Tag Archives: bolognese

pasta pasta pasta. or anti-pasta if you choose.

25 Apr

photo 1I can’t BELIEVE today is the end of my second year of graduate school! Thank the universe! This is…..A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! (inside joke, I’m a weirdo, you’d get it if you knew me). Haha. This has been by far the most grueling semester in graduate school and tonight’s last class and the knowledge that I handed in all of my papers, massive papers, and projects and am officially done is really satisfying. Now onto the important stuff, internship, and more importantly, how the H-E-double hockey sticks am I going to afford to live during internship year! Aye yey yey. One more year left, one more year.

Speaking of one more year, I don’t know if you live in Chicago, or the midwest, but can you believe this weather!? Um it’s almost May for crying out loud! We need some warmth! I feel likephoto 3 not many of my recipes have been anything but warm, hot, comforting food lately because it’s so cold. That also is because I have been in graduate school hell, so something warm and comfy always helps. Funnily enough, the recipe I am sharing with you today I am actually eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning! I am a firm believer that you can eat veggies and meat at any time of the day and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a frittata or breakfast hash to be breakfast food. If you want some kale, acorn squash and sausage for breakfast, go for it! Hmm….that may be a new recipe to try and make, kale and sausage stuffed acorn squash….that sounds delicious!

Also, at the end of this recipe, I want to talk about gluten free pasta types and share some articles I found that are useful. I don’t really eat much pasta, but when I do, like the brussels sprouts and bacon pasta recipe from a week or so ago, I like to make sure it is minimally processed, gluten free pasta. BUT, most gluten free pastas are AWFUL. God awful. They get gummy and mushy in about 2 seconds flat while boiling, and just taste disgusting. So I am listing my two favorites, and also a couple resources on gluten free pasta. Now onto the good stuff, the yummy food!

RUSTIC SAUSAGE AND BACON BOLOGNESE WITH VEG AND ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 lb ground italian sausage, if incased, re move casings
  • 5 slices of super thick cut smoked bacon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • one container of sliced portabella mushrooms
  • one container of fresh spinach (or about 3 handfuls)
  • 1 jar of organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade and chopped (about 1/3-1/2 cup this equals out to)
  • salt to taste

photo 2Heat an oven to 350 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and place fresh side down on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender. Then you can either fork out all of the squash “meat” or you can fork it around so it’s easy to access and leave it in the shell so it can be eaten right out of the shell.

While the squash is cooking, heat a large skillet and add your ground sausage and diced bacon. cook thoroughly until the sausage is brown and the bacon is to your liking. The bacon I buy is pretty thick and meaty, so I cook it down until it is crisp, but also fleshy. Next, add your diced onion and mushroom and cook down until soft. Add your tomato sauce, black pepper, cayenne photo 4pepper and oregano and cook down all together. Then, chiffonade your basil and dice up your fresh spinach and add that. I chop my spinach up so it doesn’t cook into those long stringy spinachy things. Cook the basil and spinach until still bright green, but tender. Taste and add more salt, oregano, pepper or cayenne if needed. That’s it! SO easy!!!! Dish over your squash or into your squash “bowl” and eat up! The squash acts like the noodles. This is such a flavorful dish that noodles aren’t even really needed! You could eat this even plain or over some fresh kale. That’s how I ate my leftovers this morning, I heated up my half of squash, heated up my chunky rustic bolognese and then added some fresh kale to it. YUM!

NOW onto pasta. Gluten free pasta is a real pain sometimes. It’s taken me many messed up mac and cheese and spaghetti recipes to find the right ones that actually work. I try and make spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, but sometimes I eat pasta, and my friends ate this bolognese over pasta, so I want to make sure they are getting healthy food in them as well! Spaghetti squash is super easy and zucchini noodles are made via the link below. These pastas are minimally processed and more importantly, I’ve found that they do NOT turn into a mushy mess like other gluten free and brown rice pastas do.

photo 1Trader Joe’s brown rice penne, is THE only brown rice pasta I have found that doesn’t crumble into a mushy mess when you cook it. This is great because it can be used for mac and cheese recipes or baked vegetable ziti, or whatever have you. Pasta salads with fresh veggies, I mean any place where you would use normal pasta as a shape. Trader Joe’s corn spaghetti is also not bad. I have found that corn pasta tastes exactly like regular pasta and it also does not cook up into a mushy mess. Trader Joe’s and Archer Farms Organics at Target are the easiest ones to get. I’ve tried brands from Whole Foods and most of them are mush.

DO NOT BUY TINKYADA pasta. That stuff is crap. Pure crap. It goes from not cooked to complete gummy mushy nastiness in literally 3 seconds. So if you need and want to eat pasta, get these brands! BUT my ALL TIME FAVORITE gluten free pasta is the Quinoa brand blended pasta. It is in an aqua box and there are a large variety of shapes. It is a quinoa blend and they sell it at Whole Foods, Mariano’s, I’m sure other grocery stores as well. It is absolutely the best tasting and best made pasta.

