Thursday, February 24, 2011

Saucy Meatballs

We all know spaghetti and meatballs are the bestest of friends, but at a certain point in every friendship both parties need to spread their wings and find independence of their own. Sure complementary flavours and textures (just like complementary personalities) can be incredible, but standing out as the "star" of a dish can allow the flavours to really shine! I love spaghetti and I love meatballs, but I've found that whenever I've had the two together I've always been disappointed with the dry, tasteless meatballs sitting atop my mound of spaghetti. My recipe makes meatballs the star of your dinner with the addition of a sweet and savory sauce, perfect for soaking up fresh bread or a bowl of whole grain rice! With big flavor that tastes like it was on the stove all day, this is a quick and easy crowd pleaser that can be prepared any night of the week!

Tip: This dish tastes even better the next day, so why not make a batch on the weekend to serve up throughout the workweek.
Tip: Make a batch ahead of time and freeze to enjoy another night!

2 cups water
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 pounds ground beef
2 tsp garlic, minced or pureed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp dried onion flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to season

1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the onions. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

2. Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well using clean hands.

3. In a large pot set to medium-high heat, add the ketchup, water, garlic, onions, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. As the mixture comes up to a boil, begin forming your meatballs. Using your hands, roll the meatballs into walnut-sized balls and place immediately into the ketchup mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. Serve atop brown rice, alone, or inside a sandwich.

Listening To:
Howlin' For You The Black Keys

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Oscar Party Hors D'Oeuvres

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are being held this Sunday night, an occasion much more worthy of celebration than say...hmmm...Valentines Day? Yup! Definitely! So do your Oscar Party up right by serving your guests a selection of some of my finest hors d'oeuvres. This is a really fantastic spread as there are vegetarian, seafood, and meat options as well as some options without cheese (for crazy people out there who don't like cheese...seriously? I don't trust you!). Each of these hors d'oeuvres are also great showpieces with their array of colours and textures. These are also all really simple and quick to prepare so you can keep your eye on the red carpet and not the stove. Make sure to serve up your favoruite cocktails alongside your hors d'oevres...even if your boss is making you come into work at 8am the next morning...ya I'm talkin' to you! Cheers!

Listening To:
Diddy, Dirty Money, Ft.T.I., Rick Ross - Hello Good Morning

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tip: Frozen Bananas

The next time you see your bananas nearing their final days (or even hours!) don't fret, freeze! Freezing ripened bananas is a great time saver for the future. Don't you just hate when you feel inspired to make a particular recipe that calls for ripened bananas only to find your bananas still a lovely shade of yellow-green? Having a stock of frozen, ripened bananas in your freezer allows you to make all your favourite banana recipes like muffins, smoothies, and milkshakes on a whim.

To freeze your bananas simply place them in a ziplock bag, removing any excess air inside, and place in your freezer. When ready to use your frozen bananas, place your frozen banana on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for a few seconds to thaw enough to allow you to remove the peel.

Listening To:
P.Diddy ft. keyshia cole - Last Night (Feat. Keyshia Cole)

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Monday, February 21, 2011

One Love Vegetarian

416 535 5683
854 Bathurst St.
Closed Sundays & Mondays

After moving to the Annex area last year, my sister, her boyfriend, and I have been having a great time checking out all of the incredible food the area has to offer. No matter how much I enjoy hanging out with my sister and her boyfriend, I have to admit, my favourite part about our get togethers is meal-time, getting to try out all of the different cuisines from around the world all tucked away in the buzzing Annex. With it's lime-green sign and vibrantly painted walls, One Love Vegetarian was a place that caught my attention immediately. We're pretty big meat eaters in my family, so despite my interest in trying One Love, I kept getting side tracked with the thought of pulled pork burritos and jerk chicken. Finally the day came when I was ready to give One Love a try. My sister and I had both read an article about One Love's BBQ Tofu Stir Fry that left us salivating, so off we went to experience our first taste of Jamaican Vegetarian Cuisine.

