Archive for the ‘Cook’ Category

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Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

March 17, 2014

Good morning.  Are your taste buds ready for something good?  And y’all, this stuff is good.

I’ve been trying to figure out some good recipes that are both gluten free and delicious.  And this is seriously delicious.  Additionally, I decided this week I wanted to meal plan.  (I’ve seriously wanted to make some big life changes for the better with this Lenten season.)  While approaching meal planning, I did a lot of research and realized it’s insane to even begin this process.  How many of you meal plan?  Do you weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?  I’m so interested in this thing.  Maybe I’ll start blogging with my research, ideas, and plans!  We can do this together.

Ok, back to this recipe.  I found a great blog that had a week of meals and I quickly found this delicious recipe.  I already had tilapia on hand (see Tuesday’s meal on the blog), so we just needed some greens and the ingredients for Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash.  Lately I’ve tried to branch out with my spaghetti squash meals away from actual spaghetti to other pasta dishes.  I made a few real good ones (and didn’t photograph them, I’m sorry), but decided this one needed to be photographed and blogged about.

So let’s get to the recipe.  It might be the easiest thing ever.  And as you know, I follow recipes loosely.  I hope that doesn’t discourage you from making it.  These things are flexible.

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Spaghetti Squash and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
-Garlic (I used minced, about 2 heaping tsps, you can use fresh – up to 8 cloves depending on your taste buds)
– 3+ tbsp butter
-1/4 cup Dried Parsley
– 3/4 cup Olive Oil (this can vary depending on how big your spaghetti squash is and how much sauce you want)
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-1 Spaghetti squash
-Goat Cheese (the recipe says 11 oz, I think 8 oz is plenty and I used a large squash and LOVE goat cheese)

Directions:
1. Prepare your spaghetti squash according to your favorite way.  I do mine like this, but the recipe I followed tells you to cook it whole.  Try whatever you want, but remember if you’re putting it in the oven, it takes a while so bake it early.

2. In a pan melt your butter and add in garlic.  Saute the garlic for 10 minutes.  I used minced, so I probably didn’t cook it for that long, but I did want the flavors to blend nicely.

3. Once the garlic is sautéed, add parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Blend together and heat for 3-5 minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.

4. Once your spaghetti squash is cooked (and cooled), grab your fork and “pull” it apart.  You can leave the “spaghetti” in the squash for a bowl serving, or put it all in a large dish.  I always put mine in a large dish to help portion it out for sides.

5. Pour the butter-garlic-oil mixture over the squash and mix well.  It should coat and soak into the squash evenly.

6. Serve with crumbled goat cheese over the top.

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I don’t think I can express to you enough how delicious this dish tastes.  Sadly our squash turned a little mush-like instead of stringy, but it tastes the same, so who cares, right?  I am definitely going to put this dish into my arsenal of meals for future weeks!

Happy eating,
Amanda

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Beef Soup

January 30, 2014

Hello!

With this polar vortex affecting much of the country, it’s a great time to make soup!  For this one, I called my grandma to find out how she puts it together.  It is really a flexible recipe… check it out!

Beef soup

Beef soup

Ingredients:
-Stew Bone (I didn’t have one so I used 3 lbs of stew meat)
-Beef Stock
-Vegetables
-Potatoes
-Squash
-Zucchini
-Carrots
-Celery
-Kale
-Tomatos
-Frozen Peas
-Frozen Corn
-Green Beans
-Vermicelli
-Parsley
-Salt and Pepper, to season

Directions:
This is a simple, one pot soup.  I put beef stock in my pot and added the stew meat.  If you’re using a stew bone, let it boil before adding everything else.  Once you’ve chopped your veggies to the desired size, add them to the pot.  I used a big stock pot for this so I could put as many vegetables as possible.  At this point add salt and pepper.  I go overboard at this point because as the meat and veggies cook, they need to absorb seasonings to help flavor them.  It helps each be flavorful.  I let mine cook for hours to help the stew meat be tender and the flavors blend perfectly.  Near the end of cooking, add the vermicelli.

