5 Ingredient Friday: Chicken Stuffed with Spinach & Sharp Provolone

For some very odd reason I’ve been on a Spinach kick lately. I’m not sure why, seeing as I’ve never been all that fond of it. It all started when I was going to make the Lasagna Rolls and I decided to add some Spinach into the Ricotta mixture. It turned out so good that I’ve been wanting more!  So I decided to make Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Sharp Provolone.  So I was set out to do this in 5 Ingredients!


 

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • garlic olive oil (you can buy this, or make it yourself)
  • sharp provolone cheese
  • fresh thyme (not pictured)
  • salt & pepper (freebies)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If I don’t buy Baby Spinach, I like to take all of the stems off of the Spinach. I’m just really not a fan of the stems. So after doing that, I added some Garlic Olive Oil into a pan over medium heat. Add in all of the Spinach and season with Fresh Thyme, Salt & Pepper. It will cook down a lot. Don’t be surprised! Once it’s done, place in a bowl and set aside.

Garlic Olive Oil

Add in Spinach and season it

Meanwhile, if you have thick Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut them in half. Pound each half (I usually put the chicken between a few pieces of Saran Wrap) so that it’s thin. It should look something like this:

Flattened Chicken

Add Spinach

Add Sharp Provolone and Roll it up!

Once I roll the Chicken up, I usually secure it with a toothpick.  I find that to be easier than trying to put it seam side down and losing everything, lol! You then want to repeat this with the other pieces of chicken. Place in a baking dish with some of that Garlic Olive Oil brushed on the bottom.

Hanging out in the Baking Dish

Bake in a Preheated oven (425 degrees) for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear. If you have thicker pieces of chicken, it will take longer to cook. It’s pretty easy to judge when the chicken is done. I add a little bit more cheese on the top about 5 minutes before it’s going to come out of the oven. There is no such thing as too much cheese!


The Finished Product

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach & Sharp Provolone

Lasagna Rolls

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved Lasagna. I mean really…who doesn’t?! The ingredients can be changed up to suit anyone’s needs. If you love meat, add meat into it. If you’re a vegetarian, add a bunch of vegetables in there. It’s a very versatile dish, and it always tastes so good!  I’ve seen a number of different recipes for Lasagna Rolls, but there was always something I didn’t like about it.  So I decided to just change up my own Lasagna recipe and turn them into Lasagna Rolls.

I knew that if I put the turkey sausage inside of the Lasagna Roll that it would more than likely all slip out.  So I added the turkey sausage in with the spaghetti sauce.  The additional of the spinach in with the ricotta mixture gave it so much flavor and it was definitely what took it to the next level.

 

  • 1 lb of sweet turkey sausage
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, grated; divided
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked & drained; lay on a cookie sheet
  • large jar of spaghetti sauce (or homemade)

 

In a skillet, cook turkey sausage until meat is no longer pink; drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

Cook sausage until it’s no longer pink

 

Once it’s done, drain on a paper towel

Heat up the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan. Once the turkey sausage is drained, add it into the sauce and combine. Cook on low while you get the rest of the dish together.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 4 cloves of grated garlic, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, oregano, a few sprinkles of salt and a dash of pepper.

Combine ricotta, garlic, parmesan, mozzarella, oregano, salt & pepper

Wash out the skillet you cooked the turkey sausage in and dry it thoroughly. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add in the spinach. It will cook down a lot. Once it’s almost done, add in the 2 cloves of grated garlic and cook while stirring constantly until the garlic is mixed in. Stir the spinach into the ricotta cheese mixture thoroughly.

Mix the spinach into the ricotta cheese mixture

Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom.

Lay out a noodle. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture on the noodle. Fold over the top, and then fold over the bottom. Place the Lasagna Roll seam side down on top of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat this process with the other noodles. Top with remaining sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Fresh out of the oven

5 Ingredient Friday: Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday recipe is inspired by my CSA box! We’re on a Tomato and Basil overload this week, so I figured I’d make a delicious Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad for dinner one night. We had both Red Grape Tomatoes and Yellow Grape Tomatoes on hand, as well as a few Heirloom Tomatoes. You can use whatever kind of Tomatoes you have on hand as long as they are delicious!  This is so simple to make, and it tastes so fresh! And it’s a bonus that everything is organic and local.


Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (I used Red Grape Tomatoes & Yellow Grape Tomatoes)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper (freebies!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Instructions

Slice up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Slice the Mozzarella and then cut up into chunks. Place the cheese in the bowl around the tomatoes. Cut up the fresh Basil and sprinkle all over the Tomatoes and Mozzarella.  Drizzle some olive oil all over the salad. To finish it off, drizzle some of the Balsamic Vinegar Reduction all over. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This salad is so delicious and fresh tasting, it’s great for during the summer when you don’t want to turn on the stove or the oven.  We have so many tomatoes from our CSA that I didn’t know what to do with them all. But this was the perfect solution. And who doesn’t love an excuse to eat some fresh mozzarella?!

