Well Dined

14Nov/164

SRC – Stuffed Shell Casserole from Making Miracles

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

Remember when I thought that the fall SRC post was my last one?  Well, I had completely forgotten that I still had one more regular Secret Recipe Club post.  Oops!  Luckily I did remember in time and was able to look through my assigned blog - Making Miracles.

Rebekah is a mother of two who traveled extensively as a child, including living in Africa - wow!  Most of her meals are "quick, easy, and family friendly", but sometimes she has time for something more complicated.  She has also been a surrogate for many years resulting in 4 baby girls, 2 of whom are twins!  What an amazing gift!  I can't imagine how challenging and rewarding that must be.

On Rebekah's blog I saw lots of casseroles, and you KNOW I love casseroles.  I was particularly interested in this Crockpot Turkey and Rice Casserole, this Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole, this Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with Doritos, and this Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole.

Other dishes that peaked my interest were Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, and Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Roast.

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

I let my husband look through all of my top choices (so generous of me *wink*).  He picked out these classic Stuffed Shells, and I was happy to oblige!  But then I ran into a problem - the store didn't have any jumbo pasta shells!  I thought I remembered having a box at home, so I bought the rest of the stuff and went back to check.  It turns out that what I had was actually large shells, not jumbo.  I was out of time and had already bought the other ingredients, so I decided to improvise.

23Aug/168

Food ‘n Flix – Hotel Transylvania 2 (Oozing Eyeball Pasta)

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Holy miracle, Batman - I finally got my act together in time for Food 'n Flix again!  It's been almost a year, yikes.  This month, our film was Hotel Transylvania 2, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

This film is a sequel, and though we didn't have to, I watched both films - I had been meaning to see them anyway, because my neighbor's kids are obsessed and quote them all the time.  These are really cute films about acceptance, diversity, fear mongering, and family.  Big topics for kids movies, I know.  They voice actors are big names, too - Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

They also had all kinds of cute and creepy (but not too creepy) foods - like "scream cheese" and "monster-ball soup".  So there was lots of foodie inspiration.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

I had seen a Buzzfeed video for Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs and thought how cute those would be as Oozing Eyeballs!

29Feb/166

SRC – Peeps Marshmallow Cookies from Burnt Apple

Well Dined | Peeps Marshmallow Cookies

There is an extra Monday in February this year, so you get and extra Secret Recipe Club Post!  Extra posts are themed and the theme for this one was Easter or St Patrick's Day.  I went for Easter with these Peeps Marshmallow Stuffed Cookies from Burnt Apple.

The author has 3 picky children and a husband with Type 1 diabetes, so she has a lot to deal with, plus she focuses on healthy cooking on top of that - wow!  She has shared her recipes with Whole Foods and on TV, which is a huge deal.  Of course, I picked one of the very few not healthy recipes on her blog, but I just couldn't help myself.

Well Dined | Peeps Marshmallow Cookies

First off, you will need Peeps bunnies.  The recipe stated not to use chicks and, while I'm not sure why, I didn't want to risk it.  So bunnies it was!  Of course, they aren't in stores yet, but I was able to order them on Amazon.

3Jun/151

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  It's kind of weird to eat flowers, right?  But these delicate blooms (stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs, battered, and fried) are so, so delicious.  They are also extremely perishable and only last a few hours at home.  So it is best to cook them right away.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I've only ever had squash blossoms in restaurants before, but as soon as I saw them at the farmers market, I knew that I had to try making them myself.  I really wanted to go with a stuffed and fried recipe, which is what I'm used to eating.  But I found a bunch of other cool recipes I'd like to try if they still have them at the market next week - soup, quesadilla, fritatta.

2Apr/141

Farro Stuffed Portobellos with Goat Cheese

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Who would stuff a mushroom with more mushrooms?  Melissa from Smells Like Brownies and I, that's who, for our weekly vegetarian lunch get together.  Melissa had a ton of farro given to her by a neighbor that she needed to start using, and she was craving mushrooms.  So she found a recipe for balsamic roasted mushrooms with goat cheese to mix with the farro, yum.  You know how much we love goat cheese.  But then she thought, what if we put that inside of a portabella and grilled it?  And I said, why the heck not!  Mushrooms inside of mushrooms, people - it's inception with fungi.

