Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sprouted Quinoa with Cinnamon Apples and Coconut
2 cups whole quinoa (soaked for at least a couple hours then well rinsed - this helps remove the bitter coating and any grit)
4 cups of water
pinch of salt
2 diced apples
pinch of cardamom
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
1 cup of coconut milk
1 t vanilla extract
Bring water to a boil. Add all ingredients except for the coconut milk and vanilla. Cook on medium for approx 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Add coconut milk and vanilla. We like to eat ours with some maple syrup or agave nectar. YUM!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1 cup quinoa, soaked for several hours and rinsed well
2-3 T olive oil
1 small onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 t cumin
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups broth (I used chicken)
1/2 package of frozen spinach
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
Soak the quinoa for several hours so that the grain swells. Rinse well. Heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft and onions are clear. Add quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add tomatoes, broth and spinach. Cover and cook maybe 15 minutes or until quinoa is to desired doneness. Add beans and corn. Stir to warm through. Check for seasoning and serve.
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 14 oz can coconut cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3.5 oz bar 70% cocoa, chocolate. I used Lindt which is dairy free.
Powdered sugar to taste. (I used about 1/2 cup. Ron will say that is not enough but I like it that way)
1 T coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease with coconut oil (or use a cooking spray) a 8 x 8 inch pan.
For Shortbread:- Cream the Crisco and sugars until just light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl combine the flours, xanthan gum and salt. Then add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat until it resembles a course sand. It should clump together when pressed between your fingers. Press onto the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until pale golden in color.- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
For Caramel Filling:- Add coconut cream and sugar to saute pan. Mix over med high heat. Continue cooking for 20 or 30 minutes until it reduces, thickens and turns light brown. Pour the coconut cream over the shortbread and leave to set.
For Topping: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in microwave by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat this until it is all melted. Once it is melted add the powdered sugar. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel and leave to set. Keep refrigerated.
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk *make sure you have really fresh eggs*
salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything in a mini food processor and blend until creamy.
For the salad I combined one romaine heart, 1/4 cup pine nuts and half a cup (raw measure) of cooked brown lentils. I cooked them in salted water and I like them a little firm to the bite. I hate it when they get over cooked and started to fall apart and taste grainy. Spoon dressing over top, as much or as little as you like. Then toss it all together and voila lunch is served. Actually I added 5 or 6 anchovy fillets diced finely but I love them and no one else seems to so feel free to omit.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Cuban Black Beans
2 cups dried black beans, washed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
6-10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 T dried oregano
1 T cumin
2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chili's
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
1 TBSP white sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
Soak beans overnight. Drain water and replace with fresh water. Boil beans in water only for approx 1.5 hours until they are tender. (Adding anything acidic i.e salt, tomatoes, onions etc during the initial cooking process makes the skin of the bean more tough so it takes much longer to cook.) In a large pot add olive oil. When hot add onion, garlic and green pepper. Cook until tender. Add cumin, oregano, tomatoes and chili's and cook until fragrant about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and cook covered over med low heat for another couple of hours. Keep enough stock in the beans so they don't dry out but not enough that you have a soup. Think thick stew consistency. When you are ready to eat you can remove the lid to reduce the liquid if necessary. Then add salt to taste, apple cider vinegar, sugar and pepper. Serve along side white rice.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup chopped prunes
3/4 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, drained
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef. Cook and stir until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onions and bell pepper. Cook until soft, then add the garlic. Season with cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cinnamon. Cook and stir for about one minute to release the fragrance. Pour the tomatoes and beef stock into the pan, along with the sugar. Stir the prunes, olives, capers. Simmer on med low for 20 - 30 minutes. Add vinegar before serving. Serve along side white rice and black beans.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Houdini the Mouse has set up residence in our CAR. We were at home a couple days ago and Ron needed to get something out of the glove box. He opened it, screamed like a girl and jumped back exclaiming "Holy Crap! There are 2 mice in the glove box!" Sure enough, there was a mound of foam shreds, from somewhere in the car, all piled up in there like a comfy little nest. So glad that discovery wasn't made while we were on the interstate. Not only that but there was mouse crap everywhere! Dandy. How can mice crap that much? We saw one run out of the car later that day and since then we have traps set up in there. But that mouse is friggin Houdini. It keeps getting the treats out of the traps and tripping the trap all without getting caught in the trap. I am scared to use mouse poison for fear of it dying in there and then the car stinking of dead mouse. And Mom, I bet you are rethinking about not renting a car when you come visit!
