Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Hey all, I wanted to share my recipe for pesto chicken lasagna that I made this weekend. I will try to break it down by each layer to make it pretty simple. It is chicken based so it is protein packed. I went easy on the cheeses and used some Greek yogurt to add moisture and flavor as well.

First: here is everything that I used in this picture. I had boiled and shredded the chicken the day before.

  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms & white onion with some EVOO
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 4 medium stem tomatoes sliced and salt & peppered
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 cups ricotta cheese & a blend of mozzarella, Gruyère & parmesan cheese….or whatever you have 😉 you don’t need that much
  • Homemade pesto or a small jar (about 8 or 10 oz.)
  • Lasagna noodles-I used 9/4 bottom then 3 and 3 for the next 2 layers
  • Seasonings like parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil, salt & pepper

pesto-lasagna-1

Second:  cook your mushrooms, onions and warm half of the already cooked chicken in a skillet for about 15 min on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Then add half of the pesto and season with parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to your liking. Meanwhile, boil your noodles according to package directions.

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Third: pre-heat your oven to 350 & begin your assembly line by having your tomatoes sliced and ready, your spinach close by, noodles, the other half of the shredded chicken mixed with the rest of the pesto and the 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Your can of fire roasted tomatoes ready with the liquid (don’t drain) and your 2 cups of ricotta cheese along with the shredded cheese options near by.

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To assemble:

  • Coat your pan with a spray or whatever non-stick option you like
  • Spread some fire roasted tomatoes and liquid on the bottom
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles overlapping each other’s edges just a bit
  • Place warm chicken & mushroom mixture on top
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese and shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Then add a layer of spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
  • Top that with 3 more noodles
  • Then the chicken, pesto and Greek yogurt mixture (this can be room temp)
  • The rest of the ricotta cheese and the shredded parmesan cheese
  • Another layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • Finish with 3 more noodles, the rest of the liquid and diced fire roasted tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese

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Cover with foil and bake for 30 min in 350 degree oven, then remove foil and bake for another 25 to 30 min. Let cool for 30 min before cutting.

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I hope you will try this and I really hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Adrienne

 

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Sweet potato turkey chili

sweet potato turkey chili

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

3 med peeled/cubed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 small diced zucchini

1 cup diced peppers (any or all colors)

2 cups diced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp. butter

juice of one lime

Seasonings:

cumin

coriander

cinnamon

salt

pepper

red pepper flakes

Badia complete seasoning

(or any chili seasoning you make or like to use)

How to make:

Cook ground turkey in skillet while boiling sweet potatoes in large pot for 5 min on stove

When turkey is done, drain and add in canned fire roasted tomatoes and sweet potatoes to skillet and let cook on med/low heat

Meanwhile in the pot that you want to make the chili in place tbsp. of butter on med heat and add in peppers, onions, zucchini and mushrooms and let them cook down for about 10 min

Season the meat mixture with all seasonings and lime juice and continue to cook for a few more minutes

Add the meat mixture to the pot with the veggies along with the 1 1/2 cups water

Cover and let simmer for 30 min to an hour on med/low (I am sure you could also do this in a crockpot)

Add additional seasonings to taste

Top with a tsp of Greek yogurt and avocado slice if you wish

Share with your family and friends or save it all for yourself!

I will be eating mine tonight and tomorrow for sure after my workouts and I will be sharing with a friend too!

Makes at least 6 servings

Happy day! A

 

Not my YiaYia’s Pastistio

NOT MY YIAYIAS PASTISTIO

Mmmmm, pastistio! One of my YiaYia’s most fantastic Greek dishes she makes! I grew up with it, I ate it often and I love it! I have never tried to make it myself until this Father’s day weekend but of course I wanted to put my own healthier twist on it! People gave me slack for it and said why even bother? Afterall, it is supposed to be indulgent and rich!  Traditionally, it calls for ground beef and white flour noodles. I used quinoa/brown rice noodles and ground turkey meat instead. That is her and I cooking it together yesterday in the picture so yes she approved of the changes BUT nothing compares to the real thing-this I am aware!! My YiaYia is 92 years old! Can you believe it??!!

Here goes the recipe! Everything is hers except the meat and noodles that I used!

Step 1: Cook your meat! Add 2.5 lbs of ground turkey or ground beef in a large skillet with 1 med to large chopped onion, 2 tsp minced garlic or 3 cloves, generously season with  salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Let it cook through about 20 min-stirring often to break the meat apart into little crumbles.

Step 2: Add 1 small can of tomato paste and 2 cups of water to the meat mixture and continue to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Leave on med heat and let it simmer while you cook the pasta and make the cream sauce. At this point if you have fresh parsley add a handful and also a pinch or so if cinnamon and red pepper flakes to add some spice but not too much.

Step 3: Cook 1.5 lbs of pasta according to directions-I used quinoa/brown rice spiral noodles from Trader Joe’s.

