Tag Archives: Not Meat Mash

Paleo Spaghetti (PINTEREST FAIL)

When you get home with basil, tempeh, spaghetti squash and realize the basil was supposed to be spinach…you know you’re probably going to have an interesting dinner.  It just so happened that in my failure to READ the recipe…I made the dish slightly amazing if I might say. I just tried to burn it first.

This is what I was hoping to make:


This is what it ended up like….

Pinterest Fail...But It was DELICIOUS (I promise!)
Pinterest Fail…But It was DELICIOUS (I promise!)

I didn’t have Mirin (so I used honey) and I didn’t have tamari (so I used soy sauce).  I forgot the garlic but I had basil!

// Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh | Whole Foods Market

// // // // // // // // //

  • 12 ounces tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped nope
  • 1 (2.5-pound) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets (1 bag of frozen broccoli cooked)
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach a handful of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, gently toss together tempeh, tamari soy sauce, mirin honey and garlic; set aside to let marinate for 30 minutes.

As I let the spaghetti squash cook, I put the tempeh in this container and turned it every so often for 30 minutes
As I let the spaghetti squash cook, I put the tempeh in this container and turned it every so often for 30 minutes

Meanwhile, arrange squash halves, cut sides down (I would do that if I had a larger baking dish), in a large baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup water into dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, turn over squash and set aside to let cool slightly.

I don't recommend living life with 3 pots.  Go go moving!
I don’t recommend living life with 3 pots. Go go moving!

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain tempeh, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Don't burn it! ... I was close
Don’t burn it! … I was close

Meanwhile, heat pasta sauce in a medium pot over medium heat until hot throughout then add broccoli and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove pot from the heat.

Using a fork, scrape strands of spaghetti squash onto a serving platter. Spoon hot pasta sauce and broccoli over squash, top with tempeh and serve.

It was DELICIOUS!  Thanks Whole Foods.  I think the basil did add a lot of flavor.  I would make it with basil and forgo the spinach.

It’s a Man’s Job…Or Not

I will be the first to admit, the grill has been the most intimidating thing in our postage sized backyard (think small and divide by 42). So when George was working his typical late day, I marched out to the grill determined to make dinner (or burn/blow something up). We’ve only had the grill for three years and I’ve never used it. Somehow that became George’s domain and not something I do. Whatever, roles happen in marriage so when he had asked me why I don’t try…I kept thinking…Yeah. Why don’t I? So…

Sockeye Salmon

Perhaps, I should step back for a second. Fish: I have traditionally failed at cooking fish (from a salt lick — it said add salt!!, to overly fishy nastiness)…Salmon has been categorized in my brain as…hmmm…FISH. So therefore, again, out of the picture (insert George talking about Omega-3s and how healthy they are…Omega 3 article). So fine. I will make take a detour.

Farm Raised or Wild Caught.
1. Which Salmon Should I Buy
– I chose Sockeye Wild Caught…it’s classified as fishy but with a cedar plank from Whole Foods (or Amazon.com)…it’s positively DELICIOUS (I promise). So if you purchase farm raised, I’d REALLY recommend the plank…it absolves all sorts of (fishy tasting) sins. I tend to think the wild caught, though more pricey, tastes better. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_xleu84BJU…I kind of love Alton Brown)

2. FDA article on Salmon

Wild caught is about $15/lb here. So maybe that’s a bit much. Sometimes I feel farm is better than none at all?

How I did it:
1. Purchase Fish (debone if necessary…which means pulling out little one inch tines with your fingers..lots of hand washing involved…some butchers remove them for you)
2. Soak Cedar Plank in water (the soaking part is key to fire prevention)
3. Put fish skin side down on plank and let it come to room temperature
3a. Chop up veggies, arrange on foil, lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper
3b. Put up baby in a safe place
4. Set up your grill according to directions
5. Put some foil down, put your veggies on the foil on the grill and start
6. Cook until internal temperature is 130-145’F (I live by an internal thermometer…I use the regular one I use for all other meat in the kitchen)
7. Take fish and veggies off grill
8. Let fish set for a few minutes after it comes off the grill
9. Serve with a nice glass of wine

Admittedly, I was nervous about using the grill for the first time so I read: .
At the end of the day, it was surprisingly easy, quick despite my long post.

You Win Some…You Lose Some

I had grand plans of making 5 slow cooker recipes this week. That was until I accidentally strained the beans out of the pot into the sink…etc…etc…So we had two slow cooker menus, the standby pasta dinner, and a quick chicken dinner (quick-ish = 45 minutes).

As my mother would say, both recipes were “Banner Batches.” I liked the soup so much I had it for lunch twice in addition to dinner on Tuesday. Okay, that could have been influenced by the fact that my lunch planning was slightly lacking. Friday’s lunch was “buy your own” … whoops.

1. Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone

Via www.howsweeteats.com
Via http://www.howsweeteats.com

Notes: Some people on the http://www.howsweeteats.com website commented that this was flavorless or flat, but to me it was perfect. I loved it and so did George.

Recipe: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/04/easy-springtime-crockpot-minestrone/

2. Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Mango Salsa

Via www.skinnytaste.com
Via http://www.skinnytaste.com

Notes: I think I woke up twice during the night as this one was cooking. It smelled AMAZING. The jerk seasoning added a lot of flavor. I thought I might skip making the salsa…the mango salsa really made this dinner amazing.

Recipe: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/slow-cooked-jerk-pork-with-caribbean_19.html

3. Caramelized Onion Chicken
Not a slow cooker recipe but a relatively easy/quick/delicious dinner
Recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/caramelized-onion-chicken-10000000249953/

4 AMAZING Dinners For This Week

This past week was a dream: dinners prepped on Sunday, 5-10 minute heat up time and best of all….AMAZINGLY GOOD!

My husband sent me this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/slow-cooker-spring-dinners this past week-ish. I dutifully marked it and promptly forgot about it until he asked what I thought of the Spring-time recipes he’d sent. Quickly re-opening the link, I made last minute changes to our grocery order (thank you http://www.peapod.com). Am I glad I did or what! I tried 3 of the recipes and found a fourth (we’re trying another 5 this upcoming week!). Could not give a higher recommendations.

In order of preparation time:

1. Easiest Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

Cook time: 2 hrs Prep: Dump 2 things in Slow Cooker
Via http://www.skinnytaste.com Cook time: 2 hrs Prep: Dump 2 things in Slow Cooker

My notes: I used generic salsa verde, chicken thighs (what I had on hand), and served with sour cream/ corn tortillas/shredded (purple) cabbage. I threw this in the slow cooker while I was prepping for the week.

Recipe: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/04/easiest-crock-pot-salsa-verde-chicken.html

2. Carrot Ginger Soup

Recipe Looks intimidating but it's seriously 6 things.  Cook time: 8 hrs.  Prep: 10-15 minutes (I promise)
Via homemakershabitat.com Recipe Looks intimidating but it’s seriously 6 things. Cook time: 8 hrs. Prep: 10-15 minutes (I promise)

My notes: 1) shallots, 2) pre-copped carrots, 3) orange zest, 4) orange juice, 5) sweet potato, 6) fresh ginger (didn’t finely minced it), chicken broth (nope not homemade). Forgot the rest of the recipe…served with salt, pepper, sour cream & siracha (siracha is NOT required)

Recipe: http://homemakershabitat.com/2010/03/slow-cooker-carrot-ginger-soup.html

3. Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef (whoops I ordered corned beef brisket…STILL DELICIOUS)

My notes: Sorry no picture (they had an intense legal page). This did take a minute to make (probably because I wanted to use my stick blender). I halved the recipe and we enjoyed corned beef/mustard/swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-for-a-crowd-big-game-day-barbacoa-165301

4. Crockpot Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Via Comfortably Domestic
Via Comfortablydomestic.com…Cook time: 7.5 hours Prep time: 30 minutes. VERY MUCH WORTH THE TIME

My notes: Just think of this as: 1) Veggie prep, 2) Chicken prep 3) Spice rub prep. I cooked this for 8-8.5 hours and it tended to be a smidgen dry because of this. Cook for 7.5 hours. This was DELICIOUSLY DELICIOUS. We made quesadillas for lunch out of these for two people in addition to dinner. Cannot recommend this one enough. The instructions look overwhelming but it turned out to be pretty simple.

Recipe: http://comfortablydomestic.com/2013/10/10/roasted-chicken-root-vegetables/

Top 5 Slow Cooker Frozen Recipes (Delicious Required)

Seeing that this past week was a meat mash wash (read my recipes failed to be delicious), I am going to rehash my top 5 recipes (which might be my last couple posts??). In no particular order other than flavorful, easy to make, and down right good.

1. Savory Pepper Steak ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/04/dad-friendly-slow-cooker-meal/)
– Continues to meet the mark. It’s legitimately delicious, easy and the whole family loves it.

2. M’s Tortilla Soup ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/03/16/tortilla-soup-amazingness/)
– Can be made (quickly) on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. Family favorite for about 8 years now! (Where does the time go????)

3. Turkey Lentil Soup ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/24/now-that-one-was-delicious/)
– Surprise! We loved it!!

