Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: quick meals

Fresh Herb Ravioli Lasagna

This ravioli lasagna is a wonderfully quick meal to keep in mind for those busy evenings! Just layer frozen ravioli with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, sprinkle it all liberally with chopped fresh herbs, and bake it for thirty to forty minutes.  Out of the oven comes a warm, cheesy, saucy dinner that will nourish your soul and satisfy your hunger.  All in about 45 minutes, with only about ten of those minutes hands-on time.  Honestly, this is one of the easiest dinners I have ever made, and the beauty of it is that it tastes like it took a lot more work to prepare than it really did!

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Asparagus Potato Naan

Tender asparagus, thinly sliced baby potatoes, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese on top of naan flatbread creates a quick, light meal or tasty appetizers.  Naan bread is endlessly versatile and can be the base for so many different types of flatbread pizzas.  This asparagus potato naan recipe features delicious, tender vegetables, and can be on your table in about 20 minutes.

asparagus potato naan on benchPotatoes and asparagus are not only in season right now, but they are also a great combination.  If you have never tried potatoes on flatbread, you should give it a try. The creaminess of cooked potatoes with melted cheese, all on top of a warm flatbread–it is delicious, especially when the tender-fresh crunch of asparagus is added.  While at first the thought of pairing of potatoes and flatbread may sound like a carb overload, it really isn’t in this case, since the naan flatbread is thin and the layer of potatoes is also thin.

DSC_0857This is a great summer meal when you are in a hurry and need to make something nourishing, or if you have guests over and want to serve them some fun, seasonal appetizers, out on the porch or deck, with a cold beverage and great conversation.  Can you tell I am wanting to invite some people over for dinner soon?  I am.  It has been a hectic spring, and we haven’t had much time to relax over our food and drinks.  Now the kids are out of school (as of today!) and their sports schedules are in somewhat of a lull for a month or so.  Our evenings and weekends are opening up.  It’s time to slow down and linger outside, letting conversations develop and quiet moments blossom.

It’s time to enjoy nature, including asparagus and potatoes, and soon the cherries and wild black raspberries growing right in our yard.  I just made the first strawberry shortcake of the season last night, and the strawberries were so fresh! Savoring the fruits and vegetables that are in season helps me feel like I am in the moment and experiencing life as it is unfolding.  Every last day of school since my kids have started school, I have felt emotional and bittersweet.  One era is ending as another is beginning.  Sometimes it can be hard to let things go, and sometimes we can’t wait to move on.  As I cannot believe how fast they are growing and sometimes want to slow time down, my kids are excited to move on to the next phase. Time passes regardless of how quickly or slowly we want it to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  This week’s Fiesta Friday is co-hosted by Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.   potatoes and asparagusasparagus potato naan on baking sheetasparagus potato naan white and green 2

Asparagus Potato Naan

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 4-6 small potatoes (red or gold), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound of fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 naan flatbreads (about 250 g or 8.8 oz in a package of 2)
  • about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (other cheese can be used, if desired)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the naan pieces on top of the parchment paper.

Wash the potatoes and asparagus.  Slice the potatoes very thinly.  Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus stalks and then chop the stalks into small pieces.  In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced potatoes and toss gently for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are just golden.  Remove from heat.

Pour the remaining olive oil into a shallow bowl.  Mince the garlic mix it in with the olive oil.  Brush the naan pieces with olive oil/garlic (with the bubbly side of the naan facing up).  Spread the potatoes in over the flatbread pieces in an even layer, then top with the chopped asparagus.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the vegetables.  Place the baking sheet into your oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted.

Allow to cool slightly and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

asparagus and potato naan with dog

 

Sunshine Flatbread Pizzas

Is there anything easier and more versatile than flatbread pizzas?  Well, there probably is, but I’m not sure what that would be.  Anyway, these flatbread pizzas are so easy, they are hardly a recipe–just a nudge in a certain direction if you are unsure about what to make for a quick dinner, or an idea if you are searching for ways to use your summer squash and zucchini.  And they taste really, really good too.  I make these when we need a quick dinner before going back out the door to our various evening activities.  They are healthy and quite light, so if you are headed out to exercise after dinner, this meal won’t weigh you down too much.

