“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat” Ragu Over Tagliatelle

Seriously! I can’t believe it’s not meat! Ok, well, it’s been awhile since I had beef so maybe it’s not that tricky, but it sure has a great texture and it looks like ground beef! I thought I’d be able to trick my husband, but I got too excited about how it looked, I told him what it was called before he took a bite. He’s not a huge cooked tomato fan, but he’s a trooper. He said he liked it, and I believed him.

www.marthastewart.com/

Now, this is a Martha Stewart recipe so it’s complicated and involved. I don’t think she does anything simple, does she? I did start this earlier than normal so it could have the full two hours to simmer and acquire the full intensity of flavor. I admit, after I put this in my menu planner, I set the calendar on my phone to remind myself… and then, funny thing, the alarm went off, I read the message and thought “what the heck?”. Haha! My brain is full, packed to the brim I tell you. Shoot, if it weren’t for my menu planner and my Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Crock Pot Wednesday, I’d have no idea what day of the week it was! Know what I’m saying?

I halved this recipe because there’s 2 1/2 of us and we don’t often have time for leftovers. It made plenty for four people. I made garlic toast (literally buttered bread with garlic salt & oregano sprinkled and popped in the toaster oven) and a veggie, but a salad would be great with this too. And heck, don’t let that Grenache go to waste! I think I’d make this again, but I’m not quite sure. It was good, but 5 stars good? I don’t know. Will I toss this recipe? No. It’s good to have a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe on hand. Cheers!

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat” Ragu Over Tagliatelle

http://www.marthastewart.com/893506/i-cant-believe-its-not-meat-ragu-over-tagliatelle

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, very coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, very coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium ribs celery, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Grenache
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Hebron or herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds Tagliatelle pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Place onion in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Place carrots and celery in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Place mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor; process until finely chopped; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil, cloves, cinnamon stick, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook until cinnamon stick begins to unfurl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add onion and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is browned, about 12 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is released, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup water and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours for a deeper flavor, adding an extra 1/2 cup water after one hour. Add Herbes de Hebron and butter; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add remaining tablespoon salt to boiling water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and add to pot with ragu; toss to combine. Serve topped with freshly grated cheese.

Turkey Burgers a.k.a. Cheater Day

Not imaginative, I know. And yet another meal we’ve had before, many, many times! But here’s the deal. We are working on living on a budget, which means eating out a lot less. *SIGH* We love to eat out. Love, love, love it! I especially love it when I don’t feel like cooking, which is often when I’m pressed for time. So what does one do when you used to go out when that happened? Cook something fast and easy, that’s what! I’ve been trying to freeze leftovers for situations like this, but sometimes that’s not practical. Like today. We visited my parents this weekend and came home on Sunday. I knew I wasn’t going to feel like cooking after spending 3 1/2 hours in the car and there wasn’t going to be enough time for heating up something in the oven, so I planned turkey burgers! They cook in about 15 minutes, so while they’re cooking, I’m slicing cheese, tomatoes, pickles and washing the lettuce. This time I “fried” an egg to put on top of my husband’s burger to change it up a bit! He LOVED it!

I super cheated this time. I bought frozen turkey burger patties from Trader Joes. I could make my own, and if I ever think ahead enough, I will. I have an amazing meatloaf recipe that makes super flavorful burgers, which I’ll share one of these days!

Crock Pot Lasagna- It’s Another Keeper!

My husband loved this recipe. Loved, loved, loved it! I took our daughter and went out of town this weekend and he told me he ate it for two lunches and a dinner while we were gone. Now that is a high rating from him if he ate it for four meals!

I didn’t halve this recipe because I wasn’t sure what would happen to it, other than be super flat, and ended up freezing the other half for another dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. (Our freezer is filling up fast!) Another note about this recipe is that I waited too long to get it started and I turned it on high for about an hour to an hour and a half and then turned it to low for two hours. One section of the exterior got a bit dark or, um, burned, but the rest of it was fine, so I guess you can just watch it if you are in a rush or just chance it and cut it off if need be.
Again, my thought that lasagna is hard to make was squelched! I mean, how hard is mixing and layering ingredients?! Maybe I think it’s hard because if you order it in a restaurant you have to wait for it, making my brain think it’s hard work, rather than it’s just a made-to-order menu item? No idea. But it’s not hard, at all.

I’ll make this again because it was so good and easy. And my husband will be happy! And wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He finished his dinner and said “That was so good! Too bad we’ll never see it again!”. Ha! WRONG!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Adapted from cuteasafox.com

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 container (15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Directions

1. Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink. Drain.

2. Stir in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.

3. Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)

4. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker. top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. (Note: I just put one layer of noodles, in my slow cooker it is usually less than 5 lasagna noodles)

5. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture.

6. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.

7. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Note: Do not try to cook on high, the outside edges of the lasagna will burn. Trust me on that one.

8. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces and serve.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

This is a big, fat, unfortunate “no way” for me. (Even though the picture looks delicious!) However, I LOVE big flavor so if you don’t love big flavor, then give this one a try! I am always on the hunt for crock pot meals and since I don’t eat beef or pork and am not super crazy about beans, it’s pretty dang hard to find a crock pot meal that I can make!

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

mummydeals.org

 

I found this blog that referred to this blog as the “Top 10 Slow Cooker Meals of 2012”, so I checked it, and low and behold it was mostly chicken meals! Woo Hoo! Except, after saving them all to my meal planner and I then reading the blog, I discovered that the woman was from England… which, stereotypically, means meals that are most likely not full of flavor. Or so I am thinking. We shall see. However, the first of all the crockpot meals I planned, this was a big sad dinner. It was totally flavorless which could be because I don’t eat pork and therefore used turkey bacon, and unfortunately it cooked too long, which was my fault because I did one hour on high because I was yet again in a hurry (I need a time management manager!) and then 1 hour on low and I only made three chicken breasts. Anyway, I should have known there wasn’t much flavor just by the simple ingredients. If you are one to tweak recipes to your liking by adding things, please do. I will not make this one again because there are too many recipes and so little time!

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

adapted from mummydeals.org

 Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices bacon cooked
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms/ 8oz container
  • 1 small bottle of white wine I used zinfandel. (I mean the teeny tiny bottles that are 6.3oz)


Directions

Add the bacon to the bottom of the crock pot.

Place the mushrooms on top and add the chicken breasts on the top.

Pour the wine over and then fill the bottle with cold water and pour that over the whole thing.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3.

Open the slow cooker and sprinkle in some corn starch to thicken. Stir fast to thicken the sauce.

Cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve with bread.