Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups

These Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups are loaded with spinach, sausage and three different kinds of cheese. They’re the best way to serve spinach if you ask me!

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Here’s my version of a healthy appetizer for you. It’s got spinach – lots of spinach. That makes it healthy in my book.

We won’t worry too much about all the cheese and sausage going on in there. You have to add something to make all that spinach taste good, right?

Spinach is on the list of approved vegetables for me. We use it all the time in soups and meatballs or even in lasagna or stuffed shells. I consider it to be a pretty harmless vegetable but I know there are some spinach haters out there.

These Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups might just change their minds. Spicy sausage and three kinds of cheese all baked in a crispy phyllo dough shell…what’s not to like?

If you’re having company over you can make this recipe ahead of time and then warm them in the oven just before serving  – or you could even make them ahead and freeze them for when your party day comes if you really like to get ahead.

And of course if you’re not into spicy sausage, feel free to swap it out for regular or even turkey sausage if you like. But no swapping out the spinach – the spinach stays.

To make these Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups, start by heating up some olive oil in a large skillet.

Add in the sausage and brown breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Add the diced onion and garlic to the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes until the onion softens then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses together with the spinach and then stir in the cooled sausage mixture.

Spoon the filling into store bought phyllo dough cups and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes.

 

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A huge amount of flavor all in a small, bite-sized appetizer.

Bite-sized appetizers are key…that leaves your other hand free for your beer.

 

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Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups
Makes approximately 45 appetizer cups
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Ingredients
  1. 3 packages of frozen phyllo dough cups (15 per pack)
  2. 2 T. olive oil
  3. 1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  4. 1/2 lb. hot italian sausage
  5. 1 small onion, diced
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  7. 1/2 t. cumin
  8. 1/2 t. salt
  9. 1/2 t. pepper
  10. 1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
  11. 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  12. 1 c. ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and start browning the sausage, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add in the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl mix together all three cheeses with the spinach, cumin, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour in the cooled sausage mixture and stir well to combine.
  6. Place the phyllo cups on a baking sheet (you might need 2) and fill to the top with the filling.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and the phyllo cups are slightly browned.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Our Panda Express Dinner At Home

This post brought to you by Panda Express. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mantitlement.

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Last weekend my family and I took a ride to Panda Express to try their new Chinese Spare Ribs…along with a list of other things on the menu that we’ve been reading about since my post last week. We placed our Order Online and drove over to pick it up.

Like I had mentioned before, I read an article about Chef Andy Kao who is the chef that actually created Orange Chicken. So I knew Orange Chicken was on the list of things we needed to try there. But it was the ribs we were going for. Panda’s new Chinese Spare Ribs are slow cooked for 5 hours and flavored with garlic, red peppers, sesame oil and red chili bean paste – making them deliciously sweet and spicy all at the same time.

We drove down, picked up our order and decided to come back home and eat.

The whole spread was set up at our kitchen table. And a spread it was, we ended up getting Panda’s Chinese Spare Ribs, Orange Chicken, Shanghai Angus Steak, fried rice and chow mein noodles. Sounds like a lot but you don’t know how my two boys eat. It still amazes me every time we sit down to a meal.

Everyone dove into something different at first. I grabbed the Orange Chicken, Christie tried the chow mein noodles, my oldest son grabbed the steak and my little guy – well, he dove right into the ribs.

This kid loves a good rib. And he also loves Chinese food so for him it was a match made in heaven.

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 After seeing how much Evan loved the ribs –  everyone switched gears and dove into the ribs before they were gone. The flavors were perfect, not to sweet and not too spicy, just the right amount of both.

The only problem with finding our new favorite rib is that Panda’s Chinese Spare Ribs are are only available for a limited time so I suggest you run out and get some before they’re gone.

And to give you some incentive, Panda Express is hosting a $25.00 gift card giveaway so you can get yourself some ribs. Leave a comment below the post telling me why you’d like to try the ribs for an entry to win!

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Cooking With Beer

It’s Friday – the weekend is finally here. Today I thought I’d do a round up of different recipes made with beer. So instead of just drinking beer we can get cooking with beer too.

I’ve got a few recipes that I made with beer…there’s Guinness Beer Nuts – that are totally addictive, so make double if you’re going to try them out. Or Spicy Drunken Shrimp that’s awesome for both dinner or appetizers, you need to serve it with a lot of bread to soak up all the sauce. It’s buttery, spicy and full of beer.

But here’s a few others that I found that are on my list of recipes to try.

The first recipe up are these Slow Cooker Ginger Beer Barbecue Baby Back Ribs from Chef Dennis.

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I’m a huge fan of ginger beer – for drinking. I can’t say that I’ve ever cooked with it though and this recipe seems like a great way to try it. Fall off the bone, slow cooked baby back ribs covered with a sweet, ginger beer barbecue sauce.

 

Next one up is this Beer Chili recipe from A Spicy Perspective.

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 What I like about this recipe is that it claims to have the perfect bean to meat ratio. I’m a big fan of things having the right ratios so already I was sold….and it was made for a friend of hers that wanted a not too spicy, but spicy enough and didn’t take too long to make. Sounds like my kind of friend.

 

I guess I’m keeping with the Tex-Mex theme here with these Turkey and Mushroom Quesadillas with beer pickled jalapeños.

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Another great recipe to use up leftovers, but I think I’d definitely cook up some shredded chicken or turkey to make these quesadillas even if I didn’t have the leftovers. And beer pickled jalapeños? That alone is worth trying out this recipe. Impressive.

