August 14, 2012

Stuffed Shells & Zucchini Boats!

I am QUEEN of getting into a major cooking funk where I rotate the same (usually boring) things over and over. It is just so easy to stick to staple dishes.  I know how to cook them, I don't need a recipe, and everyone will eat them!

However, I have really been making an effort to branch out and try new things over the past few weeks.  I've had some major hits (and a few misses) but I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.  Something about being in my kitchen, creating a meal for my family is relaxing to me.  Even if I have a whiny, clingy sweet toddler throwing a fit for a "tase" of whatever I may be cooking.

Side note: Never, and I repeat NEVER, start the habit of letting your toddler taste things while you are cooking.  It will result in the most epic tantrums at the foot of the stove while you attempt to make dinner.

These tantrums include screaming and begging for a taste of whatever you are currently opening/ cooking/ stirring.  No matter what it is.

Raw chicken? NEED IT NOW. 



I mean, that might happen.  Because surly my sweet Kate would never throw a fit until she got her way.  That would never happen in my house.  I'm simply guessing what might happen if you ever let your toddler taste something simmering away on the stove.

Ok, back to yummy new recipes.

A few weeks ago I was in the mood for stuffed shells after seeing someone post their yummy dinner pictures on IG.  Since I still live in the dark ages and am not an active member of Pinterest (GASP) I took to google in hopes of finding a good recipe.  I was so successful!

I stumbled upon this gem of a blog (Pretty Hungry Girl) and she had a great recipe for Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey and Artichoke.  I decided to take the plunge and make them and oh my goodness they were delicious!  I made a few changes (sauteed an onion and fresh garlic with the turkey and used canned artichokes) and really enjoyed this dish!
Picture borrowed from Pretty Hungry Girl

Stuffed Shells w/ Ground Turkey and Artichoke (with my minor changes)

1 box Jumbo Shells
Jarred Marinara Sauce
One box frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed)
2 cans artichokes (PHG used 1c frozen artichokes) chopped into pieces
1lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tub ricotta cheese (I used a 16oz tub)
Mozzarella cheese (I did not use fresh - just the bagged stuff)
Parmesan (I did use fresh and grate mine)
Italian seasoning (I added just a bit into my ricotta mixture)

Pre-heat oven to 375
Fill pot with water to boil. Once boiling add shells (I used the entire box, it was too many). Boil for 6-7 minutes. You want them al dente. If you boil for too long they will become mushy after baking. Drain and set aside.
Season ground turkey with salt and pepper.  Saute with onion and garlic.
In a big bowl beat egg. Add in spinach, artichoke, parmesan cheese (no clue how much a used - a good bit though), mozzarella (a good handful), ricotta, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Mix together.
Add browned turkey into cheese mixture (I did not wait for my turkey to cool - too impatient)
Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
Fill shells with mixture and place them in dish. You really want to stuff them together tightly.
Top shells with marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes. I turned my oven onto broil for about 3 minutes to brown the top up!

Everyone loved these shells - especially Kate!

This post is super long already so I'm just going to link to this next recipe. 
Do you follow me on IG? If not find me - LindsB34

I know I've posted about Skinny Taste before and no one should be surprised that Gina has done it again and given us an amazing recipe!  I made her Zucchini Boats last night and they were a huge hit.  I substituted ground turkey for sausage b/c I am not a fan of Italian sausage and it was still super yummy!  I just made sure to generously season the turkey so it wouldn't be bland!

And guess who had his first meal last night?  Will loved every bite of rice cereal and was not happy when he finished! My big boy is so excited to finally fill that belly up with something other than just formula!  He was in a "rice cereal" coma after dinner!

I'm hoping I can post all about my adventures of solo parenting this past weekend (while my husband ran around New Orleans in a red dress) and my new gallery wall tomorrow! Let's pray these babies cooperate at bed time!  Also, I am over due for Will's 4 month post. I haven't even taken pictures yet because he was miserably sick all weekend with a nasty summer cold. We'll see how much blogging time I have since it is PARTY and BIRTHDAY week for Miss Kate and this momma is busy decorating and getting everything ready!

I hope everyone is having a great week so far!



Lynsey said...

Adding the stuffed shells recipe to our meals to try. The Zucchini boats were a hit in our house as well. Love Skinnytaste!

Unknown said...

Yum! I was JUST telling Skip how I want to make stuffed shells this week!

Kristin said...

I made the zucchini boats last week and loved them too. I'll have to try the shells. I enjoy cooking as well, but my stuffed shells usually turn out dry. I'll have to give these ones a shot and see what happens.

Unknown said...

That looks delicious!!

My toddler acts the exact same way while I'm cooking. If she can't 'tase' everything, she also throws a fit. Usually I try to keep a crunchy veggie on hand and when she starts screaming, I hand her one and tell her it came out of my mixing bowl. Sometimes it works! :)

Will is adorable and getting so big! I love the look of happiness on his face and the drip of cereal.

Your kids are too adorable!!!

Jaxxy said...

This is OT, but (it's like groupon for boutique children's clothing) has a sale going on today on really cute smocked clothing from a boutique called "Candyland". I saw it and thought it'd be something you'd like :)

Jaxxy said...

This is OT, but (it's like groupon for children's clothing) has a sale going on today for really cute smocked clothing from a boutique called "Candyland". I saw it and thought it would be something you'd like :)

Melissa at Tall Blonde Blog said...

They both look amazing! Will have to try!

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