Tag Archives: spinach

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

31 Mar

This has been on my list of things to try making for a while.  Our main Olive Garden favorite is Zuppa Toscana, which I still make regularly, but I still wanted to give this one a try.  It is actually really easy to make and doesn’t take too long to make.  For the gnocchi, you have the option of buying at the store (usually in the pasta, refrigerated, or frozen section) or making your own.  I had a leftover baked potato in the fridge, so I decided I would try making my own.  It’s not too hard either, just a little time-consuming.  I’ll give the recipes for both.

Potato GnocchiPotato Gnocchi

What you need:

1 large russet potato, weighing about 1 pound
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup flour, plus more for work area
Pinch of salt

How to make it:

First, bake potatoes. I used a potato that I had baked in the slow cooker earlier in the week.  If you don’t have an already baked potato, preheat oven to 350 F.  Pierce potato with a fork all around potato.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until potato is very soft.  Remove potato to a rack and cut open to allow to cool.

Scoop out the insides of the potato and discard skins (or save skins for some other use).  Pass the potato through a potato ricer or run along a small grater.  Add the egg yolk, flour, and salt, and mix by hand until you get a ball of dough.

Flour your work area.  Take a small ball of the dough and gently roll on your work surface until you have a long roll about 3/4″ in diameter.  Cut off 1″ sections.  Roll each along the back of a fork to get small indentations in each piece.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Potato Gnocchi waiting to be cookedAt this point, if you will not be using right away, place the cookie sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, place gnocchi in a freezer safe bag or container until you will use.

To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Gently add gnocchi, a few at a time, to the boiling water.  When they rise to the surface, use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi.  Repeat for remaining gnocchi.  Serve with sauce or pesto, or set aside to add to soup below.


Chicken and Gnocchi SoupChicken & Gnocchi Soup

What you need:

1 lb chicken, cut into 1″ cubes (or 2 cups cooked chicken)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups half and half (I just use 1% milk in all my soups, and it comes out fine)
1 pound potato gnocchi, made as above or cooked according to the package directions
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste

How to make it:

Heat a little olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, and cook until no longer pink inside and slightly browned outside.  Remove from pot and set aside.

Heat the 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables become tender, about 10 minutes.  Mix in the flour, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir continuously for about 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and half and half to prevent any lumps from forming.  Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer for 20 minutes, until soup thickens.

Add the cooked gnocchi and spinach to the soup.  Gently stir and cook until spinach wilts.  Serve immediately.




Spinach and Mozzarella Chicken with Lemon Roasted Potatoes

15 Jan

Spinach and Mozzarella Chicken with Lemon Roasted Potatoes


This turned out amazing!  I had gotten spinach from Bountiful Baskets in the juicing pack I contributed for, and wanted to make it with chicken somehow.  So, I started looking through some recipes, and came up with a marinade for the chicken, then topped with spinach and mozzarella cheese.  I wanted them to be somewhat flatter, but didn’t pound them flat very well.  Just meant that it took a little longer for them to cook.  Since I had gotten red potatoes and lemons as well in my regular basket, I thought roasting the potatoes with lemon would be a nice addition.


Spinach & Mozzarella Chicken

What you need:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons (or about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.  Put chicken on a flat surface in between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound flat.  Place chicken in a gallon size zipper bag and pour contents of the bowl over chicken in the bag.  Seal bag and place in refrigerator overnight, or for at least 1 hour before cooking.

Remove chicken from bag and discard remaining marinade.  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken in skillet for about 5 minutes each side to slightly brown it.  Remove from skillet and place in a baking dish.

In the same skillet, put in the spinach and cook for a few minutes until spinach wilts.  Place spinach on each of the chicken breasts in baking dish.  Next, put shredded mozzarella on top of the spinach on each chicken breast.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked fully through and cheese is melted.



Lemon Roasted Potatoes

What you need:

3 pounds red potatoes, well scrubbed
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Dice the potatoes, leaving skins on.  Place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.  Pour over the potatoes in the large bowl.  Toss to fully coat potatoes.

Spray a foil lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.   Spread potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Stir potatoes around on baking sheet.  Continue to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and softened.

Sausage, Spinach, and Rice

7 Jan

Sausage, Spinach, and Rice

One of my favorite dishes I make at Thanksgiving is Wild Rice & Sausage Casserole.  And, while it’s great, it’s a little time-consuming considering it has to go in the oven.  So, I decided to try a little variation, use Italian sausage in place of breakfast sausage, add spinach, and do it in the skillet.  Turns out, this makes a nice, quick standalone meal!  The Italian sausage has enough spices that you don’t really need to add any more seasoning.  My kids both gobbled it down!

