Tag Archives: Beef

African Chow Mein

So apparently this dish comes to us from the chinatowns that have cropped up in various major cities on the African continent. To me it sounds like yet another delicious way to use ground beef. You see, I’m usually not much of a ground beef user but I ended up with a bunch of it in my freezer so I’ve been trying to work on ways to use it that aren’t my usual burger or slider standby. The dish is mainly ground beef, celery, and rice, Nice and simple. I have no idea how authentic my flavour is. My dad is the one who has visited several countries in Africa not me. So here is my effort based on what I’ve had described to me.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked brown minute rice
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 can fat free cream of celery soup
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (kikoman ofcourse!)
  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cup mushrooms cut to desired consistency (I puree mine, mushroom flavour in every bite! I use crimini, oyster, or shiitake mainly)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Use a large wok to sautee the onions until the edges turn slightly brown. Add the ground beef. Cook until browned. Drain the fat.
  3. Add the other ingredients to the pan and mix well.
  4. Pour the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  5. Stir and return to the oven uncovered for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chives (optional).

This makes four servings. Each serving has 484 calories, 26 grams of fat (lower this by using extra lean), and 2 grams of fiber. I know at first glance that may seem like a lot but consider this is a one dish meal. You have veggies, grains and proteins all in one. I served this all by itself and went from starving hungry (I was late getting dinner going) to happily satisfied with just one serving. I liked it so much I’m actually having a serving leftover for lunch today…as is my husband. This dish was a bit of a crowd pleaser. My husband came home yesterday with a headache and completely drained of umpf. At this for dinner and was back to his old self. Maybe that qualifies this as a comfort food?


Gyoza are an awful lot of tasty in one cute little wrapper. They are a great little appetizer before sushi and they make great wonton soup! Like most of these asian tiny tidbits I tend to make a bunch of them sitting in front of a movie to be frozen and enjoyed at another time. Worth it and very fun! I made a few with different shapes for the picture. I have a preference but really it doesn’t matter how you stuff them, they taste great either way. Go for whatever you like the looks of!

  • package of wonton wrappers
  • 1/2 lb ground pork (lean)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (lean or extra lean)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 tin sliced water chestnuts, minced
  • 2 tbl oyster sauce
  • splash of soy sauce
  • 1 tbl. hoisin sauce
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl except for the wonton wrappers. Mix well, I tend to end up using my hands to get it really well mixed.
  2. To assemble: Place the wonton on a flat surface so that it makes a diamond, Wet the sides with a bit of water on your fingers. Place a tsp. of the mix in the center of the wonton. Fold the diamond in half so that it forms a triangle and pinch the sides closed. You can vary your sealing method, I just use this as it is fastest for when I am making a ton of these.
  3. Freeze them on sheets before putting them altogether in a tub.
  4. To cook: steam in either a bamboo steamer or other steamer for 14 minutes from frozen, less if they are fresh. You can also pan fry them for about 5 minutes in a bit of canola oil. This will add fat to the dish though, remember to count it!

Makes about 48 wontons. Each wonton is 52 calories, 2.1 grams of fat, and 0.2 grams of fiber. I like to serve them with a bit of ponzu sauce or sometimes a bit of soy sauce mixed with rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.

Beef Stew

A part of my hardcore hobbit process. In game the Beef stew is made with a hearty stock and a cut of beef…I can easily say I take mine a bit further. This is a bit of an indulgence dish but still won’t bust your day. Filling and comforting. I love to prepare this in the morning and let it slow cook all day long. I once prepared a huge amount of stew based on my recipe but with tofu instead of beef and veggie broth instead of beef broth. Even a strict meat lover (he pushes any sort of green garnish away) enjoyed it so much he ate seconds…we are convinced this is either a sign of the apocalypse or a good stew.

  • 1 lb of steak ends or stewing beef
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smooshed and minced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbl flour
  • 1/8 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the beef into nice bite sized cubes. Toss the cubes in a mixture of flour, paprika, and salt and pepper.
  2. Spray your pan, heat to medium. Cook the coated meat in the pan for just a couple of minutes to sear it and place in the crockpot. Put the garlic and onions into the pan and cook them until softened or carmelized, your choice.
  3. Use the wine to deglaze the pan and pour into crockpot.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serves four. 434 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber per serving. Great served with a couple of biscuits.

Now I must run off and find some candles and such for our earth hour which we are actually making into earth night. It all gets turned off over here in just a couple of hours for the whole night!

Easy Slim Beef Stroganoff

This is another one of those comfort food dishes. My version, like most does not truly resemble the version that surfaced in 1912. Still, I find it tasty and comforting. No picture for this one though, why? Well, true to its peasant food style I make my dish in a way that just plain isn’t pretty. You can doll this up by making the meat out of strips of steak or into meatballs but sometimes you just want to dig in to something comforting and tasty rather than pretty. This is for those times.

