Lemon Chicken Linguine

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I absolutely adore Pinterest. It doesn’t matter if half of the projects I try don’t work. I made my own modge podge. Just because it turned out to be only slightly sticky goo that was useless is beyond the point. I made something unique. I have two unfinished Pinterest projects sitting around the house. Mostly, because the advertised simplicity has turned into several weekends of sheer dedication. Needless to say, it’ll be a while before I finish. That’s the main reason that I look to Pinterest for inspiration, but don’t alwasy give into the temptation. I never know what I’m getting myself into.

Last night I made an exception. I found a recipe for Lemon Chicken Fettuccine, had all of the ingredients and gave into the drool worthy picture. My main reason for sharing this recipe with you today is simple – it was delicious! My husband wholeheartedly agreed and have already had to discuss who is getting the leftovers. I would make it again in a heartbeat.

For those of you who know me, I like to play with recipes. I’ll make substitutions based on what I have in the fridge and adjust here or there. I made no exception last night. The original recipe calls for chicken, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, so I used canned. (The recipe cooks the tomatoes so you don’t notice the difference.) I also had some fresh spinach and artichokes in the fridge that I decided to add. The flavors blended together perfectly. I also substituted lemon pepper for pepper at every opportunity. I wanted the chicken, veggies and the sauce to have a nice balance of lemon. Obviously, if I’m sharing the recipe with you then it turned out just right. My favorite bit of happiness to announce: I wouldn’t make anymore alterations. What was created last night was perfect. Paired with the right white wine it’s heavenly.

Lemon Chicken Linguine

8 oz linguine
1 lb. Chicken, diced
8 oz mushrooms
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
4-6 artichoke hearts, diced
Lemon pepper
Salt
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lemon, squeezed
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Parmesan cheese, to garnish

1.) Boil pasta while you make the sauce. Ideally, you want the pasta and the sauce to finish at the same time to avoid overcooking.
2.) In a large saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm to medium heat. Saute the diced chicken seasoned generously with lemon pepper and a dash of salt until brown. Add mushrooms. Cook 3-5 minutes and add diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh spinach. When spinach has wilted, reduce heat and add 1 tablespoon of parsley, a dash of lemon pepper and a dash of salt.
3.) Create the sauce in a separate bowl or cup. Add two tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, to taste. (Because you are using a lot of lemon pepper, you may not need as much lemon juice. Adjust accordingly.) Add a dash of salt, 1/4 tsp of lemon pepper and the garlic powder. Taste and perfect to your preference.
4.) When the pasta is done, add it to the saute pan of veggies and pour in lemon oil sauce. Toss to combine. Serve with a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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My Favorite Budget Friendly Italian Soup

tuscan soup

Yes, it is winter which means that we’re all pulling out our favorite soup and chili recipes in hopes of staying warm. I normally stick to my Panera Bread soups or throw some red bean chili over cornbread and call it a year. I decided to give this recipe a try after watching the cooking show Money Saving Meals. The tv show passes along tips and recipes for all variety of meals. This is one of the recipes that I wrote down and kept in my To Be Made List. I was very glad that I finally got around to making it.

Now, before I tell you the recipe, there’s one very important detail I have to share with you. My husband, who I love very dearly, has one requirement for dinner: it has to include a meat. It doesn’t matter what kind I use, it has to be there otherwise he’s still hungry an hour later. I didn’t have chicken immediately on hand and since I was exhausted after a long day at work, I gave up and made it as is without any meat. I served it with some quick and easy focaccia bread and hoped for the best.

My husband loved it! We were very full after one small bowl and had a ton of leftovers. This recipe makes quite a large pot of food. It tasted delicious and was a huge success. I will definitely be making it again. The best part is that because there isn’t any meat included, you really do save a lot of money. Definitely give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

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Tuscan Soup with Tortellini

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee 2009

  • Prep Time: 8 min
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can less sodium beef broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen Italian vegetable blend
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the beef broth and 3 cups of water. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the tortellini. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer until the tortellini are cooked, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with Herb Focaccia, if desired.

Herbed Focaccia

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee 2009

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 28 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) bag refrigerator pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Coat a 13 by 9-inch sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread out the pizza dough to fit the sheet pan.

In a small bowl mix together the Italian seasoning and remaining olive oil. Brush the seasoned oil all over the top of the dough, making sure to reserve about 2 teaspoons. Using your fingers punch dimples about halfway down into the dough. Bake in the hot oven for about 8 minutes.

Remove the focaccia from the oven, top with tomato slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and bush with remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the focaccia is gold brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm with Tuscan Soup with Tortellini.

Focaccia bread