Sausage, Spinach, and Rice

What you need:

1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild, casings removed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups cooked rice, wild, brown, or white, your choice
Grated Parmesan cheese

How to make it:

Break up and brown sausage in a large skillet.  Add onions, and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent.  Add spinach, and cook until wilted.  Stir in rice and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.  Serve into bowls and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese onto each serving.

Sausage Spinach Crescent Calzones

16 Dec

Sausage Spinach Crescent Calzones


I had no idea or plan for dinner last night, which seems to be happening all too often for me lately!  So, I had gotten spinach from Bountiful Baskets in the morning, and wanted to incorporate that in somehow.  Then, I remembered I had 2 cans of crescent rolls about to expire, so, I thought I could use them calzone style with spinach, Parmesan, and mozzarella.  But, my husband would complain there was no meat, so I decided to use sausage, which I luckily have a stock of in my freezer ($2.99 at the commissary plus $.50 off 1 coupon = excellent price for Johnsonville Italian sausage!).  These turned out really great, and you could still them with a variety of meats, veggies, and cheeses.  Yum!


Sausage Spinach Crescent Calzones

What you need:

1 pound Italian sausage
2 cans crescent rolls
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup shredded mozzrella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Italian blend seasoning

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet; drain fat.

Open crescent roll cans and unroll, leaving as rectangles.  You will get 4 rectangles per can.  Lay crescent roll out on a baking sheet and press the diagonal cut to seal it.  Add sausage, spinach, and cheeses to one half.  Fold the other half over the filling and press edges to crimp and seal.  Repeat for remaining crescent rolls.  Brush or spray tops with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian blend seasoning.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with warm pizza sauce, if desired.

Chicken Parmesan Triangles

10 Dec

Chicken Parmesan Triangles


After making Lasagna with egg roll wrappers, I still had plenty of wrappers left.  I searched again, and came across this idea for Chicken Parmesan Triangles.  I did the filling a little differently and doubled the ingredients because I had 12 wrappers and wanted leftovers.  But, I had the same results, a delicious meal!  Now that I’ve done Chicken Parmesan, I have a bunch of other filling ideas, spinach and feta, oatmeal and cinnamon apples.  I don’t know if I will get to make them, but maybe at some point!


Chicken Parmesan Triangles
Based on recipe here

What you need:

1/2 cup onion, diced
2  cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs frozen or refrigerated fully cooked, diced chicken breast
Olive oil
1 cup chopped spinach
2 cups marinara sauce
12 egg roll wrappers
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

How to make  it:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent.  Add chicken, continuing to cook until almost heated through.  Add spinach for the last part of cooking, and cook until chicken is heated all through and spinach  has wilted.  Remove from heat.

Lay an egg roll wrapper on a clean surface.  Place some of the chicken mixture on half of the wrapper, then add some mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Filling the egg roll wrapper


Brush the two sides that come to a point under the chicken mixture with water.  Fold the upper corner downward to cover the filling and form a triangle.  Press the sides to seal.  Repeat for remaining wrappers, chicken mixture and cheese.

Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay the filled triangles on the baking sheets and spray or brush the tops with olive oil.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until edges turn a golden brown.

Spinach, Feta, and Bacon Mini Quiche

20 Nov


I got a chance to try out a recipe from the 2012 Taste of Home Cooking School show that I recently attended.  These are delicious!  The original recipe calls for brie, but since I had feta cheese on hand, I used it instead, knowing it is a good combination with spinach and bacon.  It also says to use 2 pie crusts, but I found that 1 pie crust and the filling filled the 12 muffin cups in my pan.  So, since I had both pie crusts ready to go, I doubled the amount of filling and got 24 mini quiches.  Yum!


Spinach, Feta, and Bacon Mini Quiche
Original recipe here

What you need:

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed & diced
2 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 refrigerated pie crust

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs together with milk, salt & pepper.  Add spinach, bacon, onion, and feta to egg mixture and blend well.

Roll out pie crust and cut in 3 inch circles (I used a juice glass to cut the circles); line muffin tins with circles.

Spoon egg mixture into each muffin cup, filling 3/4 full; place in oven and cook for 25 minutes or until eggs are set.

