Monday, February 28, 2011

Beautiful Beef Stew

The ingredient list looks long but this really is a simple stew. I was quite impressed with the flavour if I do say so myself. Wonderful for these dark, cold days of winter.

Beautiful Beef Stew
Serves 8 - 10

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced thin
  • 4 - 6 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 - 6 parsnips, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 - 1 turnip, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic, minced (or 2 cloves raw garlic)
  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 6 cups water (or 6 cups low sodium beef broth instead of the bouillon cube and water)
  • 25 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
  2. Saute the stew beef until brown.
  3. Sprinkle with the flour and saute until thick
  4. Add the onion and celery and saute until soft, about 5 minutes
  5. Toss in the everything but the potatoes
  6. Simmer over medium low heat 15 minutes
  7. Add the potatoes and continue simmering until they are tender when poked with a fork.
You can also make this dish in the slow cooker/crock pot. Do steps 1 -4 as directed then add them and everything but the potatoes in the slow cooker. Simmer 6 hours on low. Add the potatoes and turn the slow cooker up to high and cook until the potatoes are tender, 20 - 30 minutes.

Spinach and Beet Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Here is a quickie that's super tasty. Nice with a pureed soup or grilled meat.

Spinach and Beet Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 8 cups of washed and torn up spinach
  • 1/2 cup diced pickled beets
  • Light blue cheese dressing

  1. Heat a dry saute pan over medium high heat
  2. Toss the pumpkin seeds in the pan and heat until brown and plump
  3. Remove the seeds and set aside
  4. If you wish you can saute the shallots, add oil to the pan and saute until soft and golden. (but you can serve them raw in the salad)
  5. Divide the spinach, beets, shallots and pumpkin seeds between 4 salad plates.
  6. Drizzle with the blue cheese dressing.

Yes it is that simple. Elegant. Impressive. Easy. Done!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meatloaf Most Excellent

Moist. That's the word to describe this meatloaf. And what's winter without meatloaf?! Well dull really. So here's one I whipped up last week. I used my food processor but if you don't have one just chop up the ingredients really fine.

Meatloaf Most Excellent
Serves 4 - 6

  • 2 cups diced stale french bread
  • 1/2 - 1 cup milk
  • 1/c grated parmesan
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 large raw clove)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish (the kind you get in the jar)
  • 5 or more good squirts of Worcestershire Sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp steak spice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Soak bread and milk in a bowl for about 5 minutes until the milk is absorbed. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and place the bread in the food processor.
  3. Add the parmesan, onion, garlic and rosemary to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped
  4. Add the parmesan bread mix to a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix until just blended.
  5. Form into a loaf, spread the ketchup on top and bake for 55 minutes or until the internal temp is 165F.

The soaked bread really does make it moist! Enjoy!

Sesame Broccoli - Super Simple Sides

I often find that broccoli is bitter during the winter months. This recipe is perfect for dressing up that out of season broccoli. Or you can use frozen. You can make this side while chicken or fish bakes in the oven. Add a potato or sweet potato for a quick, balanced, healthy meal!

Sesame Broccoli
Serves 4

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch of broccoli (about a pound or 500 grams), cut into long stalks
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced

  1. Heat a DRY wok or saute pan over medium high heat. Toss sesame seeds around the pan until golden, 2 - 5 minutes
  2. Remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set aside.
  3. Fill the pan with 1/2 inch of water and return to the heat
  4. Add the broccoli and stem until tender, 5 - 10 minutes
  5. Remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside with the sesame seeds
  6. Add the sesame oil to the pan and heat until hot
  7. Add the garlic, broccoli and sesame seeds to the pan and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chinese Sesame Noodles

Here's a yummy dish I made for Chinese New Year but it's great for any night of the week. Use any combination of veggies you like.

Chinese Sesame Noodles
Serves 4

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4lb chicken boneless breast or thighs (or leftovers)
  • 2 cups each, broccoli and red cabbage, both chopped
  • 2-3 green onions sliced diagonally
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch cube of ginger, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soya sauce, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup hot water

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
  2. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp of the sesame oil
  3. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok over medium high heat
  4. Saute the chicken until cooked through and remove from the wok
  5. Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients together in either a blender or use a hand blender (immersion blender), set aside.
  6. Add the broccoli and red cabbage to the wok and cook until tender
  7. Toss in the green onions and the sesame seeds. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes (you can also toast the seeds in a dry pan if you wish)
  8. Add in the sauce and heat through
  9. Add in the noodles and heat through again.