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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!


Salsa Squared

18 Aug

So to pick up where I left off a few days ago, Ryan and I successfully made the walk to and from the gym, with about 45 mins of working out in between. The walk is a little over a mile and a half each way, but also took about a half an hour, so its def a great way to get in an extra workout, but only if we have a good 2 hours to devote to the process.

Meanwhile, I’ve been very busy at work, and more than excited to have a day off tomorrow! I cannot wait to have a 5 day work week and weekends off, since I’m a routine kind of girl, and haven’t felt much like cooking and don’t have terribly fun dishes to share for the most part, but I did eat some yummy things today worth noting:

Breakfast was an egg white with S&P, on a toufayan whole wheat bagel with a little whipped cream cheese and salsa to top it off. A little spicy for breakfast to help wake me up!

I also had a little Hello Kitty cup of Orange Juice! These little cups are the best for milk and juices, since I typically don’t like too much of a flavored drink, so its the perfect amount! (My baby heinekens also fit this bill!)

Lunch was nothing impressive, and eaten in between working on computers (so appetizing!). It was the other half of a tomato caprese sandwich I picked up at a little grocery on my walk back from the gym the other day, which was very disappointing. It was supposed to be a pressed panini and have pesto on it, but the bread was so flimsy, it never really pressed into a crispy panini as I picture it, and had NO PESTO! This made me sad, as I love some pesto…that might go on the list of things to attempt making soon.

Anyways, after a long, tiring day at work, and a quick run with Ryan, I did not feel like cooking, so we stopped by Publix and picked up a bag of romaine lettuce, and a Greenwise (Publix’s house organic brand) Spinach & Feta pizza.

This led to a salad with a bit of feta, some croutons, because I didn’t have much else to put in le salade & for dressing…MORE SALSA. I can’t get enough hot salsa. By the end of this relatively small salad, my mouth was burning! I need to start buying gallons…or perhaps attempt making my own! Probably worth it, since I’ve been eating so much recently.

Lastly, the pizza:

This was one of the most delicious, and flavorful natural/organic pizzas I’ve ever had. I like the Amy’s Margarita pizza a lot, but this to me was far superior. The feta was tasty, but not overwhelming as I’d feared. The spinach was not sparse, but not overly clumpy in places. The crust also had a good flavor, and a really nice crunch to it. Perhaps my only complaint was just how tiny it was, as it was smaller than normal frozen pizzas & wish we could have had leftovers :-/

On some future notes, I  recently bought some Quinoa to try for the first time, and am very excited to try it out. I’ve stumbled across a really delicious recipe from Cooking Light I might try. Also, I’m running my first 5k  since my Junior year of high school, on Sunday, so I’m pretty excited/nervous!

I’m gonna get back to the relaxing glass of Riesling I’ve been sipping on while watching Masterchef/blogging.

Have a good night!