I’ve heard Cappellos gluten free pasta is good and even a couple people in the paleo world havephoto 2 tried it and liked it. It’s crazy expensive, though, and I’ve found in Chicago that nowhere sells it so I’d have to order it online. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic. Below are links to some gluten free pasta options, a guide to cooking gluten free pasta and the Cappellos website. Eat well, healthy and enjoy! We all indulge sometimes, so make sure it’s at least gluten free and healthy! Eat up, buttercup!

http://cappellosglutenfree.com/home

http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/consciouscook/2010/01/top-3-gluten-free-pasta-brands.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/67786-glutenfree-pasta/

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/5695132949/zucchini-spaghetti-zoodles-meatballs

corned beef, cabbage and pumpkin bolognese random cooking day

29 Mar

photo 5This last Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to make one of my FAVORITE meals, corned beef and cabbage. I love St. Patrick’s Day! Green EVERYTHING. Green beer, green clothes, whiskey, people out having fun, it’s a really great holiday! It’s particularly fun in Chicago. On St. Patrick’s Day here, EVERYTHING and it’s mother is green. AMAZING. Seriously amazing….except the green beer, which if you’re like me and gluten and food coloring bother you, you end up puking on the side of a dumpster in the middle of the day….whoopsies!

I also, then decided to clean out my fridge and pantry, in some ways, and made pumpkin bolognese. For some god awful reason I bought a ridiculous amount of ground beef when it was on sale sometime ago and froze it. Like an ENTIRE freezer of ground beef. I don’t even like ground beef that much haha! So I had to find a way to use it! So….we have Irish and Italian here, best of both yummy worlds if you ask me.

FYI – If more of you lovely readers could spread my blog around (the earlier ones are WAY funnier), that would be great! I’m hoping to become rich and famous off of it so I can quit grad school. HAHA!

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Ingredients:

  • 1 giant slab of corned beef, you can use your discretion here on how big you want it
  • 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 or more stalks of celery
  • 12 whole carrots (or whatever comes in 2 bags of carrots, you can also use a large bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 bag of red skinned potatoes
  • lovely whole grain mustard
  • 1 handful of while peppercorns
  • 1 stick of butter
  • kosher or sea salt and pepper

In a giant stockpot, put your celery stalks, 4 potatoes from your bag, cut into quarters, and about a handful or two of carrots, or if you are using wholephoto 1 carrots, cut them into 4 inch chunks; then add your corned beef in on top of your veg. Add your pepper corns, and one tablespoon of the whole grain mustard and cover with the 2 quarts of stock. Bring to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, turn the heat down to low. Cook for 4.5 hours. Once the meat feels tender and almost fork-pull-apartable (YES, that is a valid term, thank you very much), quarter the rest of your potatoes, cut the rest of your carrots, and quarter your head of cabbage. Add all those amazing veggies in and cover with water (the stock won’t be enough to cover all of these veggies). Cook for another hour to an hour and a half.

Next. Heat your oven broiler to high. Pull everything out and put it on a sheet pan. Yea, this is where the good part happens. Take all those veggies and the corned beef out and place on the sheet pan. Cut pats of butter and put them on the veggies, then put a nice, thick slathering of the whole grain mustard on the top of it. Put the veggies and corned beef under the broiler. The butter will melt into the veggies and the mustard will crust and seal into the beef. This doesn’t take long so watch it. Pull the sheet pan out, dust the veggies with sea salt and pepper. SERVE UP and enjoy the yumminess!

PUMPKIN BOLOGNESE

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • one large white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin puree, or make your own
  • 1 large large large, or 2 small, cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato puree, or puree your own tomatoes in your food processor!
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt to taste
  • a large bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade that stuff!

photo 3NOTE: If you do not know how to chiffonade herbs, I have a video on my first blog post back in August. But, also, below, at the bottom, ¬†is a lovely blog post by The Pioneer Woman, she knows what’s up! WATCH it! East peasy, lemon squeezy.

Take your lovely large stock pot and heat it up. Add the tablespoon of olive oil. Heat that up. Add your onions and cook until translucent. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Next, add your garlic, cook it down a d bit and add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef and continuously scrape down your pan to get all of those lovely brown bits on the bottom.

Next, add your pumpkin and tomatoes, a pinch of salt, black pepper, chili flakes and oregano. photo 4Let this cook down together for about 15 minutes. While this cooks, chiffonade your basil. Add your basil and mix in thoroughly. Let this cook down again for ten minutes. Next, taste it and add salt and more pepper to taste. Let it cook about 10 more minutes.

Serve over your favorite gluten free pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash and ENJOY! Also….you could chop zucchini and add that to this sauce too, that would be lovely! So would spinach!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/how-tochiffonade-basil/

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