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I am a wife and mom of two beautiful girls who happens to be a professionally trained chef. I have dreams of one day publishing a cook book, but in the mean time I want to share this gift I've been given with all of you, so grab a fork (or sometimes a spoon)...because I'm in the kitchen!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Italian Beef Skillet (ONE PAN)

 We have this standing joke that every time my husband calls me in the day to see what I'm up to, my response is almost always...dishes. When you eat most of your meals at home, that means there will be a lot of dishes. Anytime I can make dinner in one pot, I'm all for it. That means more time for after dinner snuggles :)

Italian Beef Orzo Skillet
1# ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup whole wheat orzo
2 cups pasta sauce
2 cups frozen spinach ( I buy this in a bag, not the block-easier to scoop out amount I need)
S & P to taste
grated parmesan for serving, if you so desire.

In a large skillet, brown up the beef, onion and garlic until beef is cooked through. Season the beef with S&P and/or Italian seasoning. Stir in the grated zucchini, orzo, sauce, spinach, salt and pepper. Put a lid on it and simmer 10-12 minutes stirring every 4-5 minutes. If you don't have a lid, make one out of 2 sheets of foil fitted over pan.
Spoon into bowls and top with parmesan.

This is also really delicious with pan sausage instead of beef.
Don't be afraid to use ground turkey or chicken as well.
If you don't want to mess with grating the zucchini, you could buy a package of zucchini noodles and chop them up before tossing in.

If you don't know what orzo is, it's a very small pasta about the size of rice. Cooks pretty quick. You could use brown or white rice instead, but it would need to be precooked. You could also get away with the small elbow macaroni or other very small pasta.

And P.S.-don't you love my taken from phone food pics? No fancy camera here, and obviously no photo retouching or consideration on the best lighting. Just being real!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Unstuffed Pepper bake

Couple things. Casseroles. Some people hate them. Some love them but most are pretty unhealthy or super high carb. But seriously, I like the convenience that casseroles can be eaten from at least for one dinner and a couple lunches. 
Peppers. Most kids don't care for them. My kids love them raw but don't like them cooked. They for sure wouldn't be excited about eating a whole stuffed pepper for dinner, so here's a recipe to try. Even though my kids aren't huge fans of cooked peppers, they still ate this (but I should say I'm kind of mean in the getting my kids to eat veggies department). 
This is an unstuffed pepper bake. I just chopped up everything that would be in a stuffed pepper and served as a casserole. I used cauli-rice for almost all the rice and topped w a little cheese. You could use all rice if that's more your speed. 

2# ground beef, browned and strained (I used 96/4) 
1 Tbs chili powder
6 bell peppers, multi colored chopped up
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 cups cauli-rice or bits
2 garlic cloves, minced  or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup brown rice (you can buy frozen to make easier)
1 can diced tomatoes or rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup corn, drained or use frozen
Mexican cheese, just enough to top, maybe 2 cups

Brown the beef, season w chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, and remove to a large bowl. In a large pot sauté the peppers and onion about 5-7 minutes until soft over medium heat. Stir in the cauli-rice and cook about 5 more minutes, stirring often. If you find there's a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pot, just strain and continue. Salt and pepper to taste again. Dump in all the other ingredients(not the cheese), including beef, and stir to combine. 
Dump in a 9x13, top w cheese and bake 30 min at 350. 
Let me know what you think. Did your kids like this? Here's what mine looked like. Taken with my fancy iPhone 6 :)