BEEF BARLEY STEW

BEEF BARLEY STEW
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Thyme
2-3 cups root vegetable pieces (I used carrots and parsnips)
2/3 cup barley
1 tablespoon blood orange vinegar (red wine is great too)

  • Bring meat to room temperature.  
  • Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Add meat and brown on all sides.
  • Remove meat with a slotted spoon.
  • Add onions and garlic, sauteing until garlic is fragrant and onions are soft and slightly browned.
  • Stir in broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Thyme and root vegetables.
  • Gently simmer for 1-2 hours, covered.
  • Stir in barley and continuing simmering until barley is tender.
  • Stir in vinegar.
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BAKED MEATBALLS w/ ONION GRAVY

MEATBALLS
1 pound hamburger
1 pound ground pork
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Panko crumbs or crushed saltines
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon bail
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using your hands blend all the ingredients together.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll meatballs into golf ball size meatballs.
  • Bake for 30-45.
  • Bake how ever many you need today and freeze the others for future meals. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.

ONION GRAVY
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 tablespoons cream sherry
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon better than bouillon beef base
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large skillet melt the butter for the gravy. Saute the onions until browned.
  • Add the bouillon base, cream sherry and hot water. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, add flour and continue cooking to desired consistency.
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MEAT LASAGNA

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil
1 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles(I like the Barilla no cook)
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. 
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes (juice included) and tomato sauce. 
  • Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. 
  • Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water OR use no bake noodles.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  •  To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.
  • Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. 
  • Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. 
  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. 
  • Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 
  • Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. 
  • Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. 
  • Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

My mom got me this new lasgana pan from Chicago Metallic for Christmas and I have to say it is awesome.  Lasagna no longer is a mess to cut and each edge of cheese is crispy and just perfect!  Assembly is also a breeze with no overlapping. You can even make 3 different flavors at once.  I can’t wait to try it on some banana bread and meatloafs.

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MEAT LASAGNA & CHICAGO METALLIC’S 3-ROW LASGANA PAN

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil
1 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles(I like the Barilla no cook)
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes (juice included) and tomato sauce.
  • Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
  • Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water OR use no bake noodles.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  •  To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.
  • Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
  • Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.
  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.
  • Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

My mom got me this new lasgana pan from Chicago Metallic for Christmas and I have to say it is awesome.  Lasagna no longer is a mess to cut and each edge of cheese is crispy and just perfect!  Assembly is also a breeze with no overlapping. You can even make 3 different flavors at once.  I can’t wait to try it on some banana bread and meatloafs.

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STUFFED MEATBALLS & ROASTED VEGGIE SPAGHETTI SAUCE

STUFFED MEATBALLS
ROASTED VEGGIE SPAGHETTI SAUCE
  • I start with whatever vegetables I have in the vegetable bin. Today was Roma tomatoes, celery stalks, green onions and snap peas.
  • Then I drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over it all and bake it for an hour at 400 degrees.
  • I started the sauce with a can of Contadina tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Better than Beef Bouillon paste, 2 cups orange juice and a V8. This truly was a clean out the fridge day.
  • When done roasting add the vegetables to the sauce and set to simmer all day. The vegetables will continue to cook down into a uniform consistency with the sauce. Salt & pepper taste.


For the meatballs:
1 pound hamburger
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 large slices sourdough bread, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheeseAlign Center
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic, jar
mozzarella cheese, about 4 ounces, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • Crumble bread into a large bowl.
  • Toss in Parmesan cheese, parsley, green onions and garlic.
  • Add meat and with your hands mix extremely well until you have a uniform mixture.
  • Roll meatballs around a Parmesan cheese cube.
  • Chill Meatballs until sauce is done.
  • Just before the sauce is finished, brown meatballs.**
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and bring to a medium high simmer until meatballs are cooked though, about 20 minutes.
  • Prepare pasta and Parmesan Cheese Bread while meatballs are cooking.
  • Enjoy

**If you prefer you can add the meatballs directly to the sauce and SLOW simmer for a couple hours instead of browning.


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Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe from Dawn’s Daily Life
9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons milk
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and cook over high heat. Boil for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat; drain fat. Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce to taste, salt, pepper, green beans and corn. In a separate bowl, mix flour with the 3 tablespoons water and stir into beef mixture. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish. Stir all together well. Drain the potatoes, mash and spread over the beef mixture. Place 2 to 3 vent holes through the mashed potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Brush the milk over the potatoes for the last 5 minutes of baking.
Modifications:
-I added 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion and 1 green pepper to this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and cut up about 10 potatoes and put them on to boil
Slice up a green pepper.

Coarsely chop 2 garlic cloves and slice up an onion.

Brown about 1 1/2lbs of lean ground beef.

Add the garlic, onion and green pepper.

Add 1 small can of tomato sauce.

Drain and rinse a can of corn and a can of green beans and added it to the mixture.

Add 7 or 8 good shakes of worcestershire.
While that mixture is cooking, measure out 2T of all-purpose flour and 3T of water. Mix it together and then mix it into the pan.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish and put the mixture in it.
Drain the potatoes and then added a tad of butter.  Mash.

