Thursday, February 26, 2015

Harvest Pot-au-feu


Preparation 15 min
Cooking 3 h

1/2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
380 g blade pot roast, or rib roast , cut into large cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white flour (all purpose
1 1/3 cup beef brot
1 1/3 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 pinch salt [optiona
ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 rutabagas, or turnips , cut into large chunks
2 3/4 cups Savoy cabbage, or green , cut into large chunk
4 small potatoes, whole

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. Cut the meat into large cubes.
Heat the oil in a casserole dish or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat andbrown thoroughly on each side until golden, 7-8 min total, then take the meat out of the pot and set it aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot, then sauté 3-4 min until the onion is translucent. Stirin the flour and cook 2 min with continuous stirring. Pour in the broth and water gradually, with stirring, then put the meat along with its juices back into the pot. Add the bay leaf and herbes de Provence. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer 2 h, until the meat is tender.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables: peel the carrots and rutabagas, then cut them into large pieces; cut the cabbage into large pieces; leave the potatoes whole. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook an additional 40 to 45 min, until the vegetables are cooked al denteAdjust the seasoning.
Serve the meat and vegetables including the cooking broth.

This dish can be made a few days ahead and reheated over moderate heat.

The broth may be served in a separate bowl, or it may be puréed with a few vegetables in a food processor then served as a thick soup.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Beef and Potato Fricassee

Preparation 10 min
Cooking 40 min
320 calories per serving

240 g beef, inside round, or French steak , cut into 1 cm cubes
1/2 onions, finely chopped  100 g
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 stalk celery, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup beef broth
3 1/2 tbsp frozen peas
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp Italian parsley, fresh [optional]

Keep the serving dishes in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.

Cut the meat into small 1 cm cubes. Prepare the vegetables : Finely chop the onion and garlic; cut the potatoes and celery into 1 cm thick pieces.
Heat half of the butter and oil in a thick-bottom frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sauté 3-4 min until translucent, then remove them and set aside.
In the same pan, add the cubes of beef and sear them over high heat 7-8 min until golden-brown. In order to brown the meat, it is important to remove any juices coming out of the meat, otherwise the meat will «boil» rather than brown. A bulb baster may be used to pull the juices out of the pan (The meat juices may be reserved and added back to the pan later with the broth).
Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan. Stir in the potatoes and celery, then sauté a few minutes. Pour in the broth (and any reserved meat juices), then deglaze. Put the onion and garlic back into the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, over low heat 20-25 min, until the potatoes are soft. Add the peas and cook an additional 3 min.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley (optional) and serve in the warmed dishes.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

basic spaghetti sauce

Hide the veggies!!!!

2015 is a year I plan to do MORE cooking and buying less premade.

I think one of the basics I need to master is spaghetti sauce as that is one of John's favourite meals AND not something he can have in the truck during the week. Although it is easy enough to get at any truck stop diner, watered down sauce and overcooked pasta is JUST not the same.

SO what can I do differently.
John loves my cooking. I am not a bad cook, but have become supremely lazy in past years.

This was today's sauce:

1 can of tomatoes diced (now when veggies are plentiful and inexpensive these will be fresh) $0.99
1 bunch of green onions (I like the colour -chunkily chopped) $0.79
2 regular onions (chunkily chopped) $0.50
1/2 of a bunch of celery (chunkily chopped) $1
1 green pepper (chunkily chopped) $1
1/2+ cup of parmesan or romano cheese $1
generous amount of your favourite Italian seasonings
2 tsp garlic
2 cups of water

subtotal $4.28
**** and whatever veggies you want to hide. like spinach, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms

In a VERY large pot (do not think it will work in a smaller pot!) I took all these items and brought them to a boil and let them simmer for 30 minutes covered. The smell through the house was amazing!! Ask Anne who stopped by.

I used an immersion blender, but a food processor will work too (ensure your mixture is cool enough before using a food processor though!). I then ground up all the boiled items.

I think getting used to the colour of natural foods will take some getting used to!
This mixture will be a thick kind of pink colour.

At this point I added 1 XL jar of PC tomato sauce. ($3.99)
fill with water and rinse and add to sauce.

Mix very well and the sauce will come back to a more recognizable red colour.

subtotal $9.27

I decided to add meatballs! $10 (PC bag divided nicely in there are between 70 and 100)
Fried ground beef, pork or turkey would work too at the same price.

subtotal $19.27

This sauce is VERY thick.
I prefer a slightly thinner sauce so I added
1 tetra container of tomatoéveggie juice cocktail $0.99

*** It is at this point I would add mushrooms if desired.

subtotal $20.26

At this point there are 4-6 or more family dinner size portions
(depending on how many people you serve)

The sauce is now ready to be put in containers.
Take out appropriate sized tupperware bowls,
**You decide how you want to store yours: tupperware, ziploc bags, jars.
and place meatballs in each bowl and cover with the sauce.

The jar from the sauce I used, I refilled for storing with no meat.

The last serving I added meatballs and left in the pot for supper tonight!

That took less than an hour and I prepped 6 large meals!

The sauce is really yummy and healthier than just a can of spaghetti sauce.
Next time I will remember the spinach for mine!

So I got 6 meals. $20.26 divided by 6 = $3.37
That is the same price as the classico sauce except mine has less preservatives,
more veggies and meatballs too!!!!!!!!!

`Bon Appetit!`

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vegetable and Bean Ratatouille

Preparation 10 min / Cooking 30 min

250 calories per serving [See all nutrition info]

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup green/snap beans
2 zucchini, cut into 1,5 cm dices
1 aubergines / eggplants, small size, cut into 1,5 cm dices
1 yellow or red sweet peppers, cut into 1,5 cm squares
1 cup canned tomatoes (diced)
3 cups red beans (canned), rinsed and drained
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper [optional

Mince or press the garlic and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and onion 4-5 min until lightly coloured and soft, paying attention not to let them burn.
Prepare the vegetables. Boil or steam the green beans. Drain, cut into 2 cm pieces, and set aside.
Dice the remaining vegetables into 1,5 cm pieces and add to the saucepan with the garlic and onion.Sauté 4-5 min, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the optional cayenne.
Cook over low heat, covered, 20-25 min until all vegetables are soft but still a bit al dente. Add water, if necessary, to keep the mixture moist.
Add the previously cooked green beans, the red beans, then cook an additional 5 min. Adjust the seasoning, then serve.

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Eggs

1 potato
2/3 cup green/snap beans
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 curly leaf lettuce
1 large egg
6 black olives
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the vegetables.  Wash the potato, trim the ends of the green beans.  Place the vegetables in a steam basket or in a pot of salted water to either boil or steam until al dente, about 20 minutes.  Let them cool down 10 minutes or longer, so they won't be so hot to handle.  Cut the potato into slices, cut the beans into pieces.

Boil the egg, cool immediately in cold water, peel and cut into quarters.

Put all the vegetables in a salad bowl or serving plate.  Add the tomato.  Pour on the dressing, then season with salt and pepper.  Toss well.

Arrange the olives, lettuce leaves and egg on top of the salad and serve.

Makes 2 servings.


The salad is delicious and filling but I think the salad would taste even better with a different dressing such as ranch.