Mainly a takeout joint, One Love is pretty small with a few tables for eating in. The kitchen is exposed allowing you to see all of the delicious dishes being prepared. Although there isn't anything particularly striking about the decor of the place, the atmosphere is fantastic. From the moment you walk in, you can feel the positive energy flowing through the restaurant, which may be due to the incredibly friendly and gracious staff, whom I have never seen without a smile. You can also always count on a killer soundtrack to be playing while munching on your food. Whether it's Bob Marley, Ottis Redding, or even some Wu Tang, One Love always has you feeling groovy!

Although I have only tried one dish on the menu, I have nothing but rave reviews for that one, mind-blowing, knock-your-socks-off dish! One Love's BBQ Tofu Stir Fry is so delicious I find myself craving it on a daily joke. I would be heading over there right now if it wasn't a Monday (they're closed Mondays and Sundays). My first glance and bite of the dish were admittedly a little disappointing. My first thought was that the dish needed sauce....boy was I ever wrong. Served on a bed of basmati rice and beans, tofu, sweet red peppers, snap peas, Vidalia onions, and carrots are coated in so much flavour from what they call their "tantalizing sauce," that all you need is a quick toss with your fork to immerse all that flavour and moisture into the rice, acting as your sauce. It's easy to see why One Love chooses for you to do this little step on your own, as the presentation is simple yet beautiful, allowing diners to see the all of the fresh ingredients that go into the dish. The stir fry is perfectly finished with slices of creamy avocado and sweet fried plantain, adding even more flavour and texture. This dish is so good that no matter how many times I say I'm going to try something new there, I always go back to my BBQ Tofu Stir Fry. I promise you, next time I'll switch it up! I've had my eye on their Seasoned Jamaican-Pumpkin-Filled Roti for a while now.

I have also had my eye on the delectable treats they keep displayed at the counter. Not only 100% vegetarian, One Love alsJustify Fullo serves up a selection of gluten free cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. I hate to say that I haven't tried any of their sweet treats yet, but that'll change soon!

Because all of the produce is purchased fresh the morning of, One Love runs out of some of their dishes at times and has been known to close early now and then due to this. So if you're planning on grabbing some take-out later in the evening, give them a call in advance to make sure they set aside what you want.

I've been to One Love quite a few times now, but I've always been timid of trying their Home Brewed Ginger Beer. The last time I went I overheard a women rave about how fantastic it is, her face contorting in ginger beer pleasure! I immediately ordered a small glass. With fresh lime, organic cane sugar, and a garnish of a lemon slice and mint leaf, my ginger beer arrives looking like a big tumbler of refreshing goodness. At first I was taken aback by the powerful flavour of the drink and the unique way the drinks flavour changes with time on your palate, but by the second sip I was in love! A glass of that on the coldest of days and you're still sure to be transported to a tropical destination upon each sip. You can't visit One Love without grabbing a glass of this! One Love also serves a selection of other juices like organic raspberry lemonade and mango strawberry lemonade, and of course, everything is fresh.

One Love is hands down one of my top cheap-eats in Toronto! You can always count on big flavour, a great experience, consistent quality and fresh ingredients. This Valentines day I decided my one love really is One Love!

Listening To:
I Shot The Sheriff - Bob Marley & The Wailers

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Day Brunch

I know a lot of people want to rag on family day, but I've gotta say, I am all for that holiday! What a great excuse to take off work (or get time and half), go for brunch, and take the day to appreciate those most important to you a little more...and...let's face it...there's brunch for goodness sake!!! And no work! I love any holiday that requires brunch and no work! And day always includes brunch, am I right? With just about every family thinking about going out for a lovely family brunch tomorrow on Family day, you can imagine how packed every brunch spot is going to be. Family day has suddenly lost its luster. Have no fear! I have the perfect sunday brunch for you that's also a great family activity...and allows you to remain in your pajamas till noon! My crepes are an all-time favourite among my family and friends. Thin, light and fluffy my crepes make the perfect wrapping for any filling you can imagine! Make the crepe batter in advance (today even!) and store in the fridge so it'll be ready to go when you wake up after a nice sleep-in tomorrow. Get the whole family involved by having everyone gather up their dream fillings to lay out on the table.

