Posts filed under ‘Beef’

Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I’ve been whipping up omelets, salads and skillet dishes for quick meals these days. Every now and again though, I get the urge (and have the time) to make a more labor-intensive dish…you know the one you can taste the effort and love you put into it?

This is one of those meals. I made these cabbage rolls during our last Spring snow storm when I was craving comfort food and these hit the spot!

cabbage roll

For April I was assigned to Sarah’s Fantastical Sharing of Recipes blog for the Secret Recipe Club…and I couldn’t decide what to make! My goodness, Sarah has an extensive list of dishes that I kept scrolling through to choose from. I have her family’s original Tamale Balls and Guy Fieri’s Cherry Cobbler Pizza on my to-make list but when I saw her Classic Cabbage Rolls, I was sold. Besides the cabbage, I had all of the ingredients already on-hand and needed a little “me time” in the kitchen.

I made a few slight changes by finely dicing my onions, using a large head of cabbage instead of medium and used crushed tomatoes instead of diced since that’s what I hand in the pantry. I also used brown rice, unsweetened ketchup, coconut sugar for the sweetener and I added 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms because I needed to use them up in the fridge. Since I used already salted tomatoes, I opted to reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon and increase the black pepper by a smidgen.

Delicious results!

Cabbage roll1

Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (lightly adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes)
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free option, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans organic crushed tomatoes with basil (or Italian diced tomatoes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (for grain-free, increase mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (I used unsweetened ketchup)
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea and Perrins brand)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 lb. ground beef, bison or turkey (if using turkey use lean not extra lean)
  • 1/4 lb. Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional (I didn’t use)


  • In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain. Remove eight large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use) and set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter/oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining onion and salt. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture, add in mushrooms and mix well.
  • Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in a skillet. Top with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add V8 juice if desired. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes longer or until rolls are heated through and a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°. 

Yield: 4 servings (8 rolls)

cabbage roll bite

Click here for other scrumptious recipes in this month’s reveal!

April 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm 11 comments

French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus (Slow Cooker – SRC)

I don’t eat much red meat. While I love a good steak on occasion, I typically opt for a seafood, veggie or poultry dish when cooking at home. Boy, that might change after making this fuss-free recipe!

french dip 1
I adapted this dish from
The Spiffy Cookie’s recipe for a slow cooker French dip sandwich. I was assigned Erin’s delicious blog this month for the Secret Recipe Club and could not choose what I wanted to make! I was salivating just looking through her recipes with many calling my name like her Reese’s Oatmeal breakfast cookie and Guiltless Avocado Alfredo with Spicy Chicken.

I’ve already started a list of must-makes from her archives but in the end, I selected a dish that forced me to dust off my crockpot that I hadn’t used in ages and get outside my comfort zone with my protein choice– the French dip.

french dip2

I adapted the recipe slightly by using London broil in place of chuck roast, rubbed the meat with onion powder and a pinch of dried rosemary and then seared the meat prior to adding to the slow cooker to add a little color. I also used a combo of coconut aminos and gluten free tamari in place of the soy sauce and omitted the Worcestershire sauce as I didn’t have any on hand. Since I love mushrooms and will find any excuse to include them in a recipe, I sauteed a few for an added bonus to my sandwich.

Not only did I break out my crockpot, I made my own homemade grain-free rolls to serve with this oh-so-tender meat (recipe to come)! Topped with melted cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, this French dip sandwich was one tasty, flavorful bite! Plus, the leftovers are yummy in a beef and veggie soup or on top of salad greens :)

french dip

French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus (Slow Cooker) (adapted from The Spiffy Cookie)


3 tsp oil, Earth Balance or butter, divided (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
1 medium yellow onion
1 cup low sodium beef broth/stock
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce, tamari, Braggs or coconut aminos (I used 3 Tbsp coconut aminos and 1 Tbsp tamari)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp onion powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp creole mustard
~3lb London Broil (or chuck roast)
pinch of dried rosemary, optional

sea salt & pepper
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms
6-8 gluten free sandwich rolls, split
6-8 slices of provolone or swiss cheese (can use a dairy free cheese or omit if needed)


