Cooking and Using Crumbled Ground Beef

Cooking and Using Crumbled Ground Beef

 

I have been talking extensively in podcast episodes (see Five Tips for Efficiency in the Kitchen HERE) and in blog posts about my cycle cooking (PODCAST) and just the general idea of preparing meats to be used in dishes. (See my Shredded Chicken post here.)

 

Having meats ready to use in recipes is one of the best kitchen efficiency tips that I can give people. It truly makes creating a quick meal doable.

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Crock Pot Tuesday: Beef and Pork Roasts in the Crock Pot

Beef and Pork Roasts in the Crock Pot

If you follow our Crock Pot posts, you have read about the many soups and stews that I do for our lunch on the days that we teach classes. Our oldest son is soup-crazy, so I started the tradition for him as he comes to teach with me each week.

Classes are over for the summer, but I do want to continue the crock pot tradition because so many of the entrees in the crock pot are so simple–and one dish!

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Shredded Chicken–Cooking With Chicken Breasts and Thighs

Shredded Chicken - Cooking With Breasts and Thighs

I have been working on recipes for my newlyweds–Jonathan and Maelynn (son and daughter-in-law married in August 2014) and Will and Kara (daughter and son-in-law married in January 2015). I like to categorize my recipes just like I have done with all of my mega-cooking/freezer cooking recipes for the past twenty-five years…according to type of meat/main ingredients. For freezer cooking, this is ideal because I can cook up twenty, thirty, or forty pounds of that type of meat and put a lot of entrees together quickly.

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Crock Pot Wednesday: Cheeseburger Potato Soup and Cheeseburger Carrot Soup

Crock Pot Wednesday: Cheeseburger Potato Soup and Cheeseburger Carrot Soup

I found a great way today to make two soups quickly–one that is an easy family favorite and one that works for my husband’s low carb eating lifestyle. 

The first one, Cheeseburger Potato Soup, is one of the easiest soups I make. I am all about Sandra Lee’s Semi Homemade books and recipes, and this one could easily qualify as one of hers! Unfortunately, I don’t have a “real” recipe–so bear with me while I try to get it down in writing! 😉

Here is how I made it.

1 to 2 lbs of ground beef (we like a lot of meat in ours)
1 (32 oz) bag of frozen hash browns (cubed)

1 quart of half and half or cream
2 to 3 quarts  of milk or half and half
1 1/2 lbs of shredded Velveeta
1/2 lb of shredded cheddar
Optional: 3 stalks of celery and one large onion and olive oil or butter
Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, basil, garlic herb seasoning, worcestershire powder,parsley


1. Optional: Cook chopped onion and celery in skillet until tender. 

2. Cook ground beef and drain. (When I am making something the next day with ground beef, I put ten pounds of it in my huge crock pot, turn it on low overnight, and let it cook. The next morning I drain it and use part of it for my recipe and either freeze the rest of it or make something else.)

3. Put everything in the crock pot and cover and cook on high for three hours or low for five to six hours. 

4. At the end of the cook time, whisk 1/4 cup of cornstarch in 1/2 cup very cold water and whisk that mixture into the hot soup. Cook uncovered for another hour or so on low or half an hour on high until thickened.

Serves 10.

Cheeseburger Carrot Soup

Same ingredients except for the following:

1 lb of ground beef (we like a lot of meat in ours)
1 lb of carrots, steamed and cut into small cubes

1 quart of cream
1 quart of half and half
3/4  lb of shredded Velveeta
3/4  lb of shredded cheddar
Optional: 3 stalks of celery and one large onion and olive oil or butter
Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, basil, garlic herb seasoning, worcestershire powder,parsley


1. Optional: Cook chopped onion and celery in skillet until tender. 

2. Cook ground beef and drain. (When I am making something the next day with ground beef, I put ten pounds of it in my huge crock pot, turn it on low overnight, and let it cook. The next morning I drain it and use part of it for my recipe and either freeze the rest of it or make something else.)

3. Put everything in the crock pot and cover and cook on high for two hours or low for four to five hours. 

4. At the end of the cook time, whisk in 1 bar (8 oz) of full fat cream cheese. Cook uncovered for another  half an hour on high until thickened.

Serves 6.


Low Carb Fall Vegetables

Low Carb Fall Vegetables

Image from sonomatowns

As we head into fall, I am saddened that I won’t be able to just walk out the back door and get Ray Baby’s veggies everyday! I am still heading out there often and getting a tomato here and a green pepper there–I haven’t given up completely. However, very soon that obscure tomato or tiny pepper will not even be there to pick. Sadness…

On the other hand, it is time to turn my attention to buying (and even harvesting in my “fall garden”) and preparing fall vegetables.

Here is a list of what I will be looking for to use in cooking low carb this fall:

1. Beets—very low carb, deep purple means very nutritious

2. Broccoli–very low carb and my sons like this veggie steamed with cheese, so that is a win-win

3. Cauliflower–low carb–plus I will use it for cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower rice–and I will stir fry it along with broccoli and zucchini for oriental dishes as well as just for sides

4. Eggplant–I have never cooked with eggplant, but it is relatively low carb, deep purple for all of that nutrition–and I have some recipes pinned to try it out!

5. Garlic–I didn’t even know this was a fall vegetable, and I definitely use it year round. I know everybody loves fresh everything, but I couldn’t live without my jar of minced garlic in oil that I can dip into and get those aromatics going (along with onions and peppers) as the beginning of tons and tons of low carb veggies and stir fries.

6. Green beans–I have my fifteen year old watching his favorite show on Netflix this afternoon and snapping tons of green beans! I can use them so many way–I love putting them in the crock pot with potatoes and ham or sausage for my kids–then pulling out a heaping serving of just the green beans for Ray Baby!

7. Kale–I have some winter kale seeds that I am planting this weekend! Anxious to see if they really grow in the cold weather that the package says they will grow in. Ray enjoyed the kale chips I made him for a snack a few weeks ago–but kale is pricey, so if I can get this winter kale to grow, I will be excited!

8. Zucchini—I have been harvesting and cooking zucchini all summer! I froze it three weeks: a. shredded for breads, muffins, etc. (anxious to try out my new almond flour and swerve sweetener!); b. cubed with yellow squash for casseroles and stir fries; c. sliced (also bagged with sliced yellow squash part of the time and sometimes by itself) also for stir fries, but Ray Baby likes the sliced zucchini just to steam in a little broth and season it (though he’s not the best seasoner! lol).

I am also looking forward to using three “fall” herbs:

1. Basil
2. Rosemary
3. Thyme

Though my sons would have me using four of them–and they would have to sing it: “Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”–they love to follow me through the kitchen when I am cooking, carrying those four spices in their hands and waving them in my face while singing “Scarborough Fair”! Kids–never a dull moment!

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