Easy Pesto Chicken Casserole 😋😋

If you’re always searching for a new, quick, and easy chicken recipe then this is for you! Not only is it delicious but we hit the Trifecta with it being, Keto-friendly, Low Carb and Gluten-free…did we say delicious? We can’t emphasize enough how delicious this meal is. If homemade pesto is not your thing then by all means use a good store-bought brand.  Today Barbara harvested her first batch of basil and so it was a given it would be tonight’s dinner! Everyone loved it and there were no leftovers…

Easy Pesto Chicken Casserole 😋😋

Easy & delicious chicken casserole that's low carb, Keto-friendly, and gluten-free.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 283kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Grill/Fry Pan
  • 1 Large Casserole dish
  • 1 Medium mixing bowl

Ingredients 

  • 8 thin chicken cutlets pound lightly if too thick
  • 1 cup pesto Homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano Locatelli
  • salt, pepper & Italian seasoning to season chicken, both sides
  • salt, pepper & Italian seasoning to add to ricotta mixture, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper & Italian seasoning.
  • In a medium-size bowl, mix togther ricotta, grated pecorino romano, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Set bowl aside.
  • Using a very hot griddle or fry pan, sear each cutlet on both sides. No more than a minute on each side.
  • Place several spoonfuls of pesto to coat the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Place the seared chicken cutlets on top of the pesto.
  • Spoon the ricotta mixture over the chicken, spreading evenly to cover. Top the ricotta mixture with spoonfuls of pesto. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly and chicken cutlets are cooked through.
  • Serve with a side salad or a vegetable of your choice. If you're not concerned with eating low carb or following a keto diet, serve with your favorite pasta & crusty bread. Enjoy

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Sodium: 567mg | Calcium: 322mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 977IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 63mg | Cholesterol: 47mg | Calories: 283kcal | Saturated Fat: 9g | Fat: 23g | Protein: 13g | Carbohydrates: 4g | Iron: 1mg
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Please note: Although the Nutritional Facts are provided, we are not nutritionists and therefore cannot verify the accuracy of these calculations. Please verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.

Clear Onion & Mushroom Soup

 

Clear Soup with Mushrooms & Scallions

A delicious clear onion broth with mushrooms & scallions. Just like your favorite Sushi or Hibachi restaurant.
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Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 61kcal

Equipment

  • 8 quart stockpot

Ingredients 

  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large sweet onions cut into 12 wedges
  • 2 large carrots cut in chunks
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger sliced
  • 4-5 whole scallions (green onions) sliced thin (green & white parts)
  • 10-12 Baby Bella mushrooms sliced very thin
  • salt to taste
  • French's fried onion pieces

Instructions

  • Heat a large 8 quart stock pot until water makes a "pish" sound. The pot is then hot enough to add the sesame oil.
  • When the sesame oil is hot enough it will show striations on the bottom surface. Add the onion wedges, ginger slices and carrot chunks until all surfaces are lightly charred. Add the garlic and cook additional 1 minute but don't burn.
  • Add the chicken, beef broths and water. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for about an hour.
  • Use a strainer to remove the vegetables and toss them or use elsewhere; however, they will be very soft.
  • Serve into individual soup bowls with a ladle or two of hot broth. Add some thinly sliced mushroms and scallions. Top with a few fried onions and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Sodium: 1069mg | Calcium: 40mg | Vitamin C: 17mg | Vitamin A: 9IU | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 385mg | Calories: 61kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 2g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 8g | Iron: 1mg
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Clear Soup is always the first item we order from our favorite sushi restaurant whether it’s dine in or take out. It’s a delicate onion flavor is so comforting on cold days or nights not just for your body but your soul too! Typically it’s topped with thinly sliced mushrooms and scallions.  After many tries to duplicate the right flavors, we found the right balance. Now we can enjoy this soup anytime we want it and you can too! It’s quick and very easy.

 

 

 

Exciting Announcement!

We are excited to announce while Teresa continues cooking with Barbara in Twiins in the Kitchen, she has resumed making custom jewelry. Check out her designs on Facebook by clicking this link: Teresa Stainback Designs.

