Tag Archives: Basil

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion

10 Oct

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion-001

This was fantastic!  I love using bratwurst in my pasta dishes in place of ground beef.  It bursts with flavor and adds sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 4 to 5 bratwurst, casings removed
  • 2 bell peppers, your choice of colors, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Halve spaghetti squash and place cut side down on buttered baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool to the point of being able to handle, remove and discard seeds then shred pulp gently with a fork so that strands resemble spaghetti noodles.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

While squash bakes, cook and crumble bratwurst in a skillet over medium heat.  Add peppers, onion and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are crisp tender.

Add squash, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to skillet and heat through.  Remove from heat and drain excess liquid.  Mix in 3/4 cup Parmesan and transfer to a greased 9×13 or oval 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, topping with remaining Parmesan for the last five minutes of baking time.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion b

Recipe and photo by me MyLittleFoodSpot.com

Creamy Mushroom Basil Spaghetti Squash Casserole

10 Oct

Creamy mushroom basil spaghetti squashWe have been receiving quite a few spaghetti squash from Derek’s Aunt Verna and Uncle Glen.  I am always looking for new recipes and have found a few winners this fall.  I like the creamy, toasty crunch that this one packs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small to medium spaghetti squash
  • olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 3 T butter, melted

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Halve spaghetti squash and place cut side down on buttered baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool to the point of being able to handle, remove and discard seeds, then shred pulp gently with a fork so that strands resemble spaghetti noodles.  Place strands in a greased casserole dish, discarding shell.  Do not turn off oven.

While squash is baking, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion, mushroom, and basil until vegetables are just tender.  Stir sour cream and onion mixture into squash.  Gently mix in the parmesan cheese.  Combine the panko and melted butter and top casserole evenly with buttered crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Serve hot, creamy, and toasty!

Recipe inspired by allrecipes.com.

Photo by me, MyLittleFoodSpot.com

Spicy Sausage Sauce

23 Feb
spicy sausage sauce01I’ve made this one a number of times.  An easy and tasty twist on the classic spaghetti sauce.  For some reason though, we generally eat it over hot, cooked rice.  Pasta.  Rice.  You choose.  It’s great either way.  And if you prefer your food heat-less, use sweet Italian sausage and nix the jalapenos.
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage links, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced or finely diced
  • 1 cup lightly packed, torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, pureed with their juices
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until done, breaking them up into chunks with a wooden spoon.  Remove the sausages from the saucepan and drain them on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the saucepan. Add the sliced garlic and chiles and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the basil and cook for 15 seconds, then add the tomato puree. Simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Return the sausages to the saucepan and heat through.  Serve over your favorite pasta or hot, cooked rice.

Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s recipe

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup

22 Feb

spicy sausage and potato soup01The recipe calls for andouille sausage. I usually keep some frozen on hand but was unknowingly out at the time I made this. I used some standby hot Italian sausage in place of the Andouille and found that it complimented the other ingredients just fine. Derek commented that the soup was full of flavor. In a very good way. I think.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
12 to 16 ounces andouille sausage or other smoked sausage
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and diced sausage; sauté until the vegetables are tender and sausage is lightly browned. Stir in the flour until smooth and well-blended; stir in green onions, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute. Blend in the chicken broth. Add the diced potatoes, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the heavy cream and continue cooking until heated through.

Recipe from southernfood.about.com
Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Orzo

10 Dec
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 4
I buy huge tubs of spinach at Sam’s and can never get through it fresh before it starts to get oh so slimy.  I’m always looking for ways, other than a basic sautee, to serve it, and found a winner here.  But don’t take my word for it.    IMG_8693-001
IMG_8695-001
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed well & chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to package directions.  In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook garlic, onion & thyme in oil for about a minute.
Add mushrooms, cook about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to brown& their juices begin to run.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo
Sprinkle with flour& stir about one minute, then slowly begin to add the milk, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the spinach, basil, salt& pepper& cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 2
Serve sauce over pasta & grate fresh parmesan cheese over individual servings.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 3
Recipe inspired by Moody on food.com
Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Grilled Chicken with Italian Salsa

20 Jun

Simple, healthy, delicious.  The salsa is like a bruschetta, minus the oil.  Excellent served over a bed of fresh baby spinach or with sauteed spinach on the side.  Slice a loaf of ciabatta, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss it on the grill just before the chicken is done.  I just made it for a friend who recently had a baby.  It’s perfect for a summer “gift meal” because you can get the chicken marinading in a zip-top bag, package up the salsa in a reused sour cream tub and drop it off early.  All they have to do that evening is throw it on the grill.  On those super hot days your friends won’t have to heat up their house with the oven and they will have absolutely zero clean-up.

