Salsa Mac and Cheese with PACE salsa

No pics today, as this recipe was devoured by two hungry men…LOL. I was actually searching for a recipe about dressing up that CANADIAN KD – better known as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! Thankful that I found this one on the Pace Salsa website! It comes together very quickly once you have prepared the pasta. It should actually feed four people. I skipped the tortilla chips since I was already carb heavy with the macaroni.

Pace* Salsa Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2-pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups Pace® Chunky Salsa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) uncooked elbow macaroni or cavatelli pasta
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Step 1

Heat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is heating, season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well browned and cooked through. Remove the beef to a plate.

Step 2

Add the green pepper to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove the green pepper to the plate with the beef.

Step 3

Heat the salsa, fajita seasoning and water in the skillet to a boil. Stir in the elbows (press the elbows down to submerge in the salsa mixture). Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8 minutes or until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally. Return the beef and green pepper to the skillet with the macaroni and cook until the mixture is hot. Season to taste. Sprinkle with the crushed tortilla chips and cheese.

Step 4

Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the cilantro just before serving, if desired.

Lighter Beef and Broccoli

I looked back and saw that I had included other beef and broccoli recipes, but not this one for some reason. It just happened that a friend gave us a small picanha (tri-tip sirloin) which she had mistakenly thawed and wasn’t sure what to do with it. After slicing it up and marinating it, the result was very good.

It may seem complicated,but it really wasn’t!

Lighter Broccoli Beef

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 1-1/4lb flank or sirloin steak, cut very thin against the grain
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium gluten-free Tamari, divided
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, divided (potato starch)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons water, divided
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Tablespoon peanut oil, divided
  • cooked rice, for serving

Directions

1. Add sliced steak, 2 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari, and 1 Tablespoon gluten-free flour to a large Ziplock bag then seal and squish to evenly coat. Place the bag into the refrigerator to marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish.

2. Add remaining 1/2 cup gluten-free Tamari, remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, chicken broth, brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ground ginger, and red chili pepper flakes to a bowl then whisk to combine and set aside.

FYI, I doubled the amount of this part to have more sauce for the rice!

3. Heat a large wok or non-stick skillet over high heat then add remaining 1/4 cup water. Once simmering, add broccoli then stir fry until crisp tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate then set aside.

4. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in wok then, once hot, add 1/2 the marinated beef in one layer. Let sit undisturbed until seared, 30 seconds, then stir fry until just barely cooked through (some pink still showing is ok.) Remove to plate with broccoli. Heat remaining Tablespoon oil then stir fry remaining beef and add to plate.

5. Add sauce to wok then simmer until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add cooked broccoli and beef back into the wok then simmer until everything is heated through, 1 minute. Serve over cooked rice.

Hungarian Goulash

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!” LOL. Where did the week go? In actuality, we are still catching up after returning from a month’s vacation. Some of you know how that is after almost two years of no travelling. While in Europe years back, we had the opportunity of trying both Czech and Hungarian goulash. Our preference was the Hungarian, which we had in Budapest. This recipe is fairly straight forward once everything is prepped.

Hungarian Goulash

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ pound stewing beef trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups beef broth or water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes canned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cup carrot diced
  • 3 cups potatoes, diced or less

1. In a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Cook till translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.

2. In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Slowly add about ¼ cup of the beef broth to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes (potatoes and carrots if using), salt and pepper.

4. Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 ½ -2 hours or until tender.

Weeknight Bolognese Sauce with Zoodles

Checking the pantry and freezer, I found I had all of the ingredients for this sauce, including a very nice medium zucchini for spiralizing. I also had a pound of ground veal which I had not put in the freezer since I bought it two days before. You can use beef or whatever…

Zoodle Bolognese…

Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • Zucchini noodles or the pasta of your choice
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.

2. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté until softened stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and sauté stirring often until fragrant, around 1 minute.

4. Add the ground veal and sauté using wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks until the veal is fully browned, around 5 minutes.

5. Add salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, wine, milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and baking soda and stir until well combined.

6. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

7. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes stirring periodically.

8. Serve immediately over zucchini noodles or pasta with a sprinkle of Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

If it seems like I am on a zoodles kick these days, it is because I really do love pasta BUT those carbs are my downfall. Okay, we have been doing the KETO diet again since October with great success! That means very limited carbohydrates. Hence, this KETO recipe. OK, you could make this with real pasta!

The recipe calls for making your own meatballs, but it is so much easier to buy them when you come across a brand you like in the grocery store!!! So skip making them and buy a package ready to bake or fry. Don’t be afraid, those are cherry tomatoes in with the zoodles, NOT egg yolks…LOL

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground chicken, turkey beef or JUST BUY THEM!!
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 lb. zoodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl mix together ground chicken, 2 garlic cloves, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper then form into tablespoon sized meatballs.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook meatballs until golden on all sides and cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
  • Melt butter in skillet then add remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add zoodles to skillet and toss in garlic butter then squeeze in lemon juice. Add meatballs back and heat just until warmed through.
  • Garnish with more Parmesan to serve.

Easy Keto Chili NO Beans

Unheard of, where we are in Mexico, is chili as we know it in our country. Some northern chili has beans and some do not. This is the latter.

Easy Keto Chili NO Beans!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

*If you enjoy spicy chili, I would increase this to 3 tablespoons of chili powder.

