Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. So when I ran into the 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mac and Cheese blog I was excited to find some good variations on this favorite dish. This recipe came from that project, and was reposted on a recipe blog I follow. It turned out really delicious and was a fun, "gourmet" twist on an old favorite. It would be amazing (although not exactly light) served with my favorite breadsticks, and maybe a spinach salad.

And let's be honest, this is me we're talking about here, so I did not buy fresh herbs to use in this dish. I used dried and cut down the measurements slightly. Oh and I used splashes of bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon zest. I am so naughty. The original recipe is posted below with lemon zest and fresh herbs, but if you use dried herbs, just use about 2/3 the amount called for.

Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

1 lb. pasta shapes {I used whole wheat fusilli}
1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp (31-40 ct.), thawed and cut in half (if desired)
10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
5 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Drain well; set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. 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 the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until light golden brown. Whisk in the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pasta, add the shrimp; toss well to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 2½ or 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.


Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

Maribeth got me all into mangoes recently, and then she dropped this recipe on my head and now I am officially obsessed. Blast that girl. I am really supposed to be losing weight for a trip to Hawaii in a week, and instead here I am shoving sticky rice in my face. It is ridiculously good. Klane and I were dying over how good it was. Coconutty and sugary and creamy and... oh, excuse me, I am going to get myself another bowl right now. Bye!

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

1 Cup uncooked Jasmine Rice
1 can Coconut Milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Mango (or bottled slices)

Cover rice with cold water and rinse. Repeat until the water runs clear, about 3 times, and drain. In a medium saucepan bring 1¾ cups water to boil. Add the rice and stir briefly. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Pour the boiled coconut milk into the cooked rice. Stir well. Cover top of the rice directly with wax paper or aluminum foil. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Peel the mango and cut into slices or squares. Spoon the rice, or scoop with an ice cream server onto a serving platter and decorate with mango slices.

Recipe from Maribeth Youngberg.


Chicken Tikka Masala

I never thought I could make Indian food at home, especially not good Indian food, and especially not with ingredients I already had on hand. Well, I was wrong! I have ordered Chicken Tikka Masala at our favorite Indian restaurants in the city and always loved it. This dish was just as flavorful and delicious as any restaurant Indian I've tried! Klane loved it and said he'd like to have it once a month. Tikka Masala is a dish in which roasted chicken chunks (tikka) are served in a rich orange, creamy, lightly spiced, tomato-based sauce. The flavors are so interesting and complex. It has just enough spice, but if you don't like spicy then maybe reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or jalapeno. Oh but this was amazing! Make it!

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (I used ground Ginger, 2 tsp)
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all marinade ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour {I, Angie, marinated it about 10 hours while I was at work}. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.

Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe.


Mexican Lasagna

I got this recipe from Stephanie Nielson's recipe blog, and her picture of it is WAY more appetizing than mine. But just trust me, this recipe is really good. And if something comes from Nie, the vegetarian healthy delicious cooking queen, then you know it's got to be healthy and delicious. That woman... she is amazing. So maybe ignore my picture, or go drool over hers, and then make this! It's really good, and you won't feel guilty eating it because look at all that spinach! I love me some spinach. And if you're like me you might want extra salsa and extra cilantro. Mmmm hmmm give me some of that cilantro. YUM!

Mexican Lasagna

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Nonstick cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.
Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly). Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.
Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Cuisine Nie.

Okay I can't stand it anymore, my picture is hideous, here is hers!