Cooking FAIL (and a recipe for redemption)

Last week, I was on a roll…A roll of FAILURE!

After gasping in horror after realizing how much money I had spent eating out in October, I decided there needed to be some changes. Serious, serious changes. I needed to start cooking — and cooking enough to have leftovers for lunches –, and I needed to do it STAT.

So, I did what any logical person would do. I made a spreadsheet! (Give me an E-X-C-E-L!) Lunches, dinners, links to recipes online, and ingredient lists were all represented in my pretty little excel window.

(SIDE NOTE: Apparently spreadsheets make me bossy (according to SOME people, ahem). I think their usefulness outweighs any negative personality characteristics highlighted by them. Boo. Yah.)

The best laid plans… *sigh*

On Tuesday, I made this. Whoa, bad. I still think the recipe was good, but substituting her recommended sausage for hot Italian pork sausage was a VERY BAD IDEA… and yielded a shit-ton of solidified fat. Ew.

On Thursday, in an effort to make something vegetarian for girls’ night, I made this. Whoa, boring. Not even accidentally over-spicing it (damn atypically spicy Australian spice!) left it with enough life for enjoyable leftover status.

Needless to say, I was irritated, slightly disillusioned with my adorable red crock pot (sacrilege, I know!), and in need of redemption.

So, I made pasta sauce.

This, my friends, is a pasta sauce — also known as redemption by pasta. So powerful that it even makes your day when you have to eat it with cut-up lasagna noodles because you forgot to buy penne. So outstanding that you didn’t need the stupid noodles anyway because it rocks your world as-is. Freaking yum. And because I love you and am feeling generous, I will share my delicious recipe. You can thank me later.

Really Freaking Good Pasta Sauce (by me, for realz)

1 lb+ 97% lean ground beef (do not thaw frozen meat by cooking it. Trust me.)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 zucchini, chopped

1 package mushrooms or same quantity, sliced

large handfuls of spinach

jar of marinara or other low-calorie-because-there’s-nothing-to-it-but-veggies “pasta sauce”

salt & pepper

Italian seasoning

Cooking spray (you could use olive oil, but remember the POINTS!!)

Spray large saute pan with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, cook until they are brown and tasty-looking. Add zucchini, cook until looking super tasty (don’t you like my exact directions?). Add mushrooms, mix it all up. Push veggies to one side, add ground beef, and cook about 80% of the way. Mix all together. Shake a frick-ton of Italian seasoning over the top, plus a little salt and a bunch of pepper. Put spinach on top and let it wilt completely. Mix it all up, add jarred “pasta sauce,” let simmer into deliciousness, serve over pasta.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s damn good food… and fail-proof and confidence-raising. I give it five thumbs up!

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2 thoughts on “Cooking FAIL (and a recipe for redemption)

  1. Mary says:

    I might have to try this. Minus the meat, of course. Oh, don’t give me that! 😛

    And PS, I love it when you talk spreadsheets. You and I have that in common.

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