Tag: quick

Black Bean and Tomato Pizza

What’s been keeping me well fed lately?  My freezer!  (And no, I don’t mean ice cream, though that is tempting.)  I almost always have whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s in my freezer, and I also had a small container of Way Better than Canned Black Beans.  These aren’t ordinary black beans; they are simmered with onion, garlic, and cilantro so they are packed with flavor.

I decided to make individual Latin-inspired pizzas with the seasoned beans, halved grape tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.  I threw the pizzas together quickly, and after just 10-15 minutes in the oven at 400F, dinner was served, with leftovers for lunches.  When I made these beans back in January, I had no idea they would come in so handy – I need to make another batch soon.


Roasted Corn and Parmesan Omelet

Can you believe that even after making this large batch of Corn and Zucchini Chowder, there was still a ton of corn left?  My Dad roasted a batch in the oven, and I took some of that home with me, along with a tomato from their garden.  I’ve been pretty busy lately, but I am so happy I took the time the other day to prepare myself this beautiful lunch.



I was inspired by this recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Corn, Goat Cheese, and Tomatoes.  Really, you should take a look at the link, the picture is gorgeous.  There’s no real recipe here, but I made a 2-egg omelet using about 1/4 c. of roasted corn, and a large tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan.  At the same time, I sliced the fresh tomato onto a baking sheet and drizzled the slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I baked them at 400F for 10-12 minutes.

In less than 20 minutes, lunch was served.  This was so much better than my other option, yet another peanut butter and banana sandwich. 🙂


Bento Carrots and Edamame

You can only live on Vegetable Pasta Salad for so long; eventually you have to make something else for dinner.  I took a quick survey of ingredients on hand: shredded carrots in the refrigerator,  shelled edamame in the freezer, and Japanese Roasted Sesame Oil in the cabinet.  Using a recipe for Carrot Kinpara as inspiration, I threw together this dish.

‘Bento’ is a Japanese term which refers to a lunch box with sections for different foods.  I don’t know whether you would really find a recipe like this in a section of a bento box, but let’s pretend.  It’s spicy and flavorful, and could easily accompany a rice based dish.  Although this satisfied my craving for dinner, I still think I need to head to a Japanese restaurant soon.




Bento Carrots and Edamame

1 T sesame oil
2 c. shredded carrots
Dash cayenne pepper
1 T soy sauce
1 c. shelled edamame, cooked and drained
1 T sesame seeds

Heat sesame oil in a small frying pan.  Add carrots, and saute for 5-10 minutes.  Add cayenne and stir.  Add soy sauce and edamame and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

-Inspired by Makiki Itoh’s recipe on Just Bento

Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers

Sometimes I end up running around on weekend days, grabbing snacks here and there, and never really sitting down to an actual meal.  These Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers from Green Lite Bites took less than 15 minutes to make, and made a balanced meal with some whole grain crackers and grapes.

I modified the original recipe just a bit, adding some diced carrot and using a whole egg instead of just the egg white.  I may have added a little too much lemon juice because the mixture was quite wet.  The burgers fell apart a little in the pan, but still tasted great.  And after a good meal, I was ready to tackle the rest of my day.




Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers

2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 (5 oz.) can tuna
1/3 c. oats
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
1 t thyme

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Form into 2 patties, and place on a pan coated with cooking spray.  Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.  Flip burger carefully, and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.

-Lightly adapated from Green Lite Bites

Pasta with Asparagus and Tomatoes

I just couldn’t wait any longer, I had to buy some asparagus.  Of course, the bunch I bought was from Mexico because I don’t think it’s available locally quite yet.  I was inspired by this recipe from Giada which uses the asparagus in a simple pasta dish.  The original recipe also uses fresh tomatoes, but we’re months away from seeing anything like that around here, so I opened up a can.

I also bought a new product this week at Trader Joe’s: freshly shaved Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago.  Every good pasta dish needs at least a little cheese, and I really like this stuff.  The cheese is shaved in large pieces with a nice sharp flavor.  This is a great alternative to shredding the cheese yourself, because I am far too lazy for that.

In the end, this dish doesn’t have a ton of flavor, but it’s still a satisfying meal.  I think it will be much better when asparagus and/or tomatoes are truly in season, and a little bit of fresh basil might be good too.  I’ll try to be patient.




Pasta with Asparagus and Tomatoes

1 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic (or Garlic Gold toasted garlic bits)
1 bunch asparagus, stems removed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in juice
6 oz. whole wheat rotini, cooked and drained, reserving 1/2 c water
1/4 c. freshly shaved Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese, plus more for serving

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add garlic, and fry for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn it.  Add asparagus pieces and stir fry for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and juice, and cover frying pan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5-10 minutes until asparagus is tender.  Add pasta to pan, and stir well.  Add cheese and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water if dish is too dry.