Out of time again.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Me: I think the elves help make the toys.
Ron: Ya, Santa has them doing all the hard work. Do you think he pays the elves for making the toys?
Sage: No. They do it for free.
Ron: Well, does Santa at least feed the elves?
Sage: No. They use forks.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here is Justus taking a bath in the kitchen sink. Seems very 70's, doesn't it? He loves the water.
We have also started feeding him solids. It is so nice to finally have a kid who likes to eat. We started with sweet potato. Then we tried teff cereal, avocado, peas, carrots, green beans and a oatmeal mix of baby food. I haven't bought any baby food yet and am going to try not to. I still had some left from Rori. He has liked it all but the green beans didn't like him. A couple days ago I made carrot and turnip which he loved and froze it in ice cube trays. I also did blueberries and banana. He has also started to sleep better. He now goes 2-3 hours. I know that sounds bad but he had been waking every 1-2 hours so this feels like a big improvement. I am going to keep offering him as much as he will take in the hopes that he will sleep better and better.
In an attempt to have good and green pest control we got 2 kittens. What were we thinking? They have found a new home now.
I guess that is all I have time for now.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today we decided to go see a movie or I should say movies. Ron took the girls to "Madagascar" and I went to see "Changeling" with Justus. We always go to the same theatre because it is always like a ghost town. I honestly don't know how it stays in business. We like that because we always have the kids with us and many times we are the only ones in the theatre or almost. Today was different. We didn't realize it was a holiday so there was a huge line up with tons of kids to go see "Madagascar". The theatre I was in had maybe 10-12 other people in it. Now I consider myself a polite and considerate person. In the past 4 years since having kids I have left numerous movies because of fidgeting kids or kids that won't stay quiet. Not only do I leave but I do it pretty quickly. I remember the days before having kids and remember how annoying it was to hear a kid crying in the back. So today I half expected that I may not get to see the whole movie. But Justus was so good. We sat in the last row on the side, right by the door for a quick exit if need be. I nursed him for the first bit of the movie and he kind of napped. Then he woke up and was just quiet in my lap. Every now and then he would let out a quiet coo but that was about it. I had just been sitting there thinking how much I was enjoying myself (since I never do this) and how well Justus was doing. He really is a great baby. Moments later some old crotchety jackass with bionic hearing got his diaper in a wad when he must have heard Justus fart or something. He gets out of his seat maybe 3 or 4 rows up and comes over to me.
Jackass With Bionic Hearing: "Would you mind if we enjoyed our movie?" (Dripping in sarcasm)
Me: "No, not at all." I wasn't trying to be flippant at this point. I was just stunned.
Jackass With Bionic Hearing just stands there all indignant staring daggers at me.
Me: "Are you joking?"
Jackass With Bionic Hearing: "No. I am not." And he walks back to his seat while continuing to glance back at me and glare.
I could not believe it. I sat there stunned for a bit. Seriously, a baby's very quiet, happy coo was interfering with his enjoyment??? This is so North Scottsdale. I shouldn't have been surprised I guess. I slowly packed up and left. I left because I felt like I had no choice. Had I not left I have no doubt that he would have created a scene. At that point I didn't care about his enjoyment or lack of but I was concerned about bothering someone else and honestly after that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the movie anyway.
What is the matter with some people? How miserable must his life be that he can't enjoy a great movie because of a baby's occasional quiet coo. And honestly I do mean quiet. If I had thought for a second that he was bothering anyone I would have left immediately. Why have people become so intolerant? There just seems to be so much hatred, anger, self righteousness and general irritation here. I suspect it is because of all the money here. Have I mentioned lately how much I don't want to raise my kids here?