Once mashed up, I scoop the potatoes over the meat mixture and poke 4 holes in it.
Popped it into the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
With a few minutes left to go, I measured out 3 tablespoons of milk and started to brush it on the potatoes. That was too much of a pain so I just drizzled it all over the top.
Here’s what you’ll end up with:

Review:
I almost just made the mashed potatoes on the side and served it that way but I really wanted to try to stay as close to the recipe as possible. I’m glad I did!
I added the garlic, onion and green peppers and it did add a lot of flavor. In hindsight, though, I think I should have left out the green peppers. The texture was pretty close to that of the green beans and while it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t add a lot to it.
If you aren’t going to be all critical about the authenticity of what you put in the dish, I think you could really add anything you wanted–mushrooms, ground turkey, beans, etc.
I’d say to definitely give this recipe a try. It was easy and tasty!
Hope you enjoy!
April
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MARVELOUS MINI-MEATLOAVES

I found tonight’s main dish on a blog, Gourmet Meals for Less, and I knew that Scott liked meatloaf so I thought I would give it a try. 

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves
makes 12 meatloaves

l pound extra-lean ground beef (1.69)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Chicken flavored stuffing mix (use the cheapest you can find)
1 cup water

and choose from your favorite of the following combinations:

1 teaspoon italian seasoning, spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella
2 teaspoon chili powder, chunky salsa, mexi-cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°. 
  • Mix meat, stuffing mix, water and preferred seasoning until well blended.  
  • Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. 
  • Make indentation in center of each with back of spoon; fill each evenly with spoonful of preferred sauce.
  • Bake 30-40 min. or until meatloaves are done (160°F). 
  • Top each meatloaf with sprinkle of cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted. 
  • Let stand 10 min.

Make Ahead and Freeze:  Bake meatloaves as directed. Remove from muffin cups; cool completely. Place in single layer on baking sheet; freeze 1 hour. Transfer to airtight container. Store in freezer up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator, and then reheat in 375°F-oven 20 min. or until heated through.

Here’s what you’ll need: 
(we went with the Italian Seasoning, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese)
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
  • Put the hamburger meat in a bowl and add the stuffing.
  • Add 7-8 good dashes of Italian seasoning and 1 cup of water.  Mix together. 
  • Spray a muffin pan with Pam and then stuff each pan with the meat.

  • Push a little hole in the middle of each. 
  • Scoop in 1 Tbsp of spaghetti sauce in each (if you are making the Italian-style).
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

  • Once the meat is cooked through, pull out and add cheese to the top.  Put back in for 5-6 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Here’s what you’ll end up with:

This is the type of meal, too, in which if some of the people in your family like Mexican and some like Italian then it would be easy to make 6 of each.  Plus, I love how the recipe tells you how to make ahead and freeze, too.

If I could have changed one thing, I think next time I won’t get a chicken flavored stuffing.  I think, instead, I would look to see what other varieties there were.  For me, there was still just a hint of the taste of stuffing instead of traditional crumbled up crackers or I guess you could even use just bread crumbs as a binding.
Either way, we will definitely be having this meal again!

Hope you enjoy!
April

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SHEPHERD’S PIE

Shepherd’s Pie adapted from Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals
6 medium potatoes
1 pound carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 jar (12oz) fat-free beef gravy
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:  
  • Peel and cube the potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.  Add 1inch of water to another saucepan; add carrots.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until crisp-tender, about 7-9 minutes.  Drain.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the carrots, gravy, 1/2 tsp salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and pepper.  Transfer to a shallow 3qut baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Drain the potatoes; mash with milk, butter and remaining salt.  Spread over meat mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. 

Nutrition Facts:
Cal 390
Fat 13g (6g sat fat)
Choles 53mg
Sodium 859mg
Carb 43g
Fiber 6g
Protein 30g

Diabetic Exchange:  3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat

Modifications:
-I used ground chicken instead of ground beef.
-I added a can of Italian styled diced tomatoes.
-I used a packaged gravy instead of a jar.
-I did not sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Peel and cube the potatoes.
  • Slice up the carrots.
  • Dice up the onion.

  • Put the carrots in water to boil and soften.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Brown the meat.
  • Cook the potatoes, drain and add the butter.
  • Add the onion to the ground chicken.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, add the carrots.
 
  • I decided to use a can of Italian-style diced tomatoes.  Add the tomatoes and the herbs.
  • Make the gravy.  If using jarred gravy, skip this step.
  • Add the gravy to the pot and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  • Pour into a greased baking dish.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
Here’s what you’ll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
We love shepherd’s pie around this house and this one is no different.  The addition of the brown gravy in with the mixture of onions and tomatoes really gave an extra depth. This is a perfect comfort food dish!
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SWEDISH MEATBALLS ~ OLDIE BUT GOODIE

Traditionally this recipe is served with lingonberries – YUMMMMMMY!!
MEATBALLS*
1 Jumbo egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large slice white bread, crusts removed, and bread torn into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces ground pork, double ground
8 ounces ground beef, double ground
1 medium onion, grated or minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
Olive Oil, heavy coat

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whisk egg and cream together in small bowl. Stir in bread and set aside to soak.
  • Blend hamburger & pork, onion, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, and salt smooth and uniform.
  • Using fork, mash bread mixture until no large dry bread chunks remain.
  • Add mixture to beef mixture and blend until well mixed.
  • Form 1-inch round meatballs. You’ll have about 25-30. 
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  • At this point you can either complete the recipe or freeze the meatballs for a later weeknight.

SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Table salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Once melted, add flour and cook, stirring constantly with whisk, until flour is light brown.
  • Slowly whisk in broth.
  • Add brown sugar and bring to simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cream and return to simmer.
  • Add meatballs back to sauce and simmer, turning occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.  If making the meatloaf, at this point pour sauce over the meatloaf and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over noodles.
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