Tag Archive: Pesto


I am avoiding nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes) as part of a diet geared toward reducing inflammation and pain from my psoriatic arthritis.  I know that I should also limit dairy, gluten, and processed foods, but I’ve had such great results already, I know nightshades are the real enemy.  Besides, I love chicken apple sausage and thought I’d see if it has an impact.  It  has only been a little over a week, and already I know without a doubt that the nightshades are no longer for me.  My pain decreased almost immediately, even though the information on pain management websites indicated it could take a while.  I used to take ibuprofen every day and night to manage my pain.  Since starting this experiment a little over a week ago, I have only taken it twice.  Both times  I had “cheated” and had tomato.  Absolutely not worth it.  I’m sold on eliminating nightshades.  An added bonus is that my psoriasis outbreak is going away.  On top of that, I feel more energetic and younger!  Tonight’s dinner was delicious, albeit a bit sweet from the sausage.  Adding hot sauce, pepper flakes, or cheese would likely take it to another level, but the kids liked it sweet!

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3 packages al fresco chicken apple sausage

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, cubed

2 small yelow squash, cubed

3 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. sherry

3 Tbsp. pesto sauce

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

2 boxes orzo, cooked according to directions

  1. Cut up sausage and veggies.  Toss with oil and cook over medium low heat, stirring regularly in large skillet until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo and drain.
  2. Add in sherry and pesto.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in breadcrumbs to thicken sauce, if needed.  Simmer another 5 minutes.
  4.   Toss with orzo and serve immediately.  Top with a little parsley or basil for color, if desired.

The variations of this are endless.  Any vegetables or beans you like.  Different sausages.  Tofu or Tempeh in place of the sausage.  Cut up boneless chicken.  Yum.

 

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SAM_2612

1 box La Piana cheese tortellini

1 package Trader Joe’s  Sweet Italian Pork Sausage

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 onion, sliced thinly

1/2 green pepper, sliced thinly

1/4 each red, yellow and orange peppers, sliced thinly

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. pesto

1 Tbsp. Tuscan seasoning mix

Parmesan to taste

Directions:

Put on water for tortellini.

Remove casing from sausage and cut into 1 inch pieces.

Heat olive oil in large skillet to brown sausage.

Meanwhile slice veggies and add tortellini to boiling water.

When sausage is nicely browned, add in veggies, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft and translucent.

After gently boiling tortellini for 15 minutes, drain.

Stir in butter, pesto, and Parmesan.

I bought Italian made dried tortellini at The Fresh Market.  It was much better than the frozen kind!

The pesto, olive oil and seasonings were all super quality products my friend Stephanie gave me for my birthday that she got from Marshall’s.

SAM_2613

Chicken Burgers

2 lb. ground chicken

2 Tbsp. pesto

2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

1 egg

1/3 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs

4 Tbsp. garlic infused olive oil

Mix meat and wet ingredients.  Add in about half of the bread crumbs.

Put remaining bread crumbs onto a paper plate.

Form 8 burgers and coat with bread crumbs.

Cook in skillet over medium heat in the oil until internal temperature reaches 165 F.  Allow bottom to become golden and crispy before flipping.

This makes 8 nice size burgers.  The kids loved them!

 

 

SAM_1497

2 packages Dietz and Watson Asiago Spinach Chicken Sausage

1 jar sauce

1 can tomatoes with onions and garlic

1/4 c. sherry

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

4 Tbsp. pesto

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

20375_Asiago_Spinach_Chicken_Sausage_medium

Cook sausage in skillet with a little olive oil blend until golden.  Add in a little liquid from the canned tomatoes and 1/2 Tbsp. garlic.   Cook a few minutes longer.

SAM_1490

In a crockpot, combine jar of sauce, 2 Tbsp. pesto, sherry and 1 Tbsp. minced garlic.

SAM_1491

Remove and slice cooked sausage and add into sauce.

SAM_1492

There will be all kinds of yummy stuff left in the skillet.

SAM_1493

Add can of tomatoes and 2 Tbsp. pesto to the skillet, scraping up all the brown bits.  Cook over medium until reduced by about half.

SAM_1494

Pour over ingredients in crockpot and cook on low up to 4 hours.  I actually cooked mine for about an hour before starting the noodles.

Heat water for pasta.  I like to add in minced garlic and salt to the water.  Sometimes, I add a chicken broth ice cube for added flavor. (I freeze my homemade broth in ice cube trays for when I make rice, etc. and want some more flavor)

SAM_1495

Cook until al dente.  Drain.

I tried a new Italian made pasta that was on sale.  The flavor and texture was really nice.

SAM_1496

Toss cooked pasta with butter, pesto and parmesan.

Serve with sauce and more parmesan.  A little garlic toast with it too!

I’ve tried several recipes with this particular sausage.  I have to say, we all preferred it with a tomato sauce.  Optional add ins would include defrosted frozen peas, garbanzo beans, and cooked onions, peppers, or mushrooms.  Any leftover greens or veggies can also be put in the sauce.  The kids just wanted it simple tonight, and it was delicious.

 

Parmesian Pesto Chicken with Alfredo Mac and Chhese

12 boneless chicken thighs
1/2 c. crushed crispix cereal (careful if you can’t have gluten at all – these have traces of malt)  If you can’t have any gluten, try substituting a similar crunchy cereal.  Rice Krispies would probably work well.
1 c. shredded Parmesian cheese
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbsp. pesto
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together pesto and olive oil in a flat dish.

Mix remaining ingredients for coating.

Dip chicken pieces in oil/pesto mixture. Dredge with coating mix.

Place on baking sheets lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes depending on thickness, until internal temperature reaches 165 F.

This reminded me so much of a recipe my mom used to make with cubes of pork on small thick skewers that she called city chicken.

The flavors in the coating mix were yummy.

I served this with Mueller’s gluten free penne pasta cooked to al dente, mixed with a jar of Classico light alfredo sauce (gluten free – yay!) and a couple of teaspoons of the pesto. I then sprinkled a little of the coating mix with extra shredded cheese on top of the noodles and baked them along side the chicken for the last 15 minutes of their baking time.

I hope no one is upset that I’m stuck in a chicken mode! I got a great sale on the boneless chicken and the kids love love love it!

Tonight at the local grocery store that marks their meats WAY down before they expire, I got some really lean ground beef, some pork ribs, and hot dogs on sale, so those will show up in some future recipes.  My menu plan for the week includes a corn dog casserole the kids are crazy about.

Night before last, we were at Marshall’s and they had a great selection of gluten free stuff I’ll report to you on as we sample them!

I found a great website that had a list of gluten-free products offered by Heinz, etc.  I couldn’t get it to copy and paste as a link (sorry, too computer challenged!) but if you cut and paste, it works!

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/67077-updated-gluten-free-list-heinz-ore-ida-classico-delimex/

 

 

 

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