Weeknight Bolognese (or chili)

I’ve been telling my boss about the Green Monster for a while.  I kept telling her that it’s high in Vitamin A, calcium, and iron.  That you really can’t taste the spinach – it tastes like a banana shake to me.

I decided to make us mini bagel breakfast sandwiches and we’d split a serving of the Green Monster.  The only thing I’ll do differently, is to bring the smoothie maker to work.  I made it at home and put it in the fridge when I got to work.  By the time my boss got in, it had been in there for about an hour, so it was a bit melty?  Not sure if that’s the right word, but it didn’t have the same texture as when it comes right from the smoothie machine.

She didn’t love it.  But she didn’t totally hate it either.  I think next time I’ll add a bit more honey to hers too.

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I ended up doing 10 miles on the bike at lunch!  While we had temps in the 60’s, it was rainy and stormy pretty much all day long.  So weird to hear thunder in January!


And while I can’t stand Anne Burrel, I did watch part of her show on FoodTV.  She made pulled pork that cooked for 9 hours, but what I was mostly interested in was the North Carolina barbecue sauce she made to go with it – it had me at three cups of apple cider vinegar! Open-mouthed smile

Lunch, shocker, was more lasagna soup!  That’s the last of it, but pretty sure I’ll be making it again soon.

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I bought some meatloaf mix over the weekend with the intention of making a slow cooked bolognese over the weekend and letting it develop flavor in the fridge for a few days.  Um, that didn’t happen.  So I adapted a recipe from Ina Garten for a weeknight Bolognese.

Weeknight Bolognese

  • 1 pound meatloaf mix (mine was beef, pork and veal)
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (I put that just on my bowl)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of skim milk

I don’t know why recipes call for 2 tablespoons of olive oil to brown meat, when I think most of the time, there is enough fat in the meat that you don’t need it.  Feel free to add it though if you want.

Brown the meat and skim off any fat.  My meat was surprisingly pretty lean, so I didn’t have to do that.  Add remaining ingredients except the milk, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.  Take off the heat and stir in the milk.

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You can barely see it, but I had my 1 cup of pasta and 1/2 cup of sauce on two cups of chopped baby spinach.  The heat from the pasta wilted the spinach – so good!

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The only thing I was missing for the recipe was the tomato paste.  It only called for 2 tablespoons so I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to leave it out.  Well, our bolognese tasted more like chili!  It was still delicious though.

So Tony was able to videotape our friend squirrel!

Louise, hope you like the video! Open-mouthed smile

I’ve got some link love today.  Danica put together a WW friendly Superbowl recipe round up – I was thrilled that she linked to my buffalo chicken chili – thanks Danica!

Autumn hit this one out of the park – her take on Chili’s onion rings and battered jalapenos – yum!

And I can’t wait to try this one – Mara made green burritos – I plan on subbing in Chobani plain yogurt for the sour cream, so this would be like a Green Monster burrito!  And only 8 WW points each!

So I didn’t weigh in last week – but here is my Day 28 Weigh In.  Sorry for the crappy picture, I forgot to turn the flash off!

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So it looks like in the last two weeks I gained 1.4, for a total loss of only 1.8 for the month of January.  It got me thinking.  While I like to think I can eat intuitively with an occasional treat here and there, I think I need to go back to counting calories for February.  And maybe not make any Jack in the Box tacos! Open-mouthed smile

Question of the Day:  How did your goals for January work out??

Make it a great day!

33 thoughts on “Weeknight Bolognese (or chili)

  1. Yes- Green monsters are much better RIGHT after blending!! The pasta looks so yummy. Now I have a craving. I’m excited for super bowl eats. My goal for January was to run a half marathon and I did!!

  2. Uh, yeah, I don’t think it even qualifies as Bolognese unless it has all the tomato products in it lol! I buy a tube of concentrated tomato paste and keep it in my fridge for this type of recipe that calls for only a bit.

    Guess what I made over the weekend? North Carolina Style Pulled Pork! It’s my favorite way to have “barbeque.” But I used this recipe which I think is a lot less fussier than Anne’s – and it goes in a crockpot!


    We ate it with cornbread and coleslaw on Sunday and then last night I made us wraps with cheddar, avocado, lettuce and tomato (and jalapeno’s for me). So much you an do with it!

  3. I think I’ve made one green smoothie in my life. I really like smoothies in the summertime but honestly I’d rather chew my greens. I love spinach so there’s no reason for me to try and sneak it in you know. And the smoothies I make at home have a shelf life too, an hour later they are looking pretty pitiful.

