Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spaghetti Squash




Shhhhh!!!  Don't tell my kids this isn't pasta!  This is one of my favorite side dishes and my kids think it's pasta!  It is super easy and delicious!!!

Ingredients: 

1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creamy White Chicken Chili



Ingredients:

1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Pound Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Onion chopped
2 Cloves garlic chopped
2- 15.5oz Cans great Northern Beans rinsed and drained
1- 14.4 oz can chicken broth
2- 4oz cans diced green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 cans white shoe peg corn
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pkg cream cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook and stir chicken, onion and garlic in hot oil until no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.  (10-15 min) Mix Great Northern Beans, corn, chicken broth, green chilies, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper into chicken mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended. (about 30 min)  Remove chili from heat and add sour cream, heavy cream and cream cheese until incorporated.  Turn heat back to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cream cheese has melted.


Crock Pot Version:

Add uncut chicken breasts, chilies, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne pepper to crock pot. Stir to coat chicken.  Cover with chicken broth and cook on low for 6 hours.  Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add beans,corn, and cream cheese and continue cooking about 30 minutes,  Add heavy cream and sour cream and stir till incorporated.  .


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crock Pot Beef Stew




2 (1 oz) packages dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 pounds lean beef stew meat (cut up into bite sized pieces)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 to 3 cups baby carrots
1 small Onion, chopped
2 (10 oz.) cans cream of celery soup
1 cup ketchup

In a large plastic bag, combine the dry onion soup mix and paprika. Add in meat and shake the bag to coat meat with the seasonings. (You may have to do that step in two batches, for all the meat to fit)

Once meat is coated, spread out evenly into a greased 7 quart crock pot. Top meat evenly with diced potatoes, carrots and onion.  Mix the cream of celery soup and ketchup in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the meat and vegetables.Cover crock pot with lid. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir to combine everything then serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Homemade Spaghetti



5 pounds Ground Beef (I Used Ground Round)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup White Wine (or Low Sodium Beef Broth If You Prefer)
2 cans 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (14 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
1 jar Good Storebought Marinara Sauce (can Use Another Jar If You Like The Sauce To Be More Saucy Than Meaty)
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
4 whole Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper 
1/4 cup Finely Minced Fresh Parsley (or 3 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes), More To Taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside. 

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute. 

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the grated Parmesan. Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

***FYI- I usually freeze the sauce in several containers for future meals.  Saves a TON of time!!***