What started as a day where I was just going to take a break from cooking and order take out turned out to be quite a productive day of cooking. I realized I just needed to get out of the house. My husband had been working lots for the past two weeks and I am a little sick of being home all day (with the exception of taking Olivia to and from school).

It was too cold to go to the park with Ayla and Esme after dropping off Olivia, so we had a mini trip to Rite Aid. They had Easter stuff galore and we took our time and spent almost an hour there. We looked at the seasonal stuff there and I was in awe, just as much as they were; I’m such a sucker for sappy, cheesy and cute things! We looked at candy we already had at home and didn’t have and narrowed down on the “must buy” list. They tried on some Easter ears and pretended to be bunnies. It was a breath of fresh air watching them so happy.

When we got home, I thought I would be to tired to cook; but instead I felt energized enough to do 2 loads of laundry, clear the sink, pots and pans from last night and prep 2 meals after I picked up Olivia. I guess all I needed was some time outside the house to feel refreshed!

I ended up making Ground Beef Taco/ Vegan Strips for the hubby with half the beef pouch and the other half to make taco filling. I was happy I got to use up the rest of the perfectly ripped avocados I had to make guacamole.

Whenever I buy ground beef, I usually buy the individual packs of 3 from Costco. With one pouch, I happily make 2 different meals. I used to use all of one pouch to make one large meal, but we always end up never finishing it because we were sick of it (or throwing it out because there was no space in the freezer). I always season the ground meat (most of the time I use ground turkey because it’s not as fatty, but today, I wanted something more juicy and hearty since I was already in the mood for take out). See recipes below:

Taco filling:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion

5 cloves or garlic

1 pouch of ground beef from Costco

Salt and pepper to taste

Lawry seasoning to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)

A sprinkle around if garlic powder (1/2 tsp)

1 tsp Chili seasoning

Leftover boiled macaroni and dinosaur shaped pasta from the night we had chicken noodle soup. I had about 2 cups.


1- Cook onions and garlic in the oil.

2- Add ground beef and let cook for about 5 minutes.

3- Add basil, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder,Lawry seasoning, salt and pepper.

4- Add jar of tomato sauce and ketchup and simmer for about 5 minutes.

5- Add cooked pasta.

Serve with tortillas (we had 1 pack of corn and flour tortillas each), salt and pepper onions and green peppers and guacamole, tomato salsa and sour cream.

* Note: Most of the seasoning I just eye it and season to taste.

Bolognese pasta:

1/2 portion of the cooked taco filling

1 jar of tomato sauce ( I used Organic Muir Fire Roasted)

2-3 tbsp ketchup (for sweetness and a touch of Unami flavor)

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil


Combine all ingredients and let I simmer for about 5 minutes.the sauce is a little saucier than how I usually make it, so we had it with a side of white rice.

And, there you have it. All it took was a trip to Rite Aid and I was ready to tackle a marathon at dinner time!

What are some ways you like to de-stress or take a little break? Where is your happy place? What gives you an instant pick me up?

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