Chicken And Spinach Pasta


I really love pasta.  It’s one of those comfort foods for me that just never gets old.  Occasionally I like meatballs and spaghetti, but most other times I want something without a red sauce.  I like marinara, but there is a time and a place.  Most of the time I like to experiment with sauces by using olive oil, white wine, pumpkin, or in this case “butter” and pancetta.  Although I didn’t use a lot of either ingredient it’s enough to provide a stable flavor foundation.  On top of those firm flavors I added garlic and spinach, two things when combined with just each other make a lasting impact.  Try this recipe today for something different than a traditional pasta recipe with red sauce.

Food 061

Chicken And Spinach Pasta
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 tbs vegan butter (suggested: earth balance)
2 c baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 c onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb ground chicken
4 c frozen spinach, thawed and ringed of excess water
1 c chicken broth
1 (12 ounce) box of whole wheat or gluten free pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking water.  Set pasta aside.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, use a slotted spoon to move pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.  Add 1 tbs butter, mushrooms, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.  Cook until onions and mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes.  Add ground chicken, break up and cook until browned.  Once chicken has browned add frozen spinach, chicken broth, 1/2 c starching cooking liquid and remaining 1 tbs of butter.  Let liquid reduce for 4 minutes, then add pasta and toss to combine.

Watermelon and Chicory Salad


The combination of watermelon and balsamic vinegar may sound strange to you, but balsamic vinegar pairs wonderfully with fruit. The balsamic reduction is slightly syrupy, which truly enhances the watermelon’s natural flavor in a gourmet at home kinda way.  Also try this balsamic reduction with strawberries for a healthy dessert.  You could add sugar to the vinegar, but since the fruit is in season there is no need.

Food 103

Watermelon and Chicory Salad
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 c chicory, chopped
2 c watermelon, chopped
1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c red onion

Add balsamic vinegar to a small pot and turn heat to medium high.  Cook vinegar until reduced by half to 2 tbs.  Add extra virgin olive oil to vinegar, set aside.  In a large bowl add chicory then top with watermelon, feta cheese, red onion.  Drizzle dressing over the top then toss gently to combine.  Serve immediately.

Finger Licking Ribs


Do you ever get a craving for ribs?  They’re so juicy, sweet and spicy.  They might make your fingers a bit messy, but your own fingers turn into their own delicious delights.  Who needs a napkin with you can lick them clean?  Need I say more?

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Finger Licking Ribs
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs dry mustard
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 racks of ribs
bbq sauce homemade or store bought

The night before combine paprika, dry mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix until combined then spread over rubs using hands to massage into the meat.  Let sit overnight, when ready to cook heat grill to medium heat using only the burners on one side.  Place ribs on the opposite side of the fire to cook indirectly for 40 minutes.  Turn the heat to high, baste the ribs with bbq sauce then place over fire to finish for another 10 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into individual ribs.