Ingredients for Salsa:

  • 2 1/4 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Chicken and Marinade:

  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray

To prepare salsa, combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cover and chill 1 hour.

To prepare chicken, preheat grill.

Combine oregano and next 10 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a large zip-top plastic bag.  Add chicken to bag; seal.  Marinate chicken in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.  Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.  Serve with salsa.

 

Recipe from myrecipes.com

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot.

Garlic-Artichoke Pasta

14 Jun

If you like artichokes and you LOVE garlic, this recipe is da bomb.  It is simple and very flavorful.  This works as a vegetarian main dish, but because, in my husband’s opinion, no meal is complete without meat, I like to serve it with grilled or sauteed chicken on the side.  Tonight we accompanied it with grilled sweet Italian sausages topped with sliced, grilled bell peppers.  A winning combination.

Ingredients:

  • 3 14-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 14-oz. cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 6-9 cloves minced garlic
  • a few leaves of fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 12 oz. dried linguine, angel hair or other favorite pasta
  • Finely shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Coat the inside of a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Drain 2 of the cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain remaining can). In the prepared cooker combine drained and undrained tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and garlic, basil and oregano.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in whipping cream and let stand about 5 minutes to heat through.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta. If desired, top with cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Recipe inspired by Better Homes and Gardens

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Baked Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia Sandwich with Tomato-Basil Mayonnaise

27 Jan

My own little creation.  I had a second sandwich and probably shouldn’t have.  I cheated on the fish, but this took an easy frozen dinner to a whole new level.  I served it with some roasted cauliflower and tomatoes, seasoned with turmeric and cayenne and topped with fresh cilantro.  It looked really pretty and tasted pretty good, but I am undecided as to whether I would make it again.  It, therefore, does not currently meet mylittlefoodspot standards.

Ingredients

  • Frozen parmesan encrusted tilapia fillets, one for each sandwich (I used Treasures of the Sea, from Sam’s Club)
  • 1/2 cup real mayo
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped graped tomatoes, including their juices
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Tender baby greens
  • Hamburger buns, or sandwich bread of your choice

Bake fish according to package directions.  Combine mayo, tomatoes, basil, and scallions.  Spread on top side of sandwich buns.  Place fish on bottom bun and top with mixed greens.  Combine buns before serving and enjoy :0)

Recipe and photo by mylittlefoodspot

Tomato and Tortellini Soup

24 Oct

Love this soup.  It has a chicken stock base but the burst tomatoes give it a little more depth.  It’s really pretty perfect the way it is, however, I am thinking of adding a little cream or perhaps some milk and a thickening agent sometime, to make it creamier.  UPDATE: I tried it with the half and half.  It turns out a milky, pinky color, not really a creamy red.  It tasted sweet, salty and creamy, though.  So…aesthetically, not the best, but tasted really great.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini or ravioli
  • 1/2 cup half and half (optional)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • A chunk of parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for shaving
  • Crusty bread, for dunking

In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, or a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Stir in the tomatoes and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and a thick sauce forms, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tortellini and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  If desired, add the half and half towards the end of the tortellini cooking time.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and scallions to wilt.

Serve the soup in shallow bowls and top with large shavings of the parmigiano cheese. Serve with the bread for dunking.

Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Green beans and tomatoes with basil

8 Oct

green beans tomato basilThis was a tasty way to prepare my big bag of Sam’s Club frozen green beans.  It was very simple and the ingredients basic.  I used quartered campari tomatoes and dried basil because I had them on hand.  I steamed the green beans in the microwave long enough to thaw them and let them simmer until we were ready to eat.  It was a nice accompaniment to our meal of pasta and garlic bread.  Charity and Uncle Kolby gave them two thumbs up.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen green beans, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or dried equivalent
  • 2 cups cherry tomato halves
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, garlic salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes, and cook stirring gently just until soft.  Add green beans to the mixture and simmer until heated through.
Recipe idea based upon one from allrecipes.com
Photo by me, My Little Food Spot