If you’ve been following my Grocery Fast, you know that I have been trying for eight weeks to not spend much money at the grocery store but instead use up my many food stores in my pantries, cupboards, freezers, and refrigerators. (And then I’m hoping to learn to shop and cook for two of us—wish me luck!) I found a few bags of “pork” (mostly turkey products) in my freezer that I couldn’t see using as main entrees since there were bits and pieces. But with my quest to really use up all of these “bits and pieces,” my mind went crazy trying to figure out how to make a meal (another benchmark is that I am making MEALS out of what I have, not just side dishes or “add ons” to meals) out of this combination. I had been so hungry for biscuits and gravy, but with our OMAD (One Meal a Day)/Daily Intermittent Fasting), I can’t fit all the meals in that I am hungry for. (IF problems!) So I set out to make “Mixed ‘Pork’ Gravy” with these little bags of frozen meats.
It’s only been a little over a month since I got my amazing, large, wonderful air fry! And I love almost everything I have made it in so far (recipes are in the works!). And I love these Parmesan Green Beans in it if Ionly want to make a small amount for two.
Easy peasy crock pot meal today!!! With low carb and family-friendly options! I have this thing about crock pot meals (besides loving how easy they are!). I first look at every crock pot recipe and see how much “precooking” I will need to do. For example, I don’t mind tossing some potatoes (or turnips!) and carrots in the micro or Instant Pot to precook them before adding to the crock pot, but when a meat needs precooked (like ground beef for chili or pasta casseroles), I think “there has to be an easier way than all that precooking before I ever assemble the actual dish!” I think this goes back to the days of precooking 20 pounds of ground beef for freezer entrees when we still had all seven kids at home. (That much precooking will do it to you!)
As we head into fall, I am saddened that I won’t be able to just walk out the back door and get Ray Baby’s veggies everyday! I am still heading out there often and getting a tomato here and a green pepper there–I haven’t given up completely. However, very soon that obscure tomato or tiny pepper will not even be there to pick. Sadness…
On the other hand, it is time to turn my attention to buying (and even harvesting in my “fall garden”) and preparing fall vegetables.
Recently on a visit to my sister’s in North Carolina (from Indiana), my sister made her mother-in-law’s old fashioned mac and cheese. I used to make homemade macaroni and cheese a lot, but since I cook primarily low carb (and I am tired of making sauces, etc. that are so time consuming), I was especially interested in her recipe.
First of all, this could be easily made ahead. That is always my first criteria (it seems) in cooking since I have been a freezer and mix cook for twenty-five years. Secondly, it didn’t require a white sauce or a cheese sauce that you cook on top of the stove (really, one pan to boil the noodles and one dish to layer the casserole are the only “pans” needed). Third, it had a few other “lower carb” ingredients (half and half or cream, eggs, butter, and cheese), so I could envision immediately some low carb options that I am anxious to try out and share with you.
If you are low carbing, you will want to be careful of seasoning mixes and packets. Many have thickening agents (i.e. arrowroot or cornstarch); others have anti-clumping properties, which can add carbohydrates to the total. Of course, many of us home cooks have been doing many homemade things for years and years—including sauces, seasoning mixes, and more—in an effort to either save money or be able to put into our foods exactly what we want (and know what that is!).