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Cook the spaghetti squash the same as the butternut, but cut side down.  400F  ~1 hour. 


Do your Beyond meatballs freeze? Can you make a batch ahead of time and reheat what you need for dinner?  What about breaking up the meatball mixture, cooking it and adding crumbles to the sauce? 


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In my experience, spaghetti squash is a lie. Zucchini is good in bread form. And butternut squash is what pumpkin aspired to be before its dreams were crushed and canned.


I expect if meatless meatballs fall apart in the freezer and can no longer be balled, all is not lost. It's an excuse for chili. Or lazily doctoring a jar of pasta sauce. Or tacos.

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Problem: we have a pretty small freezer. Only so much we can even store to begin with. 


Spaghetti squash needs a shorter cooking time to stay stringy instead of goopy. The ones at our store tend to be on the smaller side and cook to tasty stringy in perhaps 35-40mins. 

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Minestrone Soup is easy and very flexible.  It is a great soup in cold or rainy weather.  If you are stuck at home and looking through the pantry at cans and boxes, this is something you can make. 


You need a couple basics, but you can adapt as necessary.


1. some kind of broth, meat or vegetable based

2. tomatoes, canned work great, whole or chopped, Italian seasoning a plus, with chilis if you like that, fresh if you got 'em

3. beans, any kind, white, red, black, canned or dry, doesn't matter

4. pasta, pretty much anything works, break up large shapes like long noodles

5. vegetables, carrot, onion and celery are good to start with but you can add anything you got, fresh or frozen. Try zucchini, green beans, peas, spinach, collard greens, cabbage

6. herbs, basil, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, oregano, rosemary, whatever. This is the perfect place for that "Italian seasoning"


Put 4 cups of broth into a large pan, add tomatoes (break them up if necessary) and beans.  Add chopped vegetables, and enough water to cover. Add pinches of seasonings and salt to taste. Let it cook until the vegs are soft.  Add a handful or two of pasta and stir.  The pasta will cook in the liquid and absorb it, so you may need to add more broth or water.  Cook until pasta is soft and add more seasoning if you need to. Garnish the serving bowls with parmesan if you have it.   


This is something you can put in a slow cooker or instant pot. The flavor improves the next day, if there are leftovers. It can also be frozen for later. 

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It was time for me to get violent with produce again.


I cut that stupid cabbage. Then poured salt into its open wounds. Then beat it up until it bled!


i.e. I'm making sauerkraut!


The preparation is simple, but the final product takes weeks of waiting. Thinly slice your cabbage. Pour in some coarse/kosher salt. Mash it in good. Wait for water to expel from cabbage, making it lose a lot of volume and make it tender. Put it in mason jars and try to weigh it down so the cabbage stays submerged in its own brine. Wait three weeks for it to properly ferment (pop the lid often in the first days for gas to escape). Other veggies (carrots, onions, garlic, radishes) and spices (pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin), can be added.

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Last week's orzo veggie stuff was delicious.


This week I improvised off a lentil soup/stew recipe I found online. This is the original: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/03/08/this-lentil-soup-is-so-good-one-nurse-has-eaten-it-for-lunch-every-workday-for-17-years/?utm_source=pocket-newtab


But I forgot to get celery and a jalapeno, and I didn't have fresh lemon juice - just basic (not actually basic - it is acidic!) lemon juice in a bottle. And I didn't have cumin seeds or coriander seeds - just ground spices so I used those. Somehow also out of oregano so I used my basil and savory and ground rosemary. And I added some chopped carrots. Also wasn't sure how to measure 10oz of spinach, so I grabbed a few handfuls and guestimated. Used "what looked like a good amount" of cayenne and paprika and white pepper to substitute for the jalapeno.


Otherwise.... that recipe. And it is really tasty! Had a bowl with some wine last night, and have a lot of leftovers in the fridge now. Sir Cyr liked it but said it reminded him a bit of chili, and then he added a tiny bit of ghost pepper salt.

