Blog Archives

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Once a year, we seem to be able to find spaghetti squash in Yucatan. This was it! If you have never baked a spaghetti squash it is so simple. When it is done baking you take a large fork and shred it et voila – spaghetti! The simple version is to bake it and the add your favorite spaghetti sauces (commercial or homemade) and lots of Parmesan cheese,

This version is a little more time consuming but well worth it. Take a look –

Spaghetti SquashThe original recipe called for the filling to be baked inside the upturned squash. It was very difficult to shred the squash with the filling in it and thus I adapted the version and filled the shredded squash, mixing the filling into it.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Cut the spaghetti squash in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Put squash cut sides down in a baking dish with a half inch or so of water. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake in 350-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Test with a fork for tenderness.

While it is baking, prepare the stuffing as shown below.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 large cooking onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasoning to suit your taste
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of salsa (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Heat oil in pan.  (I like to use my wok) Throw in the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Throw in the onion and continue to sauté until tender.

Add ground beef and brown thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Add other seasoning such as Italian as you wish*

Mix in the cheese. Mix in the salsa.

Keep warm until the squash is tender.

Turn the squash over on a plate leaving on the outer shell, shred with a fork being careful not to break the shell.Fill with the ‘stuffing”.

Top with sour cream, more salsa? BBQ sauce?

 

 

 

 

Keto Lasagna with Zucchini spirals

Sooo…my spouse bought this Paderno spiralizer a year ago..new toy…lol. We have only used it a handful of times. Since we started our low carb diet we are now using it more. We love lasagna, but low carb means no pasta or breads. Et voila, with Pinterest I discovered this recipe. We have served it to our guests and they loved it too! It tastes wonderful!!! Don’t tell anyone it is low carb… shown here with a green salad with radish sprouts.

keto-lasagna.jpg

Keto Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles Author Vicky | Tasteaholics.com

Prep Time 15 minutes          Cook Time 30 minutes         Total Time 45 minutes

 Servings  4     Calories 544 kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. ground beef
  • 1 cup Rao’s marinara sauce * (see below)
  • 1 zucchini large
  • 10 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel zucchini into strips and leave out the seedy core. Salt and let sit for 15 minutes and blot with paper towels.

Brown ground beef in pan and add marinara. Season well with salt and pepper.

Layer into a small casserole dish: meat, zucchini, ricotta, meat, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Broil uncovered for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.

  • Rao’s Marinara Sauce (Pinterest recipe)

Makes 7 cups

Ingredients

  1. Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (I used four cans of Kirkland tomatoes)
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 6 tablespoons minced onion
  4. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  5. Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 12 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)
  7. Pinch of dried oregano

Directions

  1. Remove tomatoes from can and place in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands; remove and discard the hard core from stem end, and any skin and tough membrane; set aside. OR…just use as is if using Kirkland brand…
  2. Place oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juices; season with salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.
  3. Stir in basil, if using, oregano, and season with pepper; continue cooking 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 544 Calories from Fat 369
  • Total Fat 41g 63%
  • Saturated Fat 18g 90%
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 139mg 46%
  • Sodium 487mg 20%
  • Potassium 530mg 15%
  • Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
  • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 34g 68%
  •  
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie

Until recently, soft shell tacos were very hard to find here. Yeah, we could have used tortillas which are everywhere!!! It seems lots of people are on low carb diets these days and I was able to find this GREAT recipe on Pinterest. Who needs a crust? The result was awesome, so much so that we couldn’t believe we ate the WHOLE thing at one sitting.

DSC_0011

FYI…. you will notice in the recipe Taco Seasoning. It’s quite simple to make and cheaper. I have included the recipe I use for taco seasoning at the end of the Pie recipe…

 Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I like La Costena brand with added chipotle)
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, quantity divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • OPTIONAL – a layer of refried beans on the bottom of the pie shell!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9″ pie pan by greasing with butter or spraying with coconut oil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. If your ground beef is low in fat or if your skillet is not well seasoned, you may want to spray the pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking. When skillet is hot, add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool while continuing with the next step.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Stir in the green onions, salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the salt.
  4. Stir prepared taco meat into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. 
  5. Bake pie in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, or whatever else you like! Maybe add a few sliced radishes…

Taco Seasoning (enough for this recipe)

1/4 tsp Garlic powder

1/4 tsp Onion powder

1/4 tsp Oregano, dried

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tbsp Chili powder

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Cumin, ground

 

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Who does not like shepherd’s pie? There are several variations out there. Sometimes it is called Cottage Pie. This one was a snap! The only tricky part was the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour. Make your life easier and use instant potatoes!

IMG_20170526_180700

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 12 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, thawed (Use a can of mixed peas and carrots)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, onion and garlic.
  • Cook until browned and drain.
  • In another skillet or pan, melt putter and add flour.
  • Cook roux for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in Worcestershire and milk.
  • Cook for 1 minute to thicken.
  • Combine beef mixture, gravy and thawed vegetables.
  • Place in baking dish.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. In the last few minutes sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.

 

Not So Secret Family Meatloaf

So I was in the need for some comfort food! Ground meat was in the freezer and I wanted something simple, something my granddaughters could make for their families. Pinterest to the rescue as always. Erica’s recipe was perfect except for one slight change I made since spouse doesn’t like sauces too sweet.  Let me know how you like this one…

Not-So-Secret Family Meatloaf      Author: Erica DeSpain

Prep time:  15 mins  Cook time:  1 hour 10 mins

Total time:  1 hour 25 mins Serves: approx. 6 servings

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATLOAF:
  • 1.25 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (we usually do ground turkey and never taste the difference!)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (cut back the sugar unless you like it very sweet)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients well and then shape in meatloaf pan.
  3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatloaf.
  4. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes if using ground BEEF and 65 minutes if using ground TURKEY.
  5. Enjoy immensely!