Beef Soup

Beef Soup

It’s the perfect dish for a cold day!

Enjoy.
Happy Soup eating,
Amanda

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Eggplant Lasagna Rolls

October 3, 2013

Hello!

I made something delicious the other day and I’m excited to share it with you.  Eggplant was on sale at the grocery store so I decided to find a recipe to try.  I tend to replace lasagna noodles with eggplant in a casserole dish, so this time I decided to replace them in the form of lasagna rolls.  I found the recipe here and adapted it to what ingredients I had in my kitchen.  Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:
-2 medium eggplant
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Italian Spices
-Ground Beef (1 lb, but 2 would be just as good)
-Spaghetti Sauce (2 jars)
-Ricotta
-Asiago Cheese
-Kale
-Fresh Parsley

Directions:
1. Slice the eggplant into long skinny slices, lay on a baking sheet, brush lightly with oil and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until soft.

Eggplant slices

Eggplant slices

2. Cook ground beef (or turkey) and season with italian spices.  Mix spaghetti sauce with ground beef and heat together.

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Meat sauce

3. Mix ricotta, asiago, kale, and parsley.  I did not measure any of these ingredients because I was finishing what I had in the fridge.  I probably used 12 oz of ricotta, 1 to 2 cups of kale, and 1/2 cup of parsley.  Once mixed, set aside until eggplant has cooled.

4. In a greased casserole dish, pour a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom.  Just enough to cover.

5. Take a slice of eggplant and scoop about a tablespoon of cheese and greens mixture onto one end.  Roll up eggplant so it makes a complete roll.  Place eggplant roll joint down in the dish.  Repeat until dish is full (or you run out of ingredients).

Eggplant rolls

Eggplant rolls

6. Pour rest of meat sauce over eggplant rolls.  Add extra cheese for a nice crust.

Covered Eggplant Rolls

Covered Eggplant Rolls

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered.  Uncover and bake for 10 minutes.

Sadly, I didn’t take a picture.  We ate them so fast!  They are really delicious.  What’s your favorite eggplant recipe?

Happy cooking,
Amanda

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Stuffed Peppers and Potato Wedges

August 8, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Stuffed Peppers is one of my favorite recipes when I feel like changing it up with ground meat.  The recipe below is really easy as well as delicious. Feel free to sub with ground turkey rather than beef if you’d like.  It’s also delicious.  As you’ll see, I paired the peppers with potato wedges and a salad. I’ll show you how I make the Stuffed Peppers and potatoes.  I hope your mouth is watering when you’re done reading!

What you need for the Stuffed Peppers:

4  Bell Peppers (Whatever color you prefer, I used green)
1 – 2 lbs Ground Meat (Again, I used beef, but turkey is yummy as well)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 cup water
2 cans tomato sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then, start by cutting the peppers in half. I usually just cut the tops off depending on the size to ensure a pretty decent portion for each pepper.  Discard the tops and seeds.  Steam these in the microwave until tender.  About 7 – 10 min.  Afterward, place them face down to drain the water.

Steamed Peppers

Steamed Peppers

Next, brown the meat.  Mix in the rice, 1 can of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Once mixed,  spoon even amounts into each pepper.

Mix remaining tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and cheese. Pour this on top.

Bake for 30 min at 350 degrees.  Once done, I typically sprinkle a little more cheese on the top for a finishing garnish… Mmmm.

For the potatoes, I usually cut red potatoes into wedges and sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil and basil.  Bake until tender and golden brown!  These will take a bit longer than the peppers, so be sure to start first.  I also like to flip them about 20 minutes in to ensure even browning.

Potatoes

And here’s the finished product.  I added a small salad to each plate for some greens.  So yummy.

Finished Stuffed Peppers

Finished Stuffed Peppers, Potatoes and Salad

Hope you enjoy!

Sarah

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Banana “Ice Cream”

March 21, 2013

Hey y’all!

I am so excited about this post because it may be the easiest thing I have ever made with the best return!  I’m quite busy on Pinterest most days searching for dairy substitutes, gluten-free treats, and healthy eating options.  I came across this simple guilt free “ice cream” and knew it must be made!  Let’s dive in!

