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Posts tagged ‘spinach’

Molly’s Summer Spinach and Rice Salad

I still don’t have a kitchen of my own, so I’m living vicariously through those who do and apparently, I’ve also been pestering my friend Molly about helping me with this blog for long enough that she got serious with the camera in the kitchen. She sent me some summer salad pictures and recipes that look great! As a moving special, I’ll share them with you before I try them out in my own new kitchen – which I will be occupying on Friday!

The first recipe looks delicious and I have another one up my sleeve for later in the week, so stay tuned.

Here’s Molly….

SPINACH RICE SALAD

“Random Notes” – I don’t know when I last followed the directions exactly for this salad. Usually I double or triple and add ingredients until it looks and tastes right but this is the recipe my mom gave me. Amend as needed.

We always make the Italian Good Seasoning Dressing for the Italian dressing… using red wine vinegar for both the vinegar and water portion. I am sure another Italian dressing would be fine. I just can’t guarantee it. 🙂 Usually, I use regular Soy Sauce but less sodium was all I had…worked out fine. I have never used Minute Rice either…always long grain or Jasmine.

1 c. rice

1 T. soy sauce

1/2 c. Italian dressing

1/2 t. sugar

2 c. fresh spinach, cut in thin strips

1/2 c. diced celery

1/2 c. sliced green onion

1/3 c. crumbled crisp bacon

Stage One:

Cook rice according to directions. Transfer rice to bowl. Cool slightly. – (No pictures, but they have directions on the bag!)

Combine dressing, soy sauce, and sugar (often left out).

Stir the dressings into the warm rice. Cover and chill.

Stage 2-

When the rice is cool and you’re about ready to serve…

Chop green onions,

bacon,

celery,

and spinach,

and toss it all into a bowl so that it looks pretty like this!

Fold the veggies into the rice just before serving. Enjoy!

Thanks, Molly! Can’t wait to try this myself. – Lisa

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Quick Spinach Quiche

My family is always enthusiastic about quiche!

Eggs, cheese, flavorful ingredients, pie crust…what’s not to like?

Here’s the basic recipe for a Quick Spinach Quiche:

I box of roll out pie crust (no rolling pin – this is the quick version)
12 crisply browned bacon slices
1 cup finely chopped onion
6 eggs
1 box frozen chopped spinach
8 oz Swiss cheese
2 TBSP flour
2 1/2 cups half-n-half
salt and pepper

Bake at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes. Makes two pies.

You’ll notice in the picture below that my bacon strips look an awful lot like turkey kielbasa. That is what happens when you write bacon at the top of the grocery list and then leave the list in the car. You get home, smack yourself in the forehead and then rummage through the refrigerator for an alternative. The kielbasa was fine, but I think I prefer bacon. I thought about not blogging because I messed up again, but if I dropped blogging every time I deviate from the ideal form of a recipe I would post something about once a month – in a good month. And, I guess we’re highlighting the point that quiche is versatile.


On a remembered-the-grocery-list kitchen catwalk, you would fry the bacon while sautéing the onion in some oil. But in this case…


…the meat needed to be chopped into small pieces and I was able to brown it with the onion while I was working on the rest of the ingredients



The box of frozen spinach gets a nice warm shower in a colander until it’s thawed.


Then I wring it out. You don’t want green spinach juice turning your quiche into a soggy rendition of something out of a Dr. Seuss book.


There’s really not much in a box of frozen spinach once you take out the water!


I usually have sliced Swiss cheese on hand, but it need to be in shreds, so I just cut the slices into thin strips and it’s close enough.


Put the cheese in a small bowl and drop in the flour.


Toss the two until the cheese is coated and there aren’t any pieces sticking together.


Crack the eggs into the half-n-half.


Stir vigorously with a whisk. (Hard to do that and take a picture at the same time!)


Keep checking on the meat. It took a while for the moisture from the kielbasa to evaporate and the browning process to begin.


When the meat du jour is cooked, soak up any excess grease and oil with a paper towel.