Instructions

1. Brown the meat over medium heat in a medium size sauce pot or Dutch oven. Drain off any grease.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

3. Allow chili to simmer over medium low heat uncovered for approximately 30 minutes until the tomato juice has reduced and thickened.

Serving size is 1.5 cups Calories 301

Carbs 11.1 gm. Net carbs 8.5 gm. Fiber 2.6 gm. Protein 24.3 gm. Sugar 7.6 gm.

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

By now you know me well enough that I shop at Costco, which means I always buy bulk. Chorizo (Argentinian sausage) is raw when purchased. It must be cooked! Leftover sausages can be easily frozen, which was the case here. Finding that I had all of the ingredients, this recipe went together quickly. Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

Spaghetti with Chorizo and Beef

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 cups white onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, diced
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red or green bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 jar passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic crema (reduced balsamic vinegar)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 200 grams fresh spaghetti noodles
  • fresh basil leaves, to serve

Method:

Add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Cook onions for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to become translucent. Add salt, garlic and chorizo, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bell peppers. Season with dried basil, oregano, parsley and chili flakes.

In a separate pan on medium heat, cook the ground beef. Once cooked through, add to the pot with everything else. Add passata, balsamic crema, water, and combine well. Cover with lid and lower heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fresh spaghetti noodles, and cook for 2 minutes before draining, reserving a little of the pasta water. Add sauce to the pot, combine well, and serve with fresh basil.

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

You might recall a previous post for Egg Roll in a Bowl? It was a pretty simple recipe for a one pot meal. Just recently I found on Pinterest this recipe for one of my favourite sandwiches in a bowl and without the bread! Since I already had the coleslaw and corned beef (Costco) this was a snap… Go easy with the Russian dressing as it can be overpowering…

This will easily serve two people with one pound of corned beef.

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

Ingredients:

  • One bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1 pound of corned beef cut into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • Swiss cheese
  • Scallions

Russian Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup
  • 4 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in skillet.

Add corned beef and sauté covered for 5 minutes.

Now, add coleslaw, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir coleslaw and corned beef and top with cheese. You can cover skillet and allow the cheese to melt or put in the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly.

Drizzle with dressing and top with scallions.

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Puttanesca originated in Naples in the mid 19th century and is usually made with pasta, capers, tomatoes, garlic and hot peppers. Since I had a spaghetti squash I need to use up, I made this dish. It turned out wonderfully. Below is my own version of this!!

(Hidden under that luscious sauce is the shredded spaghetti squash!)

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash cut in half horizontally with seeds removed
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper or red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 2 stems of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup of whole black olives (optional)
  • 2 cups of Prego pasta sauce
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

Drizzle olive oil over each half of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side  down in a Pyrex dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven uncovered for 60 to 75 minutes.

Remove squash and let cool before shredding each half with forks. Be careful not to puncture the squash skin! Cover loosely with foil. Let it rest while preparing the sauce.

In a large frypan (or wok – I love using a wok when preparing sauce for spaghetti), brown the beef, stirring frequently. When there is no more pink, add the 2 cups of pasta sauce.

Stir to combine all of the meat, adding the diced jalapenos (optional) or red pepper flakes

Add the pitted black olives and 1 stem of basil LEAVES and stir to combine.

Uncover the bowl of spaghetti squash shreds and pour the sauce the shreds.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese and the leaves from the other basil stem.

Serve.

Beef and Broccoli

I have always enjoyed this dish in an oriental restaurant, and having found myself with too much broccoli, I searched for how to easily use it up. The ingredients list seems long, but actually it does not take much time as there is no marinating the sliced beef! It gets the flavour from the sauce ingredients. You will obviously notice that there is NO rice. We are trying to cut back on rice these days…

Better-Than-Takeout Beef with Broccoli

  • 1 to 1.25 pounds flank steak, sliced into thin strips, no more than 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or nicely minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ginger, or to taste (fresh or dried is okay, use less dried than you would fresh)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light may be substituted)
  • 4 to 6 cups broccoli florets (dependent on preference for broccoli)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-long segments
  • red pepper flakes, optional and to taste
  • sesame seeds, optional for garnishing

To a large zip top bag, add the steak, cornstarch, seal, and toss to coat. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

1 To a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and heat over medium-high for about 1 minute, or just until garlic is fragrant, taking care not to scorch it.

2 Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced. While it simmers, sear the steak.

3 To a large skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and the steak. Cook over medium-high or high heat until steak is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, flipping the pieces intermittently to ensure even cooking.

4 Add the broccoli.

5 Evenly drizzle in the soy sauce mixture, noting it will bubble up dramatically. Toss the beef and broccoli to coat evenly with the sauce. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes at medium-high, or until the broccoli is as crisp tender as desired.

6 Optional — If your sauce hasn’t thickened up as much as you’d like and your broccoli is done or nearly done, and you want a sauce that clings better and isn’t as thin, simply dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water (called a slurry), add it to the skillet, stir for about 1 minute, or until your sauce has thickened to your desired level. Since I used 6 cups broccoli, the natural water and juices that escaped from it thinned out my sauce, so I needed to use a slurry.

8 Turn off the heat, add the green onions, and stir to incorporate.

Optionally, evenly sprinkle with red pepper flakes.