Low-carb adventures: quick sweet beef stir-fry

A bowl of veggies, beef and egg noodles.

I was craving Chinese food one lunch-hour while I was on vacation. But Chinese can get expensive and I’ve been trying to cut back on MSG (which gives me migraines), sodium, and extra spending. 😉 So I raided my fridge and freezer to see what I could do. Before long, I had drummed up the fixings for a really quick stir-fry for lunch. Here’s what I did…

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Comfort Food, Jazzed Up – Maple Bacon Meatloaf

A plate holds two slices of maple bacon meatloaf, two halves of a baked potato with butter, salt & pepper, and a pile of peas with a nob of butter on top.There was a bunch of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be cooked up or tossed into the freezer. It’s been kind of cold as of late, so comfort food was kind of  priority number one a week ago or so. I found out a few years ago that hubby loves meatloaf. It was something he never got as a child — his mother just never made it. I don’t know if she didn’t like it or maybe his dad didn’t like it, but hubby had just never experienced it. It was practically a staple food  in our home, when I was growing up.

So the first time I made it was an experiment. When he took his first bite, I held my breath because I really feel that meatloaf is one of those “love or hate” dishes. He loved it. So ever since then, I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to jazz up this comfort dish. This time around, I originally wanted to do something with beef and teriyaki, but realized I had no teriyaki sauce (I usually have a jar of it around). I had no eggs (they had just expired), so I was thinking that I could get moisture and binding from something sticky. I started hunting around for something else sweet and stumbled across the bottle of maple syrup. Here’s what I did with it…

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My totally fake slowcooker “Stroganoff”

Egg noodles in a sauce of ground beef "stroganoff".There are going to be people who look at this and say, “That’s not Stroganoff!!” and I will say, wholeheartedly, that they are correct. This is more of a Stroganoff-inspired dish that was more about using up some ingredients in my fridge before their best before dates and less about being authentic.

Here’s what I did… Continue reading

Mid-week meatloaf triplets

Three finished meatloaves on a wooden cutting boardHubby came home with a lot of ground beef this week. I think he was trying to tell me that he was really missing red meat, as we generally do a lot with chicken. But after making my pot roasts a few weekends ago for him and my mom, I think he’s got the “red meat bug” — which is absolutely fine because variety is the spice of life!

But what to do with it? One package went into a pasta sauce over fettucini noodles at the start of the week. Nothing fancy, but it was filling and it was a homemade sauce that wasn’t super-loaded with preservatives and such. These three? If I didn’t do something with them soon, they were heading for the freezer and would end up in another sauce, likely. I didn’t want burgers. But hey, wait… what about meatloaf?  It’s easy to make. I had all the ingredients on-hand. And really, we don’t have meatloaf often.  So as you can see, I made not one, but three! Here’s what I did… Continue reading

Shepherd’s Pie: home’s comforts

A white bowl is filled with Shepherd's Pie: ground beef, gravy, peas, corn, potatoes.There is nothing more comforting to me than good ol’ fashioned comfort foods. For each person, “comfort food” means something different. Growing up in an English/Irish home, I grew up with classics such as Shepherd’s Pie. If you don’t know what that is, I’d say you don’t  know what you’re missing — and should explain that it was originally created to use up leftovers. It’s typically a layer of meat with vegetables atop that, coated in a layer of mashed potatoes.

My family makes it from scratch; nevermind the leftovers. It’s a meal into itself these days, and one that always reminds me of my childhood. Here’s how I make mine.  Continue reading

Homemade cheeseburgers

Two cheeseburgers sit side-by-side on a plate, one in the foreground to the right and one in the background, to the left (which is slightly blurry).It’s been a couple of weeks, I realize, and I apologize for my absence. I have no excuse other than that I have been lazy and busy and eating at restaurants / having take-out a lot as of late. This will hopefully stop as of this weekend, starting with this post.

And what do I have to share with you tonight, my wonderful readers? BURGERS!

I’ve had a craving for hamburgers for the last week or so and have yet to really satisfy that craving, so I made my own tonight. Here’s my super-simple recipe for pretty darned tasty (and quick) burgers: Continue reading

Steak & bacon stew!

steakstew2Yeah, so, Red Angus beef quick-fry steaks were on sale this week, so I came home with several pounds of these steaks last night. And I do mean several pounds. Last night, we just simply had fried steak and asparagus in garlic butter. And that was so good that I ate it before I remembered to take a picture — sorry!

Here’s what I did tonight: Continue reading