Tag Archives: Spinach

Stuffed Flounder

Fish Sale! I was at the grocery store looking for something to prepare for dinner and passed by the seafood counter when something caught my eye. Low and behold, they were having a fish sale. One of my favorite types of fish (Cod) was $3.00 less than usual. They also had another one of my favorites on sale – flounder. The flounder looked nice and fresh so I bought four fillets to make Stuffed Flounder for dinner.

The reason I decided to make Stuffed Flounder was so I could use the rest of the cornbread stuffing we had the night before. Now, that our youngest son is in college I actually have leftovers. I don’t like wasting food so I try to find different ways to “re-purpose” the leftovers. Making a spinach and cornbread stuffing for the flounder seemed like a great idea.

Guess what? It was a great idea and hubby was happy with a full belly after he cleaned his plate. This was definitely one of my Health, Quick and Easy meals. The flounder was light and healthy. The stuffing was quick to make and putting the two together was easy. What could be better than that!?!

Stuffed Flounder

Ingredients:

4 flounder fillets

1 pkg baby leaf spinach leaves

1egg

1 ½ cups cornbread stuffing

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp water

1 tsp dried dill

black pepper

paprika

salt

juice from ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and water. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until spinach is wilted stirring occasionally.

Place cornbread in a bowl and add spinach with juice. Beat egg and add to cornbread and spinach mixture. Mix well then set aside.

Season fish with salt and black pepper. Place two fish fillets on a rimmed cookie sheet or in a long casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon stuffing onto each fillet. Top with remaining fish fillets then sprinkle with paprika. Place 1 tbsp of butter on each fish fillet. Bake fish for 10 to 15 minutes until fish is cooked through but not dry.

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Crispy Rice

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Whenever I prepare my Curried Fish dish I try to compliment it with a side dish that has a contrasting texture. I usually use cod when I make Curried Fish which is a very soft flaky fish. Sometimes I will pair the fish with crisp sauteed cabbage or I will prepare Crispy Rice which speaks for itself.

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A slight take on fried rice, my Crispy Rice reminds me of the kind of rice my mom used to make every time she had leftover perlo rice. I know you are saying to yourself “what the heck is perlo rice?”. Well, it is a southern dish my mom made by cooking rice in ham broth or chicken broth. Chicken and rice perlo is a very popular dish in the south but is found in slightly different versions across the world from Persia (pilau) to Turkey (pilav) to Spain (paella). Each country has adopted their own interpretation of this meat and rice dish. I have to be honest about my many attempts to make perlo rice. I have failed on most occasions. I have never been able to perfect perlo rice the way my mom does it. My attempts typically come out mushy (overcooked) or a little too al dente. I actually gave up on making perlo rice and just ask my mom to make it for me whenever I have a taste for it. One day I may try making perlo rice again but for now I am good with asking mom to make it.

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Back to my Crispy Rice. Like my mom I use leftover rice or I will make it early the same day I want to fix it and just refrigerate it for a couple of hours. The cold rice fries better than soft freshly cooked rice. In order to kick up the flavor in my Crispy Rice I add scallions, fresh spinach and crispy bacon. In my opinion, bacon makes most recipes taste great but cubed ham is also good in this dish so try whichever one you like best. I can almost guarantee that when you make Crispy Rice there will not be much leftover if any at all. This one will make the family clean their plates.

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Crispy Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups cold white rice

4 scallions sliced

4 slices crispy bacon chopped

½ bag baby leaf spinach

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp cracked black pepper

cooking spray

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add butter and olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium high heat until butter is melted. Do not let butter burn. Add scallions to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and break up with a spatula. Stir to coat rice with butter and olive oil. Let rice brown and stir every few minutes for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon and spinach to the pan. Season with black pepper. Stir until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat and cover for 2 minutes.

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Buffalo Chicken and Spinach Flatbread

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Cooking with flatbreads is an easy way to get a meal on the table when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare something more complex. I am not a big “pizza” fan but I do enjoy them now and then. The rest of the family can eat pizza any time. If I am going to eat pizza, I want it to be special and not the basic cheese or pepperoni pizza you find every where.

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One of my son’s favorite pizza choices is Buffalo Chicken so I thought I would try making my own version. The great thing about flatbreads is that they are versatile. You can use just about any topping you like on the flatbread and it will taste wonderful. Of course you need to add a few seasonings to give it an extra kick. We like spicy flavors in my family so besides using Buffalo wing sauce on the chicken I also added pepper jack cheese and red pepper flakes to the toppings. Depending your tolerance for “heat” you can add or subtract the amount of spice you use.

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The first time I made my Buffalo Chicken Flatbread we had it for lunch. This turned out to be a very hearty meal with the thick slices of chicken, spinach, onions and cheese. Protein, veggies and dairy! What more could you ask for in a meal? As you can imagine we had a very light dinner that night.

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Look for more flatbread recipes on dmariedining.com. You cannot beat them for a healthy, quick and easy meal!

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Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Ingredients:
1 14oz flatbread (Trader Joe’s Ciabatta Flatbread)
1 pkg pre-cooked sliced chicken (Trader Joe’s)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup baby leaf spinach
½ cup buffalo wing sauce
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
½ cup thinly sliced red onion or shallots
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp red pepper flakes
salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place chicken in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle buffalo wing sauce over chicken then toss to coat the chicken.

Place flatbread on a cookie sheet then brush flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese over flatbread. Layer flatbread with spinach then sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper. Next layer chicken, onions and remaining cheeses over the spinach. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until cheese melts and turns slightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes then cut with a pizza slicer.

For a crispier crust place the flatbread directly on a rack in the oven. Check flatbread package for full instructions on cooking crust.

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Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon

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Today was another one of those days I needed to quickly get dinner on the table because folks were hungry. I know my hubby and son are spoiled but I created those monsters so I live with it. Besides, this was a time when I was hungry too.

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Fortunately, I had planned ahead and had thin chicken breasts ready for a new recipe I wanted to try. Stuffed Chicken Breasts Wrapped in Bacon. I figured this one would be a winner just because of the ingredients my family loves to eat. Chicken, fresh spinach, bacon and brie.

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Hubby gave me a thumbs up after the first couple of bites. The fresh spinach kept the chicken moist on the inside and the brie added a nice rich creamy flavor to the chicken. Bacon. What can you say about bacon except that it goes with just about anything you can cook.

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I was able to get dinner on the table in under an hour so you know this recipe is definitely quick and easy.

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Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon

Ingredients
8 thin chicken breasts
8 slices of brie
8 slices of bacon
2 cups baby leaf spinach
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season each slice of chicken breast with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and basil. Layer spinach and two slices of brie on four slices of chicken breasts. Top each chicken breast with remaining slices. Wrap two slices of bacon around chicken breasts and secure with tooth picks or roasting pins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and bacon is slightly crisp. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes. Remove pins prior to serving.

 

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

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Since I have a busy schedule between family stuff, work and dmariedining.com I am always looking for easy recipes that are packed with flavor. I think quiches are one of the simplest dishes to make when you don’t have a lot of time or you don’t feel like fussing over dinner. A quiche can be a full meal paired with a nice salad or it can be an appetizer (smaller portion) at the start of a meal.

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Mushroom and spinach quiche is one of my favorite meals to make. It has lots of protein and is very filling even though there is no meat in the dish. Mushrooms and spinach seem to go together well whether in a salad or a quiche.

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For all the moms out there that want to teach their kids how to cook, you may want to introduce them to the world of quiches. Because they are so versatile, you can turn quiches into a vegetarian dish, a seafood dish or a meat dish. Think about how it easy it would be to teach your kid how to cook a little spinach, beat a couple of eggs and add some cheese to a pie shell. I know I make it sound a little too easy but it is easy enough for a teenager to make.

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If you have young adults at home who have limited cooking skills (like my son), a mushroom and spinach quiche would be a good dish to teach them how to make for those independent days of cooking. This one will might even be an impressive meal for a date.

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:
1 9 inch deep dish pie shell thawed
1 10 oz bag baby leaf spinach
1 10 oz pkg sliced button mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp parsley
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ tsp cumin
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup fontina cheese shredded
½ cup Gruyere cheese shredded
4 eggs
2 shallots sliced thin
paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 tbsp of butter with olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add spinach, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper. Saute until spinach is wilted but bright green. Remove spinach from the pan and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan along with mushrooms, shallots and ½ tsp of salt. Saute until mushrooms are slightly browned.

Poke the bottom of pie shell with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly brown. Remove from oven. Layer spinach on the bottom of the pie shell. Sprinkle half of the cheeses over the spinach. Layer the mushrooms over the cheese then top with the remaining cheese.

Beat together eggs, red pepper flakes, cumin, parsley, a pinch of salt and half and half. Pour into pie shell, sprinkle with paprika.  Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until the middle of the pie is set. Test with a knife. It should come out clean. Let the pie rest for 10 minutes.

 

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Spinach and Quinoa Cakes

Spinach and Carrot Quinoa A
Quinoa. Pronounced keen-wah. What is that? The first time I heard about Quinoa was through my daughter who is a very health conscience individual. We were talking about different healthy foods and she mentioned how she likes Quinoa. Kiddo (nickname from her Dad) told me it was similar in some ways to Couscous which I love. The difference between the two (at least for me) is that Quinoa has a crunchier texture, nutty taste and is lighter than Couscous. To really enjoy Quinoa I have found it is best to add additional flavors during the cooking process or mix it with other foods. I usually cook Quinoa in chicken broth rather than plain water to give it an extra boost of flavor.

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I came up with a Spinach and Carrot Quinoa Cake when I saw a frozen vegetarian patty that looked kind of gray and blah. To really be good, food should not only taste good but look good. Vibrant colors and presentation add to the pleasure of eating. The bright green, orange and yellow in the Spinach and Carrot Quinoa Cake will make you say “yummy” even before you take a bite.
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As always, I use my family as guinea pigs when trying new dishes. To be honest, I was not sure this one would go over very well since my son does not like cooked carrots. Surprisingly, I got a thumbs up on the first try, carrots and all.

 

Spinach and Quinoa Cakes

Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
1 egg beaten
½ cup shredded carrots
1 bag baby leaf spinach
1 cup Quinoa
1tsp dried parsley
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare Quinoa according to package using 2 cups low sodium chicken broth.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and olive oil. Add ¼ cup of low sodium chicken broth to the pan then add spinach and carrots. Cook spinach and carrots until spinach is wilted stirring occasionally. Gently squeeze veggies in a colander to drain. In a large bowl mix together veggies, Quinoa, egg and seasonings.

Spray lipped cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place a small cooking ring (I made my own out of foil and will tell you how later) on the cookie sheet and fill with the Quinoa mixture. Slowly remove ring and reshape if necessary. Repeat until all of the mixture is used. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

Optional:
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
½ cup sliced sauteed mushrooms

Foil Ring:
Take a 3-4 inch piece of foil and roll it like a cigar. Curve the foil around until it forms a ring about 2 inches in diameter. If you want bigger cakes, make a bigger ring. You can cut off the excess or wrap it around the ring.