Mom’s “Hamburger Hash (stew)”, made my way

hamburger-hash-stew

This one’s an old family favourite for me. It’s one that we had very frequently as kids and I always looked forward to it. It wasn’t until recently that I said my mom, “Remember when you used to make hamburger hash for us? I used to love that and haven’t had it in years!” My mom told me she had, ironically, just made it a few days prior. So I asked her, “How do you make it??” I said, “Do you first brown the meat–?” She cut me off and said, “Oh, god no! That’s too much work!” or something very similar. She told me how she did it all those years ago and now I’m going to share with you how I made it recently for my hubby and myself.

Oh, but wait. What is hamburger hash, you ask? Oh! It’s not like a breakfast hash made with potatoes. It’s more like a ground beef stew that’s poured over mashed potatoes. When I was a kid, it was made with onion and ground beef and was in a really thick gravy. I imagine it was a favoured dish because it was relatively cheap and easy to make — which of course made it really easy to feed a family of four on a budget and without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Here’s what I did…

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Something old into something new: leftover butter chicken pizza!

Butter chicken pizza on naan bread on a cutting board

I’m not a fan of really hot, spicy foods, but I do like the flavour of curry. Hubby and I like to order butter chicken and rice from a nearby Indian restaurant because they make it on the milder side. We always order lots and there’s always leftover. But sometimes after the first few days, it’s easy to get bored with it, like anything else. Sometimes, you just need to find a new presentation to make even the most favourite of take-out more interesting a few days later — especially when the naan bread really isn’t too fresh by the third day and needs a little life put back into it.

So, today for lunch, I got a brainstorm. Pizza only needs a base, a sauce and toppings, right? So naan is similar to pizza crust, butter chicken sauce is like tomato sauce, the chicken is like any meat topping — all that’s needed is some veggie component (my preference) and some cheese. Here’s what I did…

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Make something new out of something old: teriyaki meatballs and pasta

Teriyaki meatballs served over whole wheat spaghetti with sliced green onion.

This one’s real easy. After New Year’s Eve, we found that we had far too much in the way of the teriyaki meatballs I had made in my slow-cooker, so we froze half of them. Keep in mind that they are not great if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake. But hey, when you’re looking for a really fast meal and you have leftovers in the freezer, you use what you have on-hand!

I won’t even hide this one behind a  ‘read more’ link because it’s pretty short and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 portions whole wheat pasta of your choosing
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 10 frozen leftover teriyaki/Swedish/Hawaiian meatballs w/sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 green onions, sliced and divided

Method

  1. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, saute red onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add frozen meatballs and broth or water. Cook for a few minutes until meatballs are heated through.
  3. Allow to bubble away until sauce begins to thicken. Add half of the  green onions and stir.
  4. Divide in half and serve over two portions of pasta, topping with the remainder of the green onions.

Sorry, I have no nutritional values on this right now, but man, this was very, very yummy. 😉

Hearty turkey barley soup

A bowl of turkey barley soupDue to the summer heat, I’ve been using my crockpot a lot more than my oven, especially for cooking large quantities of meat. I recently threw two large turkey breasts into the crockpot with a seasoning rub (that I threw together) and some reduced sodium chicken broth.

From this, I decided to reserve some of the meat for a turkey-potato-veggie dinner, some for sandwiches (turkey club anyone??) and the rest, I threw into a stewpot on the stove with some barley and vegetables. Yes. Soup in the summer. I’m okay with eating soup in the summer. I like to freeze it into smaller portions and then pull it out on a rainy day! Here’s what I did:

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Low-carb adventures: cauliflower for breakfast!

A baked patty made out of mashed cauliflower topped with a dollop of ketchup.

This endeavour to make healthier meal choices has really opened up a lot of new foods for me. One thing I’ve discovered is that I really enjoy cauliflower. I used to prefer broccoli, but now I’m finding that I prefer cauliflower. I love both, however! But this story is about cauliflower, so let’s focus on that.

Earlier in the week, I had made up a pureed curried cauliflower soup, as well as some garlic/lemon roasted cauliflower for a different meal. They both needed to get used up and I was looking for an alternate to the potato hash I used to make for brunch for hubby and I on the weekends. I still wanted something similar to potatoes and had even considered some kind of potato/tuna patty, so that I wouldn’t get so much potato. You see, I love potatoes, but I know they’re not ‘the best’ food to have a lot of. So I had heard you could mash up cauliflower like potatoes, so I got cracking and ended up experimenting. Here’s what I did…

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Christmas leftovers stew

A bowl of stew with a spoon sticking in it.We all end up with leftovers at Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate!), don’t we? I know I do. Not only did we have leftover chicken from our Christmas-Day-at-home this year, but also turkey that Mom sent home with us the night before.  We had an entire veggie tray that was just going to waste, too. So, I put  on my thinking cap, set my big stew pot on the stove and started to clean out the fridge. Here’s what I did…

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Quick & easy twice-baked potatoes

Four baked potato halves sit on a plate, topped in cheddar cheese.We had baked potatoes the other night with maple bacon meatloaf. Tonight, I wanted something very simple for dinner. I was craving something cheesy. I was craving something comforting. I got thinking about the double-baked potatoes my mom used to make and got inspired. Now, this recipe is nothing like what she used to make, but it worked for me. 🙂

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