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna

No oven, no worries. Pinterest to the rescue again! This has to be one of the best recipes I have ever found and it goes together fairly quickly. Your guests will rave about it as did ours. This recipe would be great for any potluck you get invited to. Be sure to follow the link at the end of the recipe for more great recipes.

Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna       Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large jar (45 oz.) high quality pasta sauce (I used one of the two large jars of Prego that I bought at Costco)
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large package (25-30 oz.) cheese & spinach filled ravioli (uncooked) (also Costco, my large cooker used 36 pieces of the stuffed ravioli – Pasta Prima brand)

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  2. Stir in Italian seasoning and pasta sauce. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Spray the inside of a 6-7 quart crock pot with cooking spray. Layer meat sauce, ravioli and cheese.
  4. Repeat layers ending with cheese. (I ended up with two layers.) Cover and cook on low 3 hours and reduce heat to WARM.

 

Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterest for more great recipes!

 

Best Bolognese Sauce

My apologies for the late posting but I was waiting to make this for company last night!

This would be great if you are planning a buffet for Christmas Eve or New Years Eve, It says it makes 4 to 6 servings, but it would stretch further if there were other foods available. I would serve the warm spaghetti in a chafing dish, with a small crock pot of hot sauce and grated Parmesan beside it. Maybe a small amount of red pepper flakes! To make it go further you could cut back on some of the meat…

The Best Bolognese Sauce
Yield: 9 cups of sauce or 4-6 servings
*If you don’t have a food mill to crush the tomatoes, use a blender or immersion blender. Make sure to leave as much texture and chunks of tomato as possible, do not liquefy.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, sliced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup (3 oz) tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup milk
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill*
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen string
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
1 pound fresh pasta, such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle, cooked until al dente and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
Directions
In a large, heavy, deep lidded Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, ground pork, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind and stir until combined. Add in the meats and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer then partially cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

You can also transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with pasta and grated cheese.

Classic Meatloaf and Sauce

I know..comfort food in the spring??? This one is for our friends in Newfoundland where it is still snowing in May…ugh…

Classic Meatloaf & Sauce (modified from Food Network)

Ingredients

1/2 lb.each lean ground beef and pork
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, tomato paste, onions, green pepper, oats, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Slather the glaze on top of the meat loaf and bake until the meat loaf is firm and cooked all the way through, about 1 hour. Serve hot.

From my childhood days I remember how great meatloaf is cold too!
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/aunt-peggys-meat-loaf-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Reg’s Lasagna

Just realized that one of my favourite go-to recipes has never appeared here! When you get tired of that turkey, my American friends, you might give this dish a try. I’m leaving the kitchen for  a few days but wanted to share this with you before I put all the dishes away…LOL…Buen Provecho as always!!

Reg’s Lasagna (easily feeds 8 people)
1 cup diced white onions
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrots sliced
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef and pork mixed (you could use ground chicken or turkey instead)
1 or 2 garlic cloves minced
14 oz. can cubed tomatoes
5 ½ oz. can tomato puree
1 19 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. each of basil and oregano
12 lasagna noodles oven ready
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package fresh spinach stems removed and chopped
1 small package of fresh mushrooms sliced
1 large bag shredded manchego or mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan (don’t use the Kraft powdery stuff!)
In a little olive oil, brown the carrots, celery and onions until tender and slightly browning. Add in the pork and beef mixture and cook until browned and almost no pink visible. Drain off the fat if there is an excess. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, ½ of the tomato sauce, sugar and seasonings. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add in the sliced mushrooms and continue to simmer until they appear softened.

While this has been cooking, mix the ricotta cheese with the chopped spinach in a bowl. Set aside.

In a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish pour a little of the remaining tomato sauce and spread over the bottom. Place four noodles in the bottom of the dish. Add ½ of the meat sauce to cover the noodles. Add 1/3 of the grated manchego or mozzarella cheese.

Cover this with four more lasagna noodles. Add the layer of ricotta and spinach. Add four additional lasagna noodles. Cover with the other half of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the cheese.

Add four more lasagna noodles ( if you have no sauce left, heat the remaining half jar of spaghetti sauce and pour over the top noodle layer. Cover with the remainder of the cheese. Over top of this add the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Cover with foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Test the noodles with a sharp knife to make sure they are softened. Remove from the oven and let sit before cutting into desired portion sizes.

I make this a few hours before company comes and let it cool before refrigerating. 45 minutes before serving remove from refrigerator to let the dish warm to room temp. Return to 350 degree oven for about 15 to 25 minutes.

Pasta e Fagioli

This recipe is very similar to the one offered in a very popular Italian restaurant which shall remain unnamed. Note that the recipe has been amended to make 9 quarts. What the heck, make it as shown and freeze it for those snowy days ahead…LOL

Pasta e Fagioli
Ingredients
• 1 tsp. oil
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 6 oz. onion, chopped
• 7 oz. carrots, slivered
• 7 oz. celery, diced
• 24 oz. tomatoes: canned, diced
• 1 cup Red kidney beans (I used canned)
• 1 cup white kidney beans (canned)
• 44 oz. beef stock
• 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
• 1 tsp. pepper
• 2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
• 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
• 24 oz. spaghetti sauce
• 4 oz. dry pasta shell macaroni
Preparation

Sauté beef in oil in large pot until beef starts to brown.
Add onions, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add beans to the pot. Add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce and noodles.
Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes. Makes 4 quarts of soup.
Notes
Original recipe was doubled to make 9 quarts!! This is a great recipe. Leftovers can be frozen in Ziploc bags for later use.