Her Facebook Page is still a work in progress so stay tuned for more pictures of her work. Any inquiries can be sent to: info@teresastainback.com

Springtime Asparagus & Cheese Tart

 

This Easter we tried a new twist on our asparagus side dish and we loved it! We adapted this recipe from Food Network Kitchen making just a few tweaks. The whole family really enjoyed this new dish and requested we make it often. Whether you make it for a side dish,  appetizer, or for brunch it will  definitely be a hit! Enjoy 😋

Springtime Asparagus & Cheese Tart

A bed of puff pastry, fontina & gruyere cheese, and asparagus makes this a refreshing change to plain old veggies.
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Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 340kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large bowl for ice bath
  • 1 11" x 15" rimmed baking sheet inside measurement
  • parchment paper
  • 1 large skillet

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch asparagus , trimmed approximately 1-1.5" only.
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry , thawed
  • all-purpose flour , for dusting
  • 1 cup fontina cheese , grated
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese , grated
  • 2 Tablespoon minced shallot , may substitue with minced onion
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions

  • Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  • In a large skillet bring 1" of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-5 minutes until bright green, crisp tender depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and transfer to the ice bath to stop cooking; drain & pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • On a lightly floured clean surface, roll out thawed puff pastry into an 11" x 15" rectangle (to fit your pan). Line your baking sheet with parchment paper then transfer the rolled-out pastry into the pan. Prick all over with a fork.
  • Bake until light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
  • While cooling the puff pastry, mix the fontina, gruyere, shallot or onion, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg, salt & pepper in a bowl until combined.
  • Once puff pastry is cooled, spread the cheese mixture evenly over the puffed pastry, leaving a 1" border on all sides.
  • Toss the asparagus with EVOO, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange asparagus onto the tart and bake until the cheese mixture is slightly puffy, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with lemon zest.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Sodium: 332mg | Calcium: 288mg | Vitamin C: 4mg | Vitamin A: 803IU | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 178mg | Cholesterol: 84mg | Calories: 340kcal | Saturated Fat: 10g | Fat: 25g | Protein: 14g | Carbohydrates: 17g | Iron: 2mg
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Easter Breakfast the Whole Family Will Enjoy

With Easter, only a week away, start getting those ingredients together to make our tasty and fun Italian Easter Egg Breakfast Baskets (Pupa Cu L’ova)

Watch the video on YouTube

A delicious & fun way to enjoy a special Easter breakfast.

Mediterranean Mujadara: Lentils, Rice and Onions 😋😋

After recently recovering from Covid-19, I had absolutely no desire to cook! Losing the ability to smell and taste kind of messes with your appetite… I did make 3 batches of chicken soup that I couldn’t taste or smell so not sure if it had any healing powers! Thankfully my senses are back so I was looking for something different to make. I came across a recipe from The Mediterranean Dish for Mujadara. It’s a Lebanese Middle Eastern dish made with black lentils, long grain rice, and onions…lots of onions! Neither Teresa nor I had ever tried this dish before but it sounded really, really good. It was! You can make this as a side with some chicken or as a main dish. All I can say is you have to try it because it’s delicious comfort food with unbelievable flavor and it’s Gluten-free!

Mediterranean Mujadara: Lentils, Rice and Onions 😋😋

Delicious black lentils, rice & lots of onions!
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Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 296kcal

Equipment

  • 2 large skillets
  • 1 small bowl for soaking rice
  • 1 small covered saucepan for par-boiling lentils, use to set aside after par-boiling and draining

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup black lentils (sorted and rinsed)
  • 4 cups water , divided
  • 1/4 cup EVOO , more for later
  • 2 very large yellow onions , large dice (4 cups)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt , more to taste
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice , soaked in bowl of water for 10-15 inutes then drained & set aside
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cumin , (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • parsley , for garnish

Fried Crispy Onion Garnish

  • 2 -3 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 very large yellow onion , cut into very thin rings

