Monday, April 25, 2011

Ultimate Spaghetti

Here's an easy way to get more veggies into your diet using a family favorite meal. It is sweet and spicy. It is nutritious and delicious. It is...ultimate spaghetti.

Start with 1 to 2 pieces of bacon. Cook in the bottom of a large pot and then remove. Brown one pound of lean ground beef or venison in the same pot. While the meat browns, shred 2 medium zucchini, thinly slice 2 medium carrots, and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Add to the pot and cook for about 7 minutes.

Add 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes.

Stir in 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, then 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes and 1 regular can of diced tomatoes. Spice it up with red pepper flakes, 1 Tablespoon fennel seed, lots of oregano and basil, and oh, about 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar. Crumble your cooked bacon back into the sauce if you'd like. (I would like very much, thank you.) Put a lid on it and simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour, however long you have. Serve on top of thin whole wheat spaghetti.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spicy Chicken Pasta

*Adapted from

Who doesn't love pasta?

If you just answered that question in the affirmative, I don't believe you. So just go ahead and cook this. You know you'll love it.

Start with 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cut into bite-size pieces and season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and lots of pepper (black, white, and cayenne). Drop into a hot, oiled skillet and cook until meat is done.

Remove chicken from skillet and into the same pan drop 2 thinly sliced red bell peppers and a cup or two of sliced mushrooms. Cook for about 5-7 minutes; then add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Stir and then put in either fresh or canned diced tomatoes. I diced up about 5 Roma tomatoes and it turned out quite nicely. Add the same spices to the vegetables; cook for 5-10 minutes. Then slide the chicken back in the pan and let it all simmer together while you cook a pound of whole wheat linguine or angel hair spaghetti in boiling water, according to package directions. Mix everything together....

And enjoy!

Roast Beef Subs


Tender, juicy, dripping beef.

With cheese.

Hot, melty cheese.

On a bun.

A thick, hearty, whole wheat sub-style bun.

Are you in???

Start with a beef roast, like eye of round or chuck roast. *If using chuck roast, trim off any excess fat first* Place the whole roast in a baking dish. Cover with 1 can beef consomme or broth, 1/2 cup soy sauce, and a few dashes each of Worcestershire and hot sauce. Throw in four or five peeled whole cloves of garlic.

Put in a 250 degree oven for 5 hours.

Use 2 forks to tear meat apart. Then put back in the oven to keep warm and soak in the juices until time to serve.

Melt provolone cheese on a whole wheat roll. Add lots of juicy, dripping beef. Use any extra juice for dipping.

Enjoy. Thoroughly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Well, the stomach bug hit our house last needless to say, there was not much cooking going on around here for a few days. But after two full days of eating nothing, I decided it was time to turn the stove on again...and what better for recovering tummies than chicken soup?

Now, there are several ways to go about making chicken soup, some of which take hours. But since I usually stockpile my cooked, shredded chicken and homemade chicken stock, this recipe was a breeze.

Start with 4 to 6 carrots and 2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped into bite-size pieces.

Cover them with about 6 cups of chicken stock and cook until tender.

Add roughly 2 cups shredded chicken and enough water to give you the amount of soup you need to feed your brood (I added probably 3 or 4 cups of water). Bring to a boil; taste the broth to see if you need to add salt and pepper. Then pour in whole wheat egg noodles (I used 1/2 of a 12oz bag) and continue cooking until the noodles are tender.

Easy as pie. But tastes like chicken.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chicken Burritos

Burritos. Burrrritos. Burr-eeeet-ohs.

Fun to say. Fun to eat.

Here's another one you can have from the stove to the table in half an hour.

Start with 2 cans of pinto beans. If you want to skip this step, you can use a can of refried beans. But this way is much healthier. Drain and rinse the beans, then heat them in a small skillet.

As the beans warm through, mash them lightly with a potato masher. Add 1/4 cup water and some cumin, chili powder, and pepper.

The warmer the beans get, the easier they get to mash. Just keep mashing them periodically until they are smooth and creamy. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese and stir it into the beans.

Brown one pound of ground chicken (or turkey) breast. Add one can of tomato sauce (but reserve 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce before pouring), 2 Tablespoons chili powder, 1 Tablespoon cumin, and a dash of salt.

Assemble the burritos - beans, chicken/sauce, and cheese - and lay seam side down in a baking dish.

Take the 1/4 cup reserved tomato sauce...

...and pour over the burritos. Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Then eat them. Burritos. Burrrritos. Burr-eeeet-ohs.


Chicken Spaghetti

Oh my, this is easy and quick and delicious. Seriously, depending on whether your chicken is already cooked and shredded, you can have this on the table in 2o minutes. Even if you're starting with raw chicken, this qualifies as a 30 minute meal.

As I have posted before, I tend to buy split chicken breasts in bulk, slow-cook them to make broth, and then shred them up and store the meat in the freezer for a quick fix meal. If you don't have any go-to chicken in the freezer, just boil a couple of pieces and shred them to add to this dish.

Saute one package of mushrooms, thinly sliced, in olive oil.

After about 5 minutes, go ahead and add lots and lots of garlic - I used about 6 cloves, minced. Stir in one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and lots of your favorite Italian herbs - oregano, basil, marjoram. Finally, add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and your cooked, shredded chicken.

Let the sauce simmer while you boil a pound of whole wheat spaghetti. When the spaghetti is almost done, go ahead and drain it and add it to the pot of sauce. The noodles will continue to cook a little bit in the sauce. Toss and serve.

That's it! And it's so good! Enjoy!