Recipe: Chicken Sausage and Orzo Soup

Published 3/20/16 by:

 

Chorizo Orzo Soup

So here’s the thing: today was the first day in my 31 years on this planet that I cooked with orzo. In fact, if you had asked me yesterday whether orzo was a grain or a pasta, I would’ve said, “isn’t it like rice?” So naturally, you’re thinking that you’re in great hands. Rest assured, this soup is unbelievably good. It’s so good that I just had it for lunch, and have already planned to have it for dinner; this is coming from a girl who “didn’t believe in leftovers” until I was about 25. The reason that I’m so thrilled with how this soup came out goes far beyond by naiveté regarding orzo; I looked up Pinterest recipes for beef and orzo soup for the crockpot, and as you’ll soon see, I ended up making a sausage and orzo soup in my dutch oven. When the recipe I looked at said a can of tomato soup, I thought to myself: I’ll try a can of V8! I essentially set myself up for disaster, so this is a victory post from a reluctant cook. I hope one day you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of chopped celery

1 cup of chopped carrots

1 chopped small white onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 can of V8 juice

32 ounces of beef broth (I didn’t have chicken broth, oops)

1 package of Al Fresco’s Chipotle Chorizo Chicken Sausage

1 1/2 cups of orzo

2 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Directions:

On medium heat: Dice the onions and sauté them in a stock pot or dutch oven with the olive oil until they’re translucent. Then add the carrots, celery and garlic until they soften (4 minutes or so). Slice the sausages, and add them to the mix, then pour in broth and V8. Bring that to a simmer, check the softness of your veggies, and then add your orzo. If you’re into al dente (which I’m not), then you don’t have to cook the soup for much longer, however, if you like the orzo soft, you should put the soup on low heat for 10 minutes with the cover on.

 

Tips: 

Fun fact: orzo gets sticky! Make sure you stir the soup frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.

Depending on your taste, you could only use 1 cup of orzo, and add another package of sausages. I might try it that way next time.

When you reheat the soup the next day, I would add a little water as the orzo can be a real broth hog overnight.

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Recipe: Taco Black Bean Pasta

Published 4/21/14 by:

Taco Pasta Photo

 

 

The week before spring break, you’re trying to empty your refrigerator before departing to your (hopefully exciting) destination. Am I right? So when I found myself with a hefty sum of hamburger, and an entire sack of onions, I figured it was time to break out one of my most reliable recipes: Taco Pasta! This recipe has actually evolved over time because I’ve cooked it more than once – a major feat for this young chef! You can add pretty much anything to this recipe, and it won’t suffer (that much). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 jar of your favorite salsa (or one can of Rotel)

1 box or bag of pasta

1 can of drained black beans

1 pound of ground hamburger (or you could do turkey burger!)

8 ounces of sour cream

3 ounces of cream cheese

4 tablespoons of taco seasoning

1 onion diced

1 shallot diced

 

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions and set aside (I would recommend starting this process prior to dicing your onions etc.)

In a large skillet (the deeper the better) cook your shallots, onions and hamburger on high heat until meat is no longer red.

Add taco seasoning and salsa into skillet. Stir until it’s mixed in evenly. Then add in your sour cream and cream cheese. Stir until there are no lumps left.

Add in your drained black beans and distribute them evenly in the skillet.

Once your skillet’s contents are nice and creamy add in the pasta.

For garnish you can add green onions or sprinkle shredded cheese on the top!

 

 

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Recipe: Spinach Queso Dip

Published 3/18/14 by:

Spinach Queso Dip

 

 

 

To be fair, this is essentially a copy cat recipe, but since I did veer a bit from the original ingredients, I thought I’d tell you how I made this heavenly dip for a St. Patrick’s Day party (of all things!). This may be the cheesiest queso I’ve ever had, and I’m not complaining about it! I would definitely serve this to guests with tortilla chips in scoop form because the density of the dip needs an aggressive chip or else you’ll have a pretty sizeable mess. I think I may try this as a drizzle on top of fajitas or burritos this summer. What else have you used queso for?

