Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce

Meat sauce is my go to sauce when I just don’t want to make meatballs. It’s the lazy way out, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still so good! And ridiculously easy, healthy and fills the bellies up real good.

Ingredients

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4 cans of whole peeled plum tomatoes(San Marzano if available)

EVOO

A pinch of crushed red pepper

12 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 of a small onion minced

A splash of red wine

About 3 lbs of meatloaf mix or lean ground beef

Crushed black pepper

4 big spoonfuls of grated pecorino Romano

A big handful of Italian parsley chopped

Directions

  • Brown meatloaf mix or lean ground beef in medium sauce pan until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pan heat two tablespoons of EVOO.
  • Sauté onion until tender and crushed red pepper.
  • Add garlic and a splash of red wine.
  • Saute until golden.
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Use immersion blender to crush tomatoes until it is a smooth consistency.
  • Add crushed black pepper to taste.
  • Add parsley(basil also if you have it on hand).
  • Add cheese.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Simmer for at least an hour

Serve with your favorite pasta and ENJOY!

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Simple Side

Simple Side

This is one of those side dishes that can be thrown together last minute.  We all have some sort of rice in our pantry and veggies that need to be used.  As well as rice I always have a bag of frozen peas.  I served this with salmon and it really was amazing!  But remember you can use any rice or vegetables that you have available.

Ingredients

1 bag of Basmati rice(or any rice you have available)

1 bag of broccoli slaw(they sell it in the produce section)

Half of a small onion chopped

1 small bag of frozen peas

EVOO

Salt and Pepper

Directions

  • Prepare rice according to directions on bag.  Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan.
  • Saute the onion until tender.
  • Toss in the broccoli slaw and cook until crisp.
  • In the end throw in the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Carefully combine the rice and the veggies
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil and more salt if needed.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

My mother in law was here this past week.  She is a member of weight watchers and has been making their recipes for several years.  She told me about this one and I had to try it.  I love butternut squash soup.  It is so tasty and healthy.  I’ve made it as an appetizer on Thanksgiving and it was a big hit.  This recipe was very simple and tasted just as good as the one I had made.

Ingredients

2 small butternut squash or 1 large(You can make it that much easier by just buying the cut up butternut squash.  They sell it in Trader Joe’s and most of the regular grocery stores as well.  You would probably need two bags.  My mother in law didn’t think it would have the same taste as using the whole squash so we didn’t try that this time, but I think I will next time.)

4 small shallots or 2 large peeled and chopped.    

4 cups of chicken broth(we used low sodium chicken broth, but I think it needed a little more salt so I would try the regular one next time)

1- 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk

1/4 tsp. of ground nutmeg

Pepper to taste

Directions

  • If using the whole squash with the skin, rinse well and slice in half.  Place in the slow cooker with the chicken broth and shallots.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours.
  • Remove squash and let it cool so you can easily scoop out the insides.  Put all the pulp from the squash back in the slow cooker and discard the skin.
  • Add about 3/4 of a cup of the coconut milk.
  • Use an immersion blender to make it a smooth consistency.
  •  Add the ground nutmeg and pepper to taste.
  • Cook on high for one more hour.

NOTE:  If using the butternut squash already peeled and chopped, put all the ingredients  in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours.  If needed use the immersion blender in the end to make it smooth.  

Enjoy!

Ali’s Beauty Tips

Ali's Beauty Tips

My younger sister Ali has a passion for make-up, skincare and beauty products.  She will be sharing some of her favorite beauty tips on www.feedingthefam.blog.  Enjoy her short introduction below:

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By Ali Salvatore

My name is Ali Salvatore.  I love chatting with friends and family about my favorite make-up, skincare and beauty products.  That is probably because of how I grew up.  I have 2 older sisters(Kim and Jen).  Our mom is a licensed cosmetologist from Brooklyn.  Our dad is a retired printing salesman/entrepreneur from Queens.  My parents owned a makeup and skincare line called Lonae Cosmetics.  Our basement was always fully stocked with their newest products.  My sisters and I would go down there and pick and choose our favorite products as young as I can remember.  My parents would frequently run their multi-level marketing meetings out of the house.  Everyone would be there to test the new make-up colors and skincare formulas.  I of course watched on in excitement.  As a little girl I would take my mom’s dangling earrings and lipstick and go to school decked out!

Now that I’m an aging 36 year old, I need my make-up and proper skincare more than ever.  And I love sharing all of my favorite products with whomever will listen.   I can talk beauty secrets for days…

Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries and Cream

So, as a kid I was a very picky eater. I didn’t really like much and tortured my poor parents. Breakfast was a challenge. My sisters always laugh that my mom would go in the fridge and ask me for an hour, do you want this, how about this, etc? Well, in the morning if I didn’t want anything else she would cut up strawberries and bananas and cover them in a bowl with half and half. And it was delicious.

So years go by and I never thought about strawberries and cream, until one day I went to my friend Mita’s house. I’ve told you a little about her. She grew up very different from me in an Indian household in the city of San Francisco. I grew up in an Italian American household in the suburbs of Long Island. But somehow we are the same. Well, she thinks before she speaks, unlike me… Back to the story-I went to Mita’s one day for a quick visit. When I walked in she handed me a bowl of strawberries and cream. I took a double take because that was such an odd thing to serve. Especially since my mom used to make it for me as a kid. But it was so comforting and yummy. If you guys have picky eaters out there, chop up some fruit and cover it with cream. My mom did it a little different. Either way would be great!

Ingredients

One carton of chopped strawberries

One banana sliced(optional)

Half a pint of whipping cream(my mom only used half and half. No whipping cream, milk or sugar. But do as you please.)

2-3 cups of milk(or almond milk)

Sugar to taste(optional)

Directions

  • Place chopped fruit in a large bowl
  • Cover with whipping cream, milk and sugar

Enjoy!

Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burgers

The thing is, I don’t love turkey.  But I love mushrooms!  If you don’t like mushrooms ,this won’t be the recipe for you.  I tried these out on my new electric grill(which I’m obsessed with), and they came out perfect!

Ingredients

Half the recipe if this is too many burgers for your family.  My husband brought the leftover burgers to work for the next two days.

3 pounds of lean ground turkey

one package of baby bella muchrooms

one shallot

a small handful of fresh Italian parsley

2 tsp. of Worcestershire

2 tablespoons of EVOO

salt and pepper

your favorite bread or buns

Directions

  • Rinse and dry the mushrooms.  (If you want to go light on the mushroom flavor, use half the package)
  • Place mushrooms, shallot and parsley in a food processor until chopped small.
  • Place the mushroom mixture into a large bowl.  Add the turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire, and a little salt and pepper.
  • Mix well.
  • Make your patties.  I like thin burgers so that’s how I made mine.  Just make sure they are all consistent in size so they have the same cooking time.  Place in the fridge on a baking sheet.  Layer them with wax paper if stacking one row on top of the other.  Chill in the fridge for about an hour so they get firm before grilling.
  • Grill until cooked through.
  • Top with your favorite cheese and/or toppings and serve on a bun.

  • Enjoy!