Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Cook

Ha, ha!  I just saw a double meaning in my post title.  The big cook had a big cooking spree on Monday.  I've been putting off writing about it because I have a ton of pictures to post and for some reason, I hate posting pictures.  I would love to be one of those people who could do step by step tutorials of everything, with lovely pictures. I do what I can.

So I spend most of the day on Monday cooking.  I prepped all my vegetables and browned meats while watching La Bamba on Netflix.  Then I baked, baked, baked.  It is a fun process where you are constantly making something.

Last Friday I made a turkey.  The first thing I did was strip the meat off and freeze the bones.  Then I cup up the veggies.  Next I sauteed the veggies with sausage for the turkey casseroles.  I put them together and baked while I browned the hamburger for the hamburger pies and cabbage casseroles.  I took out the hamburger for the pies and baked those with the meatloaf muffins while I sauteed the cabbage and other veggies for the casserole.  I assembled the muffins and they went in the oven with the cabbage casserole when the second batch of oven goodies came out.  When I had spare moments, I whipped up the ketchup, assembled the extracts and drained the soaked almonds.

I broke down and bought 5lbs of lean ground beef at the grocery store because it was on sale for $1.99/lbs and we are nearly out.  What a waste.  I doubt I even got 3lbs of meat out of it due to waste and shrinkage (they say its lean but there sure is a lot of fat in it!).  When I was able to present the evidence to Mark, I think he finally saw what I meant when ground beef from the farmer is a much better deal at $2.50 or even $3.00 a pound as there is no waste.  It is not injected with water and it is pretty much the same volume when done, not to mention it tastes so much better and is way healthier, better for the planet and local economy too!

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I also finally made my extracts.  I don't know why I put it off.  It was so easy.

So without further ado, here's the fruit of my labour:

Here is a wide view of everything I made.  Lots of delicious, yummy low carb food for the freezer and immediate use.  Don't mind my messy kitchen as I had so much stuff on the go (as you can see).  To the left are the cabbage (un)roll casseroles.  Then the white castle hamburger pies are in the front. In the large pan to the back of the fridge is the turkey and "stuffing".  The row next to it are my extracts, salmon muffins and tuna muffins and my soaked almonds.  Finally, the mushroom turkey and stuffing casserole and the meatloaf muffins.  The ketchup I made isn't in the picture.

This is a close up of the white castle hamburger pie.  I've probably mentioned it tons of times as it's my favorite low carb casserole.  So good!  Yes, I took a little bite in the corner.  Quality control, you know ;).  I made one pan this size and four small ones which are each about a serving size.

Too lazy to turn picture

Here is a close up of the cabbage (un)roll casserole. I will be posting the recipe soon as it was very good.  I would of liked a stronger tomato taste but that is easy to adjust.  These are the little baking dishes I mentioned in my previous post.  They remind me so much of the Le Creuset petite stoneware baking dishes that I had to buy them.  They were $2 each at the dollar store and are perfect for a single serving and heat up great in the toaster oven!
Search for le creuset petite stoneware

Soaked Almonds that I shelled myself

For these meatloaf muffins, I just filled the muffin cups with ground beef that I worked a bit.  These were level to the top when I baked and they shrunk a lot!  It is very easy to add extra ingredients.  I like them with spinach and feta cheese or you could put a piece of cheese in the middle or wrap in bacon.  Seasonings add endless variety.  I was going for simple though :)

This is one of the turkey stuffing pies I made.  The only difference between the two is one has cauliflower and the other one doesn't.  See, not much difference.  They are very good and it was a good way to use up the leftover turkey I had on hand.

Again, too lazy to turn picture.  I'm too used to face book where you can just rotate pictures after you upload them.  Some day I will remember.  So the top half are salmon muffins, just using salmon instead of tuna in the recipe.  I decided to put some in large ramekin dishes which would be enough for a good sized meal, easily heated and add a veggie or salad.  The bottom ones are a half batch of tuna muffins.

These are my lovely extracts.  I have two vanilla, one lemon, one star anise and one waiting to be turned into orange.  I would like to make some mint but I think I will wait until it is fresher.  I have dried but I am not sure how it will turn out.  After 24 hours, the lemon and the anise smelled amazing!  You could barely smell the alcohol.  I especially love the anise one!  Yum :)

Sitting on the stove until I can find room in the cupboard
 I had a lot of fun doing all this cooking.  I love it because you can reuse pots and bowls and there aren't many dishes when you are done.  It is also good for saving energy as you can cook several things at a time and save time by doing everything in big batches.  What I love most about it is there is lots of food for me to eat when I don't feel like cooking something low carb for me.  It makes it easier to stay on plan.

I will be posting recipes for the new things soon.  I linked most to Linda Sue's site in my previous post but as always, I made some alterations.  That's the best part about cooking; it's pretty flexible!


Arthur said...

I would really like to try the hamburger casserole to get some more variety in our low carb diet. Is the recipe posted?

Sue said...

Holy cow! What a wonderful, huge amount of work! I am impressed by the extracts too and that cookware. I love those enamel cast iron pieces.

Carla said...

Arthur, I somehow missed your comment. Which one did you mean? I will post some of the recipes today :)

Sue, it was a busy day but so rewarding. It was nice having food easy to heat while sick and we still have tons, even sharing it with DH, lol! I highly recommend taking time once in a while to make and freeze a lot of food.