Step 4: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Step 5: Cream sauce (Bechamel sauce)-this is where all the delicious trouble starts! Take 1/4 cup or so of oil-I used a mixture of coconut oil, canola oil and evoo for this and place it in a med heat larger skillet. Add 1/4 c butter to skillet. Add flour (I used Millet flour) by the spoonful to the oil/butter stirring to make a thicker rue-you will add about 1 cup by the time it is thick enough. Add milk about 2 cups slowly while stirring and still trying to form the sauce. If at any point the sauce is not thickening add a touch more flour. Add 1 small can evaporated milk and stir, stir and stir some more until mixture is thick and melted all together. Then turn off heat and put half of the sauce into a separate bowl-place aside.


pastistio 5

Step 6: Stir the drained pasta into the sauce that you left in the skillet until coated. Beat 2 eggs and add into the other half of the sauce you placed aside in the bowl-stir well (this will be the topping of the pastistio)

Step 7: In a greased 8 x 11 pan add a layer of noodles (half of them) to the bottom of the pan. Add the meat mixture on top then add the rest of the noodles on top of the meat. Spread each layer and pat down slightly firmly. Next, add the Cream sauce that you added the eggs to on top and spread to cover. Lastly, top with nutmeg.

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Ahhhh, almost done!! The picture above is it about to go in the oven.

Cook uncovered on 350 for 40 to 45 min-check to see when it starts to brown on top and then it is done!! Let it cool and settle before cutting and serving.

pastistio 1

I hope you try this and enjoy the process! It is labor intense but worth it!!! My dad loved it and asked for seconds, everyone was happy and felt a little lighter compared to the traditional way of course! Maybe it was the fact that we didn’t also have it with YiaYia’s lamb, red potatoes, spinach pie, salad and bread too! Oh my.

xoxo, A and YiaYia!

pastistio 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes

 

 

stuffed tomatoestuna stuffed tomatoes collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna stuffed glorious summer tomatoes!

Go to your local farmer’s market and pick up some of these beauties!

Tuna salad filling (you can use one of your favorites or mine):

I used 3 tsp of an asiago cheese and artichoke dip (you can use Greek yogurt or mayo-or nothing here), 2 five oz cans of white tuna, 2 tsp finely chopped of each celery & red onion. then add blk pepper, cayenne pepper & garlic powder-pinches of each! Mix together.

I used a mellon baller to hollow out the tomatoes. You just want to make sure you get the wet seeds and guts out of the tomatoes before you stuff them.

Once tomatoes are hollowed fill them with the tuna salad and then store in the fridge until ready to eat!

This made 4 med tomatoes plus about a cup of left over of tuna salad for me to eat later in the week or you could make 6 to 7 total stuffed med tomatoes.

When ready to serve top with evoo, lemon juice and fresh basil.

I hope you enjoy this one!! We had these last night with steak on the grill. Lots of protein!!!

Delish!!

A

California Ground Turkey Salad

california ground turkey salad

Yum!!

1. Cook 1/2 lb ground turkey seasoned with chili powder, basil, cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic and a dash of cinnamon.

2. Chop 1 avocado, 1 cup cherry tomatoes or whatever kind you have, 1 cup pineapple and 1/4 cup red onion.

3. Prepare your lettuce, whatever combo or kind you want to use-I used green leaf here.

4. Add 2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese

Dressing:

5. 1/4 c sour cream or Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp. lime juice and 1 tbsp. hot sauce

Feeds 2 hungry people.

Enjoy!! xo, A

 

 

 

Shrimp & Tuna Casserole

shrimp and tuna casserole

A twist on tuna casserole-I added shrimp….and bacon….

1 5 oz can of tuna-I used white albacore

1 cup cooked shrimp:

cook for 5 min using a touch of butter, garlic and oregano in a small skillet

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese-buy a brick of cheese and shred it yourself (this is a must-already shredded and sticks of cheese have yucky fake additives)

1/4 cup chopped onion-I used Spanish

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

2 cups cooked whole grain, quinoa and or brown rice pasta noodles

In a mixing bowl add all above ingredients then add the following seasonings:

Basil, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes (amounts to your liking)

Pour into casserole dish and bake at 350 for 35 min

Optional and not as healthy disclaimer 🙂 ….If you want to add 2 strips of crumbled cooked bacon, and or chopped hot peppers and or Panko breadcrumbs to top of casserole during last 10 min of cooking please do so.

***I tried to keep this on the healthier end by not adding a lot cheese, milk, yogurt or sour cream so it will be a bit drier than your mama’s typical casserole but still yummy and MOST importantly better for you.