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Mix up some baby bellas and tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic, thyme, garlic, and red pepper.  Careful there - we thought we just added a pinch, but it turned out spiiiiiiiiicy.  Thank goodness for goat cheese, amirite?  Then roast those babies up.

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Once they are roasted, mix them together with cooked farro, spinach,and goat cheese and spoon the mixture into portobello caps.  The baby bellas are going inside the mamma bella!  No?  No one else finds that funny?  Just me?  Fine.

19Mar/140

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Okay, I am not a huge canned tuna fan.  But I saw this recipe for stuffed shells with tuna, spinach, and roasted garlic topped with bechamel and buttery bread crumbs and I had to try it.  I even had a couple of tins of really nice smoked albacore (pretty much the only canned tuna I like).  You guys, this is not your grandmother's casserole.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The first thing that makes this dish special is the roasted garlic, which is super easy to make.  Just chop the top off of a whole head of garlic, place it on a sheet of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it up, and roast away.  When it's done it becomes creamy and sweet and is delicious spread on bread, but we will be using the whole thing in this recipe.  Just squeeze to pop out all the cloves - I find this to be creepy but fascinating.  All that sweet roasted garlic goes into a creamy bechamel sauce.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The filling is tuna, spinach, and breadcrumbs - simple, but good.  After it is all mixed up, half of the garlic bechamel goes in to make it nice and creamy.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Then that mixture gets stuffed into cooked pasta shells.  I tried to find whole wheat shells, but no luck.  Then you are going to frantically lick the bowl, and the spoon, and your fingers - because this filling is soooooo good.

12Aug/130

Tabbouleh

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Smells Like Brownies!  I've never really liked tabbouleh.  Maybe because it's usually cold, or there's too much parsley, or there's raw red onion, or it just isn't that filling - I don't know why.  As it turns out, Melissa doesn't like it either!  So when she suggested we try to conquer it, I was skeptical.  But making something yourself means that you get to adjust it until it is the way you like it.

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

Upping the bulgur, balancing the parsley with mint, and using scallions instead of onion certainly helped this dish out.  But what really sent it into yummy land was serving it warm, stuffed inside pitas, with a generous amount of feta.  We managed to turn something we both disliked into something we both loved!  It may not be traditional, but it sure is delicious.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

I bought extra pita pockets and feta to go with my leftover tabbouleh, but ended up with too much!  Melissa had given me some of her CSA cucumbers (since she was drowning in them), so I threw together a quick cucumber salad with feta, mint from my garden, olive oil, and champagne vinegar.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

Because everything is more fun in a pita pocket!  (Except for peanut butter and jelly - I just found out the hard way that that doesn't work.)

Tabbouleh Pitas with Feta
adapted from Mad Hungry
serves 6

1 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups minced fresh curly parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
6 pita pocket rounds
8 oz feta, crumbled

Rinse the bulgur.  Cook in the water over medium heat for 12–15 minutes, or until soft and chewy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic.  Drain of any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint.  Toss together.
Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir the dressing into the salad to fully combine.
Serve stuffed inside pitas, layered with feta to taste.

Cucumber Pitas
serves 1

1 cucumber, chopped
4 oz feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
splash of olive oil
splash of champagne or rice wine vinegar
pitas

Mix ingredients together, serve with pitas.

4Jan/130

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

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Spiced butternut squash puree?  Creamy bechamel?  Gooey cheese?  Yes please!  This dish is so comforting and delicious - just perfect for fall.

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Roast  some butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Mash it up with mascarpone, Parmesan, brown butter, garlic, and shallots.

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Stuff the filling into large pasta shells - I used whole wheat to add a semblance of health.  I found one box of shells to be too many, actually - so I filled the others with cheese and tomato sauce.