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Pasta Primavera

This was a Home Chef delivery I got recently. It was a simple recipe that seemed to be easily modified, so I gave it a shot. It’s easy to make, very little prep, and has a pretty easy shopping list. All the amounts are estimates, so you can easily add more or less of something. Or you can completely change items (pasta type, specific vegetables, type of cheese). Home Chef recipes are for 2 servings, but pasta recipes usually make more than 2 for me. And my recreation fed me 4 meals.

Full recipe below after an overview of steps and pictures. Enjoy!

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Pretty simple and easy to find ingredients. The original recipe called for cavatappi pasta, which my grocery store did not have. Easy to substitute your favorite pasta though! I used whole grain penne.

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Start water boiling for the pasta and prep your ingredients. Halve the tomatoes, cut zucchini into quarter-slices, trim asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces, and drain the artichokes. Roughly crush a handful of croutons.

 

 

Sear the vegetables. Start with asparagus and zucchini, then add tomatoes and artichokes.

 

When pasta is cooked, drain, return to pot and toss with some olive oil.

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To make the sauce, heat evaporated milk until slightly thickened. Add Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Remove from heat and add butter. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Add everything to pan with sauce and toss! I added some chicken to mine.

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Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and crumbled goat cheese (I totally forgot the goat cheese before I took pictures and dug in – sorry)!

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Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. (half a carton) grape tomatoes
  • 5 oz. (8-10 stalks) asparagus
  • 1 zucchini
  • 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts
  • Handful of seasoned croutons
  • 8 oz. (half a box) pasta (whatever kind you want – I used penne)
  • 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. canned evaporated whole milk
  • ½ C grated Parmesan cheese (+ extra for serving)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. (half a container) crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • optional addition: cooked protein (chicken, shrimp, sausage)

Directions:

Start water to boil in a medium pot for pasta. Cook according to directions on box.

Prep ingredients: halve grapes tomatoes; trim bottoms off asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces; cut zucchini into half moons; drain artichokes; put croutons in a ziploc bag and crush into coarse breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add asparagus and zucchini and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add grape tomatoes and artichokes and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.

When pasta is finished cooking, drain in colander, return to pot, and toss with 2 tsp. olive oil. Set aside.

Return same large pan to medium heat. Add evaporated milk to hot pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 4-5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring often. Stir in Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Cook 2-3 minutes or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, Remove pan from burner and swirl in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and vegetables (and cooked protein if you have it) to pan with the sauce. Toss to coat everything in sauce.

Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and goat cheese crumbles.

[modified from Home Chef recipe]


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Beef & Cheese Enchiladas

Apparently I had a one track mind last week to re-make Home Chef meals. My next recipe to tackle was Beef & Cheese Enchiladas. I remembered these being VERY good and I was not mistaken. In fact, these may be the best homemade mexican dish I’ve made. And that’s saying a lot considering how much I love my crock pot taco chicken that you can do a million things with. Obviously this takes a little more work, but it is totally worth it. And you can easily modify it for different amounts, likes, and dislikes!

Full recipe is below – enjoy!

Pretty basic ingredients – modify as you wish! I used wheat tortillas instead of corn, taco seasoning instead of enchilada seasoning (I don’t think this exists – even Penzeys doesn’t have one), and a generic Mexican cooking sauce instead of enchilada sauce (I got Herdez traditional chipotle sauce and highly recommend it – it is delicious. A fajita sauce or taco sauce would be fine as well). And I used a Mexican blend cheese instead of cheddar-jack because I had it already.

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Prep ingredients first, which is pretty much just chopping a jalapeno. I remove the seeds and always use gloves when chopping these – if you’d had jalapeno in your eye you would do the same. Or better yet, don’t risk that and just do it because I would not wish not on my worst enemy.

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Cook your meat next and drain the fat. Add the seasoning and stir until coated.

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Remove seasoned cooked meat to a bowl, then add jalapeno, corn, green chiles, and about half of cheese. Mix together (this is your filling).

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Soften your tortillas. You can do this on the stove (wipe out the meat pan and heat each side over low heat), or place tortillas on a plate between two damp paper towels and stick in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. You just want them slightly warm so they break when you fill and roll them up.

Then assemble! Fill each tortilla with beef mixture, roll and place, seam down, in greased baking dish.

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Finally, pour sauce on top and top with cheese!

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Bake then serve with some rice, sour cream, and cilantro (fresh is ideal). Or whatever other sides and condiments you want!

