Tag Archives: fast

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

If you only try one new pumpkin recipe this fall, let it be my Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse.

Don’t let the word “mousse” intimidate you because this is as easy as it gets: it takes five minutes and has five ingredients. You simply whisk together sweetened condensed milk, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and whipped topping. Then serve it with gingersnap cookies for dipping (although the velvety mousse is delicious on its own).

I’ve created a variety of pumpkin mousse recipes over the years, but this is my best.

I gave my 3-year-old – who is hesitant to try new things – a bite and asked if she wanted another bite. She said: “I want the whole thing,” and promptly took it from my hands. She licked the bowl clean.

My husband said he could bathe in this; my mom said it was better than pumpkin pie. The rave reviews have ensued every time I make it (and I am sure you’ll get the same response).

This recipe will be a winner this holiday season. It’s even better after a few hours of refrigeration, but can be served immediately, too.

This mousse would be great at your Halloween party. Simply carve out a small pie pumpkin and fill it with mousse and serve it with Gingersnap cookies.

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

Makes 20 (2-ounce) servings

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 (8-ounce) tub of whipped topping, defrosted

Mini Gingersnap cookies to garnish

Beat or stir together sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and whipped topping, until combined.

Pour mixture into 2-ounce glasses and top with a gingersnap cookie. Serve immediately.

Other serving options: If you have a smaller crowd and want to serve larger portions, you can serve pumpkin mousse in wine glasses with or without a cookie. You can also crumble cookies and put them on top.

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Easy Acorn Squash Stuffed with Circle B Ranch Italian Sausage and Trio of Peppers

What a week. I had planned this for dinner Monday but didn’t get a chance to make it until lunch on Friday. This easy dish comes together in 20 minutes or less (that tells you how busy my week was when I couldn’t even fit this in).

I used sweet Italian sausage from Circle B Ranch, a small hog farm in Seymour, Mo., that is certified Humanely Raised and has great products. I’ve been to the farm and the hogs are healthy and roam freely.

For this dish, I simply microwaved the squash, sautéed all my other ingredients and then stuffed them into the cooked squash. I drizzled it all with 18-year-old balsamic vinegar. An excellent quality balsamic vinegar is a must in this dish which has a lot of sweet accents from the sausage and squash and the vinegar just pulls them all together.

Serves 2

1 acorn squash

1 Italian sausage links

1 small red onion

Half a red bell pepper

Half a green bell pepper

Half a yellow bell pepper

1 small garlic clove

Excellent quality aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Directions:

Cut acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Stab the flesh several times with a sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper and place 1 teaspoon of butter or olive oil in the cavity of each half. Place in a microwave safe dish with 1/2 cup of water on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

As that cooks, chop red onion, red, yellow and green bell peppers; and garlic.

In a nonstick pan, sauté the onion and sausage (remove the casing first) together until almost done. When the sausage is about a minute away from being cooked through, add the bell peppers and onions and cook 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

By now, the squash will be done. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and don’t put your hand in front of the steam.

Stuff filling into the cavity of each. Drizzle generously with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

I must say, I chose the wrong color of bowl to showcase this delicious salad. I was STARVING when I made this and all I wanted to do was photograph it so I could gobble it up. I rushed and it didn’t pay off in terms of my photo. If I had just swapped out a white bowl for the green, this salad would look more appealing.

Let me tell you, it’s DELICIOUS, HEALTHY and very LIGHT. It’s perfect when it’s hot outside. My husband and I both commented on how good we felt after we ate this salad and how long that feeling lasted.

We are both trying to shed a few pounds, so I will likely be posting more healthier food options. Don’t worry, for you junk food lovers there will be plenty of indulgence, too.

This salad gets protein from the chicken and edamame; fiber from the apples, lettuce, and Napa cabbage. The ginger dressing is light and refreshing. And then there’s the flavor punch from the cilantro and green onions. Yummy! I love it and I hope you enjoy it, too. If you do, please share it.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

Makes two generous dinner or lunch portions (we had a little leftover)

1 cup shredded Napa cabbage

4 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

½ cup cooked, shelled edamame

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 green onions, sliced

First full of cilantro

Two rotisserie chicken breasts

Dressing:

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon ginger paste or finely shredded fresh ginger (I prefer ginger paste in the tube because it’s so easy and I can grab it whenever I need)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl and set aside.

