One Skillet Dinner- Beef, Sweet Potato and Kale

So, I tend to think of paleo things as not as good as normal food.  This may be an unfair assessment, but it’s my gut reaction.  I assume it will taste “healthy” instead of good.  If you enjoy a little bit of mockery all in good fun, JP Spears has a video on youtube about the paleo diet in his Ultra Spiritual series.  My husband and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  If you get offended when people poke fun at things you like, you might not enjoy it…

Anyway, I went into this recipe with pretty low expectations, but I needed to thin my kale, I had a sweet potato growing stems and leaves on my countertop, and my carrots were growing roots in the fridge.  It was time to use these ingredients.  Normally I don’t let things go that far, but well, what can I say.  This was one of the first recipes that came up and I decided to give it a try.  I actually went back for thirds and am glad there are leftovers for later :-).  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Also, I changed a few things, so I don’t think it’s paleo the way I made it, but I’ll put the link to the original recipe at the bottom and you can look at that if that’s important to you.  Basically, I replaced the coconut oil with olive oil and the coconut flour with brown rice flour.

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

3-4 carrots, peeled and diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I forgot to add this, so I sprinkled on garlic powder at the end)

1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef (lower fat preferred since you won’t be draining it)

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. brown rice flour

2 cups chopped kale- about 2 handfuls (this was my first harvest from my garden!)

 

Directions:

Dice the onion, sweet potato, carrots, and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the diced vegetables and garlic to the pan, stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes on medium.  Add the ground beef and continue cooking uncovered while stirring the beef.  When beef is cooked, add salt, pepper, and brown rice flour.  Stir until combined.  Add the kale and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Taste and add more seasoning as desired.

 

Original recipe: http://fit4godonline.com/skillet-dinner-hamburger-sweet-potatoes-kale/

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Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!

 

 

 

Pasta Fagioli

One of my friends gave me a copy of this recipe a long time ago and I finally tried it.  I don’t think I’ve actually tried this at Olive Garden and I couldn’t now, but it was a nice and easy soup that warmed us up on cold days.  You have the option of using canned or dried beans.  I couldn’t find navy beans in a can and I have two crockpots, so I used dried beans.   I hope you take time to enjoy this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 c. dry kidney beans (or 1 can, drained)

3/4 c. dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained)

2 lbs ground beef, cooked- leave out beef if you want it to be vegetarian

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

32 oz beef broth (I used a carton of HEB Beef Broth but you could also use Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

3 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp pepper

5 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a 24-oz can of Del Monte Traditional)

8-12 oz pasta (I used HEB gluten free)

 

Directions:

If making beans from scratch, soak overnight and then drain and cover with water again in a crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft.  You may add them to the soup whenever they are soft enough.   Pre-cook the ground beef.  Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the pasta.  Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  The original recipe says you can add pasta straight to the crockpot 30 minutes before you want to serve it, but I was nervous the gluten free pasta wouldn’t cook well that way.  Instead, I cooked it separately as per the package directions and then added it to the soup right before serving.

Note: I had two crockpots going at once- one for the beans and one for the soup.  When the beans were cooked, I added them to the soup.  If you only have one crockpot, you could cook the beans overnight and then use the same crockpot to do the soup during the day.

Original recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/pasta-fagioli-in-the-crockpot-just-like-olive-garden-52984961

Cheeseless Meaty Pizza

Sometimes I just skip the cheese altogether.  No alternatives, no substitutions, nothing.  And you know what?  It still tastes great.  Granted, a little bit of the pizza-ness leaves when you don’t include cheese, but it was more like really hearty bruschetta.  Or, it was like a pizza without the cheese…  Feel free to toss some cheese or some cheese alternative on top of your pizza if you want.  The crust is what this post is mostly about, and a little bit about the toppings.  As always, you can mix and match toppings as your needs require.

This was my first time to make this crust.  It was super simple and I was even able to follow the directions for freezing and use some of it later.  Here is the link for Pamela’s Crust recipe.  It uses Pamela’s Bread Mix.  I followed the directions exactly except I did not include the optional cheese.  http://www.pamelasproducts.com/chewy-pizza-crust/

As for the toppings, first I spread on 1 T. of oil.  This acts as a barrier and keeps your crust from getting soggy.  Next, I sprinkled on some fresh basil from my garden (put this under greasy things or wait until the end to add it.)  After that, I spread on my Pizza Hut Sauce Copycat recipe.  After pre-cooking some Jimmy Dean Sausage (regular) and some bacon, I spread it over the pizza along with some Hormel Pepperoni slices.  We had golden tomatoes in our garden, so I included some of those too, cut in half.  I baked it for another 10 minutes as the recipe says and then I enjoyed!

