Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

This is one of those recipes that always turns out fantastic and gets my family excited for dinner time. This is not a quick recipe, the longer it sits on the stove the better, so it's great for a weekend meal. I make it often for Sunday night dinner. I usually have enough left over to freeze a meal, just defrost it and heat it up in a saucepan when you are ready to have it again.

The other reason I love this recipe is because it sneaks in a lot of veggies, which is great if you have picky eaters in the house. The veggies are chopped up really small and softened in the sauce so they add to the overall flavor of the sauce without being too "chunky". I cook with wine a lot and this recipe has plenty of it. It cooks off over hours of simmering so there is no alcohol left, just a very flavorful meat sauce. The final trick to this sauce is the cup of milk. Do not omit this ingredient, it breaks down the meat and makes it soft and velvety. Yummy!

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


½ cups Olive Oil
3 Carrots, Grated or finely chopped
1 whole Large Red Onion, finely chopped
2 pounds Ground Beef or Meatloaf Mix
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil Flakes
1 can (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/2 cups Red Wine2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes (smoosh them with your hands as you add them to the sauce)
1 cup Milk
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

2. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and then add in the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes until brown.

3. Throw in oregano and basil. Use fresh if you have it; if you don’t, it’s fine.

4. When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat.

5. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together.

6. Add Worcestershire and stir.

7. Add canned tomatoes.

8. Finally, pour in milk, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours—the longer the better.

Serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Baked Whole Wheat Chicken Taquitos with Grilled Corn

My family loves Tex-Mex food but I hate how fattening all of the recipes are. It seems like everything is fried or covered in cheese. I found this recipe on another blog and changed it to use whole wheat flour tortillas. You can use corn tortillas as well but I've never been a big fan. To get shredded chicken, I usually boil 1 cup of chic

ken stock (1 cup water plus a bouillon cube) in a skillet, cover and simmer the chicken breasts for 7 minutes per side. They are fully cooked and shred easily when done.

I loved the way these turned out, they were really crispy on the outside and soft and melty on the inside. There was just enough cheese to make it rich without being overly fattening. We dipped them in salsa and sour cream. I served these with yellow rice and grilled corn.

Baked Whole Wheat Chicken Taquitos

Adapted from Pennies on a Platter


3 ounces cream cheese, softened (low fat optional)
1/4 cup salsa (green or red)1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
2 Tbsp sliced green onions (optional)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese16 small whole wheat tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray


1. Preheat your oven to 425˚F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly. (If you decided to prep this in advance, refrigerate the mixture at this point until ready to continue.)

3. Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat t

hem in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).

4. Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

5. Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle wi

th kosher salt.

6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

7. Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

**To freeze: Before baking, chill the taquitos on the baking sheet in the fridge. Once completely cooled, wrap each taquito individually with plastic wrap. Place in a labeled freezer bag and freeze. To bake a frozen taquito (no need to thaw first): Preheat oven to 425˚F and bake for 20 minutes

Grilled Corn


4 fresh cobs of corn, husks and silk removed

oil (for grates)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the grill to HIGH

2. Cook corn in boiling water for 5 minutes or until cooked, but not too soft.

3. Oil the grill grates

4. Cook the corn on the grill for about 5-10 minutes or until slightly charred.

I like to cut the corn off of the cob, that's the way our family likes it. You an also leave the corn on the cob and season them with butter and salt and pepper.