For the salad, chop all the vegetables and place in a large serving bowl or divide between two bowls or plates.

Remove chicken breast and pull off the skin. Chop the meat into desired pieces and place on top of vegetables. Toss with the dressing. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Two EASY Quesadillas: Goat cheese and grilled peppers; Chicken and Bacon. The choice is yours

I get on kicks. My latest is quesadillas.

A month ago, I made a wonderful black bean, Ranch, rotisserie chicken quesadilla, then a Mediterranean inspired quesadilla and I have several more in the works.

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The charm of the quesadilla is it’s quick, easy, versatile and delicious.

It’s portable so you can eat it on the go as a snack, but also filling enough to enjoy it for dinner.

If you’re watching your carb intake, you can substitute a high protein, low carb wrap for the tortilla shell.

A classic quesadilla is common street fare all over in Mexico. You can fill it with any variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables and use corn, black corn, white or wheat flour tortillas.  There are tremendous possibilities.

It’s a great way to use leftover barbecue meats, too. I nestle shredded barbecue pork in a tortilla, top it with cheese, cilantro, chopped red onion, and grill it. Then I serve it with barbecue sauce and sour cream. It’s delightful.

And you don’t have to know much about cooking to create a delicious quesadilla.

My biggest tip is when making a quesadilla that is stuffed with other ingredients, cook it cheese side down first so it has a chance to melt and the cheese doesn’t fall out when you flip it.

Use a nonstick pan or a skillet to make quesadillas. If you’re feeding a crowd, a pancake griddle works beautifully to cook several at the same time (if you have a family, a griddle is a great choice).

Here are two AMAZING and easy recipes:

The goat cheese quesadilla is tossed with green salsa and cuddles up to bell peppers and chicken. It’s L1070005 (2) one of my favorites as the creamy, tangy goat cheese contrast beautifully with a trio of bell peppers. Goat cheese is also less fattening and I like the fact that my recipe includes veggies. This is a single serving recipe, so perfect for a snack or someone who lives solo.

My bacon and chicken is about as easy as it gets and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. This is basic qubaconqesadilla with rotisserie chicken, bacon pieces, cheese and a dash of cumin. I grill it and serve it with salsa and guacamole.

I hope you enjoy these.

Goat Cheese, Chicken and Tri-Pepper Quesadilla

Serves 1

1 medium size tortilla

Cooking spray

1/3 cup of assorted sliced bell peppers, red, green and yellow or orange

¼ cup of soft goat cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons green salsa

Dash of ground cumin

1/3 cup sliced or chopped rotisserie chicken breast

Guacamole or green salsa for serving

First, slice assorted bell peppers and heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers and cook 3-5 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Salt the peppers and remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the goat cheese and green salsa until combined. Then spread the mixture over half of a tortilla. Top with chicken and bell peppers. Then sprinkle a dash of ground cumin on the other side of the tortilla and fold over to make a half moon.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat. Add the folded tortilla and cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly crisp. Slice and serve with green salsa or guacamole.

goat cheese quesadilla

Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla

Makes 2 snacks or 1 meal size

2 medium size flour tortillas

1 chicken breast

½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese

2 heaping teaspoons real bacon pieces

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seed

Cooking spray

Guacamole for serving

Salsa for serving

Cilantro to garnish

Cut the chicken breast off the rotisserie chicken, discard and skin and slice the breast. Then divide those pieces in half.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.

Place half the cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, bacon and cumin. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to make a half moon. Then place in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa and guacamole.

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Asian Chicken Salad (three ways)

I love, love, love chicken salad and am constantly creating different versions.

My top three recipes are this one, my rosemary chicken salad and my curried chicken salad.

My Asian version always wows people and I think it’s because it’s so unique. I love it because it’s easy, delicious and I can serve it three ways.

. I have served this on Ritz crackers at parties and it’s a huge hit;

I have piled it in the middle of a salad and devoured it for lunch (pictured here).\;

And I have served it on French bread as a sandwich and that’s pretty fantastic, too. I recommend topping the sandwich with thinly sliced cucumbers.

Every version is fantastic. In my recipe, I recommend using celery OR water chestnuts. I prefer celery but have made it both ways.

They key to this salad is you must have Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce. If you’ve never used that sauce, you should. It’s one of my favorite kitchen condiments.