Spinach, Feta, and Pesto Pizza

5 Mar

This cauliflower pizza crust is really growing on me.  I was skeptical as first, but the second time around, it turned out great again.  I did notice that with 1 large pizza, the center stays a little soft, but I think that might be solved by making individual size pizzas.  Even with it a little soft, no complaints in this house, and everyone just used a fork to eat it.  Even my kids gobbled this up, and I love getting an extra veggie in them for the day hidden in the crust.  This time, instead of tomato sauce, I made Spinach Basil Pesto for the sauce. Then, I put chopped red onion, sliced black olives, torn fresh spinach leaves, a 4 oz container of crumbled feta cheese, and a 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  I had forgotten how much I love feta cheese on pizza.  This was a delicious meal!

Spinach Lasagna Rollups

10 Feb

I had some lasagna noodles in my pantry that I wanted to use, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do lasagna.  Then, I remembered the Cheese Lasagna Rollups my mom used to get from Market Day, and decided I wanted to try to make some of my own.  It worked out that cottage cheese was on sale, and I had spinach, basil, and oregano in my fridge that I needed to use.  The filling I made just like my Spinach Manicotti recipe, and the sauce was the Tomato Sauce I made a couple of days ago.  It turned out great!

Spinach Lasagna Rollups

What you need:

9 lasagna noodles
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried basil (or 2 tsp fresh basil)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh oregano)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 cups Tomato Sauce

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box.  Drain water and cool on a piece of aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in the ricotta (or cottage cheese), 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, garlic, spinach, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Pour 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce into a 13 x 9 baking dish, or enough to make sure to cover the entire bottom of the dish.  Spread filling on each lasagna noodle and roll the noodle.  Place seam side down in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the rollups, then sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Cheesy Spinach Burgers

7 Feb

I first got this recipe from a cookbook from my mother-in-law, Favorite Brand Name Recipes.  The original recipe calls for a pouch of Lipton onion soup mix.  I don’t normally have Lipton onion soup mix on hand, and I always seem to forget it, so I improvise.  The ground beef, spinach and cheese are the same, I just out other things in place of the soup mix.  And I think the results are fantastic.  Tonight, I made this on my outdoor grill (have to keep using it to get my money’s worth out of it, right?), but I have made these on the George Foreman indoor grill and they are great as well.

Cheesy Spinach Burgers
Based on recipe here

What you need:

2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup diced onion, optional (or less, depending on your level of taste)
1 cup shredded cheese, I used cheddar or Mexican blend usually, but mozzarella would work too

How to make it:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Form into 8 patties.  Cook as desired, until no longer pink.

Johnsonville Pizza Possibilities House Party

24 Jan

If you like to try out new products and host parties, you should look into HouseParty.com.  Manufacturers that want to promote a product work with House Party to get those products out to people who are interested in hosting parties.  Previously, I have hosted a Shutterfly Photobook party, a Febreze Set & Refresh party, and a Huggies Pull Ups Potty Dance party.  Each time, I got free products to share with guests, plus coupons and idea booklets for them to take home.  They all went really well.

In October of last year, I applied and was selected to be a Johnsonville Italian Pizza Possibilities party hostess.  I am already a big fan of Johnsonville sausage and brats, but had never used the sausage for pizza, so this was a good fit for me to try something new.  Unfortunately, some things came up in life and I wasn’t able to host an actual party.  So, now that things have slowed down a bit, I’m able to tell you about Johnsonville and share some of the recipes that were in the booklet with the party.

To start, let’s first talk about what I received in my party kit.

Shown above is an apron, recipe booklet, oven mitt, pizza cutter, paper plates, napkins, and a spoon for spreading pizza sauce.  Also included were coupons for me to get free packages of Johnsonville Italian Sausage and Sargento shredded cheese to use for the party, plus $1 off coupons for the party guests (which I did distribute to some friends).  If you would like to see the recipes in the booklet, you can find them here.


So, tonight I made the Sausage Florentine Pizza.  I didn’t have mushrooms, but used onions instead.  I used a homemade pizza sauce for it (recipe coming soon), and because my sauce had lots of fresh spices in it, I did not add the oregano and basil called for in their recipe.  I also used fresh spinach that I chopped instead of using frozen spinach.  I used 2 packages of pizza crust mix to make the pizza a little larger, on one of my baking sheets, so I also used more sauce, spinach, and cheese than what their recipe calls for.  It was great and the family loved it!


I’m not sure which recipe I will try next, but they all sound delicious!  So, stay tuned to see what I pick.

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