peanut butter
almond butter
chestnut cream
mascarpone cheese
ricotta cheese
cream cheese

bananas (fresh cut or sauteed in butter)
ice cream
toasted coconut
toasted almonds
toasted hazelnuts
sauteed apples
chocolate chips
cinnamon sugar
whipped cream

berry sauces (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry)
custard cream
dulce de leche
orange sauce (crepes suzette)
maple syrup
dark chocolate

3/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar (optional for dessert crepes which I used this time)

1. Whisk or process (using a food processor) all ingredients until blended.

2. Refrigerate for an 1 hour or overnight.

3. In a lightly greased crepe pan or frying pan, fry crepes approximately 60 seconds on one side or until edges are brown, and approximately 30 seconds on the other side.

4. Keep cooked crepes in a warm oven or toaster oven while frying other crepes to keep them warm.

5. Fill and top with your choice of fillings and toppings.

Listening To:
The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue

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(follow @flea333 and me @thisgingerrose)

Braised Short Ribs with Fresh Papardelle Pasta

Biggie got it right, birthdays are the worst days...well, most of the time. I haven't enjoyed a birthday of my own in literally years. I was probably still giving out loot bags the last time I enjoyed my own birthday. So now as my birthday approaches every year, I start to bum myself out so that I don't feel so let down when birthday time comes...a trick that does not work, and isn't fun at all, so don't try this at home folks! For the past few weeks leading up to my moms birthday, I could see her using that same trick that I attempted to use this year. Whenever anyone would ask my mom about her birthday she would go quiet, say that she doesn't really want to do anything, and try to play it off like it's just another day. I know from personal experience how easily this little trick can backfire. Because I had put so much energy into believing my birthday was going to suck, it tooootally did! Every negative thing that I had expected to happen, happened and I was absolutely miserable. There was no way I was going to let this happen to my mom on her birthday. After a total bust of a girls-night-out birthday dinner on Friday night with my mom and sister, I vowed to turn my moms spirits around and make sure she had a special birthday come sunday, her real birthday.

At this point most people would begin brainstorming a killer gift idea to brighten up a birthday, but that just doesn't cut it at the Rose house. Here in the Rose family we use food to show our love, so I had to think up something truly spectacular for my moms birthday dinner to show her how much she means to me. Earlier in the day I had made my mom her favourite breakfast, sweet Nutella crepes with fresh fruit and homemade strawberry sauce, a tough act to follow. After much brainstorming, I decided to attempt a Giada De Laurentiis recipe I had seen her make on her show Giada at Home some time ago. Giada's recipe for Short Ribs with Tagliatelle was one I couldn't forget. First off the recipe features fresh pasta, which is something I have been obsessing over this winter. I purchased a pasta maker a few weeks ago and have been dying to crack that baby open, so already this recipe had seriously sparked my interest. The highlight of this recipe is that incredible short rib sauce. Hours of braising enhance all of the big flavours in this dish like pancetta, red wine, and and lots of herbs, giving the meat and sauce a rich and complex flavour. The slow braising process tenderizes the short ribs, so that after hours of cooking all you need are your two hands to shred all of the tender and moist meat back into your sauce. I love how long, wide noodles act like arms, hugging all of the savory meat and sauce, so that every bite is filled with the maximum amount of flavour, so I decided to make papardelle pasta instead of the recommended tagliatelle. I also had an extra leek in my fridge that I thought would add some great flavour as well, so I tossed that in the sauce as well.