  1. Slice the onion into ~1/4-inch rounds. Keeping the rounds intact, place them in the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Sprinkled the meat with salt, pepper and onion powder. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp oil/butter. Sear the meat on all sides until golden brown to seal in the juices and give the meat a little color.
  3. Add beef broth, soy sauce/tamari/ aminos, mustard, rosemary and garlic to the crockpot.
  4. Place meat on top of the onions.
  5. Cook on low 6-7 hours until beef is fall-apart tender.
  6. Shred meat with a fork or transfer the roast to a cutting board and thinly slice.
  7. Remove the onions and set aside. I strain the juice into a large “defatter” measuring cup and get rid of the oil that collects on top (I .
  8. Return the roast, juice, and onions to the crockpot for up to an hour before serving (I usually switch it to “Keep Warm” so it doesn’t continue cooking).
  9. While meat is on “warm”, heat a medium saute pan with remaining 1 tsp of oil/butter. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper is desired.
  10. Heat the broiler. Place the split sandwich rolls on a lined baking sheet and toast for 1 minute or just until the bread begins to brown.
  11. Remove the tops from the pan. Lay the beef on the bottom of the rolls and top with mushrooms and cheese.
  12. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Top with onions and sandwich halves and serve with small bowls of au jus, Enjoy!

french dip bite

For other scrumptious recipes from this month’s assignments, visit the link below!

March 25, 2013 at 2:12 am 18 comments

My Favorite Taco Salad Bowls

All the nacho photos from my last post made me crave Mexican food! Off I went to the grocery store to pick-up ingredients for our go-to taco bowls.

We make this dish in some form or fashion at least twice a month – sometimes I use cooked rice, millet or quinoa instead of the shredded lettuce as the base. When I have avocado on hand, I will make guacamole and plop a big scoop on top instead of the plain yogurt. If you do not eat meat, you can make this meat-free by increasing the beans to 3-4 cups and adding 1-2 cups of a cooked grain as the “meat filling”. Gotta love options :)
My Favorite Taco Salad Bowls


Spice mix*
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (you could use a heaping 1/2 tsp smoked paprika for a different but lovely smoky taste)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp oregano

2 tsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or other neutral oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups cooked beans (pinto or black)
3/4 lb ground meat (turkey, bison, chicken, beef)**
3 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and deveined and minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced

For serving
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese (omit for dairy free or use dairy-free cheese)
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
avocado cubes or guacamole, optional


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meat and onion and cook until meat is cooked through.
2. Stir in the spice mixture and beans, then toss to combine. Cook for about 5-6 minutes while preparing the tomatoes.
3. In a small mixing bowl, toss fresh tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno.
4. Add shredded lettuce to your bowl, top with bean-meat mixture and spoon on the tomato-lime mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, avocado and greek yogurt/sour cream and enjoy! Serve with sturdy chips and use as spoons if you are like me :)

Serves 4-5
*If you prefer to use a pre-made spice pack to save time, feel free to substitute Southwest Taco Seasoning from Simply Organic.
**For a vegetarian dish, increase beans to 3-4 cups and add 1-2 cups of your favorite cooked grain. Crumbled tempeh might even work here as well!

April 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm 7 comments

“Empty the Fridge” Fall Stir-Fry

I’ve been on a mission to use up a majority of the remaining items in our fridge so they don’t go to waste before the move. I have to accept a few items will have to be thrown away (sad!) but with a little creativity, yummy and inventive dishes came be born…

So what to do with a one serving portion of frozen turkey, 1/4 of a cooked squash, the remaining container of spinach and leftover white beans? Make an easy stir-fry!

This recipe serves one, but after I finished lunch, I wished I’d made a larger portion — I was more than happy with this healthy but hearty one-dish meal! I finished the stir-fry with a drizzle of roasted tahini, which paired beautifully with the squash, meat and veggie combo! Don’t skip the tahini, it takes this humble dish over the edge :)

“Empty the Fridge” Fall Stir-Fry


2 tsp coconut oil (or butter or oil)
3 to 4 oz ground turkey, chicken, beef or your favorite meat substitute (crumbled tofu?)
1/4 cup sliced onion (1/4 of a small onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 of a small cooked kabocha squash, cubed (about 1 cup) or any winter squash
handful of greens – spinach, chard, collards or kale (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup cooked white beans (or your favorite beans)
1 tsp sesame seeds
dash of crushed red pepper, optional
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
roasted (or raw) tahini, for drizzling (I eyeballed but used approx. 1 -2 Tbsp)


1. In a medium skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and the onions and cook until meat is no longer pink cooked through, about 3 minutes.

2. Add garlic and cooked squash and cook for another two minutes, stirring occassionally. Add greens and white beans and saute for another few minutes until greens are wilted and squash starts to brown.

3. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the skillet and toss the combine. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, drizzle tahini over the stir-fry and enjoy!

Serves one but could be doubled, tripled or quadrupled if desired

November 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm 5 comments

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