Posts filed under ‘Beef’
Weeknight dinners can be a chore when you’re in a time-crunch, especially if you’re hungry and ready to eat. While the idea of meal planning is fantastic and I try to schedule out meals for the work-week, yet sometimes I “live on the edge”….or that’s what I tell myself when I’m forced to wing it and try to whip up something different with ingredients I have on hand.
Thus, this chorizo ragu was born. Quick, simple and tasty…yay for spontaneous dinners! Plus, add some bonus points since you can make this ahead; the leftovers are deeeelicious! If you prefer to prep meals on the weekend to get a jumpstart to your busy week, this dish might be on your next to-make list. If you want a filling grain-free meal packed with veggies and nutrition, give this one a go as well :)
Slightly spicy and loaded with smoky flavor from the cumin and paprika, this Mexican-inspired ragu packed with protein, fiber, veggies to keep you full AND satisfied. The squeeze of fresh lime really makes the spices and flavors pop and brightens the dish so I’d advise not the leave that out :)
If you don’t have spaghetti squash, serve this ragu over fresh greens for a spin on a warm taco salad or even your favorite cooked grain (like quinoa or brown rice) for a burrito bowl type meal. I had a little bit of the ragu leftover and served it over a baked sweet potato for lunch…YUM. Yep, I’ll be doing that again soon!
Chorizo Ragu over Spaghetti Squash
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
2/3 lb gluten free chorizo (can use chicken chorizo or vegetarian chorizo)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 jalapeno, deseeded and deveined, minced OR several shakes of ground cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t want added heat)
1/2 small onion, sliced or chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 bell pepper, diced (red, yellow or orange)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups cooked black or pinto beans
2-4 cups of spinach or swiss chard, collards or kale, de-stemmed, deveined and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
squeeze of fresh lime
sea salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar or monterrey jack cheese, optional (omit for vegan and/or dairy free)
fresh cilantro for serving, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly drizzle olive oil over squash and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until tender, roughly 30-35 minutes based on size. Once cooked, let cool slightly then scrape with a fork to create strands and set aside for serving.
2. While squash cooks, prepare the “ragu”. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add chorizo and onion. If using a really lean chorizo or a vegetarian substitute, saute in 1 Tbsp of oil. Saute until cooked through and no longer pink and lightly browned.
3. Add garlic, cumin, paprika and jalapeno or red pepper (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute.
4. Add bell pepper, tomato and beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. Toss in spinach/greens and cook another minute or two until wilted.
5. Add cilantro the the skillet along with fresh squeezed lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Serve ragu over cooked spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with grated cheese, diced avocado and/or additional cilantro if desired and enjoy!
Timesaver: You can cook the spaghetti squash a couple of days ahead or the night before to speed up prep time. Just reheat in the oven or in the skillet.
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!
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.
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)
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!
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.
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 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)
- Slice the onion into ~1/4-inch rounds. Keeping the rounds intact, place them in the bottom of the crockpot.
- 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.
- Add beef broth, soy sauce/tamari/ aminos, mustard, rosemary and garlic to the crockpot.
- Place meat on top of the onions.
- Cook on low 6-7 hours until beef is fall-apart tender.
- Shred meat with a fork or transfer the roast to a cutting board and thinly slice.
- 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 .
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the tops from the pan. Lay the beef on the bottom of the rolls and top with mushrooms and cheese.
- Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Top with onions and sandwich halves and serve with small bowls of au jus, Enjoy!
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
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
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 :)
*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!