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Beef & Cheese Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • ¾ C frozen (or fresh) corn
  • 2 oz. (½ a can) diced green chiles
  • ¾ to 1 C Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 6-8 tortillas
  • 1 C Chipotle cooking sauce (or enchilada sauce, fajita sauce, taco sauce, etc.)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. water
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Mexican or Spanish rice for side

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop jalapeno.

In a medium pan over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking up with spoon as it cooks. Cook 8-10 minutes or until browned. Drain fat. Add taco seasoning and stir until coated. Remove to a medium mixing bowl.

To mixing bowl with beef, add diced jalapeno, corn, canned green chiles, and about half of the shredded cheese. Mix well.

Soften tortillas in microwave between 2 damp paper towels, about 20 seconds on high.

Spray a baking dish or baking sheet.

Fill tortilla with some of beef mixture. Roll closed and place seam-down in baking dish. Place enchiladas against each other snugly.

In a small bowl, mix the sauce with the water. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining (or desired amount of) cheese.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

If making rice, make while enchiladas bake.

Serve with fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

[modified from Home Chef recipe]

 

 


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Orange Chicken

There aren’t many recipes I’ve gotten from Home Chef (or Plated or Blue Apron or Hello Fresh) that I keep, much less make again. They are good meals, but many ingredients are odd, specific, or in weird amounts. But I attempted to make one on my own this week and it was delicious!

This one was from Home Chef: Healthy Takeout Orange Chicken. It was pretty easy, though I did have to modify a few ingredients and amounts. I didn’t get every step photographed, but this gives you an idea. And full recipe is below!

ingredients

ingredients

Cook the rice (I use my rice cooker – it will change your life).

Prep the ingredients: zest and juice the orange; mince ginger and garlic; cut chicken and coat; make sauce

prep

prep

Cook the chicken: brown the chicken and chiles (or crushed red pepper); add sauce and let thicken

cook chicken

cook chicken

 

make sauce

make sauce

Make dressing: whisk dressing ingredients together. I tossed it over broccoli (steam-in-bag) but recipe makes a spinach salad

dressing

dressing

And enjoy! And yes, this was my Bachelor finale meal to enjoy. And yes that was my winning prize for a previous season bracket win. What? Oh and it goes great with a cirtus-y white wine (I had Rex Goliath Sauvignon Blanc). Perfection.

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Healthy Orange Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 C jasmine rice (uncooked)
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Crushed red pepper* to taste
  • ½ Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ¼ C water
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli

*the original recipe used dried arbol chiles, which were delicious, but I couldn’t any. If you can find them, use 1 for mild heat, 2 for medium, and so on – however much heat you want. I think I used 1-2 tsp. of crushed red pepper instead and it had a kick.

Directions

Cook rice according to package instructions or in rice cooker.

Zest and juice the orange. Mince garlic and ginger.

Cut chicken into 1″ pieces and place in bowl with sugar, half the garlic, half the cornstarch, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Mix remaining cornstarch (1 tsp), remaining soy sauce (3 Tbsp) and ¼ cup water with ¾ of the orange juice in a small bowl to make sauce.

Add 2 tsp olive oil to medium pan over high heat. Add chicken and desired amount of chiles or sprinkle with desired amount of crushed red pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is browned.

Add remaining garlic, half the ginger (1 tsp), and half the orange zest to the pan with chicken and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add soy-orange juice sauce to pan and cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

While chicken cooks, mix remaining ginger, half the sesame seeds (¼ Tbsp), remaining orange juice, and 2 tsp olive oil in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together.

Cook broccoli (I use frozen steam-in-bag). When done, pour dressing over broccoli and toss.

Plate it! Arrange rice, broccoli, and orange chicken on plate. Garnish with remaining orange zest and sesame seeds.

Makes 2 servings; ~35 minutes to prepare

[adapted from Home Chef recipe]


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Home Chef

I tried out Plated recently, so of course I had to try another recipe delivery to compare! Home Chef popped up on my facebook ads and had a good promo, so I went with it! Same shipping, same packaging, almost identical recipe cards.  Home Chef is cheaper per plate than Plated and the Home Chef meals seemed to be more filling (more meat options). For my first week I chose the Salvadoran Flat Iron Steak and Turkey and Goat Cheese Meatballs (over pesto spaghetti). They were both delicious, very filling, and the produce was fresh. The only downside was that there was not really 2 servings worth of cauliflower to go with the steak. Plated does have some more unique menu options, so that is a plus.

Both are lovely options if you are like me and like to cook but don’t love grocery planning or shopping. I’ll keep trying them as long as I have some credits or discount codes to use!

To try Home Chef with a $30 credit, use this link: https://www.homechef.com/invite/96Vlt94DRrg and let me know what you think!