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, place the lentils with 2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the lentils are par-boiled (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat, drain and set aside back in the saucepan.
  • Place the long-grain white rice in a small bowl. cover with water and let soak for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain then place back into the bowl and set aside.
  • In a large saute or skillet pan with a lid, heat 1/4 cup EVOO over medium-high heat until the oil makes "ribbons". Add the diced onions and cook covered (40 minutes) until dark golden brown, darker than normal caramelized onions. You may lower the heat so they don't burn. Add kosher salt. Stir occasionally and keep the lid on between stirrings.
  • Carefully pour the remaining 2 cups of water into the onions. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and par-cooked lentils into the onion mixture. Add a good dash of kosher salt, black pepper, and the cumin.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are both cooked through. (About 15-20 minutes)
  • In a second skillet, heat 2-3 Tablespoons EVOO until hot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough add thinly sliced onion rings in batches and fry until they are crispy and deeply golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined dish to drain excess oil.
  • Let the rice and lentils rest covered for about 10 minutes undisturbed, then garnish with crispy onions & parsley and transfer to serving bowls.
  • Optional: Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a nice tomato, cucumber salad. You can also add leftover cooked chicken for those that must have "meat" in the dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Sodium: 400mg | Calcium: 38mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 8IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 7g | Potassium: 45mg | Calories: 296kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 10g | Protein: 10g | Carbohydrates: 42g | Iron: 3mg
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Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

If you’re a Thai food lover like we are, this recipe is sure to deliver great flavor in a one-pot meal plus cooked rice. It’s so quick and easy to make for any busy weeknight (less than 30 minutes from start to table) or for any special occasion dinner. It touches all the flavors of sweetness, heat, savory, and acidity that you expect from Thai food. You won’t be disappointed… it’s really delicious and naturally gluten free!

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

Quick Thai Cuisine weeknight diner.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 466kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Dutch Oven 8 qt

Ingredients 

  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, small dice
  • 2 lbs. cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1 1/2 Tbsp ginger paste, refrigerated tube
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2 13 oz cans Unsweetened coconut milk, full fat (shake well before opening)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 4-6 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz baby spinach fresh
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, freshly chopped & divided
  • 2-4 Tbsp dark brown sugar, to taste
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, white or brown, cooked

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in the dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes until soft, stirring regularly.
  • Add garlic, ginger, coriander, carrots, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  • Add the curry paste, brown sugar, salt & pepper, and stir quickly, then add half the chopped cilantro.
  • Add coconut milk and stir to combine all. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture come to a gentle boil for approximately 5 minutes or until liquid thickens slightly.
  • Add the fresh spinach leaves, lime juice, and cook until spinach is wilted & tender approximately 2-3 minutes.,
  • Add the cooked chicken and stir well until the chicken is heated through. Taste to adjust sugar, salt, or curry paste to your liking.
  • Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro and serve over cooked rice.

Notes

Shrimp makes a delicious substitute for chicken and Thai basil is a good substitute for cilantro for those who don't like cilantro.

Nutrition

Sodium: 979mg | Calcium: 145mg | Vitamin C: 28mg | Vitamin A: 14123IU | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 982mg | Cholesterol: 113mg | Calories: 466kcal | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fat: 18g | Protein: 43g | Carbohydrates: 31g | Iron: 5mg
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Traditional Italian Christmas Cookies – Twiins Style

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of the first week in December! Time to start baking our family’s traditional Christmas cookies to have ready to mail out to family members on the West Coast & beyond.

If you’ve never tried these recipes before, this is the time to start. Nothing says it’s the beginning of the holiday season like baking our Italian bakery-style cookies. They are delicious! My 8-year-old grandson is visiting from NY and he said the Rainbow Cookies are “Amazing”…music to our ears!

Make sure you have plenty of all-purpose flour, butter, almond paste, chopped pistachios, pignolias (pine nuts), chopped dates, and bittersweet chocolate chips on hand because these cookies fly off the plates.

Merry Christmas and enjoy!

