Veggie Marinara Meat Sauce

This veggie marinara sauce is tasty, healthy, simple to make, and goes great with pasta, gluten free pasta, rice, or buckwheat. Left over sauce can be frozen in a plastic container and reheats very well. That’s why I make this big batch of it and freeze half, making an easy dinner for 2 nights. I did try this recipe without meat and instead added 1/2 pack of brown mushrooms and it was still just as good meatless. When I am craving a hearty, veggie, not your ordinary marinara sauce this is my go to recipe!

Veggie Marinara Meat Sauce {Serves 12-14}

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 4 Ribs Celery
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Jar Marinara sauce
  • 1 Can Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • Parsley (Optional, to top)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil (For sauté)
  • Real Block Italian Parmesan Cheese (Shredded, to top)
  • Pasta of choice ( I used Glutten Free Penne pasta)
  • Seasoning: Salt. Pepper, Mrs.Dash, Italian Seasoning

Directions:

1) Do all the prep work first. Chop the celery ribs and carrot into small dice and set aside, chop small onion into small dice and set aside separately. Set a big pan on Med.- High heat (7.5) with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of pan.

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2) When the oil in the pan heats up and starts sizzling, add the 1 LB ground beef into the pan. Mash with a fork and spatula to break it up into small pieces, season with salt & pepper. Add in the chopped onion. Cook until beef is cooked through and onions are soft and translucent. Meanwhile start cooking your pasta.

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3) Add the diced carrot and celery. When veggies cook through add in the marinara sauce and crushed tomatoes. Season with seasonings of choice. I used Mrs.Dash and Italian Seasoning. Mix, turn heat down to a lower simmer setting ( I did 3) cover with lid, and cook for 20 to 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

 

4) Add chopped parsley and minced garlic in the last 5 mins of cooking.

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5) Serve over pasta, gluten free pasta, rice, buckwheat, or mashed potatoes.

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Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Ribs

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These slow cooker bbq, fall off the bone, beef ribs are a delicious, fast, and super easy dinner for busy week nights. You just Do the prep work, slow cook for 4 to 8 hours, add more BBQ sauce to crisp up at the end and dinner is done! You can use pork or beef ribs. We don’t eat pork, just a taste preference, so I used beef ribs. The other secret that made this recipe so great was using organic BBQ sauce, it really made a huge taste difference. This recipe was an experiment but turned out amazing and I will definitely be making this again!

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Ribs {Serves 4}

Ingredients:

  • 2 Racks of Beef Ribs (Or Pork Ribs)
  • 2 Cups BBQ Sauce (Organic BBQ Sauce tastes best. 1.5 Cups for slow cooker and 1/2 cup to smother ribs before broiling in the oven)
  • Spices: Salt, Steak Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Mrs.Dash

Directions:

1) Thouroughly wash the beef rib racks. Pat dry. Cut each rib rack into 3, so total 6 blocks of ribs. On a plastic plate or foil, season both sides of each block of ribs and set them aside. Turn the slow cooker on High if you want to cook for 4 hours or Low if you want to cook for 8 hours. Using a brush, rub BBQ sauce on each block of ribs and put in slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook for 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

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2) When ribs are done slow cooking and falling off the bone, add more BBQ sauce ( about 1/2 cup) on top of ribs and slow cook on high for 15-30 minutes to crisp up and glaze the BBQ sauce on top.

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Empanada (Fried Tortilla With Meat Filling)

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Some call these empanada’s, some call these chebureki, either way these fried tortillas with a meat filling inside are a great appetizer and snack. Could also be eaten for dinner. I made a batch of these for a Super Bowl party this year and they were a big hit! These are convenient to bring to a get together/party, because they can be cooked in advance and you just pop them in the oven to preheat them. I do have another recipe for tortillas with meat filling on the blog, but this is my go to, easier version recipe. These are best served hot, and reheat very well in the oven. I actually like them best preheated in the oven on 300 degrees for about 10 mins as they get extra crispy this way!

