Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup roughly chopped spinach or baby kale
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
8 8-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded havarti

Guacamole, sour cream, salsa and lime wedges to serve

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and brown the beef, breaking it up with a spoon until it is all browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Turn it into a colander to drain, and carefully wipe out the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the vegetable or olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the tomato paste, spinach, garlic and chili powder and stir for another minute until the spinach is wilted and everything is well combined. Return the beef to the skillet and stir until everything is blended. Stir in the cilantro if using, turn the mixture into a bowl, and wash and dry the skillet (or grab a new skillet).

Combine the cheddar and havarti in a bowl. Place the skillet over medium heat and add a half teaspoon of butter. Place a tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over half of the quesadilla, and distribute 1/8 of the beef mixture over the cheese. Top that with another 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Flip the bare half of the tortilla over the filling, cover the pan, and sauté for about 2 minutes until the bottom is golden and the cheese has started to melt, then use a spatula to flip the half-moon quesadilla, and continue to cook, uncovered, until all of the cheese is melted and the underside is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the quesadilla to a cutting board and let the quesadilla sit for a minute before you slice into 2 or 3 wedges. Repeat until all of the quesadillas are cooked. Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

Source: Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas Recipe — The Mom 100

One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni

2 pounds lean ground beef (85/15%)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup chopped red, yellow, orange, or green bell pepper
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cans (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes in juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder (optional but recommended)
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

Heat a very large skillet (for this full recipe, it should be a deep 12-inch pan) over medium high heat and brown the beef, stirring until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet, add the oil, and heat it over medium heat. Add the peppers, carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef back to the skillet, as well as the basil, oregano, tomatoes with their juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder if using. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta, stir and cover. Lower the heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season again if needed.

Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole then cover for just 1 more minute until the cheese is melty, and serve. Serve this right out of the pan.

Source: One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni — The Mom 100

Easy Chicken Lo Mein

For the Sriracha Roasted Veggies:
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons hot water

For the lo mein:
8 ounces lo mein noodles, fresh or dried
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless chicken breast, sliced thin
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 large carrot, grated

For the garnish:
Fresh scallions, chopped
Sesame seeds

If making the Sriracha Roasted Vegetables: Heat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, toss quartered mushrooms and red peppers with the sesame oil and sriracha. Spread out on a baking sheet.

While you make the Chicken Lo Mein, bake for 15 minutes until tender and blistered in spots.

Stir the sauce ingredients together and set near the stove.

Cook the lo mein noodles: Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, usually around 4 minutes, but check the package directions for the noodles you are using.

Drain the noodles and toss with sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Cook the chicken: Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the vegetable oil once that’s hot, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the vegetables: When chicken is cooked, add cabbage and carrots, and continue to stir and cook until the veggies wilt and the liquid they release is mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the noodles and sauce: Add noodles along with sauce and stir with the chicken and veggies to combine. The sauce should coat the noodles and other ingredients. If the dish seems too dry, add more water.

Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. It might need another dash of soy sauce, for example.

Serve: Serve the Chicken Lo Mein topped with scallions, sesame seeds, and roasted veggies.

Source: Easy Chicken Lo Mein Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Pasta Aglio e Olio

1/2 head garlic, separated and peeled
1 bunch parsley, rinsed
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lb dry linguine
1/2 lemon

Heavily salt a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente while completing the steps below.

Slice the garlic cloves thinly, and set aside. Pick the parsley leaves from their stems, and finely chop. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan, and heat over medium flame until shimmering. Add sliced garlic, stirring constantly, until garlic is barely toasted. Add the red pepper flake and remove from heat.

Add the pasta, drained, with about 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Add lemon juice and parsley, and toss to combine. Season for salt and pepper, and serve.

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

8 ounces of wide egg noodles
2 heaping cups of chicken meat
6 tablespoons of butter or chicken fat
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
6 tablespoons of flour
2 cups broth
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
At least half a sleeve of saltines
2 tablespoons of butter

Cook the noodles per the package instructions, drain them, and set them aside. Melt the chicken fat in a pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables (but not the garlic), season them with salt and pepper, and cook them until they are soft and ever-so-slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook until it is golden and fragrant. Add the tomato paste, mix it in to the vegetables, and cook until it darkens in color. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until everyone is coated with the white powder. Cook it for a minute, to get rid of that raw flour flavor, decrease the heat, then slowly add the broth, stirring constantly to make a gravy. Do the same with the milk. Add the Worcestershire sauce, season as needed with salt and pepper, and stir in the chicken.

Add everything—including those noodles—to a casserole dish and mix it up good. Crush those saltines, and toss them with two tablespoons of melted (salted) butter. Sprinkle that on top. Place the whole mess in a 375-degree oven, and cooke until the sauce is bubbling on the edges and the saltine topping is golden and crispy.