Let’s go back in time a little, say thirty years. Back to a time when life was easier, not so complicated, less fearful. Back when I left to play with my friends in the morning and came home only when the streetlights came on. A time when kids were kids, we got into trouble and were punished properly. Adults would quietly laugh at our innocence and the world would keep turning. Sure, my friends and I did a few things our parent’s wouldn’t really approve of (don’t worry, mom and dad. We didn’t do anything illegal) but we had fun and we learned new things every day about life, friendships and responsibility.
I remember when a home-cooked meal was the norm, not the exception. When the only thing I had to do when I got home off the bus was my homework. When Friday nights were spent in anticipation of the full morning of candy-coated cereal and cartoons when I woke up.
If you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a traditionalist by heart. I live by my morals and principals. Manners and respect are expectations in our house. I don’t consider myself “old”, but I definitely consider myself old-fashioned. Age, to me, is just a number, and I frequently have to do the math in my head to remember just how old I really am because I just don’t give it much thought. In fact, it took me a whole five minutes to figure the math out in my head the other day so I knew what age I would be on my birthday this month. Five minutes to do the math? Maybe I am getting old. But that’s a whole ‘nother issue.
Since I believe in tradition, traditional recipes are also some of my favorites. In fact, I still have many of my grandmother’s hand-written recipes she used to cook for us when we would come to visit. Our family is from Michigan, so our meals tend to lean on the side of “sit like a brick in your stomach until the snow melts”. We’re talking pasta casseroles, meat everywhere, thick, hearty, and smothered in cheese. (You can probably see why I have so many stomach issues today) But, even though they may not have been the healthiest meals, they were homemade and created with intention. Recipes were made to please, to fill and to warm. It wasn’t just “let me whip something up out of whatever’s left in the frig,” it was, “I love my family so I’m going to love them through food.” This latter statement has become my kitchen mantra. Like it or not, I’m going to spoil those that I love with delicious, glorious food. And I’m not ashamed to say that it brings me great pleasure when a few compliments of appreciation are thrown my way when you’ve truly enjoyed the meal and feel you’re about to pop.
This Easy Meaty Spaghetti Sauce recipe is my grandmother’s so it’s very near and dear to my heart. Our family has made it well over 1000 times because it’s so hearty, so meaty, so delicious we can’t get enough of it. My girls prefer it over the jar stuff…unless I make it with venison instead of ground beef. Then I may get a few raised eyebrows and comments, but their plates are always cleaned.
A simple substitution of zucchini noodles makes this Paleo, and of course, it’s gluten and dairy-free. Have you tried this spiralizer? Seriously, it’s WAY cheaper than those fancy brands and works great! I found mine at my local grocery store and it’s turning my frown over pasta upside-down 🙂
Easy to make, after browning your meat, your only task is to add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Quick. Done. And still time to dance to a few Disney songs with your sweet princess. (oh, that’s just in our house?)
Enjoy! And don’t forget to love them with food!
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, venison or bison
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh or dried basil
- 1 tsp fresh or dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Drain fat off, if necessary
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.