5 Ingredient Friday: Cheesesteak Empanadas

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday recipe is Cheesesteak Empanadas.

em·pa·na·da

  [em-puh-nah-duh; Sp. em-pah-nah-th ah]

noun Latin-American Cookery . a turnover or mold of pastry filled with chopped or ground meat, vegetables, fruit, etc., and usually baked or fried. [dictionary.com]

 
There was a Food Truck here in Philadelphia that was called Far From Home Cafe.  They served a number of items such as Burgers, Tacos, Fries, Sweets, and Empanadas. Their Empanadas were a HUGE hit. That’s all you heard people talk about…how wonderful they were. They had a bunch of different flavors and they all sounded delicious.  Unfortunately [for Philly] they’ve recently closed up shop to pursue a book deal and consulting opportunity [but good for them!]. I never had a chance to try their Empanadas, but I can imagine they were out of this world.  I came across Empanada discs at the grocery story and I figured I’d try to make them myself!

We really enjoyed the Cheesesteak Egg Rolls that we made a while back, so I figured I’d use that same idea to make the Empanadas. They ended up turning out great and I loved the flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pack of Empanada Discs (found in the frozen food section near Goya)
  •  Beef  (whatever you use to make Cheesesteaks – I used Philly Gourmet Steaks)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • American Cheese (shredded or slices)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the steak in a large pan. When it’s fully cooked, put the beef in a strainer with a bowl beneath so that the fat drains out.

Cook the onions in a tiny bit of the fat until they are a light golden brown. Add the steak in and incorporate the onions and the steak. 

You have a few options for the cheese – you can either add it in with the steak and onions, or you can put it on top of the beef as you are making the Empanadas. I did a little of both – you can never have to much cheese! ;)

Roll out the Empanada disc from top to bottom (I usually only do it once; you don’t want it to get too thin).

Place some of the steak & onion mixture in the center of the Empanada disc. Add some cheese if you desire.

 Fold the shell over into a half moon shape. Push the edges together with your fingers and then seal it with a fork.

Place the Empanada on a baking sheet lined with Parchment paper. Brush the outside with the egg wash.  Repeat until you’ve used up all of the steak and Empanada discs.

Place the Empanadas  in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Place on a dish lined with a paper towel and allow to cool for about 5 minutes or so.  Enjoy!

I really loved these. Since they were baked, they weren’t greasy at all. They browned very nicely and turned out great.  These can be fried, but for a healthier option you should bake them. These are definitely going in my recipe box. They would make wonderful appetizers for get-togethers.

Aged Cheddar & Guinness Fondue

Fondue…oh how I love thee. This has to be one of my favorite meals ever. Cheese is one of my favorite foods so it should come as no surprise that I have fondue every chance I can. We can’t always go to the Melting Pot so there are some nights where we have ‘Fondue Night’ at our house. I came across Steamy Kitchen’s recipe for Aged Cheddar & Guinness Fondue and figured I’d give it a try. I really love aged cheddar and I can sit and eat it on some crackers for who knows how long. I’m always up to try a new recipe and this recipe was next on my list.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb good aged cheddar, grated
  • 2 ½ tbs all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz. Guinness stout + more if needed
  • 6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions

Toss grated cheese with the flour. In your fondue pot over low heat, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and garlic. Fry until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn heat to medium-high. Add Guinness, apple juice concentrate, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Bring to boil. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly until fondue is smooth and melted. Thin with more Guinness, if needed throughout the meal. Season with salt and pepper.

Grated Cheese

Cheese melted and ready to eat!

Bread dippers

My thoughts…

I wanted to like this, I really did. But it was difficult. It did take some getting used to. Once I got used to the flavor it was that bad, but the Guinness is not something that I’d use again.  I would use a different kind of beer, such as Kirin or Amstel Light. But I loved the aged cheddar. I ended up using a little more than a half pound of Black Diamond 2 year Yellow Cheddar from Canada and  about a half pound of Grafton 2 year Reserve Cheddar from the USA.  I definitely didn’t skimp on the cheese. I really think a good cheese makes a huge difference.

We only use bread for the dippers. It’s our favorite. We had cubes of french bread, rosemary olive oil bread, and soft pretzel rolls. We’re from Philly so the pretzels are a must! They are so good in the cheese fondue – definitely give it a try.

I used corn starch in place of flour (as I usually do for fondue) and knowing me I used a bit more than 1 teaspoon of garlic. What can I say? I love that stuff!  But if you love Guinness beer, you will probably love this fondue. I happen to prefer other types of beer, so this recipe wasn’t very high on my list. If you aren’t a fan of Guinness I would just recommend using a different kind of beer and keeping the rest of the recipe the same.