Despite a brief moment of frustration filled with hot flashes and tears after learning the hard way that I had picked the wrong workspace to make my pasta in (make sure to pick a place with lots of surface area to lay your pasta sheets and noodles out. Fresh pasta can stick together very easily, so you'll want to try and lay out all your pasta in a single layer if possible.) the final product turned out incredible! The sauce had a ton of flavour and was a great texture from all of that shredded braised beef. The fresh pasta was thin, delicate, and the perfect size to envelope the delicious sauce. All in all, the dish was spectacular just as I had hoped for my mamas special day. All that hard work in kitchen definitely paid off seeing how happy it made my mom on her birthday. I love you mummy and I would make you a feast any day just to put a smile on your face! Happy birthday!

Tip: Make sure you have a lot of surface area when making fresh pasta. You'll want lots of space to lay out your pasta sheets and noodles as fresh pasta can stick together very easily. Try and lay out your pasta in a single layer, dusting the noodles and sheets lightly with flour or, better yet, semolina.

Braised Short Ribs
olive oil
2 ounces chopped pancetta (about 1/2 cup)
6 short ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 leek, tender white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes (whole, diced, or pureed)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup red wine

1. Drizzle some olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Drizzle the pot lightly with more olive oil, add the leeks and cook until softened. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks and place in a bowl of a food processor.

3. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley, garlic and leeks in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse together.

4. Once the short ribs are browned, carefully add the mixture from the food processor to the pot. Return the pancetta to the pot and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make the fresh pasta (see instructions below).

5. Remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard the bones. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

6. Cook fresh pasta for about 3-4 minutes, or cook bought pasta as directed on package. Reserve about 3/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce and stir. Add drained pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Pasta Sheets:
Justify Full
3 cups flour
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
cold water
1 whole egg, beaten

1. In a medium-large bowl add the flour and make a small well in the centre. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the beaten yolks and the salt into the middle of the well in the bowl of flour. Keeping one clean hand for mixing, and one for adding water, mix and form the dough, adding a little bit of water at a time until you have formed a nice, firm, but slightly sticky dough.

3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Lightly coat dough in olive oil, place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.

4. Tear off a piece of dough bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. You may now either follow the instructions on your pasta maker, or roll out your dough yourself with a rolling pin: On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough using a rolling pin, until dough is paper thin and you can see your hand through the dough when lifted. While rolling, continue to lightly flour the surface, dough, and rolling pin so that dough does not stick, but try to use as little flour as possible! Repeat with remaining dough. Lay pasta sheets out and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut the pasta sheets into long strips of noodles, about 3/4-inch to 1-inch wide.

Listening To:
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken and Leek Stew

Gift giving can be a chore for anyone, but when you have a family member who seems to have everything and is very particular about their taste in clothing and accessories it can feel like downright hell trying to find them something special. No matter how easygoing I think I am, I seem to be that family member who everyone has trouble buying for. For the last few gift-giving occasions my family finally caught on that any food-related gift is sure to put a big ol' smile on my face! So for Christmas this year my uncle Ronnie, aunt Nancy, and my cousins Kim and Nick got me what turned out to be one of my favourite gifts all year, a subscription to Food & Wine Magazine. Nice work fam! You got me the gift that keeps on giving, lighting up my face every month as each new issue arrives! I'm not the only one benefitting from this new subscription, as my oh-so-very-lucky parents get to try out all the fantastic sounding recipes published within the magazine.

