Beef, Mains, Pasta

Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs


This could serve 4-5 people generously or feed 2 for 3 days. I use 1/3 of meatballs for sauce and freeze the rest for later. And, obviously, you have to make spaghetti to go with this.


  • 1 lbs. ground pork
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small onion, minced in food processor
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ~1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ~1 tsp salt, pepper
  • optional: dried oregano, Italian spice mix, cumin…
  1. Mix everything together, but don’t over mix 🙂
  2. Form into balls (2 tbsp sized) and brown on stovetop (if intending to finish cooking  in sauce) OR bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes to freeze.


  • 1 onion, food processed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed + 1 can diced tomatoes (use the large cans)
  • salt, pepper 
  • 1 tbsp sugar*
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • optional: dried oregano, crushed red pepper, garlic powder… 

*if you don’t want to add sugar, you can substitute a grated carrot and saute it at the start with the onion.

  1. Saute onion and a dash of salt in olive oil until translucent or browned.
  2. Add tomato paste and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.
  3. Stir in canned tomatoes. Cover and simmer until you are done browning the meatballs.
  4. Add meatballs and spices/sugar/salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve, stir in fresh basil and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Toss with cooked spaghetti. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the top (if desired).
Beef, Mains, Vegetables

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Enchiladas with Sweet Corn Crema


This recipe is from the sugar plum blog:

Smoky Sweet Potato-Black Bean Enchiladas with Sweet Corn Crema

2 cups cooked mashed North Carolina sweet potato
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups crumbled queso fresco cheese, divided use
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups jarred fire roasted tomato-enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
10 corn tortillas
1/2 cup canned creamed corn
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro
Avocado slices, for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together sweet potato, black beans, 1 cup cheese, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.

Whisk together enchilada sauce and adobo sauce in a medium bowl until combined; pour half of the sauce into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Warm tortillas in the microwave, covered in damp paper towels, until warm – about 1 minute. Place about 1/4 cup sweet potato mixture on one side of a tortilla, roll up, and place in baking dish; repeat process with remaining sweet potato mixture and tortillas.

Drizzle remaining enchilada sauce on top of tortillas, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

To make the sweet corn crema, in a food processor, puree creamed corn and sour cream until well combined and smooth; stir in cilantro until combined. Serve enchiladas with a drizzle of sweet corn crema, and top with avocado slices.

I used 2 yams instead of sweet potatoes (peeled and steamed), used the whole can of black beans, instead of chili powder I used 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp regular paprika. I also used 2 cans of regular red enchilada sauce and the whole 7 oz. can of chipotle pepper juice, plus two peppers diced.   I also used cheddar cheese in addition to queso fresco on top. There was enough stuffing to make two batches, one with corn tortillas the other with flour tortillas cut in half.

I mixed the creamed corn and sour cream together with a spoon.

I added ground beef sauteed with  a chopped yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic, dried oregano, thyme, and ground cumin served on the side.

This recipe is seriously awesome and easy!

Beef, Mains

Nassy Kofte

20140310-202326.jpgFYI: this is NOT an authentic recipe.  Makes about 30 kofte meatballs that aren’t dry.

  • 1 piece white bread diced small
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt thinned with milk to buttermilk consistency (or use buttermilk)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef chuck
  • 1 small white onion, diced in processor
  • 2 garlic cloves minced in processor
  • 1/4 bunch parsley minced in processor
  • 1 beaten egg
  • pinch cumin
  • salt

Mix the bread and yogurt together and let sit for 10 minutes.  Mix in all other ingredients.  Form into 1/3 inch flat, oblong shapes. Season with salt.   Broil them or fry in a skillet on the stove at 3-4 minutes a side. Make sure they are well done (no pink) since there is pork in them.

{notes to self: stove temp 5-6, took a long time to fry all in batches. broil this in a broiler pan next time -with the door open.  if omit pork, add 1 tsp gelatin bloomed in 2 tsp water for 5 min}

info about broiling

Beef, Mains, Vegetables

Broccoli Beef


marinate 1/2 lb. beef (sliced thinly on diagonal) overnight* in a mixture of:

  • pinch of baking soda (to tenderize the meat)
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce**
  • ~1 tbsp oil

for the sauce:

  • 3-4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ~3/4 cup water

For the stir fry:

  • broccoli
  • minced garlic (about 2 tbsp)
  • minced ginger (about 1 tbsp)

In a skillet with a bit of oil, cook the meat and remove it.  Add a tsp more oil to the pan and saute the broccoli for a few minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds (don’t let the garlic burn).  Add the sauce, cook for a few minutes, add back the meat. Stir.

Serve over white rice.

*overnight is best so that the meat is tender and not chewy. Alternatively, you can sprinkle 1 tsp baking soda (per pound of meat)  over the sliced beef and really work it into the meat.  Let it sit for an hour, then rinse off the baking soda and pat the meat dry.  You can then marinate it for an hour (minus the baking soda in the marinade).

** the ratio of oyster sauce to tamari is 2:1 if you want to increase the amount of marinade.

A side note: you don’t have to add all of the ingredients to make the sauce, really you can get by with oyster sauce and soy sauce (mixed with ground ginger/garlic, cornstarch, and water –and omit the fresh garlic and ginger).  Then all you need is beef and broccoli.

Beef, Mains, Soups & Stews

Steak Fajita Adobo

This recipe happened by accident, but if you ever have extra fajita meat and are debating either to cook it or freeze it, I say FREEZE!  and use this recipe:


  • fajita marinated steak*
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 red chili peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pimento, diced (or you can use mild chilis)
  • 1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • garlic (optional)
  • water
  • oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fries
  • white rice, cooked


In a large pot, brown the steak over medium high heat and remove from the pot.  Add oil to the pot and saute the onions and peppers (add some salt).  Add the meat back to the pot and add tomatoes and spices/sauces/vinegar.  Cover with water completely and boil vigorously for about 1.5 hours.  Adjust the seasonings at the end.

Top white rice with fries and spoon the “adobo” over it.

* I used this fajita marinade recipe, with a few alterations that I can’t remember because I doubt they made a difference at all 🙂