It’s AMAZING on stir fried vegetables, soba noodles, on chicken. The great thing is, it’s a complete sauce so you don’t need to add other sauces.  I have used it for dipping sauce, as a marinade, etc, etc. It’s so versatile. Once you try it, you will ask that bottle: “Where have you been all my life?”

If you can’t find it on your local store, you can order it online: https://www.soyvay.com

You can search stores in your area on the website to see if they carry it.

This salad is perfect for entertaining or enjoying at home. Take it on a picnic or out on the boat. It’s lovely. Enjoy.

Asian Chicken Salad

3 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken, skin removed

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki

2 stalks of celery OR 5 ounces water chestnuts, minced

3 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Pepper to taste (you don’t need salt)

2 tablespoons shredded carrot (optional) I add carrots when serving as a salad

Ritz crackers to serve, or bread, or a bed of lettuce

Dark meat is great in this dish, so if you’re not crazy about legs and thighs, try adding the meat to this. It makes a wonderful appetizer. A buttery Ritz is a wonderful complement, or serve it on a slice of cucumber when it’s hot outside for a refreshing appetizer.

While I am not an iceberg lettuce fan, if you are serving this on lettuce, iceberg is the way to go. It’s so crisp and light and is a beautiful compliment to the salad.

Directions:

In a large bow, mix mayonnaise and Soy Vay sauce together. Then add chicken, celery or water chestnuts, onion and cilantro. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add pepper to taste.

If serving as a salad, serve it over lettuce with cucumbers and topped with carrots.

In serving for a party, you an sit it out surrounded by crackers or plate each individual cracker. Cucumber slices are a nice addition if it’s self serve. You an also use cucumber slices to serve the salad if you are avoiding extra carbs. You can garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. I did it more for aesthetics for the photo.

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Or serve on bread.

Mock Muffaletta

I have never been a huge fan of Muffaletta sandwiches because they are overly salty and taste really fatty. My version of the muffaletta is scrumptious. I omit the ham, add chicken, use the mayo to add a creamy flavor and temper the saltiness of olives.  Instead of chopping olives, I simply open a jar of olive tapenade. I prefer green olive tapenade in this recipe.

The chicken adds lean protein to this sandwich and I use less salami than a traditional Muffaletta, so it has less fat. I enjoy this toasted, which makes the bread crusty, cheese gooey and sweats some of the fat off the salami. But you can eat this cold and if you do, it becomes one my “10 minute” recipes. It’s a great, easy sandwich either way. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

3 hoagies or Italian bread sliced into sandwich portions

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup green olive tapenade

½ cup shredded Manchego cheese (You can substitute Swiss or a Monterey Jack for mild flavor)

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken breast, skin removed

Generous dash of Italian seasoning

6 slices large cut salami

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together mayonnaise and olive tapenade. Divide the mixture in thirds and spread on the bread. Sprinkle cheese and chicken over hoagies and add a dash of Italian seasoning to each. Top each with two slices of salami.

Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese melts and bread is toasty. Serve immediately.

Serves 3.

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Chicken Alfredo

Pasta is one dish I never order in a restaurant because it’s so easy and inexpensive to make at home. Like this Chicken Alfredo. The most time consuming part of this dish is cooking the pasta. I make mine with angel hair because the sauce sticks to the noodles more.

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Chicken Alfredo

Serves 4

Both breasts from rotisserie chicken

8 ounces angel hair pasta

¼ cup butter

1 garlic clove

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cusp fresh Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chives (optional)

I use chives because we have them in our garden. It’s not worth buying chives for this dish, so the chives are optional. Also, I love basil in alfredo but you can skip it if you’re not crazy about basil.

Do not salt your sauce until the end because there is a lot of salt in cheese.

This dish comes together quickly at the end, so have everything prepped.

First, put water on to boil for pasta.

Then remove the chicken breasts and the skin and chop chicken into chunks and set aside.

Slice basil and chop parsley.

When water is ready, add the pasta

Cook pasta according to aldente directions on the box, strain and set aside.

In a large skillet , heat butter and garlic for 1 minute. Add heavy cream and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan, chicken, pasta, parsley and basil. Cook 2 minutes until sauce sticks to pasta. Garnish with fresh  basil and chives, if desired. Serve immediately.

This photo does not do this dish justice. Just know it’s delicious!