Note: if you don’t have cheese on your pizza, you may want to have a fork and/or napkin nearby.  Toppings tend to jump off quite rudely :-).

To sum up, here are the ingredients you need:

  • 3-1/2 cups Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix
  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast or 1 yeast packet 7g (enclosed in 19 oz mix)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs
  • Pizza Hut Sauce Copycat recipe (see ingredients below)
  • Jimmy Dean sausage (optional)- could replace it with ground beef if needed
  • Hormel Pepperoni (optional)- could replace with turkey pepperoni or omit
  • Bacon (optional)- could replace with turkey bacon or omit
  • Fresh Basil (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Pizza Hut Sauce Copycat ingredients:

  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce (I used Hunt’s)
  • 1/4 tsp of each: basil, salt, marjoram, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, fennel, black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp lemon or lime juice

Happy pizza eating!

Beef and Vegetable Red Curry

I make this curry quite frequently, but this time it was extra good.  I followed the directions on the back of the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste jar with a lot of changes (does that count as following them?) and I used up all the leftover vegetables in my fridge. It was the best one I’ve made so far!  I think the main difference was the fish sauce.  Once upon a time I bought a big bottle of the cheap stuff but it just smelled weird so I never used it.  Then I bought a bottle of the Thai Kitchen fish sauce and used it a few times but I think I left it at my old house when I moved.  The next several times I made this recipe, I didn’t have the fish sauce and then I finally broke down and bought a bottle the next time I went to the store.  It made all the difference!  My recommendation is not to skip it!  Also, I recommend storing it in the fridge :-).

 

Ingredients:

1- 13 oz. can coconut milk

1/2 jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste (or more if you want it hotter)

1 T. brown sugar

2-3 zucchini, sliced into half coins

1 onion, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 small head of broccoli, chopped

1 pound ground beef, cooked- omit for vegetarian

1-2 T. Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce (I used 2 T. and I recommend this brand.  It’s gluten free and the taste is right.)- omit for vegetarian and replace with salt

extra coconut milk from a carton if you need more liquid or just another can of coconut milk (I usually end up adding a cup or two if I have lots of vegetables.)

optional: splash of lime juice

Cooked rice for serving.

 

Directions:

Heat coconut milk in a large pan.  Add curry paste and brown sugar and stir, allowing to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add in vegetables and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  At this point I usually add in some extra coconut milk to make sure there’s enough to make a sauce.  Add in cooked ground beef and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked to desired softness.  Pour in fish sauce and lime juice to taste.  Add extra salt if desired, but the fish sauce is salty.  Serve over rice.

Note:  The beauty of curry is you can put most vegetables in it.  Good options are: potatoes, green beans, carrots, celery, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, mixed frozen Asian veggies, etc.

 

Original recipe can be found on the back of the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste jar.

 

Swedish Meatballs

I have never had the meatballs at IKEA, but these are supposed to be fashioned after those.  If you can eat gluten and dairy and such, you may want to just want to head to IKEA and get some.  However, if you have been longing for them and you can’t eat them for some reason, here’s the recipe for you!

 

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

2 T. olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork- or another pound of ground beef if you can’t eat pork

1/2 c. Rice Chex crumbs (I blend them in the food processor)

2 eggs (I used the equivalent of 2 eggs using Ener-G egg replacer)

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp and 1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

 

Gravy:

1/4 c. butter (I used SmartBalance)

1/3 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 1/2 T. arrowroot powder

4 c. beef broth

3/4 c. sour cream (I used Tofutti as a non-dairy substitute)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T. fresh chopped parsley

 

Directions:

Meatballs:

Prepare Ener-G eggs.  Crush Rice Chex.  Put 1 T. olive oil in a pan and cook the onion until it’s soft.  Combine all meatball ingredients together  (meats, onions, Rice Chex, Ener-G eggs, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper) and stir well (I used my hands.)  Form into 1 1/2 inch balls.

Heat 1 T. olive oil in pan.  Add meatballs and cook in batches until outsides of all are brown- maybe 4-5 minutes.  Set meatballs aside.

Gravy:

In a skillet, melt the butter and add in the flour and arrowroot, stirring constantly.  Add in beef broth and continue cooking while still stirring, about 1-2 minutes.  Add sour cream and stir well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put meatballs in the gravy and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until meatballs are thoroughly done, stirring constantly.  Add in chopped parsley and serve.