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Bacon Cheeseburgerito


Thick cut bacon

Burger (either chuck/brisket or ribs)

Yellow onion, diced

Bell pepper, diced
Garlic, pressed

Swiss cheese, slices

Flour tortilla shells (burrito size)

Refried black beans
Salsa of choice


Fry up the bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Remove and drain on paper towels. Spoon off excess fat and sautee the onion, garlic, and pepper. Remove and set aside. Cook up the burger, I like to cook it as patties and then chop it after for better texture.

Place s tortilla shell on a microwave-safe plate and place a slice of swiss on it (split the slice in half and run it vertically down the center of the shell). Nuke until the cheese melts a bit, don't overnuke (it's 30secs in my 1100W microwave).

Slap the prepared ingredients into the shell, top with your favorite salsa (I like a mango salsa), wrap it up and enjoy!

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Beef Medallions.

Take an eye of round roast and cut into 3/4 inch slices.

Lay out on a cookie sheet and season to taste.

I use onion powder, granulated garlic [not too much], salt and fresh ground Indian Pepper.

Season both sides and cover for two hours.

Sear both sides in a pan with just a little olive oil.  Alternately, bake in a hot oven, turning once.

Serve with appropriate sides.

For a sauce I take 4 Tbsp mayonnaise and add a heaping Tbsp of dill and half a Tbsp of rosemary.  Whip until mixed and serve with the medallions.

Once the prep work is done it takes 10 minutes to cook and have on the table.


What we just had for dinner.  Clean plates and no leftovers.


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In a large skillet:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef.


Add one can of stewed tomatoes, one diced pepper, one small diced onion, one jar of sauce, two cups of water and two cups of uncooked macaroni. Stir well.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for twenty minutes.

Cover with the shredded cheese of your choice.

Let sit for five minutes, so the cheese melts.

Nom nom nom nom nom!

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Easy Burritos, Tacos or Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 can of tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Chilipowder 
1 can of tomato chunks
1 yellow onion - optional
Large sized Tortillas, or Taco shells or Crushed Chips
Mexican Cheese
Lettuce and/or Spinach
Yellow Peppers, Diced fresh tomatoes, Canadian Cucmber
Sour Cream
Brown the ground beef and the optional onions
Add  Worcestershire Sauce, Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder and cans of tomato sauce and drained chopped tomatoes
Let simmer until the consistency is less liquidy.  If you use the can of chopped, it's best to drain the liquid, but it's also possible to cheat and soak up extra liquid using corn or potato starch to thicken if needed.
Fill a burrito with 1/6 of the mixture, add cheese and any toppings.
My husband prefers no onions (and I cannot eat them) and only cheese added in his burritos.
I always make mine into a Taco Salad.
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Crispy smashed sweet potatoes with lemon sauce

prep time ~1 hour


Peel 1 sweet potato per person and slice into 1/2 to 3/4" rounds. 


Boil or steam until fork tender, ~20-30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a sheet pan with foil and a light coat of spray oil, or use a nonstick pan. 


When potato slices have cooled enough to handle, arrange on baking surface and smash gently with a fork. It helps if you oil the tops of the potatoes a little.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and drizzle with more oil. 


Bake for 20 minutes, until tops start to brown.  Brush generously with garlic butter, and return to oven for 20 more minutes. 


Meanwhile, prepare a sauce using 3TB of mayonnaise, 1 tsp crushed garlic, and 1TB of fresh lemon juice. 


Serve potato slices warm, with sauce on the side or drizzled lightly over the potatoes. 




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46 minutes ago, lowlylowlycook said:

Question for those of you with Instant Pots.  Do you use the saute function or just do think kind of thing on the range?

Inside the saute because I feel like I can walk away from it a little more than on the stove. Also, I don't have to worry about little hands in the instant pot.

And lastly, if you use saute, you can deglaze and keep all the yummy burned bits in whatever you're cooking. 

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