Tag Archives: tomatoes

Forgotten Minestrone (100th Post!)

1-recipe

Yaaaay! I’ve finally hit 100 posts on this blog! I’ve been writing since the end of September last year, and it’s nearly July now. I love the motivation to try new things that this blog has given me; every week is a new adventure. I’ve met some great people along the way, as well… food bloggers, recipe testers, professional chefs, and home cooks. The food is great, too. :) Here’s to another 100 delicious posts!

I’ve been doing a lot of slow cooker recipes lately. They work well with my busy schedule; I love being able to add a bunch of things to a pot, leave it alone, and come back in several hours to food. Today’s recipe is super easy, very nutritious, and yields a huge quantity. My slow cooker was literally full to the brim!

I only made one change to the ingredient list: in respect of the low-carb guidelines I’m trying to follow, I omitted the pasta. Please feel free to include it if you would like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean beef stew meat
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to top

Directions:

2-crockpot

In a slow cooker, combine the beef, water, tomatoes, onion, bouillon cube, parsley, salt, thyme, and pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or until the meat is tender.

3-pull_beef

Remove the meat to a plate, and pull into shreds using two forks.

4-add_veggies

Return the meat to the slow cooker, and add the zucchini, cabbage, and beans.

Cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

5-finished

Serves 8.

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Chuck Wagon Casserole

1-recipe

Success at last! Today’s recipe is a rework of the Chuck Wagon Skillet that I posted about a month ago. Regular readers may remember that recipe as one of my rare failures. I wrote a few notes on modifications I planned to make in order to improve the end result, and I am pleased to say that they work as expected.

I changed the procedure significantly from the original recipe, and I also modified a few of the ingredients and quantities. The pasta is cooked in advance, the beef and onions are cooked together, and everything is layered together in a 13” x 9” Pyrex casserole dish. I substituted diced tomatoes for stewed tomatoes, as they are easier to spread in an even layer. Half of the cheese goes in the middle, and the other half goes on top to help “glue” everything together. The only change I might make in the future would be to add a thin layer of sour cream somewhere in the dish: I put a dollop on top of some leftover casserole that I heated up, and it was really good!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-onions

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion until tender.

3-meat

Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper, and cook until the beef is browned.

4-layer_pasta

In a 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish, layer the pasta,

5-layer_meat

meat mixture,

6-layer_tomatoes_cheese

tomatoes, half of the cheese,

7-layer_celery

celery,

8-layer_olives

black olives,

9-top_cheese

and remaining half of the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

10-finished

Serves 6.

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Mom’s Homemade Lasagna

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Lasagna doesn’t have to be labor-intensive, contain ten thousand ingredients, or cost an extravagant amount to make: sometimes simple food is the best food. This is the recipe I grew up eating (and making), and it starts with a batch of Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce. The sauce may be made on the same day, or cooked earlier in the week and frozen. It will work well no matter what. There’s a combined pound and a half of cheese in this lasagna, so ditch the diet for a day, pour a glass of wine, and dive in. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce (see link for directions)
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2-mix_cheese

In a small bowl, cream together the cottage cheese and cream cheese until well blended.

3-noodles

In a 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish, layer the noodles,

4-sauce

spaghetti sauce,

5-cheese

cheese mixture,

6-mozzarella

and shredded mozzarella.

7-layered

Repeat the layers once more.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until heated through.

8-finished

Serves 6-8.

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Creamy Herbed Corn

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I embarked upon this recipe with mixed feelings, and a bit of trepidation. I do not normally enjoy corn from a can, or in any form other than “on the cob”. I am also deeply suspicious of creamed corn. On the other hand, the recipe does state that the original author, one Holly Henion of Traverse City, Michigan, cooked this recipe for her husband on their anniversary. Anniversary cooking is serious business: this is not an occasion when one makes food which is simply “okay”.

I am so glad that I tried this dish! It is MUCH better than I expected it to be, based on my previous corn experiences. The tomatoes and cream cheese blend to make a wonderful sauce, and the seasoning is just right. Pimiento-stuffed olives provide a nice flavor accent without dominating the balance. I was honestly amazed – a corn-based side dish that I actually like? And it’s ridiculously easy to make? Fantastic! I will definitely keep this one in the rotation.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 (11-ounce) cans Mexicorn, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

Directions:

2-melt_cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and cream cheese over medium heat until the butter melts and the cream cheese softens, stirring constantly.

3-add_corn

Add the Mexicorn, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, and sage, and mix well.

Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

4-add_tomatoes

Add the tomatoes and olives, and cook for 1 more minute.

5-finished

Serves 6.

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