Empanada’s (Fried tortillas with meat filling) {Yields 18}

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB Ground Chicken or Turkey (I just use 2LB Ground Turkey now as we found it to be our favorite)
  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion (pureed in food processor)
  • 1 pack of Raw, Uncooked, Tortilla’s (Can be bought in refrigerator section in Costco, Walmart, a few other grocery stores) Should be about 18 tortillas
  • Spices: 1 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Garlic Salt, 1/8 tsp Pepper, 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash (Or any salt free seasoning of your choice)

unnamed-321123Directions:

1) Put ground chicken and ground beef in a big bowl. Puree 1 Onion in the food processor (or shred it using a shredder) and add to the bowl of ground meat. Add the spices and mix thoroughly.

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2) Set up an empanada making station. I set up a big sheet of foil on the counter with the tortillas, the bowl of meat filling, and a small cup with water and a brush (to stick the tortillas together).

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3) Lay each tortilla out and fill with meat mixture, one by one. I add about 2 TBS of meat filling to each tortilla. Brush the outline circle of the tortilla with water using the brush. Stick both sides of the tortilla together and seal tightly by pressing on ends with a fork. This also makes a nice rigid design. Set the done emanada’s aside. Set a pan with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, on Medium heat (I did 5.5) and let the oil heat up.

 

4) Once oil heats up and starts fizzing a bit, add 2 empanada’s at a time to the pan. Fry on each side until golden (about 3 Minutes per side). Have a tray lined with paper towels or napkins to put the fried empanada’s on so the extra oil would drain off.

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Serve hot. To reheat place in the oven for 10 minutes on 300 to 350 Degrees until hot and crispy!

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How To Cook Lobster Tails

unnamed-38947This is a simple step by step recipe for how to cook lobster tails. Besides crab legs, this is my favorite thing to eat! I was very nervous cooking them myself the first time because I thought it must be some long and complicated process, however lobster tails are by far the easiest things to cook and so quick. I came up with this recipe myself, and the lobster tails turn out perfect every time! I like to pair these with cilantro garlic green beans and simple mashed potatoes (you can find both of these recipes on my blog). My husband and I cooked this meal together for a Valentine’s Day date at home! We had a wonderful evening cooking together, enjoying the meal and good conversation, a bottle of our favorite wine, and ending the night by cuddling and relaxing on the couch watching a romantic comedy. We had a great Valentine’s Day date for sure!!!

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Lobster Tails {I made 10 (4.5 oz) Lobster Tails to serve 2 ppl, 5 each}

Ingredients: 

  • Lobster Tails
  • 1/2 pot Water
  • Spices: 1 tsp Steak Seasoning, 1 tsp Mrs.Dash (or other salt free seasoning), 1 tsp Salt, 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt, 1/2 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning, 1/4 tsp Dry Basil Leaves, 1 tsp Dry Parsley Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 Stick Butter (to melt and use for dip)
  • 1/2 Lemon cut into wedges (to squeeze into butter dip)

unnamed-3546Directions:

1) Wash the lobster tails thoroughly under cold running water and set aside. Measure out the spices and set aside in small container. Lobster tails cook fast so first prepare the other food. We did mashed potatoes and cilantro garlic green beans (found on my blog) and when this was almost done cooking I started lobster tails.

2) Set a large pot, filled half way with water on High and bring to a rolling boil. When it comes to a boil, add the spices and bay leaves and let it boil for 5 minutes. Set a small pot with the stick of butter on a different burner to melt the butter completely, on medium heat, then turn off and leave on hot burner.

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3) Lower the heat to Med.-High ( 7.5 ) Throw in the lobster tails and cook them for 7-8 minutes. They will turn red the instant they are in the hot boiling water. When they are done cooking, put the lobster tails in a strainer, and drain out all the water.

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4) Serve hot in a big container or bowl with hot melted butter in small containers, and lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the butter, this is a great dip for the lobster tails! Enjoy!!!

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Look at this deliciousness!!! Mmmm Yum!!!