Tomato Paste… in a tube! (And other quick tips)

Ok, so in a few of my recipes, and recipes that I’ve seen, it will call for a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. Then you’re usually left with a dilemma… what do you do with the rest of the tomato paste? Put it in the fridge usually. Then, you have to make sure you use it within 5-7 days or it starts to mold! Then, you’ve wasted food and money! I do not like do not like doing either of those! So, my tip for this is something that I saw on “The Chew” talk show, and then FOUND at Trader Joe’s (only one of my favorite stores EVER!)

image

It’s in a reclosable tube! What?! Am I Right?! How exciting is this? Now, those of you who are chefs are probably thinking, “um, that’s been around forever”… but this is new to me and I’m ecstatic! This is gonna be great!
Also, did you know they have tubes of fresh herbs? They do! Basil, cilantro, parsley, etc. So, if you need a couple of months to use up herbs in things like guacamole and pasta,  try those! They are still fresh and taste fresh, but last so much longer! Sometimes my herbs are bad within 5 days!
Remember my tip about onions! Slice them, put them in a freezer bag and freeze the leftovers!
Canned condensed soups… don’t use them if you don’t have to! It’s soooo easy to make a creamy base! Butter, flour, milk or cream… and then chicken or veggie broth! Seriously! That’s it! I keep all of those in my pantry or fridge at all times! Then you just add mushrooms or chicken or whatever base you want! I’ll make it soon to post on the blog. Then, you have a natural and organic food base that you know where it all came from! Chicken broth is easy to make too! After Thanksgiving I make Turkey broth and saved it in glass jars in the freezer! I made some awesome soups with it!
Any questions or tips you want to know about? Ask! Send me an email or ask a question in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond and even possibly make a post out of it!

Good luck cookin’!

Ground Beef Enchiladas

groundbeefencihladas

I had a little over a pound of ground beef in my freezer… and stuck. What do I make??? BEEF ENCHILADAS!!!! Of Course!! ūüôā And, my husband will always be excited about anything mexican themed at all. ¬†They were scrumptious, and had a little bit of heat… and if you like spice, you can dial up the heat easily!! (I’m a bit of a wimp in that department!!)

I was out of cans of enchilada sauce, but I DID have one¬†6 oz. can of ¬†organic tomato paste. So… I MADE red enchilada sauce. I made mine mild, in order to dial up the spice, you just add more of the spiciness… cayenne, chili powder etc.

Red Enchilada Sauce:

1 can tomato paste 6 oz.
6 oz (fill that can with chicken broth) of low sodium chicken broth (up to 1 cup)
2 TB canola oil
1/4 cup water
2 TB chili powder (add more for addtl. spice)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
sprinkle of cayenne powder (more for extra spice)

Stir together and set aside

Should look like this:

DSC_0177

Enchilada Indredients:

1 pack of 8-10 flour tortillas
1.5 lbs lean grass fed ground beef (my personal fav.)
1 can organic black beans (I use Trader Joes)
1/4 cup Salsa Verde (I LOVE Trader Joes version of this too!!)
1 cup Organic frozen super sweet corn
1/2 cup water
1/2 packet taco seasoning (or 2 TB homemade taco seasoning: http://www.abigmouthful.com/homemade-taco-seasoning-and-turkey-tacos/)
1/2 (or a bit more) of the enchilada sauce that you made
salt and pepper to taste

 

Fill each tortilla with about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of filling. Enough that when you roll it up, it’s not spilling out. Fill and roll and put seam side down into a 8X8 pan that’s been prepared with cooking spray. ¬†Repeat until all filling has been used. This recipe should use approximately up to 10 tortillas. You may need a 9X13 pan if it doesn’t fit into the 8X8 pan. ¬†I only made 4 because I ran out of tortillas.¬†Then, top with the remaining red sauce, and a bit of the salsa verde, and top that with cheese. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove and ENJOY!!!!!!! I served this with chips and guacamole and some salsa verde. Filling, and delicious.

DSC_0180DSC_0181DSC_0182DSC_0183DSC_0185

 

 

30-minute Southwest Chili

DSC_0693

My recipe is adapted from this original recipe: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/southwestern-beef-chili-corn-00000000006977/index.html

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and bell pepper and 1/4 cup rotel and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt, and ¬ľ teaspoon pepper. Then add the corn. (I used 1/2 cup of frozen sweet white corn)
  5. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.
  6. Divide the chili among bowls and top with the Cheddar and scallions.