Friday, April 9, 2010

This Week in Food...

Monday night I made a combination of two Mac N Cheeses I saw on Annie-Eats: Shrimp, Feta Mac N Cheese and Mushroom Mac N Cheese. Here is my take.
Shrimp, Mushroom and Three Cheese Mac N Cheese
1 lb. pasta shapes, I used fusili
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 lb. cremini (baby bella mushrooms), roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired)
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cups skim milk

1 cup half and half
6 oz. (1½ cups) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
6 oz. (1½ cups) shredded white cheddar cheese, divided

1/4 cup of feta cheese
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions, just until al dente.  Drain the pasta, return to the pot, and set aside. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushrooms and shallots to the pan and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and sauté about 1 minute more, just until fragrant.  Add chopped shrimp and saute for a few more minutes. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine a handful of the feta, a pinch of the lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted.  Toss with a fork to combine; set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden.  Whisk in the milk/cream and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the mixture simmers and begins to thicken.  Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat.  Whisk in the shredded Gruyere and cheddar cheeses until completely melted and smooth. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta.  Add the mushroom, shrimp and shallot mixture to the pot as well.  Toss well to thoroughly combine.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and feta cheese evenly over the pasta in the baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
I served this dish with Kale, obvi!

Next up, on Tuesday I made Spinach & Cheese Strata... this is from Annie-Eats.
Wednesday night I had planned on just eating leftover Strata and a salad but I saw in the fridge that I had some pre-cooked polenta (I keep it in the fridge so it's more firm when I go to slice it).  I also saw I still had some pepperoni and Mexican blend cheese left so I decided to make a Mexican Polenta Casserole.  This is definitely one of my more random creations.
Mexican Polenta Casserole
Precooked Polenta cut in 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 Can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chilis
1/2 Bottle of Tomato Sauce (Classico)
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Cup of Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
16 Pepporoni Slices
Add some cooking spray to a hot skillet and add the sliced polenta cooking for four minutes on each side.  Once done, move to a plate.  Add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pan and add the black bean to hit through and blend together. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer the bottom with Polenta (about 8 slices). Then layer with the bean/tomato mixtures.  Sprinkle the cheese on top and layer with 8 pepperoni slices then repeat.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

This was FILLING.  It was fun to make a traditional Italian dish, Mexican!

Next up on Thursday night, I decided to make Fish Tacos with Taco Flavored Quinoa. 
I love LOVE fish tacos and I had some Cod to cook plus some whole wheat wraps left in the fridge. I used the technique Cara from Cara's Cravings told me about- putting the wraps on the grates in the oven until they shape into tacos!  Genius Cara, perfect way to make HEALTHY taco shells and not the pre-packaged gross ones!

Fish Tacos
1 pound of cod fillets, chopped into small pieces
1 Package El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix (or create your own)
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Half Zuchinni, Diced
Half, Summer Squash, Diced
1 Cup frozen Sweet Corn
1/2 Cup of frozen okra
1/2 Red Pepper Diced
1 Cup of Romaine Lettuce
1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
1 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, Diced small
4 Whole Wheat Wraps (I used Josephs Low Carb) (I made them into taco shells by putting on grates in oven and cooking for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven)
Marinate Fish, 1/2 Taco Seasoning and Lemon Juice together for 15 minutes.  Heat oven to 350.  Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fish and saute for 8 minutes until cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Add the corn, okra, zuchinni, squash, and red pepper with some vegetable oil.  Saute for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook the tortillas over grates in oven to form taco shells.  Should take 15 minutes tops.  Take them out when they start to brown and are firm but not too hard.  Mix chipotle and mayonaisse together for the sauce.  Then start the layering process. Grab your taco shell, spoon some sauce, add some romaine lettuce, vegetable mixture and cod and enjoy!
 Next up I made Zuchchini and Corn Taco Quinoa Salad inspired by Closet Kitchen.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 batch taco seasoning
1/2 cup of sweet frozen corn 
1 cup zucchini (diced)
1 cup summer squash diced
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup frozen okra
1 tablespoon oil
1 lime (juice)
salt and pepper to taste
(I used half of the vegetable mixture from the tacos in this recipe)
 Simmer the quinoa in the water along with the taco seasoning until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Cook the vegetables in large hot skillet. Once cooked through, add in the quinoa and mix together. Mix the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the salad in the dressing.
Update on running.  I've had achilles/calf problems all week and went to Physical Therapy twice.  My Physical Therapist said my injury is a good one to have and isn't too worried about me.  I have another 20 Miler on the schedule for tomorrow.  My right ankle/achilles is taped and I am hopefully going to be ready to run.  So I'm off to bed!  Wish me luck on the last long, long run of my training.  Bring it on Providence!


  1. Dear Liz,
    Can we please have a running/fish tacos date night? Because those tacos look RIDIC.


  2. Hi Lizzy, thank you so much for writing about RO*TEL. We love this recipe and think you should enter it into our recipe contest for a chance to win $2,000. For more info visit

    - The RO*TEL Across America Team