Category Archives: Main Dishes

One Pot Wonder

Recently, a friend shared her recipe for One-Pot Pasta Bolognese, which she modified from a Betty Crocker recipe. I thought it still needed something, so….

One Pot Spaghetti

I decided red wine and mushrooms were what this dish needed. I’ve been playing with this recipe for a while, and finally have something that doesn’t sit in the refrigerator as a leftover.

One Pot Spaghetti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion,chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2-14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ chipotle pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 32 ounces beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 12 ounces thin whole wheat spaghetti
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and mushrooms. Saute until tender, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add hamburger, cook until it is browned.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes,broth, wine,and seasonings. Bring to a gentle boil.
  4. Break spaghetti into fourths. Tuck the spaghetti into the sauce, making sure the spaghetti is completely covered.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low, cook 15-17 minutes, until pasta is at your desired consistency.
  6. Top with cheese and basil

I’ve since found a few other one pot pasta dishes, hope to try some of them in the near future. These would be great for camping, too!


After a long hiatus, I am finally back to blogging! The clinical doctorate program was more intense than I anticipated, which left little time for cooking, much less writing about it. Thank God my husband is a good cook! During one of the most difficulty stretches, my blog started receiving hundreds of spam comments every hour. Fortunately, they weren’t getting through, but it was enough that I had to take down the blog for a couple of days, and lost all my photos in the process. At least the recipes aren’t lost!

Solar Ovens

To celebrate my graduation, I signed up for a solar cooking class. Registration included a solar oven. Little did I know that my husband had already ordered a different solar oven for me as a birthday gift. My plan is to try different recipes in both ovens, to see how they compare. For my first trial, I cooked white rice on a partly cloudy day.

Hot Pot Solar Oven

The Solar Hot Pot is the oven that came with my class. The oven consists of a black metal bowl inside a glass bowl with a glass cover. The pot sits inside an aluminum reflector. The rice cooked in glass dish inside the black bowl.

Sunflair Solar Oven

My husband bought me the Sunflair Solar Oven. This oven is a fold out oven made out of the same material as a windshield shade. It came with two collapsing plastic pots. This would definitely be better on a backpacking trip.

The rice took approximately 2 hours to cook in the Hot Pot, and about 3.5 hours in the Sunflair. The rice was good from both-stickier than what comes out of our rice cooker.

Rice from the Solar Oven

Rice from the Solar Oven

Sunflair Rice

Rice from the Sunflair Oven






I served the rice with one of our favorite stir fry recipes.

Stir Fry

My plan is to try out the solar ovens with veggies from time to time. I’ll keep reporting back! I would love to hear from others who have tried solar cooking. What was your experience?

Homemade Stir Fry Sauce

I’ve been sharing a lot of stir fry recipes over the past few months. The great thing about making a stir fry is that you can put almost any vegetable in the pan, and it will taste good. This recipe is unique because I made my own stir fry sauce this time. I found this article on Food and Family detailing several different stir fry sauces. I thought both of the lemon sauces looked good, so I decided to try combining the recipes.

Lemon Stir Fry Sauce

I used an interesting combination of vegetables in this stir fry-pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and cabbage. Yum!

Lemon Stir Fry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Grated peel of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • ½ large head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  1. Combine lemon juice and peel, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Marinate the chicken breast in 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce while you chop the rest of the vegetables, about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in wok or large skillet. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Stir fry chicken and garlic until cooked through. Remove from wok.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Stir fry until they just start to soften.
  4. Add peppers and cabbage. Continue to stir fry until everything is tender crisp.
  5. Return chicken to the wok. Add reserved lemon sauce. Stir fry until everything is heated through.
  6. Serve over rice.


Getting Into a Routine

Yesterday was the end of the third week of the first term of my clinical doctorate program. The work is about what I expected, but I am spending more time than I expected doing homework. It has been a long time since I wrote a paper! I got my first one back yesterday and did well, so I guess it must be like riding a bike.

Bratwurst and Beer Soup

We spent our entire Christmas break in Wisconsin. Being home was so much fun! When we got cabbage in our first box after we got back, I found this recipe from for a bratwurst soup. The recipe looked good, but it was missing an important Wisconsin bratwurst ingredient-beer! I have remedied that in my version. This was excellent reheated. Enjoy!

Bratwurst and Beer Soup
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pound bratwurst
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 ounce bottle beer
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ a large head of cabbage, chopped
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 ounces Swiss cheese, diced
  1. Remove the casing from the bratwurst. Brown in a Dutch oven, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain.
  2. To the Dutch oven, add the potatoes, onion, beer, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage. Return to a boil and the simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Add 2½ cups milk. Heat slowly until the soup is almost at a boil.
  5. In a small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup milk and the flour. Stir until smooth. Add to soup, stirring well to remove all lumps.
  6. When the soup has thickened, add the cheese and stir until it is melted.