Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Recipes

New cookbook offers recipes for Southern tastes

Quick meals. Gotta love them!

Southern Living has a new compilation of comfort food dishes that can be made in 20 minutes. I’ve already prepared two very good recipes from “Super Fast Southern.”

Inside the book you’ll find the expected categories and recipes that can be made without much fuss or time. For instance, sweet potato soup starts with a can of yams. Shepherd’s pie is made in a skillet with packaged and refrigerated mashed potatoes, and easy Texas chili simmers for just 15 minutes.

The first recipe I tried was an adaptation of Waldorf spinach salad. The ingredients are simple enough and include an apple, celery, cheese and honey cashews. The simple dressing is mixed up in a matter of minutes. I’ve made this recipe twice now: once for a church dinner and once for my husband and me. I did choose Romaine over spinach as a personal preference and used dried cranberries instead of golden raisins, but I’m sure it would be delicious either way.

I also made the super-easy Tetrazzini as well, and I really loved it!

While the pasta cooked, I put together the rest of the non-bake recipe, which was really ready to eat in under 20 minutes. I have another favorite Tetrazzini recipe that I enjoy making as well, but it requires much more time to prepare and is not ideal for an easy, weeknight meal.

The new recipe is creamy, but not overly rich. It is also a good way to use either deli or leftover turkey or chicken (I used chicken). I enjoyed it for dinner the night I made it and as leftovers at lunch the next day.

I plan to pull out the cookbook again soon to prepare Gouda chicken sandwiches.

The cookbook’s list price is $19.95, but it’s less on online sites. I think it’s a good price for a book that’s packed with recipes that will help you bring homecooked food to your table in a reasonable amount of time.

NOTE: A few weeks back, I ran a recipe for salsa in this column. The tomato sauce was omitted from the recipe. I use an 8 oz. can. I’m sorry for any inconvenience. The corrected recipe is at lisabatts.blogspot.com

Waldorf Spinach Salad 

1⁄4 cup honey

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 garlic clove, pressed

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1 (9-oz.) package fresh spinach, torn*

2 large Gala apples, thinly sliced

4 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, shaved

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup honey-roasted cashews

1⁄2 cup golden raisins 

Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a large serving bowl until well blended. Add spinach and remaining ingredients, tossing gently to coat. Serve immediately.

“Superfast Southern”

* I used Romaine lettuce instead of spinach and dried cranberries instead of raisins.

Turkey Tetrazzini 

11⁄2 cups diced deli turkey breast (about 1⁄2 pound)*

1⁄2 cup onion

Cooking spray

1⁄4 cup milk

1 (103⁄4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup (I use Healthy Request low-sodium, low-fat)

3⁄4 cup (3 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

4 ounces spaghetti, cooked

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

1 (2-oz) jar diced pimiento, drained (I used chopped red bell pepper) 

Sauté turkey and onion in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender. (I added red bell pepper as well.)

Stir in milk, soup and cheese; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in spaghetti and remaining ingredients; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Diced ham can also be substituted for the turkey.

“Superfast Southern”

* I used leftover chicken instead of deli turkey.

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