busy days/enjoying the last bits of my time off before I become very busy starting a new job (for free, boo internships!)

To go back in time to a few notable meals in the past few days…

I  modified a Chicken Puttanesca recipe I tried before:

You can’t see very well, but the noodles are actually zucchini pasta. I am in love with using veggies as a pasta base, and can’t wait to try spaghetti squash soon. One thing that always bothered me about pasta was how many calories are in a very small amount of a rather bland food, that also can fill me up waaaay too quickly. Veggies as a substitute has made me want to try new “pasta” dishes now!

This puttanesca used a lot of broccoli, some onion, capers, garlic and some chicken. Traditionally puttanesca uses olives, but I’m not a huge fan, so I omit those. The base mixed with the zucchini is then topped with a bit of Mama Del Grosso’s Vodka Celebration sauce mixed with some crushed red pepper for added spiciness, and a drizzle of light sour cream to add some creaminess and a sprinkle of parmesan-romano. Its a pretty easy recipe to throw together with which veggie you want to highlight and add some red pepper to taste. (Also, about 300 calories per serving)

The Del Grosso sauces are the tastiest I’ve ever had, and I would love to learn to replicate them, since they are pricey. Typically I hate red-marinara sauces because most are so bland, but both this, and the Sunday Marinara I’ve recently tried are so flavorful!

Another delicious recipe I discovered online and requested Ryan to make for dinner (since I was getting home after 9 pm that night, and wouldn’t have a chance to eat any semblance of dinner during my shift) was a quesadilla recipe.

Spinach, Corn and Chicken Quesadilla

This could easily be made vegetarian using beans subbed for the chicken, which is what I would have done, but since Ryan was the chef, he insisted on some chicken. I think if we made them together sometime, we could each add in the protein we prefer, so there’s versatility in the dish.

This was another easy recipe that doesn’t need to be too precise, and if Ryan could make it, and even do a nice job plating it, anyone can! I couldn’t get a good shot of the insides, but believe me they were very tasty.


Whole wheat tortillas

Spinach (either bagged or frozen) –we used fresh


Jalepano pepper

Corn (frozen or fresh)

Chicken/beans (or whatever protein you prefer)

Monterey Jack cheese

You simply saute the veggies til tender, add the spinach and cook until it wilts (or is warm if using frozen). Then you place the tortilla in a non-stick pan, fill half the tortilla with the veggie mixture, and either beans or precooked chicken or both, and top with some cheese. Fold the quesadilla over, cook til golden brown on one side, and flip and cook the other side til golden brown, and voila, you’re done with a delicious, tasty meal, with a quesadilla  that’s about 300-400 calories, depending on the protein used, and how much cheese used.

We also added some black beans on the side (love that touch of a sprinkle of cheese, Ryan did such a good job!)

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll try to post later with the update on my 5k yesterday, and the dinner I made last night.

For now, I have quite a few tasks ahead of me on this day off:

–make the curtains for our bedroom I’ve been putting off for weeks
–look over the teacher’s manuals for the 2 classes I’m teaching this semester
–make my way to the gym, since its rainy rainy outside
–finish up a book for the women’s book club I’m attending Weds evening
–pick up an orientation packet from school for the Internship Orientation Weds morning
–and last but not least pick a restaurant in Tampa to meet my lovely friend Becca for dinner and drinks!


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