Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

This was dinner.  So delicious.  I ate it over Zoodles (zucchini noodles) and the kids ate it with whole wheat spaghetti.  Maria thought it was great that I put her vegetables right in the sauce!  I was just happy that the kids ate it.  The first time I think they’ve eaten homemade sauce without complaints… plus there was no added sugar.  I figured the carrots and the fire-roasted tomatoes would add enough sweetness. PLUS this was totally Whole 30 compliant!

Just a couple minor tweaks from the original that I found at  Wellness Witness
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce #whole30

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

2 onions, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 lbs ground beef
3- 28oz cans crushed FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp. basil (dried)
1 tsp. onion powder
12 oz frozen spinach*

In large skillet, heat up the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Medium-High heat. Add
the carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Once done, drain fat and then add to a large slow cooker.

Add all other ingredients and stir. Cook for 8-9 hours on low.

This makes LOTS!  It is probably 3-4 meals total.  I love having a stocked up freezer!

*I found a bag of frozen spinach at Trader Joe’s.. it wasn’t as mushy as the traditional frozen box, you typically find…

 

Mini-Meatloaves & Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

So I move on with my food intolerances – I’ve now cut out soy.  seriously. not easy. But I am feeling better!

Here is a new family favorite that we can ALL enjoy.  The meatloaf recipe was derived from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life – Basically a gluten free cookbook that would be vegan if it wasn’t for the meat! 🙂  (no eggs, no dairy)

The potatoes and cauliflower is just something I came up with based on recipes I’ve read.  My kids and husband had no idea I snuck in an extra vegetable and I didn’t feel guilty serving this with “just” corn.  Win-Win!  Everyone clears their plate when this is served.

Mini-Meatloaves

Mini-Meatloaves

For the loaves:
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup tomato sauce (you will use 15 oz total)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp dried basil
¾ cup almond meal (Trader Joe’s is the cheapest BY FAR!)
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp flax meal mixed with 1/3 cup hot water

For the Sauce:
3 tbsp tomato paste
remaining tomato sauce from 15 oz can
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onions and garlic until soft. About 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add beef, and remaining meat ingredients. Add cooked onions/garlic. Carefully (onions will be hot) stir and combine meat mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill muffin pans, just to the tops, with the meat mixture. Press down slightly to level tops.
  4. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
  5. Place a small spoonful of sauce on top of each mini meatloaf. With the back of the spoon, spread the sauce evenly over each loaf.
  6. Fill any empty muffin cups halfway with water so meat bakes evenly. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, rotating trays halfway through. Meat should be cooked through and top edges just turning brown.

Cauliflower-Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Broth
4-5 Russet Potatoes
1 bag frozen cauliflower
Butter and/or Heavy Cream (or whatever you like to mash in your potatoes*)
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ pieces.
  2. Add potatoes to pot. Cover with chicken broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower and simmer for another 10-12 minutes.
  5. Drain off excess liquid.
  6. Mash potatoes and cauliflower.
  7. Mix in butter/heavy cream
  8. Add sea salt and garlic powder to taste.

*I have added heavy cream and butter back into my diet. My nutritionist pointed out that my intolerance is to dairy protein and both cream and butter are just fat. 🙂  But she did recommend using only organic and grass-fed.

Lasagna Soup

I found this recipe earlier this week on Pinterest and made a few tweaks, including cooking it in the crockpot. Super yummy! Photo and Original Recipe from joyfulhomemaking.com

 

 Lasagna Soup

1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano & basil
1 pound of ground beef, cooked with dried minced onion and drained
32 ounces of pasta sauce (I used Kirkland’s Marinara)
1 teaspoon of Italian blend seasoning
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 to 1-1/2 cups of uncooked pasta
Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella or Provolone cheese

First, brown your ground beef with minced dried onion and drain. Add meat to crockpot. Then add tomatoes, the pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, broth and water. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add the pasta the last 30-40 minutes.

The soup is ready when the pasta is cooked. Serve with Parmesan cheese and/or mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

I made these for dinner a couple weeks ago. And everyone loved them! I used a dairy-free cheese for Maria’s. And for the kids, I diced up the tomatoes to better disguise them in the wrap.  Also I added mustard to the beef mixture, because we are all fans of mustard in our house!  Very easy to prepare the ground beef the night before.

 

Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 sandwich wraps (I use Flatout Wraps)
sliced or shredded cheese (I used cheddar and dairy-free cheddar)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced (or diced for fussy eaters)
1 cup of romaine lettuce
Additional ketchup (optional)
Additional Mustard (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium to large skillet coated with cooking spray cook the beef on medium till almost cooked through but still a little pink (about 7-10 minutes). Break beef up as it cooks. (I prepared the hamburger in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, 4 minutes on high, break up, then an additional 2 min on high)
  2. Add worcestershire, ketchup, grated parmesan, dried onion flakes, salt, and pepper to the beef. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Continue cooking until beef is cooked all the way through and is no longer pink.
  4. Preheat grill plan or indoor grill.
  5. In the center of  the wrap place cheese and 1/2 cup of the beef mixture. Add tomato and lettuce. Then if you are using, add some more ketchup and mustard.
  6. Roll the wrap and place seam side down on grill. Once there are nice grill marks turn over. Grill for another 2-3 minutes then remove.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the rest of the wraps.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

I found this recipe on Six Sister’s Stuff and made it tonight. We loved it! I used Sutton & Dodge meatballs found in SuperTarget’s meat department. I also added 3 sliced carrots! Yummm!
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
Ingredients:
32 oz. package of precooked, frozen meatballs (you could use turkey meatballs)
13.5 oz can of unsweetened pineapple chunks (put juice aside)
1 large green pepper, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup of brown sugar
2 Tbl. cornstarch
2/3 cup of vinegar
2 Tbl. Soy sauce
Directions:
Place meatballs in crock pot and top with green pepper, carrot, and drained pineapple chunks. In a separate bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour sauce over meatballs, pineapple and green peppers. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a favorite in our house. I grew up associating them with birthday parties. They are one of my favorite comfort foods. Plus easy and quick and my kids eat them (bonus!).

Somewhere along the way, I came up with this version of them and pretty much stick to it, although there are a few ingredients that are occasionally added or subbed depending on my mood, and I rarely measure; there is a lot of tasting going on! AND there are a few ways to make them, again depending on mood. Lately my favorite is in the microwave in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, but stovetop and even crockpot work just as well!  This is a “quick to the table” meal and works great if made ahead of time and reheated.
Sloppy JoesPin It

Sloppy Joes

1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce – (Sweet Baby Ray’s is my sauce of choice)
2 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Ground the ground beef and drain.  Add in remaining ingredients. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken the longer you let it sit uncovered.

Microwave: Cook in covered glass or stoneware dish for 4 minutes. Break up ground beef and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.  Drain. Add ingredients and stir. Microwave (covered) for 3 more minutes. Remove, stir and let stand uncovered for 3-5 minutes.

Crockpot, for larger batches: Ground beef on stovetop or in microwave.  Drain the meat. Add to crockpot with other ingredients.  If I triple (or more) the batch, I usually cut back on one can of soup. Cook on low for 1-2 hours.

Other ingredients: chopped green peppers, can of diced tomatoes, ketchup (instead of BBQ), splash or 2 of white vinegar (especially if only using ketchup), white sugar (instead of brown)

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Tuck this one away for next fall.  I made this a few weeks ago with some stew meat I had in the freezer. It was most likely my last stew/soup for the season! But it was delicious and EASY!  Originally found at Allrecipes.com

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cups beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.