sunshine flatbread pizza on tray 2I call them sunshine flatbread pizzas because I typically make them in September and early October, when we have summer squash and zucchini in abundance, and the sun is warm and golden.  Serve them with a salad or a bowl of soup if you like.  It only takes a few minutes to prepare and bake them, and when they’re done, you have something warm and tasty, full of seasonal vegetables.

sunshine flatbread pizza on bench 2It is now officially autumn, and the following quote by writer Gladys Taber reflects how I feel about this gorgeous time of year. “We are in for a spell of perfect weather now, every day luminous, every night brimmed with stars.  Picnics at noon, supper by the applewood fire at night, a walk in the cool moonlight before bed.”   I hope to make the time to savor early autumn in the spirit of this quote, and I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! I’ll also be taking a plate of these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday to share with the lovely bloggers there.sliced vegetablesunbaked pizzasunshine flatbread pizzas on sheet 2sunshine flatbread pizza on cutting board 3sunshine flatbread pizza on plate

Sunshine Flatbread Pizzas

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 small summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 flatbreads (I like to use naan)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Wash and slice the zucchini, summer squash, and onion into thin pieces.  In a large skillet, heat one to two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Sautee the sliced vegetables until tender, about 5-8 minutes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pour some olive oil into a shallow bowl.  Mince the garlic and add it to the bowl with the olive oil.  Lay your flatbreads out on a cutting board or the counter.  With a basting brush or pastry brush, spread a layer of olive oil/garlic mixture over the top of the flatbreads.  Then arrange the sautéed vegetables evenly over the flatbreads.  Sprinkle with a good amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (to your personal tastes).  Place the flatbreads on a baking sheet.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.  Remove, let cool a couple of minutes, and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

 

Pasta with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Sausage, and the Power of Music, Food, and Memories

ingredientsIn some ways, music and food are very similar.  Both can transport us to earlier times.  A well-loved song or a certain dish can remind us of a beloved place or a long lost friend.  The other night, I put on a Lucinda Williams CD to listen to while I was doing dishes.  The last song took me by surprise.  I hadn’t listened to this album in quite awhile, and I had forgotten which songs were on there–but when Lucinda started singing “Which Will,” a song written by English singer/songwriter Nick Drake, I felt myself become full of sentimental nostalgia.  Right away I was transported back to a dorm room in Bremen, Germany, twenty-seven years ago.  A good friend of mine had sent me a mix tape (that shows my age!) when I was studying in Germany, and the song “Which Will” was on that tape.  Because I had brought just a small amount of things with me for my seven months studying abroad, I listened to that tape over and over.  Immediately, I thought of the friend who had sent me the tape, because it was so comforting to receive music when I was far from home.  And then I thought of my time in Germany, and what I was often doing when that song was in the background: daydreaming, cooking, eating, and having great conversations.  pasta meal in bowl 1I was staying at that time in a dorm full of international students, all of whom were learning German. I became good friends with a woman from Colombia, and we often cooked and ate dinner together. I can remember evenings sitting at a tiny table with mismatched chairs, listening to the rain spattering the street. We would often invite other students walking down the hall to come in and eat with us, as we were all practicing our German speaking skills and learning about the different cultures gathered in the dorm.  One of our standard meals was the pasta dish posted below.  I don’t believe this dish is particularly German, Colombian, or American, but it is so easy, colorful, and nourishing, and anyone can make it, even two international students on a tight budget in a tiny dorm kitchen, communicating in a language that is not their own. It is kind of a meal borne of necessity, but enjoyed to the fullest because of its simplicity and quality ingredients.  It’s also a great meal for busy people who come home from a long day and don’t have a lot of time to make a complicated dinner, which is why this meal is still relevant in my life today. Good food and music are warm and comforting on a cold, dark, rainy evening, and we had many of those in northern Germany in wintertime, and we are experiencing them at this time of year here as well.

ingredients 2pasta meal in pot

Pasta with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Sausage

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of pasta, any kind
  • 8 ounces of high-quality kielbasa or bratwurst, sliced in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 4-8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook the pasta as directed in salted, boiling water.  While pasta is cooking, slice the sausage, tomatoes, and cheese.  When pasta is just tender, drain in a colander.  In the same pot, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the sausage slices for about 5 minutes, or until they are browned.  Add the pasta to the pot, and then add the cheese, tomatoes, and spinach.  Stir until combined, and the cheese is melted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!