Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Since Spring is a season of renewal and all that garbage, I’ve been thinking about my commitments. I’ve been wondering about letting some things go and trying some new things out. I’m starting to feel more comfortable here in Glasgow, and I’m wondering if it’s time to get involved in something new. 

I have an urge to get really good at something. Maybe Kung Fu? Maybe Argentine Tango? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just lost my mind, but I feel like I need to keep growing. Maybe it’s all those flowers that have been popping up. I just need something new.

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Speaking of something new, I made you a new mac and cheese, and there’s vegetables. Or a vegetable. I hid some spinach in between layers of alfredo-drenched pasta shells and plenty of cheese. You should know by now that this is what it takes for me to eat vegetables. 

This recipe has a couple of different elements, but it’s actually really simple. The spinach and cheese mixture comes together while the pasta is boiling. We’re using jarred alfredo sauce because we’re busy and hungry. Layer, bake, eat forever.

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s all try something new this Spring. How can it be anything other than awesome. Then let’s eat Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese. You earned it.

Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese hides secret vegetables but flaunts it's awesome cheeesiness.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces small pasta shells or other small pasta
  2. 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  3. 1-3/4 cups cottage cheese
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
  6. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 1-1/2 cups jarred alfredo sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray to make your life easier later when you have to clean up.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil, add a fat pinch of salt, and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, stir together the spinach, cottage cheese, egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan, 2/3 cups mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
  4. Once your pasta is drained, return it to the pot and stir in the alfredo sauce.
  5. Spread half the pasta on the bottom of your casserole dish. Spread the spinach and cheese mixture evenly on top of this, then spread the remaining pasta on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 before digging in.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook Macaroni & Cheese Recipes
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook Macaroni & Cheese Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Potato and Spinach Curry | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Potato and Spinach Curry

Potato and Spinach Curry | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love my husband, but I’m not always the world’s most awesome wife. At least not in the traditional sense. There are many days when I make absolutely no effort to look sexy. I hang around the house in sweat pants without a spot of makeup on, hair a total mess. He still tells me I look beautiful. I let dishes pile up in the sink because I’m exhausted from work. He just washes them. Sometimes I’m too worn out to cook dinner. He kisses me and orders take out with a huge smile on his face. I’m so in love with this dude.

Potato and Spinach Curry | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I try to make up for all that nonsense by occasionally making curry. It’s his favorite, but I completely hate it. If I make curry, it’s just for him. I’m not even going to touch it. It’s purely for his enjoyment. We’ll just leave out the part where I have fun cooking no matter what it is.

This potato and spinach curry comes together relatively quickly, and while there aren’t any complicated techniques, there can sometimes be a couple of things going on at once. It’s totally manageable on a week night, but I’d say you do need to be alert to keep from burning the house down. It also earns bonus points for being a vegetarian dish. They come in handy.

Potato and Spinach Curry | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My husband absolutely loved this dish, and I absolutely love him.

Potato and Spinach Curry
Serves 2
Vegetarian Potato and Spinach Curry is creamy, spicy, and satisfying.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces baby potatoes, quartered
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 onion, diced
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  9. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  10. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  11. 1 tablespoon butter
  12. 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  13. 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  14. 4 ounces fresh spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Put your quartered potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Place the pan over medium high heat, put a lid on the pan, and let the potatoes cook for about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes. If you're not ready to use them yet, place your collander back over the pan and covered the potatoes with a clean towel to keep them warm and allow them to continue steaming.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, chop your onion. Cook the onion in a frying pan drizzled with olive oil, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes until they brown.
  3. While your onions are cooking, chop your garlic and measure out your spices. You can pop them all into the same small dish because they're all going into your frying pan together once the onions are cooked. Continue to cook garlic and spices for about a minute until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Add butter and potatoes to the pan. Stir to coat the potatoes in the spices and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While this is cooking, measure out your yogurt and grate the ginger into it. You can also add salt and pepper to this. This would also be a good time to put a kettle on to boil.
  6. Add the yogurt mixture to the pan, then swish around a bit of water in the dish you had the yogurt in and throw that in the pan as well. Give it all a good stir and let it cook for about five minutes to thicken.
  7. While this is cooking, put your spinach leaves in a colander.Pour water from your recently boiled kettle over the spinach to wilt the leaves, then run some cold water over the spinach to stop the cooking. Squeeze out any excess water and stir the spinach into the potatoes. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve with rice.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
http://awesomeon20.com/
Mexican Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

Mexican Spinach Dip

Mexican Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

I really admire people who make everything from scratch. Grow your own vegetables to make your own salsa. Milk your cow to make your own cheese. Grind your own corn to make your own tortillas. What an idyllic world. Food that is pure and wholesome. It’s amazing and beautiful and exhausting to my lazy mind. I wish I had the energy and skill for all that. Alas, I’m much better at opening jars, stirring stuff together, and throwing it in the oven. I guess it leaves me with something to aspire to.

Mexican Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

With Cinco de Mayo nearly upon us, I’m going to continue the proud American tradition of turning other countries holidays into an excuse to eat and drink. Created by the brilliant Deborah of Taste and Tell, this spicy, creamy Mexican Spinach Dip is perfect to serve to a crowd of friends alongside a bucket of cold cervzsas and a pile of stick-on mustaches and sombreros. Culturally insensitive? Perhaps. Delicious dip? Extremely.

And it’s so easy, a monkey could make it. Just open a bunch of packages, smash, fold, and stir everything together, and throw it in the oven. It’s cheese, spinach, salsa, and more cheese. Serve it with salty, crunchy tortilla chips. And seriously, don’t skip the beer or the margaritas

Mexican Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

I love Southwest and Mexican flavors any dang day, but when the calendar demands it, I’m going to be ready. Maybe I haven’t grown everything myself this time, but I’m not going to let that stop me from eating awesomely. Mexican Spinach Dip. Cheese, vegetables, spices. Let’s do it!

Mexican Spinach Dip
Serves 8
Slightly spicy, plenty cheesy, and containing actual vegetables, Mexican Spinach Dip is great for your Cinco de Mayo party.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and with all the liquid squeezed out
  2. 8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
  3. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  4. 1 cup whole milk
  5. 16 ounces hot salsa
  6. 1 teaspoon chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to smash, fold, stir and otherwise wrestle all of your ingredients into a relatively homogeneous mixture. If you still have a few lumps of cream cheese, don't sweat it.
  3. Transfer everything to a 2 quart casserole dish or other baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Crank the heat up to 400 for the last five minutes to form a cheesy crust on the top.
  5. Allow to cool for a few minutes to avoid molten cheese burns. Serve with crunchy tortilla chips and cold beverages, preferable of the adult variety. Slap on your sombrero and enjoy.
Adapted from Taste and Tell
Adapted from Taste and Tell
http://awesomeon20.com/
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