-Adapated from Giada at the Food Network

Rainbow Asian Slaw

Yesterday’s soup may have lacked some flavor, but this recipe makes up for that, I promise!  I saw this Rainbow Asian Slaw and thought it was so pretty.  It reminded me of farmer’s markets in the summer, when you are surrounded by fresh vegetables of every color.  We’re not quite there yet so I took a shortcut and used packaged slaw mix along with some extra carrots I had on hand.

This recipe really is fantastic.  The honey makes it a little sweet and the peanuts make it a little salty and you can taste the freshly minced ginger in every bite.  I can’t wait to make it again this summer with some seasonal vegetables!



Rainbow Asian Slaw

1 (12 oz.) package broccoli slaw
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1 c. shelled edamame
2 T canola oil
2 T rice vinegar
2 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 T freshly minced ginger
1 T peanut butter

Toss slaw, carrots, scallions, peanuts, and edamame in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and use to dress the salad.

-Adapted from Heat Oven to 350

Eggs and Peas

Although cooking on any weeknight is hard, I think Friday nights are the worst.  It’s been a long week, and there usually aren’t many groceries in the house.  Sometimes I have plans to be out, sometimes I swing by Whole Foods to make a salad or grab sushi, and sometimes I force myself to get creative.  The Internet definitely helps.  I usually find two ingredients and type “IngredientA IngredientB recipe” into Google.  This week, a recipe for Eggs and Peas popped up.

Less than 30 minutes later, I had a skillet full of hot food ready to enjoy.  This is certainly not the most beautiful dinner I ever made, but it was tasty, nutritious, and economical, with leftovers for the next day.  On Friday nights, I consider that a win.



Eggs and Peas

2 c. frozen peas
1  (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3-4 eggs
1/2 c. reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Place peas in a skillet on low heat until they are thawed.  Add in tomato sauce, stir, and continue cooking until heated through.  Make 3-4 indentations with a spoon, and crack an egg into each space.  Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes until eggs are set.  Remove cover, and sprinkle with cheese.  Cook until cheese is melted.

-Adapted from Hillbillly Housewife

Cheesy Brown Rice and Green Beans

This is one of those pantry dinners that ended up much better than I expected.  I started by making a simple cheese sauce.  It took less than 15 minutes, and all you really need is flour, milk, and cheese.  I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika, but you can use anything you like.

Meanwhile, I steamed a 10 oz. bag of frozen green beans and boiled a bag of instant brown rice.  I tossed the green beans and rice in a bowl and mixed in some cheese sauce , then topped it with some freshly grated Parmesan.  I even had some cheese sauce leftover for another meal.  I can’t claim that this is an official ‘recipe’ but it was a decent dinner with leftovers for lunch, and that’s all that counts.






Spinach Feta Pizza Roll

I love Spinach and Feta Pizza, and make it all the time for dinner.  This is just a slightly different twist on the concept.  I buy whole wheat pizza dough and fat free feta at Trader Joe’s, but you should be able to find both ingredients at a regular grocery store.  The Garlic Gold is a special ingredient, generally only available online.  The little bits of toasted garlic are amazing and I highly recommend the product.  But of course, you don’t need it to make this recipe.  Just about anything you stuff into this pizza roll will be good!



Spinach Feta Pizza Roll

4 oz. whole wheat pizza dough (such as Trader Joe’s)
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 c. fat free feta cheese
1 t Garlic Gold toasted garlic bits (optional)

Stretch dough into an 8″x5″ rectangle.  Don’t get out a ruler though.  Mix spinach, feta, and Garlic Gold in a small bowl, and spread on dough to within 1″ of the edges.  Roll up the dough.  Place on a cookie sheet, and bake at 400F for approximately 15 minutes.

Not Boring Chicken Salad

Raise your hand if you think chicken salad can be really boring….   Yeah, me too!  Although I did like the Celery Leaf Chicken Salad I made earlier this summer.  So when I graciously accepted leftover Beer Can Chicken, I decided to make chicken salad that was anything but boring.  With celery from the vegetable drawer, an apple from the fruit basket, and sage that was tucked away in my freezer, this ended up quite tasty.  There was enough chicken salad for 2 wraps plus a snack.



Apple Sage Chicken Salad

1 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
3 stalks celery, diced
1 apple, chopped
1 T chopped sage
1-2 T light mayonnaise
2 c. baby spinach
2 Joseph’s Whole Wheat, Flax, and Bran lavash

Combine chicken, celery, apple, and sage in a bowl.  Mix in mayonnaise and add salt and pepper to taste.  Divide spinach between the two wraps.  Add chicken salad and roll up.