Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Recently I made a delicious casserole from Plain Chicken. I made her Taco Spaghetti which is made with pasta. As I ate it, I thought I bet this would be delicious with spaghetti squash. My recipe is based on her recipe with just a couple of changes.

Ingredients:

4 – 5 large spaghetti squash

1 1/4 pounds ground chuck

1 onion chopped

Garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 envelope of taco seasoning mix

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, do not drain

1 8 ounce box of Velveeta, cut into cubes

2 cups of grated cheese, I used a Mexican blend

Sour cream, optional for garnish

Chives, optional for garnish

To cook spaghetti squash, I poked holes in it and microwaved each one for 2-3 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, I was able to cut them in half easily. Once in half, I removed and discarded the seeds. Next I placed the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish with half inch of water. I cooked two halves at a time for 8 – 10 minutes.* Once cooked tender, and cooled, I shred the inside of the squash and placed it on paper towels to absorb the liquid from the squash.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Cook ground chuck with onions and season with garlic salt and pepper. Drain meat and onion mixture and place in a large bowl. Add cans of soup and Rotel, taco seasoning mix and the drained spaghetti squash. Mix and combine all ingredients. Place taco squash mixture into the baking dish and top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and chives if desired. Enjoy!

*Cooking times will vary according to size of the spaghetti squash.

Recipe inspired by Plain Chicken’s Taco Spaghetti.

Advertisements

Sloppy Joe Chili

One day we had discussed Manwich on my page and Kathy mentioned she added a can of Manwich to her beef stew. I thought it sounded delicious. Then I thought of Manwich Chili! This is a delicious and meaty chili. A great flavor.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1 onion, chopped

2 cans kidney beans, drained

2 cans Manwich, 15.5 ounce each can

1 14.5 oz whole peeled tomatoes, do not drain

1 can tomato sauce

Chili powder to taste, I used 6 Tablespoons

Garlic salt and black pepper to season beef

Optional toppings:

Cheese

Sour cream

Scallions

Doritos or corn chips

Season meat with garlic salt and pepper. Add onion. Cook beef until brown, drain grease. In a large pan (Dutch Oven), add 2 cans of drained kidney beans, 2 cans of Manwich (I used a can of original and a can of bold, both of the same flavor is just fine). Add tomato sauce and season with chili powder and your favorite hot sauce if desired. Simmer for 30 minutes, an hour is better. I like to add Doritos or corn chips yo the bottom of my bowl and top with my favorite toppings. Chili tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!

Maple Toffee Cookies

I love fall baking. When I discovered Nestle had made new Maple Flavored Morsels, they hopped right into my shopping cart. What better way to embrace fall baking with Maple Toffee Cookies.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening, I used Crisco

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 extra large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 package of Maple Flavored Morsels

1 package of Heath Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. In a mixing bowl, beat sugars and shortening until creamy. Add vanilla, and add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture gradually. Mix well. Stir in maple morsels and toffee bits. Drop by rounded tablespoon on an untreated cookie sheet. I did not use a silicone mat or parchment paper when I baked my cookies. I highly recommend using one.

Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool in cookie sheet for 2 minutes and remove to finish cooling on a cooling rack. Once cool, store cookies in an airtight container.

Dinner In 30 Minutes

I really wasn’t trying to make a dinner in 30 minutes but when I did, I thought I would share it. This recipe isn’t written in stone, you can change the pasta to low carb or gluten free. Change the dressing to one of your favorites. My cost for dinner was under $20 because of the ingredients I already had at home. However, if you were to go buy everything from start to finish, it would still be under $25 in my area.

Ingredients for Main Course:

1 package of Bow tie pasta, or your favorite low carb, gluten free

*1 package of chicken tenders, cooked or rotisserie chicken, cut in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup pasta water

**Olive Garden Salad Dressing, or your favorite dressing, you add how much you like. I didn’t drown my pasta in dressing.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, make garlic bread. Cut chicken in bite size pieces. I also made my bag salad.

Garlic Bread:

Sliced bread

Garlic butter or spread

Parmesan cheese

Paprika

Spread prepared garlic spread or butter on sliced bread. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and sprinkle paprika on top of cheese. Broil under butter has melted. Timing depends on how close the rack is set close to the broiler. The closer it is, the faster your bread will cook or burn. You must keep an eye on it.

