Tag Archives: easy

Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats

This recipe has been floating around on social media for awhile and I have to say it really piqued my interest.  So much that here I am blogging about it!  There are so many recipes out there using spaghetti squash and if you were like me it is a vegetable that I did not know too much about.  Year’s ago I received one in my CSA box and had to do some research on what to do with it.  Here is what I shared a while back.  My love for spicy food led me to try this along with the fact that the calories per serving were only around 300 and no carbs.  That is definitely a win for everyone.

This recipe was inspired by Skinnytaste.  If you have not seen her blog check it out and her new cookbook is out also.  It is great!  I have been trying out many of her recipes since I acquired myself the infamous Instant Pot.  Do you have one?  I love mine, but yet another story.

So let’s get cooking.   If you like to plan ahead then it would be a great idea to make the taco meat a day ahead or even make it and freeze it.  I think it is much more flavorful.  But, making it the same day as you serve it is good!  I chose to make the taco meat from this recipe that I love from Gourmet Magazine 2003.

I just adore Skinnytaste’s pico de gallo.  It is similar to this one  I have used, but I do like that it calls for scallions instead of red onion.  That way my husband who is not a lover of onion thinks that he is just eating cilantro!!!  Give this pico about 15 minutes for the flavors to blend and enjoy!

Now to the cooking of the squash.  Don’t let it intimidate you because believe me without proper instruction cutting it might lead you to the emergency room.  This was the method that I used.  Just be cautious and don’t overcook it!   Not a good thing when that happens.

Using a knife make small cuts from stem to stem as you would make a dotted line to use when you cut the squash in half.

Place the squash in the microwave on high for about 4 minutes for a 24 ounce squash.

Let it cool so you can handle it or use an oven mitt.  Using a sharp knife cut in half along the dotted line that you created.

 

Scrape out the seeds and strands not the flesh from the sides .  Discard the seeds and strands.

Spray or brush with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place on a pan with parchment paper cut side down  and bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

 

Watch carefully because it is easy to overcook this squash.  The squash is done when a fork pierces the flesh easily.  PERFECTION!

 

I love this recipe!  It is so flavorful and very filling!

Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats inspired  from Skinnytaste

  • 3 small spaghetti squash about 24 oz. each
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese

Taco Meat filling  from Gourmet

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped ( I used jalapeno)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pico de Gallo from Skinnytaste

 

  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Use a knife to make small cuts from stem to stem on the squash.  Microwave on high for about 4 minutes.
  3. Let it cool or handle with an oven mitt.
  4. Using a sharp knife cut in half along the dotted cuts.
  5. Scrape the seeds and strands from the flesh.  Discard.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two if they don’t fit). 
  7. Spray or brush the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the squash facedown on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the flesh easily pierces with a fork.
  8. Meanwhile, brown ground meat  in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
  9. Combine the ingredients for the quick pico de gallo in a medium bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  10. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the inside so the strands appear. Spoon scant 1/2 cup meat inside each squash bowl.
  11. Top each with 2 tbsp cheese and transfer them to the oven and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  12. Remove from the oven, top with pico de gallo .

 

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Luscious Lemon Bars

luscious lemon bars

You need these lemon bars in your life.  Yes, you do!  Make them and share with all your family and friends.   They are the best ever!  Aren’t they just gorgeous on this platter?  I’ve been drooling over this recipe since I first saw it in Southern Living.  When Spring peeked out a little a couple of months ago I felt the need for something lemony and served these to my book club.  They flew off the platter!  But, who could resist when I put the platter on the table right in front of everyone.  You just want one more bite.

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Layered Taco Salad

layered taco salad

I love Mexican food and there is no other words to describe this salad but fantastic!  The salad part is just like any other salad with lettuce, tomato, olives, cheese, and avocado.  The stars of this main dish are the meat and the dressing so don’t change a thing when you make this because they are perfect as they are.  This is an easy to prepare so you will win all around.  The most time-consuming is chopping the onions, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro.   It does make a lot.  I mean that I served 10 people and had 2 servings as leftovers.  The leftovers are still good the next day if you don’t add the dressing to the top.  I do like it with some heat so I put really  hot jalapeno peppers with seeds and all in there.  You adjust the heat to your taste.  I love serving this with some crunchy tortilla chips and homemade Pico de gallo.  Yummy!   Make this for your next get together,  serve it on your deck or patio or take it to  your friends to enjoy.  They will thank you!

