Spinach Artichoke Dip

Megan made this dip for an appetizer on Thanksgiving.  It is super easy and everyone loves it!

Ingredients:

1 can (14 ounce) artichokes, chopped

8 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup mayonnaise

1 can (4 ounce) chopped chilis

Place thawed spinach on a clean kitchen towel, wrap up and squeeze out excess water.

Grate the cheese.

Chop the artichokes.

In a large mixing bowl stir together, cheese, spinach, artichokes, mayonnaise, and chilis.

Place in a casserole dish and  sprinkle paprika over the top.

Bake 350 degree oven 20-25 minutes.  Serve with crackers.

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

This is a colorful salad.  It is perfect for a potluck, picnic or anytime.  You can change the veggies to fit the season, or add grilled chicken for a light lunch.

Ingredients for the salad:

8 ounces of orzo pasta

5-6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 zuccini, sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

Ingredients for the dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Fill a large pot 2/3 way with water and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and cook 9 minutes.

Drain the orzo and set aside to cool.

Slice the zuccini lengthwise, then across to make half moons.

Chop the green onions.

Slice the grape tomatoes in half.  Add the cut vegetables as you go to a large bowl.

Roughly chop or tear the spinach.

Open the can of artichoke hearts, drain off the liquid.  Place on chopping board and cut in quarters.

Slice the red pepper lengthwise, then across the other way.

Slice the Kalamata olives in half.

To make the dressing, squeeze a large lemon, make 1/4 cup.

Add the rice wine vinegar….

olive oil……

the dried tarragon, salt and pepper.

Whisk all these ingredients together.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss.

Add the feta cheese….

and 2 1/2 cups of the cooked orzo.

Combine all the ingredients and serve!!!!

Easy Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Ingredient List:

1 box jumbo pasta shells

10 ounces frozen spinach (defrosted)

1 1/3 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups Italian style shredded cheese blend

1/2 cup grated parmeasan cheese

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 24 ounce jar pasta sauce of your choice (we used tomato basil sauce)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Fill a large stockpot about 2/3 way with water, add a couple of teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta shells and boil 9 minutes

Place the defrosted spinach on a clean kitchen towel

Fold in both sides and roll the towel

Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach over the sink.

Take the spinach out of the towel and place on a cutting board.  Chop the spinach.

Add  1 1/3 cups of ricotta cheese to a large mixing bowl.

Add the 2 eggs…..

Chopped spinach….

1 1/2 cups of the cheese blend, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Mix all these ingredients

After the pasta shells have cooked 9 minutes, drain them in a colander.

Pour 1/2 of the jar of sauce on the bottom of a 9×12 casserole dish.

Now we’ll start to fill the shells.  Take a shell in one hand and spoon the filling into the shell with the other hand.

Place the shells, open-side up in the casserole dish.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese blend and 1/2 cup grated parmeasan cheese over the top.

Cover the casserole with foil and place in the oven.  Bake 30 minutes.

Dinner is ready!! Yum!