 

Let’s finish this cooking with beer round-up with these Beer Soaked Chili Cheese Fries.

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French fries soaked in beer? How did I not think of that? Covered with chili and cheese make these french fries the perfect appetizer for friends or in my case…dinner with a few beers.

Ravioli Stuffed Shells

Everyone loves a good stuffed shell recipe and these Ravioli Stuffed Shells are one of our favorites!

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The name might be confusing, it might lead you to believe that these stuffed shells are actually stuffed with ravioli.

They aren’t, that would be strange.

But the filling inside these Ravioli Stuffed Shells is made from one of our favorite ravioli recipes.

So instead of going through all the work of making homemade ravioli we put it inside stuffed shells.

I’m always looking for short cuts to make things easier. Dinner time or entertaining doesn’t have to be another stress in life.

The filling starts by browning up some meat. They call it a “meatloaf mix” in my store, a mixture of pork, beef and veal.

After the meat is browned add in some chopped spinach and seasonings and let it cool.

Now you can stir in the ricotta and parmesan cheese and give it a taste for seasoning. There’s no egg in this filling mixture like in a lot of other recipes that I see. It doesn’t need to hold together like in a lasagna so we didn’t see the need to put one in.

Oh and in the meantime while your making your filling you’ll be boiling up your pasta shells…drain them and let them cool.

Then stuff them up with your filling.

 

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You can use a homemade marinara sauce like we did, or buy your favorite store-bought sauce. Get a large jar if you buy it, you’ll need about 5 cups.

We didn’t use a ton of mozzarella on top of the shells before we baked them. I have to admit that none of us are big fans of baked ziti or shells covered in an a blanket of mozzarella cheese. But if you are then feel free to add as much as you want to the top before baking.

 

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This filling would also be awesome in a lasagna or if you wanted to get out that pasta maker – it is amazing as a ravioli filling.

This recipe feeds a small army, or my family and a few more. So if you’re looking for a recipe to entertain with or for leftovers during the week this one is perfect!

 

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Ravioli Stuffed Shells
Serves 6-8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. meatloaf mix (pork, beef and veal combined)
  2. 1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  3. 2 T. olive oil
  4. 1 1/2 t. salt
  5. 1 1/2 t. pepper
  6. 1 t. garlic powder
  7. 1/2 t. dried basil
  8. 1/2 t. dried oregano
  9. 2 c. ricotta cheese (part-skim or regular)
  10. 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  11. 5 c. marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot of water to boil then add in 1 box of jumbo shells.
  2. Cook according to package directions, then drain.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the meat to brown, breaking up as you go.
  4. Once the meat is browned, stir in the spinach, salt, pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder and dried basil.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  6. In a large bowl, add the ricotta and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  7. Pour in the cooled sausage mixture and stir together with the cheese to make the filling.
  8. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  9. Get 2 9x13" baking dishes and spoon about a cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of each to coat.
  10. Start filling the shells with the sausage mixture and placing on top of the sauce.
  11. Once the shells are filled, pour more sauce over the top to almost cover and then top with additional parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil, then remove the foil and bake another 20.
Notes
  1. You'll need 2 baking dishes for this recipe, a whole box is about 32 shells and you'll have enough filling for almost all of them.
  2. You can make the shells completely and then bake when your ready. Just add a few more minutes to the cook time since they'll be cold from the refrigerator.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Eggs

I know everyone has leftover eggs from Easter…but instead of making the usual deviled eggs try these Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Eggs – because everything’s better with hot sauce!

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Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deviled egg recipe. There’s so many different recipes to choose from every time you make them can be different. From spicy deviled eggs to deviled eggs with bacon…I even found recipes with caviar on them.

And there’s no way I’m making those. I’ve expanded my food list pretty far since I’ve started cooking but I draw the line at caviar. I just don’t get it, why does anyone think eggs from a fish are that much of a delicacy? They aren’t in my book. That’s one expensive thing I can do without.

But my stuffed egg recipe is a little different. It doesn’t actually use the yolks at all, you can save those for something else…throw them in a potato salad or something. For these Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Eggs you just need the whites, and of course the buffalo chicken salad.

If you’re looking for a low-carb, low-fat amazing snack or light lunch then look no further. These stuffed eggs are full of flavor without all the extra fat that comes along with a deviled egg recipe.

I told you guys that I can do “good for you” food too – and I’m definitely not going to make it boring. If it’s low-fat or low-carb it’s going to have to be really tasty for me to want to eat it.

All you have to do to make these is peel up some hard boiled eggs, them cut the top third off of the egg.

Scoop out the yolk with a small spoon and save them for another use.

Mix together a quick chicken salad with shredded chicken, buffalo wing sauce a little mayonnaise and cream cheese and a few seasonings.

Stuff the chicken salad into your eggs and stuff them into your mouth. Enjoy.

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Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Eggs
makes 12 stuffed eggs
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Ingredients
  1. 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  2. 3/4 lb. cooked, shredded chicken (you can grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to make this quick)
  3. 1/4 c. buffalo wing sauce
  4. 1/2 t. salt
  5. 1/2 t. garlic powder
  6. 2 T. chives, chopped and divided
  7. 2 T. mayonnaise, regular or low-fat
  8. 2 oz. regular or low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
Instructions
  1. Cut the top third off of each hard boiled egg and scoop out the yolks.
  2. Mix the ingredients together for the buffalo chicken salad, using 1 T. of the chives, in a medium bowl.
  3. Stuff the chicken salad into each egg, top with remaining tablespoon of chives and serve.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/