"Clear Out the Fridge" Pasta

After a nearly year-long hiatus, I’ve decided to give this blog thing another try. Since my last post, I’ve graduated from Michigan State, got an amazing job with Procter & Gamble and moved to Cincinnati. It’s been a crazy ride so far! But, now that I don’t have homework, PRSSA or finding a job on the mind, I have more time to dedicate to cooking - and documenting it.

I drew the inspiration for this meal from a pasta station called Lafayette Square that MSU used to have in the Brody Complex cafeteria. It was basically a pasta version of Qdoba…and I’m pretty sure it was the root cause of most Freshman 15 at MSU.

This is a great meal to throw together when you have some veggies in the fridge that you need to use. One thing I’ve learned since I started living on my own - it’s hard to make it through fresh produce without any of it going bad!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 vidalia onion, sliced
3 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red pepper, sliced (I used roasted) 
andouille chicken sausage, sliced 
2 cups whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 tsp italian seasoning

1. Boil a pot of water and add pasta to cook.

2. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in pan. Once heated, add onion, mushrooms and pepper. Cook down for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage.

3. Once the pasta is cooked, strain and add to the pan of veggies and sausage. Stir the pasta into the mix, then add the sauce and italian seasoning. Cook until sauce is heated through.

4. Plate, add some parmesan and enjoy!

Do you have any go-to “clear out the fridge” recipes?

Tags: pasta dinner

Flavorful Turkey Sliders

I’ve recently been turned on to using ground turkey in place of ground beef in everything from tacos to burgers. It’s my attempt to eat healthier in 2011. In the past I wasn’t so sure about using ground turkey, thinking that it would be bland and dry. The ingredient does need a little more love than ground beef when you’re cooking it, but throw in a few simple ingredients and you’re on your way to some damn good sliders.

Turkey Sliders

Recipe adapted from family.go.com and The Flat Belly Diet Book.

This recipe makes eight sliders.
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove/teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, whisked
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
8 dinner roles/slider buns

Optional: whatever you’d like to dress your sliders with. I used mustard, mayo, havarti cheese and lettuce.

Yes, I cheat and use pre-minced garlic for convenience.

1. Combine ground turkey, Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, egg white and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands in there to mix it all up!

 Not the most attractive picture…

2. Take a small handful of the mixture and gently roll it into a ball, then flatten into a patty. I’ve noticed that ground turkey falls apart more than ground beef does, so be aware of that as you mold your patties. Place on a plate or cookie sheet.

3. Set your stove at medium heat and put a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Place patties in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

4. Flip patties and cook on the other side. To avoid having your sliders dry out, place a pan cover over your pan while the other side cooks to keep the moisture in.

5. If you’re putting cheese on your sliders, place cheese on the patties while they are still cooking on the other side and place pan cover over patties.

6. Dress your sliders however you’d like an enjoy! These sliders will stay good in the fridge for a few days and are great to reheat for a quick dinner.