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 pk onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can fat free cream of celery soup
  • 3 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence (optional, I love the flavour it adds though)
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Sautee minced garlic until aromatic. Add ground beef and brown.
  2. Add soup mix, pepper, and herbs de provence. Mix.
  3. While stirring add the wine, canned soup (undiluted), sour cream, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Heat to a slight boil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve. I usually serve this over egg noodles.

Serves 4, 335 calories each serving.

As a side note this recipe freezes very well for those times you don’t need four servings hanging around. Make your own comforting calorie wise frozen dinners! Just cook the noodles to just al dente, top with the stroganoff in a container, allow to cool and freeze. That way you can just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and you are ready to go! I find it useful to mark the calories of the dish combined on the label of the dish so you can quickly count those calories too.

No Bulk Added Bangers and Mash

Sometimes you just plain need a comfort food…no need for it to completely derail my efforts though. I enjoy making this ahead on those rainy days so that we can lose ourselves in the gaming and then pop it in the oven to finish when we become hungry. This is also a hardcore hobbit recipe! Sausages and mash in the game are made with taters and pork sausage. My husband’s tummy doesn’t do well with pork sausage so we went with beef.

  • 1 lb Extra Lean Beef or Turkey Sausage
  • 1 Onion sliced or chopped to preference
  • 2 cups low fat gravy
  • Low Fat Mashed Potatoes made from 4 potatoes
  • 2 tbl parmesan cheese
  1. Cook the sausages in a skillet over medium heat. Usually no more than 10 minutes, make sure you flip them halfway through. Remove and set aside in a 9X9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the onions in the skillet with a bit of water until they reach desired doneness. I like them to caramelize a little bit.
  3. Slice the sausages into bite sized pieces. Top with the cooked onions and the gravy.
  4. You can either mix the parmesan in with the mashed potatoes or leave them as a topping, either way has proven tasty.
  5. Top the filling with the mashed potatoes. If desired top the potatoes with a sprinkling of seasoning salt.
  6. Keep in fridge until ready to bake. Once ready cook at 350F for 30 minutes.

Serves 4, 580 calories per serving.

I will make sure to post my recipes for low fat gravy and low fat mashed potatoes later in the week. They really don’t take much time at all and I find them much tastier than store bought. I figured though if you have a brand you like posting this bare bones recipe would make using that brand much easier. I’m a homemade when I can kind of girl myself though.

Thintastic Thai Meatballs

Really the title says it all. I was looking for those thai flavours, I didn’t want thai food calories, and I had extra lean ground meat staring at me daring to do something with it. Well…something had to be done! Done it was…and tasty.

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tbl minced green onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, basil
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 2 tbl light peanut butter
  • 2 tbl basil fresh minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl. Form the mix into meatballs, typically around 40 of them and place on the cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While they cook combine the remaining ingredients in a crock pot. Whisk them all together.
  5. Add the cooked meatballs to the crockpot. Stir. Cover. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  6. Serve hot.

Each meatball is approximately 45 calories each based on 40. If you make more or less simply divide 1800 by the number of meatballs you actually made to get the approximate calorie value of your meatballs.

I serve these on a nice bit of rice noodles and with a lovely side salad with ginger dressing. Then close my eyes and pretend I’m in Thailand. hehe.

Korean Style Stirfry

Another one of those flabuless full of veggie asian style dishes. I love these because they are almost a one dish meal and when you are in a hurry or lazy from a day of gaming and working out (yay weekends) these are so great! It used to be that when these what we call hungrylazy times would happen we would hasten to the takeout menu file or some sort of fast food might be discussed. Well…times have had to change. This can be thrown together in the same amount of time it would take for a pizza guy to get here or to drive down the hill and pick up something. Hmmm.

Looks pretty tasty doesn’t it? It sure tasted better than fast food and left me feeling better afterwards. Sometimes fast food just doesn’t make my tummy happy. Our stirfry had 239 calories and 6.6 grams of fat approximately for three servings. Here’s what we did.

  • 8 ounces sirloin steak sliced
  • 4 tbsp red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup savoy cabbage, sliced
  • 4 tbsp green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger root, grated
  1. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of soy sauce on the sliced beef and allow to marinade for atleast 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the remaining soy sauce, hoisin, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. This will be your sauce.
  3. Heat your wok or skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the beef. Stirfry until cooked. Remove and keep aside in a bowl.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Stirfry until fragrant, usually just a few seconds. Add the carrots and celery. Add a bit of water to start a bit of a steam usually just a tablespoon or two. Cook for a few minutes until starting to get tender. Add the cabbage and green onions. Cook until desired tenderness.
  5. Add the sauce and the beef and stirfry until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.

This dish is awesome served on rice or noodles. Don’t forget to count the calories for your side dish. Sometimes we like to add water chestnuts and bamboo shoots to our stirfry. I totally forgot to add them this time. When you do add them the calories for this dish become 266 calories and 6.7 grams of fat for three servings. Completely worth it though for the crunch and slightly bigger portion that leaves you nice and full.