What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook Club {skinnytaste FAST AND SLOW}

I have a new favorite weeknight cookbook thanks to Gaby’s March Cookbook Club.

skinnytastefastandslow

I have been a follower for the blog SkinnyTaste for years and I was excited when Gaby featured her as her cookbook of the month.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve cooked several recipes and I’ve LOVED every single one.  Half of the cookbook is filled with quick-fix recipes and the other half is filled with slow cooker recipes.

slowcookerchanamasala

The Slow Cooker Chana Masala is a meatless slow cooker recipe that was the first recipe I cooked from the book.  The chickpeas are spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masalas and cardamom.  This recipe made awesome leftovers and I found myself eating this all week long.

lettucewraps

Last week I made Korean-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps when my sister-in-law visited and they were the perfect quick-fix dinner after an evening barre class.  The ground chicken is seasoned with soy sauce (or tamari), sesame oil, brown sugar, crushed red pepper plus some garlic and ginger.  The lettuce is topped with cooked brown rice, the chicken mixture and then a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds plus sriracha if you like some heat.  These eat-with-your-hands wraps are delicious!  Incredibly light yet satisfying.

eggrollbowl

And finally, the Egg Roll Bowls I made for Big Guy and I last Friday night.  I picked this recipe because it only made two servings and since we were heading out of town I didn’t want a lot of leftovers.  The flavors are that of an egg roll but without the weird ingredients and greasy egg roll taste you might find at a Chinese restaurant.  The bowl includes pork (I used 93/7 beef), onion, napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  The flavors come from soy sauce (or tamari), ginger, garlic, dry sherry and sesame oil  It was light but I loved that the portion size was huge.  I think we both loved the mushrooms the most.

There are so many recipes I have my eye on, including:

Spicy Seared Tuna Sushi Bowls

Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Rice Bowls

Spicy Lump Crab and Charred Corn Flaco “Tacos”

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump

 

Have you cooked from any new cookbooks lately?

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

With all the rain and dreary weather, comfort food was a must earlier in the week.  Mac and cheese ranks pretty high up there on my list of comfort foods.

Cheesy and cozy.  Warms the heart and soul and satisfies your hunger.

Just like this spin on traditional mac and cheese using spaghetti squash instead of noodles.

I’m not going to lie and tell you that spaghetti squash tastes like noodles.  But it is delicious.

The best part about this dish – the portion size!  This dish could be served as a side dish but it was a fabulous meatless Monday main dish.

spagh squash

I halved, removed the seeds and roasted two small(er) spaghetti squash (from our SoCo Farm to Door delivery!) at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Another option – cook your spaghetti squash in the slow cooker – I saw this on a recent The Kitchen episode and thought it was brilliant.

Once cooked, scrape out the strands of squash using a fork.

The squash “noodles” are mixed with an insane cheese sauce (I used half sharp white cheddar and half habanero cheddar from our SoCo deliver) and some spinach for even more nutrients.

(to note:  I used cornstarch instead of flour to make this dish gluten free)

The mixture is then baked in a casserole dish for about 25 minutes.  You could totally make the dish ahead of time and then bake before serving.

And I lied.  The best part wasn’t the portion size – the best part is that Gina {the blogger behind SkinnyTaste} “regrammed” my photo last night on Instagram.

I felt famous for about 15 minutes.

 

Stuffed Pepper Soup

There are so many ways to prepare stuffed peppers.  From quinoa to rice, ground turkey to beans, the possibilities are endless.

In my world (which is sometimes a weird place), the basic components of a stuffed pepper are bell peppers (duh), ground beef, rice, tomatoes, spices and cheese.

Stuffed Pepper Soup takes all the ingredients of the “traditional” stuffed pepper but throws it in a pot for a super comforting dinner.  When the weather starts to cool down, soups are a great dinner option because not only are they filling but they typically provide leftovers which are perfect for lunches or meals later in the week.

 

Another bonus – I think that making stuffed pepper soup is so much easier than actually stuffing peppers.

The soup starts by browning ground beef in a Dutch oven (gotta love the Le Creuset).  To the ground beef, add chopped peppers (homegrown!  I can’t believe it’s still producing veggies), chopped onions and garlic.  Once softened, add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth (or chicken), dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Everything is brought to a boil and then reduced to a simmer for 30 minutes.

By the time the 30 minutes is over, your kitchen will smell amazing.

Once ladled into bowls, the soup is topped with a scoop of rice (I used a long grain white) and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar.

Seriously tasted like a stuffed pepper.  But so much easier to eat.  And each bite was full of comfort and warmth.

And the good thing about soup – leftovers!  This recipe makes a large pot, so if you’re a family of 2 like we are, you usually have leftovers from meals.  The leftovers are perfect for lunch or for dinner later in the week when you’re in a rush.

What’s not to love about this recipe?!?!?

 

Canned Tuna Ceviche

You’re either going to love this recipe idea or hate it.

Canned tuna is one of those things that you either love or hate.  I think that cilantro falls in that category.  Along with mushrooms.

I personally have always loved canned tuna.  In fact, tuna noodle casserole is one of my favorite retro dishes that I crave.  It reminds me of weeknight dinners growing up.

Canned tuna (actually, I used the pouches because I can do without the extra liquid in the cans) is perfect for throwing together a quick lunch for work.

But canned tuna ceviche kind of makes canned tuna seem fancy.  If that’s even possible.

canned ceviche

I halved the recipe since it was just for me (you won’t catch Big Guy eating canned tuna ever…maybe fresh, but never canned).

In the mix:

1 pouch of tuna
diced red onion
juice of half a lime
salt
pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
diced tomato
diced pickled jalapeno

Simply mix all the ingredients together and let them hang out in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  Once you’ve given the tuna some time to soak up the flavors, serve with avocado slices and crackers.

A little bit of spice and a lot of flavor – considering it’s canned tuna and all.

Is there a food you just absolutely won’t eat?  

 

 

Zucchini Lasagna

I really wish I had invited company over for dinner last night.  It was that good.

The zucchini is growing like crazy and we’ve picked four since Friday.  They were destined to be used in zucchini lasagna.

The recipe requires some time but the end result is better than I ever imagined.  Big Guy claimed it was the best lasagna he’s ever had.

lasagna 2

First I started working on the sauce.  Lean ground beef is cooked and then simmers with crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.

While the sauce simmers, the zucchini are sliced into long strips – like lasagna noodles.  I used a mandolin but you could totally use a sharp knife.  The zucchini slices are salted and allowed to sweat for about 10 minutes to release the extra water.  This prevents soppy lasagna.  No wants soppy lasagna.

Big Guy was in charge of grilling the zucchini slices until tender.

Ricotta is a key ingredient in lasagna.  The ricotta is mixed with an egg, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Once all those parts are prepped, it’s time to start layering.

Start with a layer of sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.  Then goes a layer of zucchini followed by sauce and then the ricotta mixture and finally a hefty sprinkling of mozzarella.

Then keep on layering until all the ingredients are used up – ending with a layer of mozzarella on top.

The lasagna bakes for about 45 minutes, covered and then uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.  I broiled the top for about 3 minutes to get it nice and bubbly.

lasagna

Y’all – this is comfort food.  And I honestly couldn’t tell I was eating a huge plate of veggies.

The zucchini becomes so tender but has just enough bite that makes it better than noodles.

Seriously delicious.

Cheesy.

Comforting.

Rich.

Meaty.

Salty.

Tender.

Saucy.

And since the zucchini is growing like crazy, I’ll have enough to make another lasagna.

But I’m not making it unless I have guests.