Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

Servings: 4

This is a great, flavorful dish that is so easy to make it's unbelievable! And it only takes about 20 minutes!

To give credit where credit is due, I got this from Gourmet's website but wanted to share it with you because even though I am not a fan of peas, they fit very well into this dish. The sweetness of the peas counteracts the tartness of the lemon and the saltiness of the sauce.

1 cup frozen baby peas (not thawed)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, adjust for your level of heat.
1 garlic clove, smashed
3 cups packed baby spinach (3 oz)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1 /2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 lb dried gnocchi (preferably De Cecco)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

In a large pot, add gnocchi to boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) and cook until al dente (5-8 minutes). Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain gnocchi.

In a 12-in heavy skillet, simmer peas with cream, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until tender, about 5 minutes. 1/4 tsp of dried red pepper flakes gives a pretty decent amount of heat to this dish (not spicy, but just enough to leave your tongue tingling) so I would reduce it if you are not a fan of spicier foods.

Add spinach to the pea mixture and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. The cream and lemon juice will react and form a thick sauce.

Add gnocchi and the cheese to the pan with the sauce, if needed add some of the reserved cooking water and stir to coat. Thin sauce with additional cooking water if necessary.

As a quick note, if you are making this for yourself or planning on having leftovers, I would add 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to the container with the leftovers. This dish reheats in a pan over medium heat (10 minutes) and the extra liquid keeps it from drying out while it is being reheated.

I haven't tried it yet (so don't hold me to it..unless it does actually taste good) but I could picture this dish tasting great with some cooked and sliced sweet Italian sausage thrown into the mix...next time!

Taco salad

So using Lisa's recipe for slow cooked spanish chicken I made these salads with the left overs. (Also please note, I can't handle spice near as good as her so I reduced the cayenne pepper to 1 tsp down from a tbsp and it is much more reasonable, she is out of her damn mind)
This will make two good size taco salads

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded fresh baby spinach
1 avocado cubed
1.5 tomatoes chopped
1.5 cups monteray jack cheese shredded
3 green onions chopped
1/4 yellow onion chopped
1/4 cup black olives chopped
Tortilla chips for dunking
4 tbsp sour cream
aprx 3 cups left over chicken with sauce

In bowl combine 1 cup romain with one cup spinach. Top with half of all veggies then add chicken and about 3 tbsp sauce, chips and sour cream. I like to make little rows of each veggie so you can kind of create each bite how you want it. My husband likes to create a different bite on each chip.

Garden style white lasagna (can be made with or with out chicken)

Spinach layer
1/2 cup flour
3.5 cups low fat milk
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
10 oz chopped frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Vegetable layer (can add chicken here if you like)
2 Cups chopped brocoli
2 zucini's chopped
2 yellow squash chopped
1 large yellow onion chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup carrot chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
(2 cups chicken baked and shredded)
Canola oil spray

Cheese layer
3 cups fresh mozzarella shredded

1/4 cup fresh basil ribboned

1 Package whole wheat lasagna noodles cooked

Preheat oven to 375. Bring salted water to a boil for noodles. When it reaches a boil add noodles and stir frequently. Coat large pan with canola oil over medium high heat. Add broccoli, zucchini and squash. Sauté for 4 minutes and add onion, garlic, carrots, salt and pepper. (Add shredded chicken now if desired). Stir mixture often until soft. In large saucepan heat to high and pour in flour. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until thick and turn off heat. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, Parmesan and spinach.

Coat baking dish with spray. Add 1/3 spinach sauce. Top with single layer of noodles. Add 1/2 of veggie layer (and chicken if desired) Add 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Add second layer of noodles and top with 1/3 of spinach sauce, add second half of vegetable mixture. Add 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and top with noodles. Add remaining third of spinach sauce and top with remaining mozzarella. Cover loosely and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven to broil and cook until cheese bubbles and browns. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut and serve. Top with fresh basil

Balsamic Fillet Mignon

2 fillet mignon steaks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
cooking spray

1. Season both sides of steaks evenly with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook about 7 minutes on each side or until your desired doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm by covering a plate with aluminum foil.
2. Add garlic and red pepper to pan; saute 30 seconds. Add sherry to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds. Add soy sauce balsamic vinegar and honey, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and cook 1 minute. Serve with steaks.

Stuffed Artichokes

2 lemons
3 artichokes
3 cups fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cups grated Romano
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 cups olive oil

1. Grate the zest of 1 of the lemons set aside. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the zested lemon into a large bowl filled halfway with cold water. Set aside. Juice the remaining 1 1/2 lemons and reserve the juice.
2. Cut the stems off of the artichokes and clip all the pointy tips plus the top 1/4 of the artichoke.
3. Using your fingers, gently pry the leaves apart to reveal the inner choke and, using a spoon, scoop out some of the inner leaves and the fuzzy choke and discard. This should leave a pretty big hole in the center of each artichoke for stuffing. Put the artichoke in the lemon water bowl then repeat with the remaining artichokes.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, lemon zest, Romano, garlic, basil, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and about 3/4 cup of the olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of warm water and mix thoroughly. The crumb stuffing should be moist enough to clump together. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the artichokes from the lemon water and turn over to let it drain. Fill the center of the artichokes with the stuffing, pressing downward as you add the stuffing. You can also stuff some of the large outer leaves. Drizzle each artichoke with a about a tablespoon of olive oil.
6. In a large saucepan place the artichokes, stem side down and stuffing up, and add about 1 1/2 inches of cold water; it should come up to the bottom of where the leaves begin. Add any remaining lemon juice and olive oil.
7. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook, covered, until the leaves pull away easily from the artichokes and the heart is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Carefully remove the artichokes from the pot and set aside to cool slightly.
8. Serve the artichokes with your favorite Italian salad dressing. Or for those weirdos out there I guess you can serve it with some mayo (barf!).