Put the crusts into the pie plates and try to make it look nice. Surely you can do better than I do – even my 13 year old son can!

Then, divide the meat between the pie plates.


Decompress the spinach ball and sprinkle it evenly over the meat.


Spread a layer of cheese on top of that, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.


Give the eggs and half-n-half another vigorous stir to make sure the mixture hasn’t separated then pour it between the two pans.


Pop them onto the center rack of a very hot oven (425 degrees) and bake for about 35 minutes. It should look about like this when it’s done.


Let it sit for several minutes before trying to cut and serve.


Yummy! And, talk about great breakfast leftovers!

White Lasagna

I started making this recipe in Kansas about seven years ago. It’s kind of a pain to prepare, but it is high on the favorites list for almost everyone who has ever eaten at our house. Even my children have come around. At first they were offended by the presence of spinach, and red bell peppers and artichoke parts, but even our toughest critic, Si, has begun to turn in clean plates.

It was back by popular demand last Tuesday night for the college students, and happened to coincide with a happy surprise visit from my cousin Corinn and her two amazing kiddos. That’s about 25 people who eat hearty portions, so the regular recipe had to be quadrupled. (Keep that in mind as you look at the photos.)

Here’s the recipe for one 9×13 pan full of this creamy goodness.

Sauce Layer
1 jar of Alfredo sauce 
1/3 cup of milk
Noodle Layer
Lasagna Noodles – You’ll need about 8
Spinach Layer
Fresh baby spinach – one small bag from the grocery with stems pulled off
Chicken and Veggies Layer
3 cups chopped cooked chicken – I love rotisserie chicken for this
1 can of artichoke hearts – preferably not in oil marinade 
1 or 2 chopped and seeded Roma tomatoes
½ -1 cup finely chopped onion – any kind will do or as I did on this occasion, use a mixture
1 TBSP minced garlic
½ of a red bell pepper finely chopped (optional)
Cheese Layer
12 oz Mozzarella
6 oz crumbled Feta


The first step is to start chopping. No particular order.

Here’s what you have to do when you go to the grocery store late in the evening and the rotisserie chicken case is empty. The house sure smelled good while I was roasting my own though!

I can’t stand chicken gunk under my nails, thus the gloves.

On to the artichokes…


Next up: the tomatoes. They need to be seeded so that they don’t spew their juice into the mixture. And then they need to be chopped.


Scrape seeds out with a knife after cutting them into halves.

Rinse that cutting board one more time and go for the onions.



Those are shallots and green onions by the way. No “real” onions in these pictures.

Now, doesn’t that look nice!


Pull the stems off of the spinach leaves so that you don’t have spinach floss going on at your dinner gathering.

Mix the Alfredo sauce with the milk. I usually pour the sauce out into a bowl and put the milk into the empty jar, reseal it, and shake it to get the last of the Alfredo out of the jar. This is the first step in the process of prepping for the recycle bin.

Now it’s time to start layering. Start by spreading a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan and laying down the first layer of pasta.


Noodle Note: I used “no-boil” pasta straight out of the box once in this recipe and it was terrible. This time, I followed some advice from America’s Test Kitchen (more about that in a future post) and soaked the no-boil noodles for 5 minutes in water before using them. I also had to use some regular “boil ’em first noodles” because we were making an awful lot of lasagna and I’m cleaning out cabinets these days to get ready for our upcoming move.

Next: half of the spinach.


Then: half of the vegetable and chicken mixture


Followed by: half the cheese…


…and half of the remaining sauce spread evenly around on the cheese layer.


, because repetition is the theme of lasagna, here we go again…

Noodles…


Spinach…


Vegetables…


Cheese….


And finally, Sauce again. Spread it around.


Whew!

A big thank you to my cousin Corinn for her help with food and photos!

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. The first 45 minutes covered in foil, then for another 15 minutes uncovered. When it comes out of the oven give it a few minutes to get its layers coagulated before you try to cut it.

Stay tuned for the post on the Strawberry Pretzel dessert we had the same night which will explain why we had to use foil pans for the lasagna.