Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Pasta

When smoked salmon is on super sale, you buy it! And when you aren’t sure what you’ll do with it aside from eat it on crackers, you clearly decide to make a pasta dish.

This recipe is somewhat a play on a carbonara (note the peas), but instead of egg in the sauce, chives and cream cheese make up the bulk of the sauce with a little heavy cream and the smoked salmon stands in for the saltiness of the usual bacon.

The smokiness of the salmon pairs really well with the chives and peas, and overall this was such an easy and delicious dish!

Smoked Salmon Pasta Ingredients:

1/2 box penne (I used Gluten Free)
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz smoked salmon
1/2 cup frozen spring peas
1 6oz can sliced mushrooms (or you could use fresh, I just didn’t have any on hand)
1/2 of one sweet onion
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Set a large pot of water, seasoned with salt, over medium high heat and cook penne according to package directions. Strain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, begin sautéing garlic and onions in a little olive oil over medium heat, for two or three minutes. Add in the diced salmon, sliced mushrooms, and chives, letting cook for about two minutes. Next, pour in the heavy cream and cream cheese, letting it all melt and begin to bubble. After it lightly simmers for about two or three minutes, it should have begun to thicken and make a nice sauce.
  3. Add the drained pasta into the sauce, and gently fold to combine. Season with salt and pepper as desired, serve immediately, and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

Lemon Parmesan Crusted Salmon

  Lately, I’ve been trying to eat a little less red meat and incorporate more fish into my diet. So, there’s been a lot of salmon eaten!

  

There’s been Honey Siracha salmon, teriyaki salmon, ginger miso salmon, chipotle glazed salmon….. The list goes on. But the common factor in those recent recipes has been the sweet glaze on the salmon. So, I really wanted to try something different, and more savory. Inspired by an easy Lemon Parmesan crusted chicken I’ve always liked, I added some dill and chives to the sauce to compliment the salmon, and this turned out perfect! 

  

Ingredients

4 salmon fillets

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

1 tablespoon dried garlic 

1 tablespoon dried dill

1 tablespoon fresh diced chives

1/2 of a fresh squeezed lemon’s juice

1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish, and lay the salmon in it.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mix together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, dill, chives and garlic.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, and olive oil.
  4. Spoon the mayonnaise mixture onto the tops of the salmon, then gently press in the breadcrumb mixture to create a nice crust.
  5. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 425, until salmon is cooked through.
  6. Remove from oven and slice remaining lemon to garnish each salmon filet with. Individually squeeze the lemon if desired before eating, and enjoy!

{Gluten Free} Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti

Gluten Free Spinach & Mushroom Baked ZitiThere’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is I’ve had a lot of headaches in the past few months after eating.

The good news is I realized it only (mostly) happens after I’ve eaten a meal containing gluten. This means I know how to get rid of the headache!

The bad news  is that I really, really like foods with gluten.

The good news is that there are so many easy substitutes, that this really isn’t such a bad deal after all :)

Gluten Free Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti

This gluten free ziti is a product of my deep desire for a Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna, and the fact that the little grocery store by my apartment didn’t have any gluten free lasagna noodles. They did, however, have gluten free ziti. So, I figured, why not?

Gluten Free Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti

And the result, is so, so good! I shared this meal with a friend from college and she took home a bunch of leftovers she liked it so much. You could just as easily make this with regular ziti, if you’re tolerance for gluten is better than mine! Either way, it’s delicious!

Gluten Free Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti

{Gluten Free} Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 box of Gluten Free (or not) Penne
  • 1 (12-ounce) carton small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic
  • 1 bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, dived
  • .5 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 jar mushroom spaghetti sauce
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

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Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

Is it just me, or is it already abnormally hot outside? Especially considering that technically, it’s still spring!

Chimichurri Sauce

The weathers had Nick and I so thankful for the A/C! So, in keeping with the indoor theme, the other night I made this “Grilled” Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce. [Emphasis on the quotations around the “Grilled”… I didn’t want either of us to be outside in 100 degree weather after a long day of work. So, grill pan on the stove top it was!]