And no, I don't think I do feel better.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Ron has been a huge consumer of diet sodas since he was a teen. By huge I mean everyday, sometimes a couple liters worth. I have bugged him about it so much he was just tuning me out. Then we watched the documentary "Sweet Misery". (I LOVE the documentary channel.) Since then, he (we) have completely stopped. Here is another one worth watching.
Okay, to bed now. I am so tired with Justus waking every hour or two it is likely that I won't even remember writing this in the morning.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced (about 4 to 6 tablespoons juice)
10-12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 pounds)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large onion, cut into smallish wedges
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch half moons or chunks
3 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch half moons or chunks
3 medium plum tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup dried pitted prunes (about 10-15)
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1/2 cup green olives
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
In a medium glass bowl, combine the spice mixture, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs and stir to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the chicken thighs on both sides in 3 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set chicken aside on a plate. With the heat on medium, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan, and saute the onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Place the chicken thighs on top of the onions and add any accumulated juices from the plate. Arrange the zucchini and yellow squash and tomato quarters on top of the chicken and tuck in the prunes and olives. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken broth. Cover and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Let cook undisturbed 1hr, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken cooked through.
Serve over brown basmati rice.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Then yesterday morning I noticed some large coffee grounds on the kitchen counter. More denial. As my sister so cruelly pointed out coffee grounds are not that big. Maybe course ground coffee.... More denial. So now we have mouse traps set up in the house. No kill of course.
And in case that wasn't enough wildlife in the house we had several birds again. Ron had removed the patio doors to refinish them and 3 of those desert birds came in again. Cactus Wrens I think. There were bird turds all over the house. How can they crap that much in such a short period of time? Maybe that is where the expression "had the shit scared out of you" came from.
What's next toxic toads, squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk? Maybe I need to rethink getting a cat. Maybe dealing with all the cat hair would be worth it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole fenugreek
1/4 teaspoon whole nutmeg freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon whole allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup paprika
2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper (I have kids so used 1/8 t)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cup water
In a cast-iron skillet, toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice over low heat. Do not burn; this should only take a minute or so. Set aside to cool. Then grind in spice grinder.
Combine the spices, onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 3 tablespoons water in a small jar of a blender and blend until smooth.
Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of salt in the skillet and toast over low heat for a minute or so. Stir in the water, 1/4 cup at a time. Then stir in the blended mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over the lowest possible heat for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the berbere to a jar, packing it in tightly. Let the paste cook to room temperature, then cover with a film of oil. Store in the refrigerator between use.
Beef Stewed in Red Pepper Paste (Sik Sik Wat)
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons Berbere
2/3 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
3 lb. lean boneless beef, cut into 1" pieces
In a large stewpot, cook the onions over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and dry. Do not let brown or burn.
Add the garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir well. Add the berbere and stir for 3 minutes. Add the wine, water, tomato sauce, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the beef and turn the pieces around in the sauce to coat. Cover the pot and simmer the beef for about 1 hour over low heat. Season with black pepper.
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons berbere
2 carrots peeled and cut into 3cm slices
2 green bell peppers, de-seeded and quartered
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup passata (tomato sauce)
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 potatoes cut into thick slices
1 tomato blanched, skinned and cut into 8 wedges each
1 small cabbage cut into wedges
salt and pepper
Add the oil and onions to a large saucepan and fry until the onions have softened, add berbere, fry for a minute then add the carrots, green peppers, water, tomato sauce, salt and ground ginger. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes before adding the potatoes and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes before adding the cabbage. Season to taste and cook until the vegetables are completely tender (about 25 minutes).
