Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekend Cooking 12/22

Each weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  This is perfect for me since I love food and cooking almost as much as I love books!

We had a busy week, but my college son was home, so I cooked some of his favorites for dinner.

We started the week with Shepherd's Pie, using an old recipe from Cooking Light from the early 90's (not online, unfortunately). This is my son's favorite kinds of food - basic meat and potatoes comfort food! We all enjoyed it.

Tuesday was a busy day, so I needed a super-quick meal. I made Penne with Sausage, White Beans & Spinach, one of my own creations. It is super simple and goes together in less than 20 minutes - see complete recipe below.

Thursday was even busier, so I decided to use the crockpot. I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light's Slow Cooker Tonight cookbook, Provençale Chicken Supper. It met my criteria for that night - just 1 instruction: "Add all ingredients to crockpot and turn on." I stuck to the recipe, except that I added several sliced carrots to the slow cooker to up the veggie content. My family loved it, though my son actually said it could use more veggies (that's what a mom likes to hear!). Best of all, I came home at 6 pm with dinner ready to eat!

Friday night, I made another family favorite that I have mentioned here many times before (because it really is one of our all-time favorite meals, so we eat it a lot): Red Beans & Rice, another of my own recipes (published in Family Fun magazine, February 2012). This one is literally a crowd-pleaser, so I made a double batch and served it Friday night when a couple of my son's college friends were over, and again Saturday night when one of my younger son's high school friends was here. This is one dish that no one in my family complains about when we have left-overs!

Hope you are enjoying some good food during this busy holiday season!

Pasta with Sausage, White Beans, and Spinach

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 16-oz. box whole wheat Penne pasta
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
12-oz. Package reduced-fat sausage, sliced (we like Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage)
1 can white cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag baby spinach, sliced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté onion and bell pepper until soft.  Add sausage, beans, and spinach.  Stir fry until spinach wilts.  Add tomatoes, stir, and heat through.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta and dump back into pot.  Add contents of skillet and mix thoroughly.  Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

  © 2013 Suzan L. Jackson  


  1. We love bean dishes and eat them often. I like the sound of the both these bean recipes. The slow cooker is perfect for this time of year!

  2. We love beans, too, Beth. in fact, I hadn't noticed but EVERY dish we had this week had beans in it! lol And tonight's dinner does, too.


  3. Sounds like a lovely, hearty winter dinner. White beans are my favorite!