I find that cooking is all an exploration of what works and what doesn’t. I am all about finding efficiencies to prepare good meals that are cost effective and saves me time on cleanup. Since I spent time making granola and bread this weekend, I turned to my crockpot for an easy meal. I’ve always wondered if you could cook meat fully in the crockpot without browning it first and whether it would cook pasta for an easy all in one dish; yes you can. I was thrilled with how well it came out and I grated a little Parmesan on top for that final touch of flavor. Check out the easy recipe below and put your crockpot to good use.
1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup sliced mushrooms
8oz frozen spinach
1 25 oz jar of vodka sauce
8oz of dry corkscrew pasta
1 1/2 cup of diced onion
2 cups water
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 tbsp fresh basil
- Defrost lean ground meat at least two hours before starting.
- Add meat to a crockpot and breakup thoroughly.
- Dice and slice veggies and mince herbs; add them to the crockpot including spinach.
- Add pasta then sauce and water.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.
I always keep a can or two of beans on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. Most can be jazzed up in multiple ways and this bean dish certainly packs a lot of flavor. Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are a staple in hummus and other Mediterranean and Indian dishes. It is a good source of plant based protein that is also a good source of fiber. Not only is it a great option for a meatless lunch or dinner, but one that can literally be prepared virtually any way.
I decided to make it the star of a salad on a bed of arugula with tomato and cucumber from the farmers market and an egg. The chickpea salad below can be added to a salad or eaten on its own. Check out the recipe below and share your thoughts.
1 14oz can of chickpeas
1 tsp grated turmeric
1 tsp grated garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/8 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 of a juiced lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 gloves (for turmeric handling)
- Open the can of chickpeas, strain and rinse them. Add to a bowl
- Peel and dice the onion and add to the bowl.
- Rinse and mince parsley and add to the bowl.
- Glove hands (to prevent staining) then peel turmeric and garlic. Grate into bowl.
- Add seasoning and juice the lemon directly into the bowl and mix well.
- Serve over salad greens with diced cucumber, tomato and boiled egg or other protein.