As I said this was unique and very good. Even Sage ate 2 bowls. We made it fun by eating on the floor Ethiopian style and we were going to do it without utensils too but I just couldn't. Too messy. Traditionally Ethiopian food is eaten without utensils. The injera is folded in quarters and used to scoop up your meal. The girls got quite a kick out of this. It was fun. We will definitely do it again. I also have leftover Berbere so I need to find some more recipes to use it in. I feel pretty fortunate to have a husband who is almost as adventuresome as I am when it comes to trying new foods.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We are supposed to have 6 different varieties of chickens. I can't even remember what the different kinds are but it is so interesting to me the different colors they produce. One chicken produces a twin routinely (2 yolks and 2 whites). That is the big one shown here. Anyway, enough about eggs. Things have been really busy here lately. I can't seem to find the time to blog or even to return e-mails lately. Part of my problem is sleep deprivation and the constant headaches and migraines I have had lately. I don't know what Justus' problem is but he has been waking every hour or two every single night for the last month. Honestly I don't even know how I am sane. Or maybe I'm not. I know that sounds like an exaggeration when I say he is waking every hour or two but it honestly isn't. So anyway that is my excuse for anyone that cares. I had good intentions of writing every day, ha. Maybe every couple weeks at this rate.
The weather here is gorgeous. No bashing the desert today. This is the best time of year. We are spending lots of time outside and it feels great. What doesn't feel so great is the realization of just how out of shape I am. I may not be obese but I feel like I may as well be. I took all 3 kids out for a walk today. Sage and Rori were in the double stroller and I carried Justus in my Ergo carrier. I was smart enough not to go too far. I forgot the cell phone (and my gun) so I didn't dare get myself in a position where I needed to call 911 due to exhaustion. About half way home which was all up hill I convinced the girls that it would be way more fun to walk the rest of the way home. When they got out of the stroller I promptly put Justus in. What a relief.
I had a busy day in the kitchen today. I made cornbread for breakfast. Not so nutritionally balanced but so satisfying. Then I set out to do the impossible. I wanted to make a pie. We haven't had one for so long. The challenge was this; it had to be gluten free, dairy free, and made from dried fruit. I should mention that I hate working with pastry. Like my mom tells me she did so many years ago, it always leaves me trying to refrain from hurling it against the wall. To add to my challenge, Sage was "helping". I am not sure if I am mentioned before but we grind all our own flours. We buy lots of different kinds of grains in bulk so we make and have just about everything you could need for gluten free baking. Back in February Ron was ordering a bunch of grains and he got a *little* carried away. He also purchased a bunch of dried stuff. I have no idea what to do with it for the most part so that is why I wanted to do this with dried fruit. Anyway, unbelievably it turned out. I made a peach apple pie. The crust was not too bad to work with and was made with wild rice mixed flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and Crisco (butter flavor). It was darker in color due to the rice blend but it tasted really good. It was even tender and flaky. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the way it turned out.
Dinner was also a self imposed challenge. I wanted to do a vegetarian meal that was entirely made from our bulk stores. I made a "stoup". You know, soup that is thicker like stew. It had white beans, dried vegetable soup mix (onion, spinach, carrot, celery, potato, tomato), beef broth, canned tomatoes, quinoa, fresh thyme and rosemary and garlic. We had that with the rest of the cornbread. It too was surprisingly good.
Well if you have made it though reading this boring post you must be related to me. So for you here is a little video clip of the girls.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
"Maybe some stupid little boy with a half brain this size (she holds out her clenched fist) did it. Ya, he had a brain the size of a pea. He did it!"
Where on earth did that come from???
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here is Rori enjoying her favorite part of baking a cake. In all honesty it is me and Sage's favorite part too. This time I used a mix that I bought from Costco of all places. This cake was incredibly good. There is no way that anyone could tell that it was gluten free.
I just like this picture because it shows how blue Justus' eyes are.
Right before I turned on the camera Sage had Justus laughing so hard. Of course when I turned the camera on he turned serious again.
Watching these next two videos makes me lightheaded.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Today Sage asked me to make her an egg with "runny yolks" and toast. She never eats the yolks. But today she did.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Isn't he cute? And the fun didn't stop there. Lefty was also enjoying the morning. He was hanging out with us just off the driveway where we were all sitting.
Ron commented that tomorrow we are likely to see a javalina, bobcat or god forbid a rattlesnake. Maybe I won't leave the house anymore...
Oh ya, and how could I forget the huge scorpion that Ron killed in the kitchen last night. I should have taken a picture of that too.
Me: "What do you mean not yet?"
Ron: "Well, I will as soon as I am done here!" Him irritated with me thinking that I was asking him to do it now.
