As you all know, I’m a huge fan of repurposing ingredients (and just about everything else) in the interest of saving money, time, energy, etc.
Here’s a simple “Recipe Duo” that requires essentially the same set of ingredients but generates two unique meals. They can be prepped in tandem but served at different times.
Prep Bethenny’s Stuffed Peppers with these changes:
- Chop extra onions. Saute separately with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano.
- Roast a whole red pepper for 20 minutes on each side. Place in a lidded pot for an hour then peel the skin off.
- Prepare extra ground turkey and tomato sauce. Set aside.
Finish the stuffed peppers according to the instructions. Enjoy when ready
In a Magic Bullet, combine the basil and oregano sauteed onions and the roasted red pepper. Blend until smooth. Combine with the turkey tomato sauce and serve over pasta.
Voila- you’ve just easily whipped up stuffed peppers AND roasted pepper turkey pasta sauce.
I’m not normally a huge fan of chicken, but I decided on a whim to make sun-dried tomato and feta chicken, based off this recipe. My edited version is below. This is one of my favorite recipes to date!
Marinate 4 skinless chicken tenders in a shallow pan with large dashes of lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced onion, and salt and pepper. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Caramelize half of an onion. Roast a red pepper (or use jarred roasted peppers); cut into strips.
Mix a handful of sun-dried tomatoes with an equal amount of crumbled feta. Stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil.
“Stuff” chicken tenders with tomato and feta mixture by wrapping chicken and securing with a toothpick.
Place chicken back in shallow pan and cover with caramelized onion strips and pepper strips. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout. Enjoy!
Wondering why I don’t always include exact measurements for recipes? Two reasons:
1) Often, I don’t remember exactly how much I used of each ingredient! But mostly…
2) For me, cooking is so much about improvising based on your likes and what you have in your kitchen. I want to clearly convey that through my loose “recipes.” With baking, specific measurements and set instructions are essential, but cooking provides an extraordinary level of flexibility. I encourage you to take advantage of it! Despise shrimp? I promise I (and Bethenny!) won’t be offended if you opt for “Healthy Rainbow Pasta” instead.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bethenny Frankel regularly posts great recipes to her website. My fellow intern let me try the stuffed red pepper that he made based on her recipe, and I got excited to buy the ingredients and make them myself!
- 6 peppers (cut off top and bottom and use them)
- 1 pound turkey meat
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
- ½ large onion
- 2 cups jarred tomato sauce
- 1.5 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tsp tabasco
- 2.5 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa per directions. Cook ground turkey over medium heat until pink is gone. Cut the tops off peppers and chop into pieces. Combine with chopped onion, garlic salt and tomato sauce. Saute over medium heat and add remaining ingredients except the feta and pine nuts. Combine the above with cooked turkey, quinoa, pine nuts and feta cheese (save a small amount of feta to sprinkle on top later on). Remove the inside of the peppers. Portion the mixture into each of the peppers and place them on a baking sheet. Top with feta cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
My fellow intern and I periodically exchange recipes as we’re going about our days at work. He mentioned one from Bethenny Frankel, self-proclaimed Natural Food Chef, founder of SkinnyGirl Margaritas, & the star of Bethenny Ever After, a Real Housewives of New York spin-off.
As an aside, I have to admit I love Bethenny. She’s crass, abrasive, and a little insane, but she’s also spunky, caring, and real. I love watching her shows- on the rare days that I have access to Bravo TV and free time- for the ridiculous situations and hilarious commentary.
But back to the recipe!
Healthy Rainbow Shrimp Pasta
- 1 pound whole wheat linguini
- 1 pound peeled, de veined shrimp (tail off)
- 1/2 yellow pepper, julienned (thinly sliced)
- 5 sundried tomatoes sliced (in oil)
- 2 tablespoons jarred sundried tomato oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of your favorite reasonably priced white wine
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Boil water and cook linguini. On med/low heat, sauté garlic in sundried tomato oil with the diced peppers. Once peppers are soft, add shrimp, sundried tomatoes, white wine, and linguini with some of the reserved pasta water (to bind and make creamy). Cook on med/high until shrimp are cooked. Add fresh herbs, sprinkle crushed red pepper, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.As usual, I made a few changes (some by choice, others by necessity):
- I added half of a leek, chopped thinly, to the pan with the peppers. It added great texture and flavor
- My jarred sun-dried tomatoes weren’t holding up so well, so I used fresh cherry tomatoes instead. I cut them in half and threw them in a few minutes after the diced peppers. I also used olive oil instead of the sun-dried tomato oil
- For some reason, I don’t like the taste of wine in cooking, so I cut out this ingredient
- I had frozen parsley, so I put it in the pan at the same time as the tomatoes
- I added a scoop of ricotta to the pan
- I used less pasta and more vegetables
A-mazing! I would absolutely make this delicious, easy pasta dish again…for myself or for company. I’ll be taking the leftovers to work tomorrow!