 

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/21/swedish-meatballs/

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Picadillo Cubano (Cuban Ground Beef and Olives)

This is a dish that grew on me.  The first time I tasted it, it was strange since I hadn’t had much experience with green olives.  And pairing it with raisins?  It sounded weird.  And it was, a little bit.  But, after I got over my initial reaction, I found I was looking forward to eating leftovers.  By the time we ate the last serving, we were sad that it was gone.  All that to say, this may be out of your comfort zone, but if you’re looking for a new taste, go ahead and give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 c. olive oil

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp oregano

1 bay leaf

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 T. tomato paste

1 c. white wine

1/2 c. Spanish olives, cut in slices

1/3 c. raisins

Cooked white rice, for serving

 

Directions:

Cook the ground beef and drain off the fat (unless you’re using grass fed- then don’t waste anything!).  Add the olive oil and heat.  Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaf, onion, green pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and paste, white wine, olives and raisins.  Cook for another 30 minutes to allow the wine to cook off and to allow the flavors to combine.  I think I didn’t let it cook for the full 30 minutes the first time and maybe that’s part of the reason that the leftovers tasted better.  Serve over rice and don’t eat the bay leaf!

 

Original recipe:

http://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/picadillo-cubano-cuban-ground-beef-dish

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Vegetable Beef Soup

We received a dutch oven for our wedding and I finally initiated it with this dish!  I have been wanting to make vegetable soup for awhile, but in my mind it was this super long and hard task, so I avoided it.  I finally broke down and made it, and much to my surprise, it wasn’t that hard at all. I hope you find a nice new dish for your repertoire in this soup.  It filled my dutch oven to the brim, so make sure you are using a large pot!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 c. chopped onions

2 c. peeled and chopped carrots

1 1/4 c. chopped celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 cans chicken broth (I think I used Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 cups diced potatoes (1/2 in, skins on)

1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 c. frozen green beans

1 1/4 c. frozen corn

1 c. frozen peas

2 c. cooked ground beef (optional)- omit for vegetarian

Optional: add cooked noodles (I added Schar Bonta d’Italia gluten free anellini)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Add onions, celery and carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes, add garlic, and cook for another minute.  Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Allow it to begin to boil and then add green beans.  Reduce heat and cook on medium-low for 30 minutes or  until potatoes are soft.  Add beef and frozen vegetables.  Cook 5-10 minutes or until beef and vegetables are heated through.  Add cooked noodles if desired.  For best yumminess, serve on a cold night :-).

 

Original recipe:

Vegetable Soup

Easy Crockpot Beef Brisket

I have had this recipe printed off for a long time and I finally got around to trying it.  It was SO easy.  The best part is, the brisket I bought was so big that I have more of it in the freezer.  I cut it into sections that would fit in my crockpot and froze the rest in crockpot-size parts.

 

Ingredients:

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 lbs beef brisket (not corned)

2 T. ketchup

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

4 cloves minced garlic

water to cover bottom of pot

 

Directions:

Strew onions in bottom of crockpot.  Place brisket on top of the onions with the fatty part on the top.  Stir together the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Rub onto the brisket.  Sprinkle garlic on top of the brisket.  Pour in just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I served this by itself first and poured some of the juice and onions on my plate with it.  I also made brisket sandwiches and put the onions from the bottom of the pan on the sandwich.  So delicious!

When it is done, it will shred like this:

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Stroganoff

When I was typing the tag for this recipe, I accidentally labeled it diary free.  Fortunately, no diaries are required for the making of this dish.  Neither is any dairy.  I LOVED this dish as a kid, and I thought it would be a goner since it relied heavily on sour cream.  Fortunately, Tofutti makes something called Better Than Sour Cream that does the trick.  I served it over my mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

1 pound beef tenderloin, sirloin steak, or round steak (really any steak will do), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 T. butter (I used SmartBalance- the green container)

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (I have actually never put this in but it sounds good)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 can (10 1/2 oz) chicken broth or beef broth

4-6 T. ketchup (I always end up adding more at the end until it’s the color I want.)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

3 T. flour (I sometimes use brown rice flour but this time I used 2 T. arrowroot and 1 T. cornstarch because I was out of brown rice flour)

1 c. sour cream (I used Tofutti)

Mashed potatoes or cooked pasta for serving.

 

Directions:

Cut meat into 1/2 inch strips (against the grain).  Melt butter over medium heat in skillet.  Cook the mushrooms and onions in the butter until tender.  Set onions and mushrooms aside in a bowl and then cook the meat in the same pan.  When it is light brown, set aside 1/3 c. of the chicken or beef broth and add the rest into the skillet with the meat.  Add in the ketchup, garlic, and salt and simmer while covered for 15 min.  Combine the 1/3 c. broth with the flour and then add it into the meat while making sure to stir so it doesn’t clump.  Return the mushrooms and onions to the pan and turn up the heat a little while continuing to stir until it boils.  After a minute of boiling, reduce the heat and add in the sour cream.  Stir in more ketchup if it is not orange enough for you.  Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes.