Quick Shrimp Scampi

Lenten Fridays.  A chance to dust off those seafood recipes I usually forget about.  Don’t get me wrong, I love seafood!  I just eat a whole lot more beef and chicken (and cupcakes) than fish and shellfish dishes.

This shrimp scampi is super quick to make.  I try to avoid cooking on Fridays (usually I am just ready to unwind from the work week), but this dish is so easy and SO tasty, I don’t mind whipping it together.  I use fully-cooked, frozen shrimp to make it even easier.  Just thaw the shrimp in warm water for about 5 minutes before cooking.  Recipe is adapted from damndelicious.net.

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Quick Shrimp Scampi

Active Prep: 5 min
Cook time: 10-15 min
TOTAL: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz linguine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lb small, fully cooked shrimp, thawed
  • ¼ c chicken broth
  • ¼ c freshly-squeeze lemon juice (~1.5 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook linguine according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add linguine, shrimp, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Mix well and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add lemon zest, parsley, and salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Parmesan

This chicken parmesan recipe is one that you will think about all day long, both long before AND long after you make it!  I know I’ve been thinking about it for daysssss.  The breaded chicken is bursting with Parmesan flavor, and the sauce is absolute PERFECTION.  I actually think the sauce is my favorite part of this recipe!  So simple to make, but so flavorful.  I was eating it by the spoonful while it was simmering on the stove. 🙂  I ended up making a second batch of it because I poured so much of it on my chicken and pasta!  It is THAT GOOD.  I am making stuffed peppers later this week, and I think I might use this sauce in the recipe… we’ll see 🙂

Anyways… enough about the sauce.  The whole dish is fantastic.  I hope you get to try it.  The recipe is adapted from a recipe in my beloved America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Parmesan

Active Prep: 30 min
Cook time: ~10 min
TOTAL: ~ 40 min

Ingredients:

Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Chicken

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (~1 lb), cut in half then filleted and pounded ½ inch thick (4 pieces of chicken total)
  • salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ¾ c grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ c Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

 Sauce

  • Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients; stir well.  Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

Chicken

  1. Preheat broiler.  Season chicken with salt.  Whisk egg and flour together and pour in a shallow dish.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk together Parmesan, Panko, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper and pour in another shallow dish. Dredge each chicken piece in egg mixture, then coat with Parmesan mixture.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place cutlets in pan and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, until breading is golden brown.  Flip cutlets and cook for another 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Place cooked cutlets on paper towel-lined plate to drain, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken. Place in broiler for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and begins to brown.
  5. Serve chicken immediately over pasta (if desired) and top with sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Baked Meatballs

I was cleaning out my freezer over the weekend (okay… not cleaning out, more like shoving stuff into little nooks in there so I could fit even MORE stuff…) and I came across several packages of frozen ground beef (John always separates them into one pound chunks).  I figured it was time to use some of it!

This is one of my favorite meatball recipes – it has just a little bit of kick to it!  You can omit the red pepper flakes to have “kick-free” meatballs.  I would categorize this as a “30 minute meal” recipe – just heat up some sauce and cook the spaghetti while your meatballs are baking and dinner will be on the table before you know it!  Serve with some warm garlic bread and a side salad and your tummy will be oh-so-satisfied!  This recipe is adapted from lovestohost’s Meatball Nirvana recipe on Allrecipes.com.

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Baked Meatballs

Active Prep: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
TOTAL: 35 min

Yields ~35 meatballs (6-8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian herbs
  • ¾ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ c grated Parmesan-Romano blend cheese
  • ½ c Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well-blended.
  3. Roll into 1-1 ½ inch meatballs (~35 meatballs). Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping meatballs halfway through.
  4. Eat as-is, or serve over your favorite pasta and sauce!

Protein-Packed Macaroni Salad

 

The after-Christmas blues leave us longing for beaches, summer picnics, and the shining sun… I’m about over winter and ready to spend my days in the warm outdoors!  Nothing beats the smell of freshly cut grass and hamburgers on the grill.  Today I decided to make a summertime-bbq essential – macaroni salad.  I think we eat some type of pasta salad with every barbeque we have!  I decided to play with the recipe and pack it with protein so I could take it as my lunch this week… maybe that way summer will arrive faster!  Hard-boiled eggs and chickpeas are tossed into a basic macaroni salad recipe to make it a more filling – and even tastier! – dish.  I will certainly look forward to eating lunch this week!  Enjoy!

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Protein-Packed Macaroni Salad

Cook/prep time: 15 mins

Yields about 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

Directions:

  1. In a medium stockpot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7-9 minutes.  Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until noodles are cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients including macaroni. Mix well.  Let sit for 15 minutes to allow noodles to absorb excess moisture.  Mix again and refrigerate until ready to serve.