Italian Rainbow Cookies

Zeppole

Pignoli Cookies

Cannoli Cream 

Cannoli Shells – gluten free

The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

Date Nut Bread

(not a cookie but a long time Christmas Morning tradition)

Lobster Rolls – Twiins Style

Goodby summer…There’s no  better way to celebrate the end of summer than with an  indulgent lobster roll! Whether it’s served as a Labor Day celebration lunch or dinner your family and guests will love them. Our family not only loves them but said “they are better than ‘ Joe’s’ “.  This recipe is our version of the classic Connecticut style lobster roll using only butter…NO Mayo.  These lobster rolls are so easy to make using pre-cooked lobster meat. We hope you’ll give it a try and let us know.

Happy Labor Day, Stay safe

Lobster Rolls - Twiins Style

Twiins serve.their take on Connecticut style lobster rolls (no mayo)!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories:

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • aluminum foil

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs Lobster meat (cooked)
  • 2-3 stalks celery (diced)
  • 1/4 cup parsely, fresh coursely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 sticks salted butter (melted right before serving)
  • 3-4 Tbsp softened butter to spread on rolls prior to broiling
  • 8-10 buns top split hot dog buns

Instructions

  • Place the pre-cooked lobster meat in a large bowl (large chunky pieces)
  • Add diced celery, chopped parsely, salt & pepper, juice of half a large lemon. Mix well and set aside.
  • Turn oven to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place opened buns on baking sheet then smear both halves of each bun with softened butter. Place on bottom rack of oven until they start to turn golden. Remove immediately.
  • Melt 3 sticks of salted butter then pour into lobster mixture. Combine well and fill each bun. Drizzle each lobster roll with the melted butter that pooled at the bottom of the mixing bowl and enjoy!
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Cheesy Zucchini & Chicken Enchiladas

I haven’t been cooking at all the last 5 weeks due to having a total knee replacement. During that time my better half, Teresa, cooked for all of us. Unfortunately during that same time period our beloved father Joseph passed away at the age of 94. Teresa, Jack, my husband Gary, and my son Jason flew back to NY but I couldn’t travel. My amazing friends came to my rescue by preparing the ice machine for my knee, letting the dog out, bringing lunch, dinners, and most of all, emotional support. I am so very grateful to have them in my life. As I was looking through some of my stacks and stacks of recipes, I came across this recipe from Food Network for Cheesy Zucchini and Chicken ‘Enchiladas’. Since I’m now able to do more & more each day I decided to try cooking this fairly quick & delicious-looking dinner. The key is using rotisserie chicken already cooked. Just shred it up! The step that takes the longest is shaving the zucchini ribbons but it’s worth the effort for this low-carb, satisfying meal. My family loved it.

Cheesy Zucchini & Chicken Enchiladas

Tasty low-carb enchiladas.
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Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 enchiladas each)
Calories: 371kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large skillet
  • Y shaped vegetable peeler
  • 2-3 quart baking dish

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced (white & green parts separated)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (discard skin)
  • 1.5 cups salsa (not chunky)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (divided in half)
  • 3-4 medium zucchini
  • dash chipotle hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp sour cream (can be used as garnish when serving)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet heat the oil on medium heat.
  • Add the white scallion slices & garlic. Cook, stirring often until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the chili powder and cook, stirring until the scallions are coated and the oil is brick red, about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, 1/2 cup salsa & 1/2 cup cheese. Set aside.
  • Cut ends off zucchini. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and arrange cut-side down on a clean work surface. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to shave off ribbons the entire length of each zucchini half and as wide as possible (the first few may be too skinny & can be discarded). Make 36 ribbons in total.
  • Lay out 3 ribbons, slightly overlapping to make a rectangle (ribbons are your 'tortilla'). Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down along one of the short ends of the zucchini tortilla then roll up to enclose the filling.
  • Place into an ungreased baking dish, seam side down. Repeat step 6 then arrange them in the baking dish. Top with remaining salsa. Sprinkle with a dash of hot sauce then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot for about 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of green scallions

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Nutrition

Serving: 3enchiladas | Sodium: 1314mg | Calcium: 413mg | Vitamin C: 31mg | Vitamin A: 1695IU | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 1085mg | Cholesterol: 114mg | Calories: 371kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Fat: 18g | Protein: 41g | Carbohydrates: 15g | Iron: 2mg
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