***Also, because my son was eating it to I left a third without bacon and peppers-that was his side (if you can tell from the picture)

shrimp and tuna 1 shrimp and tuna 2 shrimp and tuna 3 shrimp and tuna 4

Enjoy!

xo-A

 

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Dutch Oven Cranberry & Quinoa with Pork

cranberry and quinoa collage

 

What you will need:

1 tbsp. canola/oil or coconut oil or any other kind  of healthy oil

1/2 c chopped yellow pepper

1/4 c chopped red onion

8 oz or so diced thin pork chops

1 c fresh or frozen cranberries

2/3 c water

3/4 c chicken broth

2/3 c uncooked quinoa

1 tbsp. sweet and sour sauce-very optional

Chopped nuts for garnish-very optional

Seasonings-garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, ginger and cinnamon

What you will do:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

On stove top in Dutch oven  heat oil on med for 30 sec then add pork and season with above mentioned seasonings (to your liking)

Let brown for several minutes then add peppers, onions and cranberries for another few minutes

Next add quinoa, sweet and sour sauce, water and chicken broth

Stir all and place in oven for approx. 30 min.

Check it after 25 min and see if the glorious quinoa soaked up all the liquid.

You don’t want to over cook it and dry it out!

Garnish with more cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chopped walnuts if you like!

Enjoy! A

 

 

 

 

2 meals in one: Spiced curry pumpkin soup & pumpkin curry shrimp and rice

pumpkin curry soup Spiced curry pumpkin soup:

1 tbsp. canola/olive oil

1 small onion chopped fine

1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp cumin, dash of salt, dash of pepper

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

1 15 oz canned pumpkin

1  1/4 c unsweetened almond or coconut milk

Garnish-Greek yogurt and fresh parsley or basil

 

 

Directions:

In a large pot heat oil for 30 sec then add onion-cook for 3 min then add garlic and cook for 1 min

Stir in spices, salt and pepper then add broth and pumpkin-whisk in slowly

Bring just to a boil then cover and lower heat to simmer for 15 min

Whisk in almond or coconut milk and simmer for 2 more min.

(Ready to serve at this point)

Optional-Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth

Optional-Garnish with dollop of Greek yogurt and basil or parsley

 

Meal 2: Pumpkin Curry Shrimp and Rice

shrimp curry4 tsp coconut flakes

2 cups uncooked shrimp

2 scallions

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp. canola/olive oil

1/2 cup uncooked rice

2 1/2 cups leftover curry pumpkin soup

2 Dashes of each: curry powder, ginger, cumin and red pepper flakes

Garnish with Greek yogurt and scallions

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350

On stove top in Dutch Over heat canola/olive oil on med heat for 30 sec

Add shrimp, 3/4 of the scallions, garlic, 1 dash each of seasonings and coconut flakes and stir/cook for about 8 min

Add left over pumpkin soup and uncooked rice to the pot, Stir and cover then place in oven on 350 for 40 to 45 min

When done cooking in the oven remove and add 1 more dash of each of the seasonings then stir well

Garnish with Greek yogurt and the rest of the scallions

shrimp rice curry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 collage shrimp and pumpkin

 

 

Enjoy!  A

 

 

 

 

Dutch Oven Applesauce & Onion Pork Loin

dutch oven applesauce pork loin collage

What you will need:

 1 med sliced onion into thin rings

1 small apple sliced thinly-skin on

12 oz unsweetened natural applesauce

2 tbsp. canola/olive oil

1 to 1 1/4 lb of pork loin cuts or pork tenderloin cut into thick pcs. (shown above)

Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon

 

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees

Place 2 tbsp. canola/olive oil in bottom of Dutch oven on stove top on med heat

Season pork with salt and pepper and place pork loin pcs. in oil to brown 2 mins on each side

Remove pork from Dutch oven and place apples and onions down to start to brown

Season apples and onions with 2 dashes cinnamon, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. brown sugar and 2 tsp. honey

Stir and cook on med heat for 5 min then place pork back in Dutch oven on top of onions and apples

Add the 12 oz of unsweetened natural applesauce and stir around once more

Place lid on Dutch oven and place in the oven for 1.5 hours on 300 degrees

 

Easy ingredients, easy one pot cook and clean up!

(If you have a bigger family or just want to make more pork at one time you can easily add a little more of each seasoning, apples and onions)

Enjoy!

xo-A

 

 

 

 

 

Protein + Berry Pancakes

protein and berry pancakes

These are to die for!! Hands down one of the best things I have ever whipped up!

Absolutely in love with them! Great way to crank up your protein intake!

Here is the recipe:

protein pancakes 5

4 oz unsweetened applesauce

1 c unsweetened almond milk

1 and 1/2 c all natural pancake mix

1/2 c chocolate protein powder

1 c mixed berries

1 dash nutmeg and 2 dashes cinnamon

Mix well and cook about 2 to 3 min on each side-they will not really bubble up as an indicator to flip so keep an eye on them and flip about 2 to 3 min on each side.

Makes about 15 to 16 small/med sized pancakes.

My 4 year old son gobbled them up too!

I drizzled some honey on mine and made enough for left overs the next day!

Heavenly!

protein pancakes 2protein pancakes 3protein pancakes 4

Enjoy!!!

xoxo-A