Me: "Well, WHERE IS IT?" The shear panic is rising in my chest. I am looking at the empty container with the lid slightly ajar, the open garage door and remembering how difficult it had been to catch it in the first place.
Ron: "What do you mean 'where is it?'" Now he is running toward me as I stand there in horror.
Both of us turn to Sage and shout "what did you do with the snake?" Poor kid had no idea what we were talking about. "Nothing" she replies in complete innocence.
Me: "Oh CRAP, oh crap, oh crap!"
I had to censor what I really wanted to say since the girls were right there. I quickly brought the kids with me in the house and closed the door hoping and praying that it wasn't already in the house. I assumed that Ron was staying in the garage to try to find it. Turned out I was wrong to make such a stupid assumption. I quickly got ready for my appointment thinking of the gravity of the situation. What if it is in the house? It was small, about 10 inches and the diameter of about a pencil. It could go anywhere and not be seen for a long, long time and during this time it would be GROWING. What happens if it is in the house and it comes out when Ron isn't home. What do I do then? Could I barricade myself in a room until Ron came home by stuffing towels under the door? Probably not, it was small so it could squeeze in if it was going to try and get me. There was only one real option: I was going to have to move out until Ron could find the thing. I tip toe back towards the garage, visually scouring the floor as I went, to tell Ron of my plan to move out in the case that he hasn't found it yet. Again to my astonishment I carefully open the door and see Ron continuing about his business of doing whatever he was doing when I asked him where the snake was. Me: "Did you find it already?" Ron: "I'm not looking for it. There is no way I will find it now." That's it then, I will have to move out! As I am about to tell him about his new job as a single parent I look down and right there in the middle of the garage, there it is. It's just laying there. Now I am probably screeching, "it's right there, it's right there!" I am already running back inside the house now to get away from it. Ron is shouting at me to get the camera and I am shouting back "JUST GET THE SNAKE!!!" He did and I did. Here is the picture of the evil little thing. It is kind of blurry because my hands were shaking so much and because it was trying to escape. Anyway, crisis averted.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
As I sit here and write this Sage is outside busy trying to catch crickets to feed to the sand snake that Ron just caught outside. I am so unjustifiably terrified of all snakes I can't bring myself to go to even look at it. If they decide to keep it, OUTSIDE, I will try to get my courage up to go take a pic of it to post. I am going to have nightmares. I want to move home.....
6 eggs, hard boiled, cut in half yolks removed
salt and pepper to taste
The lemon juice really added a little zip. Very good. Now if anyone is actually reading this and has some other good uses for eggs please let me know.
Monday, September 15, 2008
3 small eggs (yes the ones we got this morning)
1/2 cup sweet rice flour - give or take
plain hemp milk
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla
I mixed it all up playing with the flour and hemp milk to get the right runny consistency. I melted some margarine in a large non stick pan with rounded edges. I poured in about 1/3 of the batter and swirled the pan to get a thin layer. I let it brown slightly and flipped it. For the filling I defrosted some mixed berries and added some sugar. A couple spoonfuls of that, fold the crepe over and sprinkle with powdered sugar. This was really really good and still gluten and dairy free! I honestly can't believe it. What a great start to an already great day.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
10 Veggie Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion
7-8 garlic cloves
1 ribs celery
1 green pepper
1 small zucchini
1 bunch fresh spinach
8 oz fresh button mushrooms
1 small eggplant
1 small yellow/summer squash
2 small cans tomato paste
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
28 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T oregano dried
1 T basil dried
In a large pot brown ground beef. Once browned put beef in food processor and pulse. This just give the ground beef an equally fine texture. Then return beef to pot. Add onions and garlic to food processor and pulse until you get a uniform fine texture but not so much that it has turned into a puree. Add to beef. Repeat with celery, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, spinach and summer squash. Do each vegetable separately in the food processor or you end up with a puree. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until softened. Add tomatoes. Dice eggpland and quarter mushrooms and add to sauce. Simmer for an hour or so. Adjust seasonings to taste. This makes a lot so I freeze meal sized portions. When I am stuck for something to make on short notice this is perfect.