The March issue of Food & Wine has been one of my favoruites so far (although I've only read 3 issues now). Filled with tons of tasty recipes, I had to keep a pen on hand to draw asterisks on just about every recipe within the issue. One that stood out as a simple and tasty weeknight dish was Jamie Oliver's recipe for his Simplest Chicken-and-Leek Stew. I love recipes that are big on flavour, short on time, are healthy, yet still leave you feeling comforted and satisfied. Check, check, check, check, this recipe has fits just that criteria! It took next to no time to make, was crazy simple, had big and familair flavours, and didn't require much grocery shopping. This stew is really more of a hearty sauce or topping to rice, but it does have that same comforting and warming effect that you get from a slow-cooked stew. Just reading the recipe, I felt like it could use something else to brighten up the flavour and add another dimension to the dish, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a handful of sweet green peas did just the trick.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, pureed
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms (preferably cremini), thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
flour, for dusting
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tbsp chopped thyme
about 3/4 cup frozen green peas
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp dijon mustad
1 tsp lemon juice
4 servings of steamed brown rice

1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the garlic and leeks and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Scrape the leeks and mushrooms onto a plate or bowl, cover with aluminum foil.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the same skillet used for the mushrooms and leeks. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken stock and thyme and simmer over medium heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the plate with the vegetables.

3. Simmer the stock over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken, leeks, and mushrooms to the skillet. Add the frozen peas and simmer over low heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.

4. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream with the mustard and stir into the stew. Squeeze in the lemon and stir in. Remove from heat and serve on top of steamed brown rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Listening To:
Adele - Someone Like You

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Obsessed with her new album!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentines Day Menu 2011

Every year as the days start to get a littttle longer, I start to get a litttttle bitter knowing that Valentines Day is just around the corner. No it's not because I am usually single on the so-called "holiday", but because I'm one of the firm believers that Valentines Day is merely a Hallmark Card holiday that reenforces dangerous social constructions. Despite my distaste for the day, I do enjoy any occasion that calls for a special meal. Valentines Day is a great excuse pull out some of your favourite dishes to either impress a loved one or indulge yourself in! Here is my Valentines Day Menu that is sure to knock your honey's socks off...and maybe even more!

While you're finishing up the final touches on the meal, you'll want to give your honey a little something to snack on. My Cheaters Handbook Rosemary Focaccia Bread is perfect for this. Store-bought pizza dough makes this savory bread super simple and quick to prepare.
High on flavour, low on time and effort. All this snack takes to prepare is a quick assembly.

Creamy and crunchy, sweet and savory, this salad is packed with complementing textures and flavours to get your lovers taste buds warmed up. Skip the onions to make this more Valentine's Day friendly.
Just like the Fig and Goat Cheese Salad, this salad has those same fantastic complementing textures and flavours. If you're on a budget this salad is the better option, as tomatoes are much more affordable than fresh figs, while still giving you that contrasting sweetness from the balsamic.
Worried about getting salad caught in your teeth? A soup is a great option to start your meal with. The comforting aspect of the soup will help to relax your partner, not to mention warm them up from the February cold.

Striking in both appearance and flavour this is a knockout dish that is sure to get you some major action later! Don't be intimidated by the appearance, this is actually a pretty simple dish to make. If you want to make this entree more filling, rest the chicken and sauce on a bed of egg noodles.
If you're looking for a lighter option to keep you energized for the rest of your night, seafood is the way to go. With its sweet and sticky maple glaze, this salmon has a ton of flavour, will leave you feeling satisfied, and is once again crazy simple and quick to prepare.

This is a good 'ol standby that you can do no wrong with. Not only is it the perfect dish to satisfy any sweet tooth, it is also very sensual in the way the ooey gooey chocolate in the centre of the cake oozes out into a pool of rich chocolate onto your plate.
Think molten chocolate cakes are overdone? These crepes will surely surprise your lover with its beautiful presentation and unique flavours. This is a great option as you can prepare each part of the crepe in advance and because it's so light, you'll still feel pumped for more Valentine's Day fun!

Listening To:
Skinny Love - Bon Iver

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Game Day Dishes 2011

Last year I attended my first Super Bowl party ever, and although I couldn't tell you who won the game, I can list off every delicious item I snacked on from the incredible buffet that everyone contributed to. Nope, I have no idea who's playing this year...despite the fact that I've been blasting Black & Yellow by Wiz Khalifa on my ipod for weeks now...but I do know what artery clogging treats I'll be having this year, and come on, we all know that's what really matters! To help make your Super Bowl Sunday a little tastier, here's a list of my favourite Game Day Dishes. Get snacking!

