Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

Since I have to follow a special diet for my medical procedure on Friday, I thought I would make beef bolognese with zucchini pasta for tonight’s dinner. I can eat vegetables, as long as they are cooked. Normally, I would have whole wheat pasta, but no whole grains this week! The inspiration for my dish came from Ina Garten’s “Weeknight Bolognese,” Food Network, 2015. As usual, I made changes to the recipe, reducing the amount of wine and salt and eliminating the cream. The sauce with its hint of spiciness from the red pepper flakes compliments the mild tasting steamed zucchini!

Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

I had purchased the Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer at Williams-Sonoma earlier in the summer, but it remained in the box until today. Like with so many kitchen gadgets, there was a learning curve. After I figured out how to put it together, I used a blade which made angel hair sized pasta. I thought it was too “dainty” for the bolognese, so I tried the next size larger. It was the perfect thickness for the sauce and for steaming!
Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta


  • 4 medium zucchini, made into pasta using a spiralizer
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried organic oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a 12-inch nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until no longer pink and slightly brown. Depending on the leanness of the meat, drain any excess fat.
  2. Return to the heat, add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the wine slowly into pan. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Stir ingredients, until well combined. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, steam the zucchini, until slightly tender.
  4. Finally, add nutmeg and basil and stir well. Serve on top of the zucchini pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 4 to 5 servings.

Beef Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta


Stuffed Cabbage


This stuffed cabbage recipe is a family favorite! I don’t make it that often, because it takes a little more time, but it is well worth it! Your kitchen will have a wonderful smell and it tastes better the next day! The leftovers can easily be stored in the freezer and later be reheated. The sauce is a pleasant combination of sweet and sour. This delicious recipe was found years ago in Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen, Schocken Books, published in 1988. As usual, I made a few changes to suit my tastes and cooking style.





  • 1 large cabbage
  • 2 pounds organic ground beef (10% fat)
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup organic catsup
  • 3 organic eggs
  • ½ cup uncooked organic rice (I used half white and brown rice)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 ( 28 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans organic tomato sauce
  • 1½ onions, cut in half and thinly slice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup organic catsup
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar


  1. Before placing the cabbage in a large stock pot of boiling water, cut around the core—I find this makes it easier to remove the leaves later. Cook until tender, drain the water and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, catsup, eggs, rice and onion. Set aside.
  3. Using a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, onion, garlic powder, catsup, lemon juice and brown sugar. Bring ingredients to a boil and simmer until cabbage rolls are ready to be cooked in oven.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  5. Place about of ¼ to ⅓ cup of the meat mixture in the center of a leaf. Tuck ends and roll up. Put in a 6-quart casserole dish.
  6. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours. Makes approximately 18 rolls.



Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I had 4 large red bell peppers sitting in the refrigerator from last week’s trip to Costco.  So when my husband asked me what I was going to do with them I quickly said “stuffed them.” Then I quickly glanced over a couple of recipes and this is what I came up with. The only ingredient that I had to buy was the ground beef. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to thaw out the organic ground beer I had in the freezer. My husband prefers white rice, but you can make it healthier by using brown rice. It is incredibly easy to make, especially when you use the packaged frozen rice. The parboiling of the peppers helps to make it tender and easy to cut. I hope enjoy this colorful savory dish!



  • 4 large or 6 medium red bell peppers, cut off approx. ½” of tops
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup finely chopped red pepper (from cut off tops)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (10 to 15% fat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 (10 ounce) package Trader Joe’s Frozen Organic Jasmine Rice (cook according to directions)
  • 1 (8 ounce) tomato sauce
  • Water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, parboil the peppers for about 3 minutes. Using tongs, remove peppers and place upside down on a paper towel.
  3. Using a large nonstick frying pan, brown the ground beef over medium, breaking it up into small pieces. Drain excess oil and place beef in a medium bowl.
  4. In the same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper and garlic, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add ground beef. Then add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix well.
  5. Add tomato sauce and rice and stir well. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. In a baking dish, add enough water to cover dish. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice and meat mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake until tender and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


Organic Shepherd’s Pie


This simple and tasty shepherd’s pie was adapted from Real Simple’s “Easy Shepherd’s Pie.” I used organic ingredients and added some onions. The organic ground beef was bought at a reasonable price at Costco and it’s only 10% fat!


  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup organic ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup organic carrots, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup frozen organic peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
  • 1 pound homemade organic mashed potatoes or store-bought mashed potatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a nonstick frying pan, cook ground beef over medium heat, until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat and set meat aside in a medium bowl. In the same pan, sauté onions.
  3. Return meat to pan. Stir in ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Add vegetables, then add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about one minute, add water and stir. Spoon mixture into 4 ramekins (5” in diameter).
  4. Spread mashed potatoes over mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes get slightly brown. Serves 4.

Organic Beef and Bean Chili



It’s September, the weather is starting to get cooler in some parts of the country. It’s football season! It’s the perfect time for some chili! I got my inspiration from Ellie Krieger’s “Three Bean and Beef Chili.” I changed the recipe a bit and used almost all organic ingredients.

  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 organic carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound organic lean ground beef (85% lean)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce)) cans organic diced tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried organic oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) organic pinto beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) organic kidney beans
  • Garnish with lite Mexican cheese blend (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin and cook for about 1 minute. Add the ground beef. With a spoon break up the meat and cook until it is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle, adobo sauce, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer and stir from time to time, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 20 minutes. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.

Editor’s note: I got most of my ingredients from Trader Joe’s, because they have the best prices. The organic ground beef was bought at Costco.