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BEEF SHORT RIBS RAGU

These hearty one pot meals especially during the Winter is LIFE! I think I get more use out of the slow cooker during the colder months than any other time of year, but with that comes big batch cooking for even tastier leftovers along with really easy prepping so that you can do whatever you need to do for the day while it slowly cooks.

This Beef Short Ribs Ragu recipe is among my favorite next to my Braciole & Italian Sausage recipe. It’s perfect for cold days and also for the holidays. But I’ll admit I’ve made this when it wasn’t cold because it’s that good. And often when I’m being good with my choice of eats, I won’t ignore the craving for this! Okay, believe it or not it doesn’t require anything fancy to make. Cooking it long and slow is the main ingredient to making this taste amazing. Normally I would use 1/2 cup of a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon but there have been times I didn’t have any or forgot to get wine and it came out just as good.

There is one ingredient you don’t want to ditch when making this, and that’s the pecorino Romano cheese. Make sure you go to the cheese section and buy the block of pecorino. Not the grated. It is often compared to Parmesan cheese but the difference is that it’s made of sheep milk; giving that much stronger pungent taste. AND IT GOES SO PERFECT WITH THIS DISH! Trust me. You can use the leftover block of Romano in place of Parmesan cheese, over any pasta dish, or shaved over salads. It can also be stored tight in a freezer bag in the freezer for future uses if you don’t plan to use the rest of it so quickly before the expiration date.

One last thing! If you’re not feeling pasta, you can definitely serve this over a baked potato, polenta, Italian inspired quesadillas, and even top a homemade pizza with the shredded meat. Never feel you’re limited to only one dish when you make a big batch of food. Enjoy!

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BEEF SHORT RIBS RAGU
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Ingredients
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and bring to high heat. Brown all sides of the short ribs about a minute each side. Lay the short ribs into a slow cooker set for 8 hours on low.
  2. Drain the excess oil from the pan, place the pan back on the stove on medium heat. Add the beef broth and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Then, add the onions, carrot, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir for about two minutes and transfer into the slow cooker.
  4. Add the bay leaf, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, dry red wine (optional), and Romano cheese chunks. Stir gently and cover the slow cooker to cook.
  5. Feel free to stir everything once half way through if you like. It should be ready in as little as 6 hours but 8 hours is perfect.
  6. Remove each short rib onto a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker, add salt as needed, stir, and serve over pasta.
Recipe Notes

I recommend using a spoon to scoop the pools of fat at the top. You can also do so by scraping the solidified fat at the top after it’s been refrigerated.

BEEF & ARUGULA PASTA

You can spend all the time in the world cooking in the kitchen making amazing food but you can also do so in a short amount of time too. This is one of those go-to dishes for something quick but elegant. I LOVE using filet mignon for this recipe the most but you can use any kind of cut you like. I’ve tried flank steak and it works fantastic so long as you slice against the grain. Also, if you’re watching your red meat intake, feel free to use chicken breast instead.

I’ve made slightly different variations of this recipe such as caramelized onions or none at all, saute mushrooms for more heartiness. You can replace the arugula with fresh baby spinach instead. It’s just as amazing. And as always, feel free to add or replace with any other of your favorite veggies. There’s no wrong way to make it taste good!

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BEEF & ARUGULA PASTA
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servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, the remaining herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cover the steak both sides with 1 tablespoon of herbes de provence, garlic powder, salt, and pepper by patting it firmly into the meat.
  4. In an iron skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and sear the steak on both sides for about 5 - 7 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak. Then, let it finish in the oven at 400 F degrees for about 5 - 15 minutes depending on the thickness. When done, let the steak rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. In a large, deep sauté pan cook the onions in olive oil until they become translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the onions are caramelized.
  6. Slice the steak thin into bite sized pieces.
  7. Toss the cooked pasta, steak, and arugula in with the onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Then add the balsamic vinegar mixture together. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil generously all across the top, about 1/4 cup and gently fold everything together until everything is well coated in the balsamic sauce.
  8. Serve with pecorino Romano cheese.