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Tomato Tarts from Paula’s Cookbook

Tomato Tarts

There is nothing better in the summer than a good sliced tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper.  But, that window of opportunity to have those mouth-watering slices is so short.  During the winter I crave those tomatoes as I’m sure you also do.  There are a couple of recipes that I pull out of my back pocket to satisfy the tomato craving and this is one of them.  I have gone through my cookbook collection marking recipes with post it notes that I want to try.  If I cooked something new everyday for the rest of my life I am pretty sure that I would not get to all of the ones on my list, but thank goodness I tried this one.  When I read Paula’s headline that a catering friend of hers used this recipe all the time  in Savannah, Georgia I knew it had to be a winner.    I was right!  It is easy, good, pretty on a platter and it makes a winter tomato taste as good as the summer!

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Slice and Bake Oatmeal Cookies with Black Walnuts

 

oatmeal with black walnuts

As a child I loved spending days with my grandparents.  They lived on a huge farm and I pretty much got run of the place.  It was a child’s paradise!  I even got to take some of the animals home as pets.  I had a beautiful Bantam rooster that I brought home.  The rooster did not stay home long though.  He fell in love with a hen across the road from us.  When the weather was good I played under the China Berry tree in the front yard or walked to the creek to pick blackberries.  Out back was a big metal container where my grandfather crushed sugar cane for syrup.  Sometimes you could find me there or in the barn with all the hay.  It was the perfect place for kids and I have many fond memories.

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Hearty Italian Soup

Hearty Italian SoupA couple of months ago Southern Living posted 10 or 12 soup recipes that we all should have in our freezer when we don’t have time to cook or  we just don’t feel like it.   Then like magic we can just pull it out and presto dinner is served.  I have started cooking them now that the temperature is cooler.  Ha!  It was 80 on Christmas , but  I am a soup lover no matter what season of the year and no matter what the temperature is outside. I have made this particular soup 4 times and it has not made it to my freezer yet!   We love it!  It is full of flavor and packed with some really good stuff.  I guess I’m going to be forced to go out and buy a larger pan so that I can double the recipe.  I think that will be the only way to have some of this good stuff land in my freezer.

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Southwestern Brisket in the Slow Cooker

 

Brisket

I’ll be dreaming about this recipe for months.  I have been searching for the recipe  for years.  I love the brisket. There are so many possibilities with this recipe.  In the next couple of months you are going to see several recipes that I am testing to find the perfect brisket.  This one could be THE ONE!  When you make it you’re going to think it is just too easy to be good, but it is THAT good!   I saw it on Smitten years ago and pulled it out when I was cleaning my freezer and lo and behold found a 6 lb brisket.  I know that’s a lot of brisket but the two of us ate every bite and slurped every drop of broth wanting more.  Now here is a recipe that you can put in the slow cooker a couple of days before Christmas and you can feed the hungry for many times.  In fact you have to make this at least a day before serving it since it takes about 10 -12 hours to cook .   A must do step is to store the meat separated from the broth.  It will make it easy to skim the fat from the broth and  you will be surprised at how little will be to skim.   So get your cooking on for the holiday season with this brisket. It is as good as my favorite restaurants or better because you have all the control!  Enjoy!

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Homemade Parmesan Croutons

Homemade Croutons

Here is a way to amp up your next salad or soup with these wonderful homemade Parmesan Croutons.  Oh my Gosh!  Crunchy bread seasoned with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper it’s the best ever.    I could not believe how easy they were and how good the result was.  Next time you are making  a salad try these and see what everyone says.  I can bet it is “wow these are great!”

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Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Now after last week’s Thanksgiving feast we all need a good salad.   You need it because this salad is fabulous, easy and just what your scales ordered.  Anna introduced this particular Caesar salad to me years ago.  It’s great as a side dish or add your favorite chicken, fish, or grilled steak on top and it is a crowd pleaser.  It was one of my Thanksgiving side dishes this year.  I made homemade croutons that I will share later.  They were great, but forgot to take a picture of them alone.   Now without further ado let’s get it going –  my favorite Caesar Salad from Anna and myself to you!

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Thai Chicken Soup

Thai Chicken Soup

Paris we are with you!

The weather is getting cooler so you’re going to  need some new soup recipes to pull out and this one is a winner.  I really mean that it is an A+ guaranteed to knock your socks off recipe!  I had something like this in Carrollton at Highlands Deli and could not stop thinking about then lo and behold Kathy from Noble Pig posted this recipe.  It is to die for.  I have made it at least 5 times and slurped it all up by myself.  Delish!

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Filed under Slow Cooker, Soup