dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Pasta

Quick Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

If you need supper in a hurry, pasta is often a good option because it cooks so quickly. The recipe I’m sharing today came together in about 25 minutes, but it tastes like one of those dishes that took a long time to make! Oh my word, this is delicious!

The list of ingredients is small, too. I had all the ingredients on hand when I stumbled across this recipe. Pasta, sausage, tomatoes and some half and half all come together to make a satisfying and filling main dish! I can’t wait to make this again!

I found a recipe but tweaked it to our preferences. Here’s how I made it…

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pasta – I used what I had – Elbow, but Ziti or rigatoni would be perfect
  • 12 oz Italian sausage – I used mild
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fat-free half and half
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach or frozen works too!
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking begin the sauce.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the Italian sausage and the onion, saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  • Add tomatoes, simmer and reduce the liquid by half.
  • Lower the heat, stir in the half and half, spinach, salt, pepper. Simmer until the cream is heated and the spinach is wilted. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately.

This meal needs a nice piece of bread to go along with it. I served a dish of applesauce instead of salad. It was a wonderful, fast meal!

I’m not a big pasta fan, but this recipe might change that!

I hope you’ll make and enjoy this quick and delicious recipe!

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?

dinner in 30 minutes · Main entree

Transform Any Meat With This Sauce!

My husband LOVES sauces on his entrees’! However, because we’re trying to cut back on calories and watch our diets, adding a sauce seemed out of the question.

But I was Wrong!!

I found the easiest, tastiest sauce that was delicious on our pork chops (which can be dry without something!).
This sauce would also be fantastic on chicken or salmon! Instead of heavy cream, it is made with chicken broth and reduced-fat sour cream, making it much lighter!

Here’s the simple list of ingredients and recipe:

Mustard Sauce

1/4 stp salt
1/4 tsp eppper,
1 tsp oil
1/3 Cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tbl water
1 Tbl, coarse grain mustard
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbl. chives, chopped, optional

  1. Sprinkle meat with salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to plate to keep warm.
  2. Add broth and shallots to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often and scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet, until shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; stir in water, mustard, sour cream and remaining 1/8 tsp pepper. Spoon mustard sauce over meat; garnish with chives, if desired.

You need to add this recipe to your files when you want to dress up a plain piece of meat into something really special!

What extra something do you wish you could enjoy more frequently with your dinner?

With love from my country kitchen,

dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Sandwich

Bumping Up the Hot Dog to a Whole New Level!

“What are some of your favorite things to purchase at Sam’s Club?” I asked a friend.

“I love their chicken sausages! They make such a great supper meal!”

So upon her recommendation, I purchased some and they were good, but just “meh.” But then I realized that they would be fantastic on a bun in the place of a regular hot dog. After searching, I found this recipe for adding a sweet and savory pineapple relish on top of that sausage, and it bumped it up to be the tastiest “Hot Dog” ever!

One great thing about these sausages (you can get them at any grocery store, not just Sam’s) is that most are already cooked, so you’re basically warming them up. We chose to throw them on the grill to add that smokey flavor. Good idea! Then, I also sprayed the buns with cooking spray and warmed them on the grill before placing that hot chicken sausage inside and topping it with the delicious relish. Oh my! What a yummy meal and also so much healthier than the pork version.

Chicken Sausages with Pineapple Salsa
Keep in mind you can leave out any ingredient you don’t love!

  • 4 chicken sausages (or vegetarian sausage)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/8 cup onion, diced
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lime, juice

Instructions:

Stir together the pineapple, red pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice.2

Grill the sausages according to package directions, about 6-8 minutes for pre-cooked chicken sausages.

Spray buns with cooking spray and place sprayed side down on grill. Cook until lightly browned and warm.

Place sausage in buns and top with Pineapple relish.

If you’re hungry for a delicious summer meal, I encourage you to jump on the Chicken sausage bandwagon and give them a try inside a toasty bun and smothered with this relish! You’ll be saying,

Move over, hot dog, you’ve got some stiff competition!!

Two questions:
Have you ever tried chicken sausages?

What’s your favorite thing to buy at Sam’s or Costco?

With love from my country kitchen,

dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Fish

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

It amazes me how cheaply, yet how well we can eat at home. A dinner of a pound of shrimp would be pretty high at a restaurant. Last week I made Tandoori Grilled Shrimp Skewers for under $10. We got four FULL skewers and two meals out of it, and was it ever scrumptious!! Also, as I always say, fish is a super fast meal. Because these were grilled, my kitchen didn’t even get heated up. Is that enough positives to make you want to try them for yourself?

This marinade is a lighter version and only needs 15 minutes to coat the shrimp and make it so flavorful. Grilling the shrimp only takes 2-3 minutes in each side. Dinner is ready in under 30 minutes!

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp Skewers

  • 1/3 cup(s) , or plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp
  • fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp
  • olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp
  • curry powder, 1 tsp
  • ground cumin, 1 tsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • granulated garlic,1 tsp
  • ground ginger, 1/2 tsp
  • uncooked shrimp, 1 pound(s) , large, peeled and deveined
  • cooking spray, 1 spray(s)
  • cilantro, 2 Tbsp , fresh, chopped 
  1. Combine yogurt, salt, lemon juice, oil, curry powder, cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger in a large bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or covered, up to 2 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Divide shrimp among 4 metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for 20 minutes before use).
  3. Off heat, coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill skewers until shrimp are cooked through (opaque) and slightly firm, flipping once, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Serve garnished with cilantro.
Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

The next time you think you should just go out for dinner, think about something this fast, this delicious, and this cost-effective instead. You get choice seating, a view of HOME and a satisfied appetite! I can’t wait to make these again!!

With love from my country kitchen,