Chimichurri Sauce

It still came out really well! The key is to make sure there’s a good bit of oil in the pan before you get started, and to have the heat on medium high to high. When you initially lay the chicken down, be sure not to move it for at least two minutes or so. Just let it sit and resist the temptation to flip it too soon, or move it around. That way, you can ensure you get a nice grill mark. After the grill marks are there, you can flip it over and lower the heat to medium until it’s cooked through. You might not have the great charcoal smokey flavor, but at least aesthetically it looks like you put the time into grilling! :)

Chimichurri SauceGrilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce

INGREDIENTS: Continue reading

Bruschetta Mozzarella Chicken Roll Ups

Thanks to the gorgeous weather, I’ve been trying to get up and out of the office more often during the day to take a few walk breaks. There’s a neighborhood right by our office that’s absolutely beautiful, with old, knotty oak trees, a full, leafy canopy to keep me cool in the shade, and often little deer in people’s yards or a friendly kitten begging to be pet.Bruschetta Mozzarella Chicken Roll UpsMeanwhile, I walk and wonder what my own cats are doing at home. This morning I woke up to Luna running full speed through my room, knocking herself into walls and against furniture. I jolted out of bed in a foggy daze to figure out what was wrong with her, and there she was with part of a brown paper bag stuck around her shoulders and neck. Like, the part of the brown shopping bag where the bag meets the handle. She managed to get herself stuck in that…. Literally, stuck, with part of the bag still attached like a cape. After I freed her, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Never a dull moment. That’s not to say they don’t have their helpful moments. Like last week when I was getting ready for bed. I was sitting on the couch and I hear what sounded like rain. I looked out the window, but it wasn’t raining… Both Stella and Luna creeped down the hallway to the water heater closet, suspiciously. I followed them, opened the door, and there my water heater goes spilling water throughout the hallway, nonstop. Long story short, maintenance came and had to replace some pieces and parts, but thank goodness the cats led me to what the problem was, otherwise I may have woke up in a flood.

Anyway, none of that has anything to do with this delicious recipe I’m sharing this morning. I’ll get to the point – it’s easy, it’s really quick, and perfect for a simple weeknight meal. I threw it together thanks to a jar of prepared bruschetta in the cabinet, and mozzarella in the fridge. I hope you get a chance to try it!

Bruschetta Mozzarella Chicken Roll Ups

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Weekend Projects & Red Lentil Soup with Sausage, Spinach and Balsamic Onions

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

I spent the weekend before last (good to see I’ve been on the up and up in posting – sorry!) trying to finish my never ending list of “projects” at my apartment. On the to-do list was picture hanging, closet re-organizing, reupholstering barstools, re-vamping my bookshelves, and buying more flowers and plants for my deck.

Want to know what I accomplished off of that list? Buying and potting the plants for my deck. That’s it. And I think I realized why. Almost all the other tasks were “re”-tasks…reupholstering, reorganizing, revamping. Revisiting things that are already kind of in place and in existence. When choosing between things that are already somewhat done and functioning okay, versus watching Mad Men… well. A trip to Lowes for flower shopping and potting the new flowers was all that actually won.

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

So far I have the hydrangea I’d been planning on getting, a Hibsiscus plant, a tomato plant, petunias and a peony. I have a hanging basket over the railing that I want to fill with herbs and lettuces. I can’t wait to share my set up once it’s done. I miss my garden, but apartment living this year at least affords me a container garden. Though my to-do list is still rattling in my brain, at least I can take some time to sit out on the deck and plan tackling those projects surrounded by pretty things!

Red Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

In the meantime, I highly recommend this soup. I had a package of lentils I’d picked up on a whim at Trader Joes. I wasn’t sure what to do with them and a google search brought me to this recipe from Fitness Magazine. I have to tell you, the balsamic caramelized onions that you put in the individual bowls at the end absolutely makes this soup something amazing. I think it’s just light enough for spring and so delicious! Continue reading

Berry Cheesecake Pie

I’ve been soaking up this transition to spring and loving every new bloom I see. Saturday we’ll be making a day trip to DC to see the Cherry Blossoms and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, along with a few other sites. I’ve been stalking the Cherry Blossom forecast since, I don’t know, January probably. At the beginning of the week it looked like they might not be at peak bloom this weekend, but thankfully they’ve sped right up and we should be on time to see them.

I love the transition of seasons, and the way the world so colorfully changes. I’m also really loving the fresh seasonal produce that rolls on in, and although it’s not quite berry season yet, I couldn’t help but make this easy Berry Cheese Cake Pie. You really could use whatever strawberries, blueberries, or yummy fruit you have on hand.  

 The filling is sweet, dense, and has just a hint of fresh lemony goodness. And honestly, it is so, so easy to put together. You could make the pie ahead of time, and add the fruit when you’re ready to serve. Hope you enjoy!

 
 

 Berry Cheesecake Pie 

 1 Graham Cracker Crust 

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 

1 eight oz package cream cheese, room temperature (you can use 1/3 less fat for a lighter option, I did) 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/2 cup fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc) 

Directions: 

 1- In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and lemon juice. Beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes, or until there are no lumps. Making sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature will help to avoid clumping.

2- Pour into prepared graham cracker crust, and place in refrigerator for at least an hour. 

 3- Meanwhile, cut up your fruit as desired for garnish. After pie has set for at least an hour, top with berries and whip cream if desired.