Salad:

I bought a Caesar Salad in a bag. No shame in that. The kit included dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons in the bag. The package I bought was two for five dollars. Can’t beat that. These salads literally take a few seconds to make. Cut open the bag, dump in the ingredients and toss.

*Believe it or not, chicken tenders I purchased were $9.00. A rotisserie chicken is under $5 at Sam’s Club, a little higher at my grocery store.

**Cant find Olive Garden dressing or like it, a good substitute a good Italian or Balsamic Italian Dressing, whatever you prefer.

Another helpful money saving hint, my grocery store often has buy one get one free pasta. I often stock up on pasta when that happens.

My cost:

Chicken Tenders $9.00

Pasta $1.69 (free from my pantry)

Bread $3.00

Garlic spread $3.60 (I used what I had)

Salad $2.50

Salad dressing $3.99 (already had in my pantry)

White Espresso Hot Chocolate

I was gifted delicious chocolate by Forte Chocolate. This is the recipe I made with their White Swan Black Swan Espresso Bar. Since I have developed this recipe, I can’t imagine making hot chocolate any other way. No more powdered chocolate hot chocolate for me! The opinions expressed in this recipe are my own.

Ingredients:

1 bar Forte White Swan White Chocolate Espresso Bar, chopped

l/2 cup milk

1 cup half and half

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream to garnish, optional

Chocolate espresso beans for garnish, optional

Chop chocolate bar and place in a microwave-safe container. Microwave at 30-second intervals and stir to melt chocolate. Heat milk, cream, and sugar on medium heat until milk is warm. Do not boil or scald milk. Once the milk is hot, remove from heat and add vanilla and melted chocolate. Garnish with whip cream and espresso beans if desired. Makes a 12-ounce cup of the best hot chocolate you have ever had!


Black Forest Cupcakes

Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Black Forest Cupcakes happen to be a family favorite. Yummy chocolate cupcakes filled with cherries and topped with whip cream frosting, grated chocolate and topped with a cherry. Traditionally, Black Forest cake/cupcakes have liqueur in the cherries, this recipe does not. It’s kid-friendly. I was gifted Imperial Sugar and my cupcakes were made with Imperial Sugar, it’s my sugar of choice and what I buy and use for all of my recipes. In my opinion, it’s the best.

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 6 T flour

1 cup Imperial granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with 12 liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 cup coffee, very hot

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, combine oil, buttermilk, and egg. to the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl. Once combined, pour in coffee. Mix well and add in vanilla. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Bake 17-18 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

Filling:

1 can of cherry pie filling

Make holes in the center of cupcakes using a knife or large piping tip. Fill the hole in the cupcake with 2-3 cherries and pie filling liquid. Cover hole of the cupcake with what you removed to make the hole. Top with whip cream frosting.

Whip Cream Frosting:

1-pint heavy whipping cream

4 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup Imperial powdered confectioners sugar or more to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla

Grated chocolate for garnish, optional

Maraschino cherries for garnish, optional

Refrigerate mixing bowl and attachment (s) for a minimum of 30 minutes. Pour heavy cream into mixing bowl and add cream cheese. Mix into stiff peaks, add sugar and vanilla. Put in piping bag and pipe on cupcakes. Add grated chocolate and cherries if desired. Keep refrigerated.

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Balls

I was gifted a jar of Barleans Butter Flavored Coconut Oil. What a delicious and healthy way to make popcorn. The opinions expressed in this recipe are my own.

Popcorn Ingredients:

3-4 Tablespoons Barleans Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, enough to cover bottom of your pan

1/2 cup uncooked kernels of popcorn

Cook popcorn in a covered pan over medium heat until corn is popped. This will yield about 16 cups of popcorn. Once corn is popped, remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl. Add candy, nuts or sprinkles and mix well. *I added one medium size bag of M&M’s.

Candy Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup of Light Corn Syrup

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons butter

In a heavy saucepan, attach a candy thermometer and add corn syrup, sugar, butter and water. Over medium heat boil syrup until it reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Stir to combine.

Pour candy syrup over popcorn and stir to coat. Spray hands with non-stick cooking spray and form popcorn mixture into balls.

Candy melts can be melted and popcorn balls can be dipped in melting chocolate too. Decorating is up to your imagination. I melted one bag of orange candy melts and dipped half of the popcorn balls. These popcorn balls were as much fun to make as they were to eat.