Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pinterest. It's What's For Dinner #2

I've made a few new recipes recently, inspired by Pinterest. All of my local friends automatically ask if I got the idea from Pinterest and the answer is almost always, yes. I'm a visual person, whatcanIsay?

Mexican Stuffed Shells
So unconventional and so easy. You really don't even need a recipe. Pull together your favorite Mexican food ingredients (chicken, ground beef, corn, peppers, salsas, sauces, cheeses.......), cook pasta, mix ingredients, stuff, top with sauce & cheese and bake. Done. One box will make dinner for four with maybe a salad on the side for added veggies. I made dinner for two and have half a box of shells to use again soon.

Closeup of the goodness. Veggie version: black beans, olives, green peppers, corn, cheese, sauce, shells & guac to top
Both versions here. This is how I cook most of the time. One veggie-friendly, one carni-friendly. Usually = lunch for tomorrow already done!
I didn't find these on Pinterest, but found the idea somewhere else. Then I went and searched for the recipe on Pinterest by using the search bar on the top. I found a recipe that fit my standards/ingredient interests, and dinner was served. Not quickly, however. Note to all those interested: these take forever. Don't attempt with a 5-month old standing by or a husband who works late. But otherwise, they're pretty easy to make and so yummy. Again with the shells above, these can hold anything you want.

I bought a bag of undressed coleslaw at the store (already shredded carrots/cabbage!) for cheap and repurposed two chicken breasts my husband had left over from dinner out at an Italian restaurant the night before with friends (Yes, J&K, the Chicken Vesuvio!). It was Italian seasoned, but after marinating in rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and scallions and dicing into tiny pieces, it was now Asian! I took the coleslaw mix and sauteed in a pan with some sesame oil and garlic until translucent. The chicken was already cooked but diced really small. Found store-bought won ton noodles in the produce section of my grocery store, wetted a frame around each wonton and got stuffing and pinching and boiling and pan frying. Phew. Like I said... not for the lazy or for people with stuff going on. Read: all of us. I made it anyway and it was tasty. We just dipped them in Lawry's Sesame Ginger Asian marinade (those are great dipping sauces that don't need to be used as marinades!) and some Sriracha (always find excuses to use that yummy sauce) and eat!

Picture of the wrap stage to come on Insta-Friday. :)
After forming and sealing shut, boil in bouillon water or stock (I use a veggie bouillon) for a few minutes until floating
Transfer right into a heated saute pan and pan fry with a smidge of oil (if you want. and I want.) Then eat. Immediately. Because yum.
Realize you have approximately 672 extra and put on a cookie sheet to freeze and keep to boil/saute for another meal.
Pesto Pasta with Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, and Rosemary Foccaccia
In my attempt to use a big, ridiculous box of Bisquick I bought to make some terrible 7-Up biscuits, I am trying to find recipes. That's where the foccaccia comes in. Nothing special. Just some random Bisquick recipe with added garlic, onion and fresh rosemary (I bought an organic plant of it and promptly killed it within a week) and a pesto pasta I make all the time. It's my go-to for a fun and fancy meal. Pretend it's awesome and fancy and super unique if I ever make it for any of you for dinner, mmmkay? Great.

My pesto pasta is usually made with some fun pasta shape, jarred pesto, Trader Joe's sundried tomatoes, lemon juice (use a lot so you can keep it moist and add less oil/pesto making it lower in fat), garlic, and this time, spinach. I never add spinach but have been buying large quantities because it's healthy and easy to prepare and I happened to have a lot that needed to be consumed that night and forced it into the meal. Have I ever mentioned that produce is the number one way I plan what we'll be having for dinner? I hate letting fresh produce go to waste that I will literally plan our entire dinner around green beans. Not too hard to imagine, though, considering I am vegetarian.

A few more things I've made recently that I didn't take photos of myself:
Crunchy oven fries. The trick is to soak them in water to release some of the starch and when they cook, they are crispy and not soggy. Worked well... will try again!

I had leftover spring roll wrappers in the freezer and thought I'd make these taco cupcakes. Again with the ingredients on hand... no recipe really required. Put egg roll wrapper on the bottom to use as a shell, fill with favorite Mexican ingredients, top with cheese, and bake until brown! Will make these again!

I posted this in Insta-Friday a couple weeks ago and it's so good I'm posting again! Avocado & Greek Yogurt Dip. So healthy and so delicious. It also packs lots of protein, is a crowd pleaser, and has tons of flavor. Best dippers I think are tortilla chips and raw veggies. We had leftovers so I used it just as I would guacamole for the next few days!


Tonya said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my!!! All that looks awesome! I am new to this whole pinterest thing. I love is very addictive. I notice how many times I say "so I saw this thing on pinterest.." lol

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

You always make me do hungry when I read your food posts...enter growling stomach here...
I have pinned a few recently that I want to try after I'm done with this high protein kick I'm on!!

Kristi said... [Reply to comment]

I love how creative you are in the kitchen! Seriously, you turned leftover Italian into an Asian meal. I made creative cookies this week with whatever I had on hand (Yum!), but that can't count as dinner. So, you win! :-)

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

That sure does look delicious. ;)

I'm hungry again, shoot.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

You just made me hungry! YUM!!!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

OK, I'm sold on the Greek yogurt dip and glad to know the crispy fries trick works. I'm not sure I like the idea of mixing my meal types (ie. Mexican pasta). And potstickers look like WAY too much work. But I love seeing what you cook up. And I keep thinking I ought to bake my own bread "Just like Brandy does..."

yasmine said... [Reply to comment]

these are soo yummy-looking! i'm going to try making every single one of these foods for my daughter, the picky-eater. =)

Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later said... [Reply to comment]

I have always wanted to make the Mexican stuffed shells - maybe now I will.