4. Beef Fajitas ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/03/22/fajitas-march-madness-perfection/)
– The seared meat with the spice rub were … well it’s 7am and I’m wishing it was for dinner tonight. The rub added so much flavor! We had it as a main entree, in lettuce wraps or burritos. So YUMMY!!!!!!

5. Beef Curry ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/09/paleo-with-a-twist/)
– Again…delicious

How I do it:
1. Prep and freeze on weekend
2. Cook at night (thaw prior to cooking) Monday morning before work place in containers (we like glass)
5a. Thaw Tuesday night’s dinner Monday morning
6. Monday night….dinner’s ready! SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES!!!!!!
7. Repeat

Minus the Steak...it was defrosting in the microwave for 8 minutes
Minus the Steak…it was defrosting in the microwave for 8 minutes

Fajitas — March Madness Perfection

When I first looked at this recipe, I thought: NO WAY. However, as I idly read through the related blog (http://www.stacymakescents.com/crock-pot-beef-fajitas), I found the recipe ultimately became spices, meat, slow cooker, so I gave it a shot. Since I tend to be pretty clueless about meat cuts, it was helpful to me to read as long as you have 2-2.5 lbs o’beef — it did not matter. This recipe was flavorful and a home run as my mother says.

In short this recipe is: Spices + Meat + Brown = Ready for slow cooker.

The Spices
The Spices

Beef Fajitas (Modified)
2 ½ pound beef roast (I used chuck roast, but apparently any cut will do)
1/2 yellow onion sliced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon of chopped/bottled garlic
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Combined spices, coat meat, browned meat (3 minutes on each side…not required it just seals in alot of flavor), cook or store in freezer.
2. When ready cook on low for 8 hrs.
3. We served with salsa, sour cream on tortillas (so not 100% Paleo…). We didn’t have any bell peppers etc.

Note: For a Paleo version, the cooked beef was delicious by itself and I would have served with lettuce.

Helpers Mean:  Quick, Easy, Fast Recipes.  Period.
Helpers Mean: Quick, Easy, Fast Recipes. Period.

Now that one was DELICIOUS!

So I finally think I am ahead of the game. Last weekend I made a whole bunch of frozen slow cooker recipes. I may have realized yet again I DO NOT have it straight on chicken and that I should never ever cook pork belly (no matter how organic or grass fed). So let’s just say my “Savory Chicken” was well received by our new family addition (our rescue Siberian Husky Niko).

On the other hand, there was one recipe that stood head and shoulders over the rest: “Turkey Lentil Vegetable Soup.” The recipe is here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/beefy-lentil-vegetable-soup/detail.aspx

Bloody Mary Mix to the rescue?
Bloody Mary Mix to the rescue?

I used ground turkey, did not use canned mushrooms, did not add celery (George isn’t a fan) and cooked on low for 8 hours. I did play around with the “tomato juice.”

As for the tomato juice….I may need to back track on this one. I’m not a big fan of Bloody Mary drinks so a while ago we bought two bottles of mixes (sans alcohol) to “convert” me. I just don’t get the spice and the tomato…it’s a bit nasty to me. So the good idea fairy thought I’d clear out some fridge space and use the Bloody Mary mix for the tomato base. The ingredients looked pretty straight forward and were alcohol free so…why not. I used a bit of the “Bold and Spicy” and their “Traditional” mix as well.

Definitely on the delicious side of the house. I am finding that slow cooker soups turn out pretty good. I just don’t want to eat soups 24/7.

Paleo Frozen Slow Cooker meals

The Actors
Smokey Roast: The Actors

So much of my day to and from work is rush-faster-leaner-stronger…….so when it’s time to sit down and enjoy dinner — I would rather pass on the tasteless meat mash. My slow cooker focus is: quick, easy, less than a million ingredients/steps, and delicious.

When a friend mentioned she was making “SLOW COOKER KOREAN GRASS FED SHORT RIBS” I was intrigued. Could be slightly amazing. Two recipes later….and I have the prospects of decent exciting dinners that happen to be Paleo — I count that as a win.

To me, the Korean Short Ribs are more complicated than simple (you have to brown, chop, blend, prep stuff). The recipe is here: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3762844557/slow-cooker-korean-grass-fed-short-ribs I made it anyway.

My other adventure for today was “Smokey Roast” which had equal praise and was quite simple to make.

Stir “The Actors” in a bowl, thoroughly cover/rub into 2.5 lbs beef chuck roast, brown in coconut oil (5 min each side). Chop 1 onion. Put in bag. I stopped there. I’ll add 3/4 cups water when I cook it for 7-8 hours. We’ll see how I did! The recipe came from here: http://everydaypaleo.com/smokey-roast/

I love rectangular teaspoons/tablespoons
I love rectangular teaspoons/ tablespoons