TUNA & SUN-DRIED TOMATO PASTA

Lets face it, we’re always busy regardless what time of year. But with Summer around we are busy on top of wanting to enjoy those days of perfect weather to do the things we couldn’t do otherwise. With this quick dish you can’t get anymore healthy with pasta when you throw together a bunch of tuna, spinach, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s light and filling enough to not weigh you down on those hot days we’ve been having. I eat this either cold, room temperature or warmed up depending on my mood, it’s super yummy either way.

I’ve made this with arugula instead of spinach and it’s just as yummy. There are no rules so, feel free to use any leafy green and any other favorite veggie that appeals to you. That’s the best thing about cooking is you can eat healthy and make it taste good, it’s all about using lots of fresh flavor and your favorite ingredients. If you’re gluten free, use a GF pasta or any other pasta alternative like whole wheat, quinoa pasta for more protein or zucchini noodles for low carb! You can learn about zucchini noodles and how you can easily make them on my Garlic Shrimp Zoodle recipe. Enjoy!


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TUNA & SUN-DRIED TOMATO PASTA
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot of water for the pasta and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging. When the pasta is done, reserve a glass of pasta water and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and saute the onions until softened. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried tomato olive oil, and tomato paste. Stir. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add the tuna and fresh spinach, toss for a good minute allowing everything to warm through. Then, add the pasta, stir until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Toss the parmesano reggiano while piping hot and serve immediately.

GINGER BEEF STIR FRY

You know as much as I love being in the kitchen cooking all sorts of things, there are those busy days that don’t include test cooking and all I want is something quick and easy to set my days at ease. I’m a big fan of making meals that don’t require a whole lot of time so I can make time for other things in life. Says the moderation queen LOL! Anyways, this dish should only take 20 minutes including prep work. Get your rice cooking first so that by the time you’re done with the meat, it’s ready to go.

Make it spicy with some red pepper flakes when cooking or add Sriracha in the end. Feel free to use chicken or shrimp instead if you prefer. These are such universal flavors that it will go with anything even if you’re vegan/vegetarian and want to use tofu or a bunch of different veggies. The options are endless so make it exactly how you want it!

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GINGER BEEF STIR FRY
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Slice the meat very thin against the grain and place in a large glass bowl.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, dark brown sugar, arrowroot powder, and ginger. Pour half of the marinade over the meat and mix everything together really well.
  3. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute the snow peas and shredded carrot for two minutes.
  4. Remove the veggies onto a plate and add the marinated meat and half the green onions. Let it cook undisturbed for about two minutes then stir. Let it cook for a few more minutes until it's a minute from being cooked through.
  5. Add the snow peas and shredded carrot back into the skillet with the meat, pour the remaining marinade, stir and let cook for one last minute.
  6. Garnish with the rest of the green onions and serve over jasmine rice.
Recipe Notes

To make this a diabetic friendly meal, avoid the rice and replace with additional veggies of your choice. I love adding broccoli and water chestnuts.

MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

It’s been a fairly busy lately with traveling, working on the house during these beautiful sunny days along with everything else life loves to dish out. So, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been diving into the “one pot meals” lately to simplify my days (this technically a one-baking dish-meal, haha). Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything we crunch in a day that we lose sense of time and have little time to do much meal planning. My Mediterranean Artichoke Chicken dish has been my go-to at least once a week and leaves me a few leftovers for lunch.

This dish provides a great amount of protein and fiber which is optimal for those who are watching their carb intake. It doesn’t get any easier than this; you just simply throw everything together into a baking dish, put in the oven, set a timer and walk away. If you’re not watching your carb intake then you gotta try this over jasmine rice. There’s something amazing when all the fresh and tangy flavors come together into the chicken stock that goes wonderfully over the jasmine rice.

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MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together into a 9" x 13" baking dish and bake at 375 F degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Stir once half way through.
  2. Serve over jasmine rice.
Recipe Notes

It tastes even better using the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar.

To make this a diabetic friendly meal, avoid the rice and enjoy as is. Or, use about a palm-sized amount of cooked quinoa.