|by Alicia Severson on etsy|
I was running out of time to make dinner, but I had thawed some ground beef... so what to make?
Beth's Cupboard Pasta Dish (that tastes like it came from a restaurant but we know it didn't!)
1 lb. of ground beef
box of spaghetti (I used a gluten free corn version)
1-2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
1-2 Teaspoons of Chili powder (one with Cumin... this is the most important ingredient, so just use
Cumin if you don't have chili powder. I'm in love with cumin right now!)
Sea Salt to taste
1 Jar of GOOD spaghetti sauce (this does make a difference)
1 can of artichoke hearts (yes... my kids didn't know what they were but ended up liking them!)
1 can of small black beans
1-2 Tablespoons of Capers
Parmesan cheese (optional, but I always have a block in my fridge to freshly grate!)
This is so quick-- you can have it on the table in the amount of time it takes to boil water and cook spaghetti noodles! I keep all of this stuff stocked in my cupboard or fridge so I didn't even have to shop for anything. They are all staples if you want to stock them too! I will say that I prefer dried beans but that requires overnight soaking and sometimes you just need a very quick, last minute meal... so here you go!
1. Start that water boiling. Chop up the onion.
2. Brown the ground beef and the onions at the same time. Add in the cinnamon, chili powder or cumin, and the sea salt to taste. I generally shake each one around so the whole thing is generally spiced, and mix it all together. I don't measure. Taste it and see... I could eat this without anything else! ;)
3. Put the meat mixture in a saucepan with the spaghetti sauce, the artichoke hearts, the beans and the capers. (This is not really cooking... just putting things in one pot!) Simmer while the noodles are cooking.
4. Your water should be boiling, so put the spaghetti in and by the time the noodles are done, so will everything else. Serve it up by plate and add some grated Parmesan cheese if you like that. (I love that.)
I know lately I've been wrapped up in eating as healthfully as I can, sometimes asking a little too much in the way food is prepared. Everyone has their limits. And a lot can be said for moderation. It is a great goal to be able to eat 100% purely organic and fresh, but that's not reality for most people (unless you have your own farm!) so it's better to just do what you can and not stress out about it. Stress can cause disease in people who do eat wonderfully. Sometimes meals just need to be put on the table. I hate having to read labels and follow recipes, so basically I cook fresh vegetables, meat, and a side like rice, quinoa or a potato dish on regular nights. I keep it pretty simple. Buying fresh produce isn't expensive... and I want to compare it to frozen, because that's an option too. If you're buying produce in season, it tends to be the cheapest option and tastes the best. I've been training myself to sniff spices from my cupboard and then think about how they would taste with a vegetable or meat. I think you can trust your own judgement about that more than recipes. Cooking isn't really an exact science... there's leeway in there to try things on your own. Baking needs more exact measurements but even that can be fun to experiment with. I just think it's very satisfying to put dinner on the table, even if it's just this simple cupboard pasta and have the kids say that they really like it, their bellies are full of good food I made, and I have some great leftovers to reheat for lunch! ;) I never told you this but I'm a lazy cook... it takes a lot for me to want to spend time cutting up all the vegetables or being patient with the meat. But the payoff to doing this is wonderful. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way! Hope you do try this pasta... and if you have your own version, send it to me! :D