 

Ingredients:

1 whole white onion

1/2 cup of cilantro

1 cup of half and half cream

16 ounces of American cheese

8 ounces of Pepper Jack cheese

1 shallot

2 cups of baby spinach

1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles

1 jalapeño pepper

Olive Oil

Taco Seasoning

 

Directions:

Saute diced onion, shallot and jalapeño with a sprinkle of taco seasoning and extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a pan or skillet until onions are transparent.

Add cream and cheeses gradually allowing what you’ve added to melt before you add more.

Stir in can of Rotel tomatoes, chopped spinach, and chopped cilantro.

Once your dip is creamy with no lumps, serve with your favorite chips.

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Recipe: Creamy Tomato, Kale & Sausage Pasta Bake

Published 3/13/14 by:

 

Creamy Tomato Sausage Kale Recipe

 

I’m a teacher, so preparing a casserole dish or a soup that I can take for lunch all week is pretty glorious. So this past Sunday I literally took my soup ingredients (I was planning on making a sausage soup all week long) and said to myself, “what else can I do with all of these things?” Well, I was shocked with the result. This may be my favorite casserole/bake I’ve ever made! I’ve been eating it all week, and I’m still not sick of it! The tomato sauce is creamy without being heavy, and the sweet and spicy sausage create a fun tastebud dynamic! I hope you all enjoy it! Next time I may add more veggies like tri-colored peppers. I know – I’m so fancy.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 jar of tomato sauce (I used Giada’s garlic roasted marinara)

8 ounces of plain Greek yogurt

2 cups of Kale

2 packages of chicken sausage (I used Apple and Jalapeño)

1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)

1 box of pasta

1 shallot

1 sweet onion

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Cook the pasta according to directions. When the pasta is fully cooked, strain it OVER your kale to wilt it.

Dice your sausage, shallots, and onions and place them in the bottom of an oven safe casserole dish (I used my Dutch Oven).

In a separate bowl mix your jar of tomato sauce with your Greek yogurt until it’s creamy.

Add pasta, kale and creamy tomato sauce to the casserole dish and mix until all items are covered in your red sauce.

Sprinkle your cheese on the top, and bake for 20 minutes.

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Recipe: Horseradish Cheddar Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese

Published 2/24/14 by:

 Horseradish Yogurt Mac and Cheese

 

So I found myself on Saturday morning in a fairly quiet Trader Joe’s. Yes, you just heard me correctly – Trader Joe’s wasn’t a zoo on a weekend day! I figured this was some sort of sign from the cosmos so I opened up my phone to Pinterest, and perused my Nom Nom page pins, and found this awesome Greek yogurt mac and cheese recipe. I soon realized that I don’t own onion or garlic powder, and that I had wholesale size (Thanks BJ’s!) bags of shredded cheese already, so I decided to do what I always do: modify! I have to say, this mac and cheese came out so much better than I anticipated, and the prep and cook time were so quick that I ended up eating dinner at 4:30pm by accident! Delicious and under 30 minutes to prepare and cook? I’ll take it! Please let me know if you make further accommodations when you cook this, and how it turned out!

 

Ingredients:

16 ounces of your choice of pasta

8 ounces of your choice of plain Greek yogurt

1 shallot diced

1 cup of Cabot’s Horseradish Cheddar Cheese (shredded or cubed)

1 cup of shredded Mexican Blend cheese

3 cups of Kale (or spinach)

Salt, Pepper or other seasoning to your liking

 

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions until it is at al dente status. Place your kale (or spinach) in the bottom of a strainer in your sink, and dump the pasta on top of it to wilt it. Save approximately 1 cup of boiling water from your pasta bowl to add to your cheesy yogurty sauce!

Return the pasta and kale to your original pot and add in yogurt, cheese, pasta water and shallots. Mix until everything is gooey, and serve immediately!

 

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