My most beloved meal ever is spaghetti-I could eat every day for the rest of my life. I love it more than stir-fry, more than french fries and more than my caramel macchiato coffee creamer. I had never made my own sauce before so this is going to be a very long post…so get ready, because there will be many parts to it. The worst part of the whole process was doing it in the crockpot took forever!
I thought doing the whole thing in the crockpot would have been the best option. The “slow” cooking, I didn’t put a lot of thought into. I thought if I just went ahead and started the sauce then it would heat through and then throw the veggies and boom…magic right? Such amazing magical crockpot abilities that it would take less than 5 1/2 hours. Yes, my magical crockpot missed the memo on cooking times. I had started it at 11:30 and didn’t get to eat it until around 5-and boy was I hungry!
For the sauce I started with two big cans of tomatoes then started adding in seasonings. I didn’t want to go the quicky route and just use Italian Seasoning; I wanted to actually break it down. My sauce turned out great…and spicy. I love adding red pepper flakes to everything so it takes me longer to chow down because it is so hot. But whew, the longer cooking made the peppers really come to life!
1 28 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1 28oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Basil
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Marjoram
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Minced garlic
1 Tsp Crushed Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Cumin
Next I just started adding veggies. I had to add the obvious-onions and green peppers and may favorite veggie ever, mushrooms. I also added some carrots which I had freezer and a head of cauliflower I had also frozen. Now this is where I think I went wrong with the slow cooker. The cauliflower which was in the freezer, I had forgotten to take it out of the freezer to defrost…and just chopped it and tossed it in the cooker and put the lid on. It just cooled it down then had to heat back up.
1 Small Yellow onion, chopped small
2 Green Peppers, chopped small
1 16oz Container Mushrooms, chopped thin
3 Carrots, chopped small
1 Head Cauliflower, chopped small
About an hour till when I thought it would be done I started the spaghetti squash, and man do I hate breaking that bad boy open. I have cut them and deseeded them before but this time I used Rachel Rays quicky method of first chopping the stem off. Oh man, why didn’t I ever think of doing that before? Seriously, trying to cut through that stem so hurts your hand and I have almost broken really sharp knives before. This time, but the rind around the stem then cut it in half, the scrape out the seeds and other yucky stuff.
Next came the rice and the kale. First of all, the best thing about spaghetti is the noodles, and I could eat an entire pot of just noodles. So I had to change it up so that this pot of spaghetti was more nutritious and not as addicting due to the noodles. I cooked up one cup of brown rice and cooked it to the directions on the box. After I got the rice going I chopped up a bunch of kale. The cooker was near to over flowing so I just chopped it and piled it on top and put the lid back on to steam. I didn’t use the whole bunch, about half and saved the rest for dinner the next day (which I just sauted with a little oil and minced garlic and pepper…mmm).
1 C Brown Rice, cooked to directions on box
1 Bunch Kale, chopped small
After the spaghetti squash was done I opened the can of artichoke hearts, drained them and dumped them on top of the steamed kale to heat them through. They are so delicate that they don’t need a lot time or cooking unless you want them to really break down.
While I let the squash cool down enough to handle without burning myself I started putting out my containers and measuring out my rice. I got out my 1/4 cup measuring cup and measured the amount into my 12 containers. I then started in on the spaghetti squash, forking about a 1/2 cup into each container next to the rice. Then it was time for the veggies and sauce. I measured about two cups to 2 1/2 cups; there were leftovers which I put in a larger container and froze for another weekend meal (incidentally I just sauteed some tofu shirataki noodles…mmm).