Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beef Shells Supreme with Veggies

I made the Beef Noodle Supreme recipe from this site and of course I had to modify it (just because I wanted to use my veggies on hand and add a little spark). My mom used to make this recipe but instead of green onions, she'd use parsley.
I followed the recipe but added fresh spinach and asparagus to the sauce as well as fresh parsley to the cream cheese mixture. It turned out so well!! I like the canned tomato sauce rather than using a pre-made "Prego-type" sauce.
It wasn't a total kid pleaser, but honestly, what is these days? My kids don't like pizza, so don't bank on your kids not liking this (I loved it as a kid).

Ingredients I used:

1 lb ground beef
1 tblsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3 small (8oz) cans of tomato sauce
1 package of cream cheese (spreadable is easiest, but if you get regular, let it sit out for an hour before making this meal)
1 small jar of sour cream (about 1 cup)
8-10 green onions (whites and greens, chopped)
handful of chopped fresh parsley (or about 1 tblsp of dry parsley)
handful of fresh spinach* (optional)
5 stalks of asparagus (cut into about 1/2 inch pieces) * (optional)
12-16 oz noodles (I've used egg noodles as well as medium shells)
2 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar or colby/jack)

First start the noodles in boiling water. While the water is boiling, brown the ground beef with the garlic and olive oil (if needed). Cook until it's no longer pink, then add the pasta sauce, salt and sugar. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Add the spinach and asparagus * (optional) and cook until the spinach has shrunken down.

While the pasta is simmering, mix together the softened cream cheese with the sour cream until smooth. Fold in the onions and fresh parsley. Set aside.

Once the pasta has cooked to al dente, drain, then layer on the bottom of a casserole dish.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the pasta and spread it out in an even layer on top.

Top with the meat sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 (or 340 for convection oven) for about 30 minutes. Watch to make sure the cheese doesn't burn or dry out.

Serve with salad and a nice Malbec or Chianti wine.

This is a great meal to double up on and freeze some for later. Just cook about 1 hr - 1.5 hours from a thawed state. With the recipe above, this made dinner for 4, lunch for 2 adults the next day, and a meal for 4 in the freezer. A pound of ground beef goes a long way.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Garbanzo Beans!!

Oh my lordy this is probably the best chocolate cake I've ever had!! And it doesn't have gluten!

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Put the chocolate chips into a microwave safe dish and nuke them for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 20 or 30 seconds to make sure they're mixed together and melted.

Mix the beans with the eggs in a food processor until smooth. Add the sugar and baking powder and give it another whirl to mix it all together.

Fold the beans into the chocolate and mix well. Pour into a greased and flour powdered 9 inch round cake pan and bake for 40 minutes on 350 degrees (or 340 in a convection oven).

Cool for several minutes in the pan and then reverse dump onto a large plate. Top with sprinkled confectioner's sugar, whipped cream, strawberries, or frosting.

So perfect!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Freezer Meals I'm Trying

BBQ Beef - Crock Pot - this was fantastic and so easy to thaw and eat!!

Beef Noodle Supreme - haven't tried yet but it is very similar to one my mom used to make.

Greek Style Fava Beans - scroll down. This was fantastic fresh with Lima Beans - will have to see how it freezes.

Beefy Rice Casserole - this was pretty good but got too crispy on the top cooking it after it was frozen.