Tag Archive | spinach

Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp & Spinach

Forgive me on the recipe name here, not my best work.  This dish was fantastic, we will definitely be making it again.  Although “creamy” may make you step away from this recipe, the “cream” is just Greek yogurt!  I fooled Mr. Applebutter once again. ;-)


Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp- adapted from back to her roots

Serves: 6

12 oz whole wheat spiral noodles

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

8 oz. mushrooms, diced

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

10 oz. shrimp, peeled & deveined

1 cup marinara sauce

5 oz. plain 0% Greek yogurt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 oz fat free crumbled feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms soften.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the pasta, Greek yogurt and marinara sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated.   Add Italian seasoning and feta cheese.  Mix well.
  6. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Depending on your taste, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of “sauce” (pasta/yogurt mixture). 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 357 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 45g carbohydrate (8g fiber), 26g protein


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauce

Before I start I have to admit that my posts are going to be a little sporadic for a while. I love blogging recipes that I find to be successful to share with all of you, so it won’t be goodbye.  Unfortunately, I am in my internship full time until May.  The unfortunate part is that I am not paid to do it, so I have to work some nights and weekends on top of my full time hours just to get by.  Effectively, this doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for trying new recipes.  What I do promise is that as I find them, I will post them.  It just may vary from my usual schedule.  I hope you can bear with me during this time, because I appreciate every single person that stops by my blog.  It makes me love doing this even more then I already do when I see a “like” or a “comment” on a post. :)

In other news, this was my first attempt at a homemade ravioli, and I’m happy to say that it won’t be my last!  Folding the ravioli’s up did take a little bit of time so this is probably best left for the weekend, but it still wasn’t that time consuming.


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauceslightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 5

1.5 lbs butternut squash, pre-diced or scoop and dice yourself
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons Smart Balance, melted (or other light buttery spread without hydrogenated oils)
5 tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
30 frozen wonton wrappers, thawed out
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. garlic powder
1.75 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 quarts water


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place diced squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and dried Italian seasoning.  Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool.
  3. Combine oregano, squash, and smart balance in a large bowl.  Mash together with a potato masher. Stir in 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with beaten egg; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, squash mixture, and egg. Cover ravioli loosely with a wet towel to prevent drying.
  4. Place garlic powder, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, spinach, basil, and 2 tablespoons walnuts. With processor on, slowly pour 2 tbsp. oil, broth, and lemon juice through food chute. Process until well blended. Place pesto in a large bowl.
  5. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Add half of ravioli; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli. Top ravioli with pesto and serve.  Suggested serving: 6 ravioli per serving with a side of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 286 calories, 15g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 8g protein

Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry Honey Spread

Last week was rough on the cooking front. I had a LOT of flops. One was so bad that we threw it out and ordered a pizza. A really greasy, cheesy pizza. I think Dan was ecstatic. That’s only happened one other time that I can remember since living in this apartment. That’s not saying I haven’t chosen a bad recipe or screwed one up more then twice, but usually we can choke it down. My problem is truly crockpot recipes. I have SUCH a hard time finding good crock pot recipes! They always turn out looking and tasting and smelling like something excreted from a zoo animal. If anyone has a good source, please comment below. I would love some help.

With that being said, I didn’t have a recipe to give you on Thursday. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but I think it’s better then giving you one that will drive you to greasy pizza. I think know this recipe will fully make up for it. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m super excited that it was completely an applebutterharmony invention!


Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry- Honey Spread

Serves: 3

8 oz bone-in skinless turkey breast (I bought 1lb of the split turkey breast which worked great and I still had 8 oz leftover for sandwiches for the week), thinly sliced

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 oz baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

9 oz ciabatta bread



1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries [I used frozen], thawed

2 tbsp. 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. honey


  1. Trim turkey of visible fat, rub with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper on all sides. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and cook turkey in 325 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 F. Use a meat thermometer! [please note, this cooking time was for the entire 1 lb of turkey breast that I mentioned above so if you actually use 8 oz it may cook faster].
  2. While the turkey is cooking, chop the onion and prepare the cranberry spread (see below).
  3. Cranberry spread: Making sure cranberries are fully thawed, combine with 2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese, honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined. You may still have some chunks of cranberries, that is ok.
  4. Cut bread into 3 oz pieces and slice lengthwise to form 3 open sandwiches. Top about 1 tbsp. of cranberry spread onto each of the 3 sandwich “bottoms.” Then top each bottom with equal proportions of sliced onion, fresh spinach & crumbled feta cheese.
  5. Once turkey is done, slice into 1/2″ slices and add 4-5 slices to each sandwich bottom. Add the tops and cook in a panini press (or george foreman) until pressed to your liking, about 4-5 minutes depending on your bread.
  6. Eat with fresh veggies or a salad for a well balanced meal

Hint: If you have an hour to bake the turkey on a weeknight, it’s definitely easy enough because all of the prep can be done by the time the turkey is done. If not, save it for a Saturday and use the hour of baking time to snuggle up with a good book.

Nutrition Facts (per sandwich): 448 calories, 11g fat, 52g carbohydrate, 23g protein.


I was very excited about this delicious looking recipe when it appeared on my Google Reader, until I saw the word “phyllo.”  You see, my last experience with phyllo dough was… rough.  For a senior project during my first degree at JMU, I had to plan, implement and cook for a themed dinner event.  The event was for 175 people and took months and months and months to plan.  My group and I did everything from budgeting, to creating the recipes, to BEO’s, to management descriptions, to training plans for our “staff,” to purchasing everything we needed.  It was a true culmination of four years of school for business and hospitality.  If we learned it, we used it.

We even rented machines to hang decor from the ballroom ceiling…

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Like the result?

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One of our biggest challenges however, was the dreaded phyllo dough.  We were warned.. should have listened to you, Tassie! Although in an attempt to keep with our authentic Moroccan theme, we went for it.  One of our courses was a classic chicken b’stilla recipe.  We were lucky enough to be provided with the recipe from an authentic Moroccan that we met during a visit to Washington, D.C.  He owned the restaurant that we ate at in order to learn more about the cuisine, and was a very kind and generous chef.  After our taste tests, we knew we had to serve it.  Crispy phyllo dough filled with shredded chicken, an almond mixture, traditional spices, and sweet powdered sugar.  I might not be selling it too well, but it was one of the most delicious dishes I’d ever eaten.  One day, I’ll tackle it again and get in on the blog.  To say the least, creating 175 of these little pockets was an adventure that lasted long into the night…

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Just one tiny tear in the paper-thin dough quickly leads to a huge hole and you have to start allllllll over..

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I wasn’t just the photographer, I swear.

Unfortunately we were running around like head-less chickens on the night of the event, so this is the best picture of the dish that I have, which does not do it justice..

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On a nostalgic note, my group for that project was sincerely the best group I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.  We all shared the work equally, were open to each others ideas, sincerely cared about the outcome of our event, and best of all, found five new friends in each other.

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Hard work aside, we also knew how to celebrate when the craziness was over :)

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Well, I’ll stop babbling about old memories now.  Here’s what you’re looking for…the Spanakopita! Doesn’t if just look tasty??



I followed the recipe directly from here and it worked perfectly.  No changes necessary.  I hope you enjoy it too, and don’t fear the phyllo dough!  It was MUCH less complicated then I remember.

Have you had any bad experiences with phyllo dough?

Cheesy Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta

So I was sitting down to plan my weekly menu like I always do…which by the way, is probably my favorite time of the week.  I take an hour to sit down with a tea or coffee, my google reader, and a cooking magazine and get to planning.  I also love it because having a shopping list saves me time and money at Wegmans.  Good god, if I was let loose in there with no list, I would be living on the streets, in a box, surrounded by all the food I’d buy to try.  Anyway, this week I knew that I needed to get butternut squash in the line-up again. After that delicious couscous I made last week, I’ve become a bit.. obsessed with it.  Obsessed.  I can’t believe it took me 25 years to roast a butternut squash.  What planet was I living on?