Listening To:
Black Yellow - Wiz Khalifa HD

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

People ask me all the time where I find inspiration to cook different dishes for my blog, and the truth is I find inspiration to cook and bake just about everywhere (even todays snow storm had me dreaming of a dusting of confectioners sugar on an almond croissant). But what inspires me most of all is watching my friends shine in the kitchen. Nothing gets me more excited and motivated to cook than enjoying a delicious meal cooked by a good friend. I find myself constantly blown away by the skills and passion that my friends bring to the table...literally and figuratively. I'm very lucky to a have a few great friends who could knock your socks off in the kitchen, but today I want to talk about one in particular, my friend Jamie...or who you may know as Martha-In-Training.

I met Jamie through my best friend Robin, who also just happens to be Jamie's little sister. Over the years Jamie has become much more than just my best friends big sister, inviting me to every birthday, celebration, and outing, all the while making feel as though we had known each other for years. For someone who has a history of feeling like the odd one out, you can imagine how nice it felt to have someone so warmly welcome me into their life. I could go one and on listing everything that makes Jamie so special, but I'll stay on topic and list just one of her many strengths, her cooking skills. Jamie and I initially bonded over our mutual love for cooking, baking, and of course the Food Network, a topic of conversation that never goes without mentioning each time we see each other. As our love of all things food grew, we both began our own personal food blogs to share our kitchen tales with the world. Since starting her blog, I have become a regular follower of Jamie/Martha-In-Training, always eager to see what she's cooking up next, and what funny anecdote goes along with it. It's intimidating in the best way possible to see the incredible dishes that Jamie creates. Unafraid to take chances and try out different levels of difficulty in recipes, I can't help but want to push myself harder when reading her blog or sitting at her table. With every new post or dinner at her apartment I feel inspired to try more difficult recipes, be more risky, and follow my instincts. My last dinner at Jamie's was no exception.

Before heading out for a night of partying, Jamie whipped up a delicious and healthy meal that had me raving about it to my friends and family all week long...and had me imitating it here for you today! Inspired by Jamie's spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and veggies, I decided to make a carnivore version with ground beef, kinda like my take on spaghetti and meat sauce. My Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce turned out to be a hit just like Jamie's! My family loved this healthy take on a classic, and didn't even leave one bite of leftovers. The texture of the squash is so similar to spaghetti pasta that you can hardly tell it was substituted at all! The meat sauce was the perfect topper, filled with veggies and a ton of savory flavour, you're gonna want a slice of some country bread to sop up any leftover sauce on your plate.

1 spaghetti squash, washed, cut in half, seeds and loose flesh scooped out
olive oil
1 tsp garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
about 2 cups mushrooms, scrubbed and sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
2 tsp butter

1. Grease a medium baking pan with olive oil. Drizzle about 1 tsp of olive oil inside each squash half and, using your fingers, spread olive oil around. Season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves face down in greased baking dish. Bake at 375ยบ for 35-45 minutes, or until squash is tender inside.

2. While spaghetti squash is roasting, drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet. When oil is heated, add the garlic, onions, and carrots. Saute, stirring frequently, until onions just start to become transparent. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until onions are transparent and very soft.

3. Add the ground beef, stir to mix and break up with a spatula. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until beef is fully cooked. Season with italian seasoning, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato sauce, stir, and continue cooking until sauce is hot.

4. Remove spaghetti squash from oven and allow to cool for about 4 minutes. Flip squash over and, using a fork, lightly scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. Move squash strands to a serving dish, add butter, and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Top with meat sauce.

Listening To:
Phantogram - When I'm Small

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