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients

Ingredients:
-Sliced, frozen bananas (I used 4 bananas)
-A tablespoon of peanut butter
-A teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa

Directions:
1. Slice and freeze ripe bananas until you’re ready to make this easy treat.

Frozen Bananas

Frozen Bananas

2. Break up your frozen bananas and put them in your food processor.  (If you read the link above, she doesn’t suggest using a blender unless it’s one of those fancy ones.)  This process took a little while because the bananas need to be stirred and moved to make sure their being hit by the blade.  At first it seems discouraging because the bananas aren’t looking like anything special, but keep going.  There will be a magical moment when the bananas all whip together and look just like soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Banana "Ice Cream"

Banana “Ice Cream”

3. At this point you can do whatever you want to the bananas.  I added peanut butter and cocoa because I wanted this to be a little bit less guilt free.  (I haven’t had peanut better in almost 3 months! So sad!)  I think it would be delicious with cherries or chocolate chips!

Banana Peanut Butter Cocoa "Ice Cream"

Banana Peanut Butter Cocoa “Ice Cream”

4. It’s that easy!  Serve in your favorite ice cream bowl or cup!  I’m going to go eat a cup right now!  Good any time of the day!

Happy guilt-free desserting!
-Amanda

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My First Time: Spaghetti Squash

March 11, 2013

Hello friends!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

I have never cooked or even eaten spaghetti squash before this attempt.  I am not sure I would’ve ever tried, but David went to the grocery store and came home with one.  I asked why he bought one (considering I’ve never made one and it wasn’t on the list).  His response, “You told me to buy vegetables on sale.” So here sat my challenge: figure out how to cook spaghetti squash.  There are a lot of theories on how to cook spaghetti squash, just do a quick search and you’ll come across lots of ideas: cut on the equator, microwave, roast, don’t cut open, cut open.  You get the idea.  Here’s how I did it.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
-1 spaghetti squash
-Butter
-Salt and Pepper
-1 jar spaghetti sauce
-1 pound ground turkey
-Italian seasonings

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the pan.

2. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half (not along the equator).  Scoop out the seeds and insides.

3. Coat the squash with a small amount of butter (or oil) and then season with salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut side down on the greased pan.  Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Turn the squash over and cook for 10 more minutes.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

4. Remove the squash from the oven and let it sit for 10-20 minutes.

5. Using a fork, pull out the inside of the squash.  It easily comes out and instantly looks pretty!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

6. While the squash is cooking, cook and season your ground turkey and warm up spaghetti sauce.

7. Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

I think we’ll be making this again soon!  Seriously yummy.

Happy Eating,
Amanda

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Avocado Egg Salad

February 21, 2013

Hello!

You may have noticed a lack in food-related blogs; I’m so sorry!  On New Year’s Day I announced David and I were going paleo!   After doing a lot of research regarding what’s best for our bodies, we have settled on a more modified paleo.  To be specific for me, I am attempting gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free!  I know, it sounds like a sad life to live, but I  feel so much more energetic than ever before!  It’s glorious!  I occasionally cheat since it’s not that I have an allergy to those things. (For example I went crazy and ate a cake ball the other day!  Totally worth every bite!)

In addition to my wonderful diet, I am Catholic and it is the lenten season which means no meat on Fridays!  While searching the web for delicious recipes that fall into our diet, I found this avocado egg salad and needed to try it.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

Ingredients:
-4 Boiled eggs
-one large avocado
-Salt/Pepper for seasoning
-Lime juice

Ingredients for Egg Avocado Salad

Ingredients for Egg Avocado Salad

Directions:
1. Boil eggs and chill.  Remove shell from eggs.
2. Cut open and scoop out avocado inside.
3. Mash up avocado and eggs in bowl.  Season to liking.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

It’s that easy.  Seriously.  I served it with gluten free crackers, but it would make a great sandwich or even be good on a salad.  It’s really a combination between egg salad and guacamole. If you love either of those things, you must try this deliciousness.

Happy Eating!
-Amanda