I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t finding the recipe I was looking for after an hour of blog/pinterest/magazine hunting.  I then decided to draft up this recipe, adding a little of this and a little of that of some of my favorite things.  The result was a success!  I actually didn’t get my portions right this time (too little squash and spinach compared to pasta), but the recipe below reflects the changes that will make it more proportioned. So no need to adjust and enjoy!

Cheesy Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta

Serves: 6

1 tbsp + 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

2/3 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz. whole wheat spiral pasta

2.5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

9 oz fresh spinach

5 oz Gouda cheese (18 month aged), shredded

2 lb butternut squash, cubed into bite-size pieces

3 tbsp. reduced fat parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Arrange diced butternut squash on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and make sure squash is coated.  Bake for 40 minutes, mixing around about every 10 minutes.
  3. While squash is roasting, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion 5-7 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and reduce to a simmer.  Cook 11-12 minutes until pasta is cooked through.
  4. While pasta cooks, heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil over low-medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.  Saute spinach about 6 minutes or until wilted down to half the original size.
  5. Add butternut squash, spinach, and Gouda cheese to pasta mixture.  Mix well.
  6. Reduce oven heat to 350 F
  7. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes so the top gets slightly crispy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 385 calories, 15.5g fat (7g saturated), 46g carbohydrate (9g dietary fiber), 18.5g protein

Spinach & Aged Gouda Quiche

This quiche was fantastic.  I will say one thing… when you buy the cheese for this you have a lot of choices in the Gouda department.  What I would highly recommend is an aged gouda, mine was about 18 months aged (found in Wegmans fancy cheese section) and it has that salty/crunchy texture that just makes the quiche.

What’s also great about this recipe is that it’s very versatile and can triple as a breakfast, lunch OR dinner.  I actually prefer it as a dinner served with a side salad of some sort, but it’s totally up to you.  This is great for a weeknight because the prep is about 10 minutes and it’s into the oven it goes!

Spinach & Aged Gouda Quiche– slightly adapted from myrecipes.com

Serves: 8-10 (1 slice servings)

Deep dish pie crust (from freezer section of supermarket)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

3 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup skim milk

3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated aged Gouda cheese

3/4 teaspoon salt

Dash of ground nutmeg

3 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. To prepare filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes.
  3. Combine 1 cup milk and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in spinach mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Note: I cooked it closer to 40 minutes.  The quiche may still appear a little liquidy but once it cools it will hold its shape better.

Healthy Pizza

A healthy pizza?  Let me guess, you don’t believe me.  Well, there’s a whole wheat crust, spinach, and thinly sliced fresh tomatoes in place of a high sodium sauce.  While it is important to always remember that nutrition is not about the benefits of one isolated nutrient but on the whole picture of the food, I wanted to share with you that tomatoes contain a wonderful phytochemical called lycopene.  In other words, lycopene is a known antioxidant.  When your body undergoes stress (disease, lifestyle stresses, smoking & drinking to name a few) something called oxidative damage is caused.  Substances known as “free radicals” run around and cause all sorts of chaos in our bodies.  Antioxidants help to fix this damage and stop it before it causes much more serious reprocutions (i.e. cancer).  So eat up and enjoy because it is just about the healthiest pizza you can find!

Healthy Pizza

Serves: 8-10 slices

5 plum tomatoes, sliced

1 16″ ready made whole wheat pizza crust

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 oz. fresh spinach

6 oz. feta cheese

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1-2 oz. sliced green olives

3/4 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 tsp. dried basil


  1. Arrange tomato slices on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Top with more paper towels.  Let stand for 30 minutes so paper towels soak up some juice from the tomatoes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Heat medium sized non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Saute spinach 3-4 minutes until wilted.
  4. Combine tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. oil, and garlic.  Arrange tomato mixture & spinach on dough.  Sprinkle feta cheese and dried herbs onto pizza.  Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden and cheese is lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven, top with olives and serve.