  4. Put the smoothie in the freezer next time – that might help

  5. More squirrel videos! 🙂

  6. Love the green smoothies. I’ve been on a spinach goat cheese quiche kick lately tho (ever since hearing about yours), and got my daughter hooked too. Make in on Sunday and we reheat individual portions every morning. My January goal was to track my food in WW and it is eye-opening. I tend to snack way too much. I’ve also been trying to include more fruits and veggies at every meal and I’ve really been good with that. Stepped on the scale this a.m. and I was down 2 lbs.

  7. I did pretty good on my goals for Janurary, wanted to work out 4 days per week and got 3 days in the first week and 4 days the rest of the month. Lost 4.5 lbs for the month. Was hoping for more so I think I need to tweak my calories. Does anyone have a formula for calories? I heard Biggest Loser does your weight times 7 for calories per day and I was in that range but only lost 1/4 pound this week and last week.

  8. I have to drink my green smoothies right from the blender. I really enjoy them though. Most people turn their noses up at them and say they look disgusting. I never imagined I’d be drinking my spinach either, but you really can’t taste it.

  9. That sounds like an easy and tasty bolognese! Can’t wait to try it.

  10. Cute little squirrel friend you have there 🙂 I am really beginning to like smoothies. Last night I made a V8 smoothie. Tomato, lettuce, spinach, celery, carrot, parsley. Think I will add a strawberry just for a little sweetness next time. (or maybe a little salad dressing ?). Your Bolognese sauce looks like a keeper and very delicious looking pictures.

    Ummmm….my goals? Guess just to maintain my weight during the winter. I can so easily gain 10 lbs during winter with no problem….so to maintain would be a good goal, and if I lost….even better. My husband can eat what ever he likes and not gain a pound. He would probably starve on what I eat. Me, I just have to look at what he eats and I gain….. 😦 Don’t know how to solve this delema.

  11. I am making the lasagna soup for a friend who is having surgery today…I hope it cheers her up! The bolognese looks terrific!! Great job on the 10 miles 🙂

  12. I think that squirrel wants to come in!! 🙂 I didn’t really set too many goals except to try and stick to my low carb eating most days, but of course I cheated a little.

  13. Why am I always so hungry and salivating while reading your blog…even if I’ve just eaten, lol?

  14. I think its great that you are introducing your boss to some new healthier foods!

    I’ve done pretty well with my January goals – albeit they were small but we have to start somewhere!

  15. I bought a bungee squirrel feeder and need to put it up in hopes that an adventurous squirrel tries it out. 😀

  16. I started off great in January too but felled off the wagon a little. I’m slowly getting back on though! Here’s to February! OH and a tip for recipes that call for only a little tomato paste (got this from Nutmeg Notebook): Scoop out tablespoon sized portions and place on waxed paper (I used a tiny spatula to scoop the paste out of the measuring spoon, which made nice little half-rounds of paste on the sheet), then freeze hard. Wrap each tablespoon in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer for when you need just a bit. I actually have used like 5 tablespoons since I did this and I still have several more left-loves it.

  17. I really like the idea of adding a bed of spinach under the pasta. Need to try that.

    Darn weigh ins. I skipped mine. I already knew it wouldn’t be pretty. I remember when I was in weight watchers we’d have a little pass to skip a weigh in. Cashing mine in. Lol

    It’s a new week. We’ll Rick the scale next Wednesday!

  18. My husband made bolognese this weekend, leftovers tonight. That was the first time for us – all day cooking! Keep up the great workouts!

  19. Adding pasta to a bed of spinach is a great idea!

    I have been walking a lot (since I got the Fitbit) and feel really good. I also know that I am very lucky with the nice weather we’ve been having in California.

  20. findingradiance

    Yay for the squirrel!

    We portion out tomato paste and keep little jars in the freezer because you only seem to need a tablespoon or 2 and the rest of the can is wasted.

    My January goals are cooking along well. Really they were yearly goals because I didn’t set ones just for January.

  21. The bolognese looks delicious!

  22. WOW! looks so yummy and healthy! Good for my healthy eating plan .

  23. Weighting For 50

    AWWW, squirrel!!! Your boss is so lucky to have you to cook for her as well as all the other tasks you must do!!! Great looking bolognese. And putting hot pasta on spinach! Have a wonderful Thursday Vat!!

  24. I’ve never tried the green smoothie but I eat a lot of kale and spinach already. 🙂

  25. The squirrel is so cute.

    I didn’t set any goals for the month but I’m happy with my weight loss over the month. My workouts were okay, I’ve been sick for a week and it was freaking cold and that can happen so I’m not stressing about it. Next month will be better on the exercise front.

  26. That lasagna soup looks and sounds so amazing – then again, I think everything you ate today looks tasty! The squirrel is so cute. Way to go on the bike despite the weather. I always watch food network at the gym too then wonder why I am hungry when I am done working out lol.


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