Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

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ITALIAN DRESSING POT ROAST

This is my husbands favorite – ever, ever.  I don’t remember when I first made this or where I got the inspiration – maybe it was his Gramma, way back in the day – can’t recall, but have been doing it like this for years.  It’s SO easy and always turns out great.  

I use a crock pot.  I’ve done it in the oven, and I suppose an Instant Pot would be fabulous.  The MAIN thing is to cook this low and slow for as long as possible.  I’m not talking until it’s just “done”.  I’m talking when you get a fork NEAR it, it falls apart in utter and total surrender! 

When I worked at an assisted living facility, I did this with big cuts of chuck roast, I’ve used a small 1-pounder, or even two snuggled in the pot together, and I’ve done it with chuck steak.   Because this doesn’t require slicing or anything fancy like that – any old cut will work.  

The secret is the Italian Dressing – full of spices already, so that part’s done – and it has vinegar, which will make the beef super tender.  Throw in any vegetables you have around, or nothing at all.  I usually use onions, celery, carrots and potatoes.  

For this blog I  used Lite Italian Dressing.  In real life, I use the regular, simply because I just do.  (And, really, I discard most of the liquid in the pot after removing the meat.  I’ve never tried to make gravy with it…not sure about that.)   When the roast is done, it will fall apart when you gently try to separate it with a fork – and not just on the edges – even in the middle of the roast.  I scoop it out with a large slotted spatula (like for fish) or a large slotted spoon. 

Anyway…it’s good.  Husband-falling-on-the-floor-after-first-bite-good.  Of course, he IS a drama king, so….

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Printable Recipe

 3 pound boneless chuck roast – see above notes for other ideas

 1-2 cups (16 oz bottle for a large roast) Lite Italian Dressing – doesn’t matter what brand, but Kraft Zesty is great

Onions, celery, carrots, potatoes – large chunks

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Preheat crock pot on high (or oven to 275 degrees).  Drizzle two or three tablespoons of the dressing on the bottom of the crock pot’s pot or a large, deep casserole.  Add the meat and veggies – no particular order.  Pour at least 1 cup of dressing over the whole thing.  For a larger cut of meat – use more dressing, even the whole bottle.  For a chuck steak or small roast, I usually use 3/4 cup, or so.  Doesn’t really matter at all.

Cover tightly and cook on high, in crock pot, until it is bubbling a lot, then turn to low.  My pot is older and doesn’t have a tight fitting lid so I even cover the whole thing with a couple kitchen towels.  If you need the meal sooner than later, keep it on high, but I like to cook this on low for several hours – like 7-8, depending on the size of the meat, of course.

In the oven, 275 degrees for several hours.  Instant pot – no clue.

It’s done when it falls apart very easily.  This makes a lot of it’s own juice, so if left covered tightly, it will NEVER dry out.  I turn the meat now and then, just so all parts of the roast are, at one point, sitting in the liquid.  Makes approx 10 (weight loss surgery-size) servings.

 Per Serving: 275 Cal; 30 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 283 mg Sodium

(I use AccuChef for my stats.)

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OLD-FASHIONED GLAZED MEATLOAF

(First…let me apologize for the hunk ‘o meatloaf-on-a-plate.  Good grief.  

I had served dinner to Hon and he ooed and awed over it so I then felt like I should have taken a photo so I could post the recipe.  That was all that was left.  

Don’t worry.  It’s really, really great, regardless!)

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Yes, I’m channeling Gramma with this one!

Meaty, filling, flavorful, with that sweet glaze we all remember and loved.  I’ve given you two ways – beef or turkey, and both are fabulous.   Depending on your preference and caloric need, either meat will give you wonderful results.   I prefer to use mini loaf pans because it bakes so quickly and they freeze great.

A mixed green salad (plus baby white corn with sea salt and warmed whole grain rolls for those who aren’t limiting carbs)  – the perfect dinner!

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1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely diced onion

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 slice turkey bacon, finely diced

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup skim milk

1 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sage

1 slice bread, diced very small (OR 1/4 cup Panko crumbs)

3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 pound very lean ground beef (OR 1 pound mixed dark/light ground turkey)

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup Whey Low Gold (OR 1/4 cup Splenda Granular PLUS 1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup OR 1/3 cup regular brown sugar)

1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With vegetable cooking spray coat 1 regular loaf pan, or 2 mini loaf pans and place on a baking sheet.  Set aside.

In a saute pan heat the olive oil over medium low heat.  Add the onion, celery, and bacon.  Cook for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are soft.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk the egg, milk, salt, pepper, and sage.  Add the bread and stir until “mushed” up and no dry pieces remain.  Stir in the cheese and the onion mixture.  Add the ground beef or turkey and combine until well mixed.  Divide among prepared pans and lightly pack down.

In a small bowl whisk the ketchup, WL Gold (OR Splenda and sf maple syrup), and mustard.  Spoon over meat mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes for mini loaf pans, or 50-60 minutes for regular sized loaf pans….or until instant read thermometer reads  165 degrees, temp will increase to 170 as it rests.) Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving (90% lean ground beef, WL Gold):  Calories 234, Protein 20 g, Fat 11 g, NET Carbs 10 g, Sugar 8 g, Sodium 434 mg

Per Serving (ground turkey mixed light/dark, WL Gold):  Calories 210, Protein 12 g, Fat 9 g, NET Carbs 10 g, Sugar 8 g, Sodium 452

Without Whey Low Gold: subtract 8 calories and 5 sugars

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MEATLOAF MINESTRONE

This soup is filling and so easy…it doesn’t take hours to simmer, but can be on the table in 50 minutes! Full of vegetables and  chunks of leftover meatloaf floating in a seasoned broth….for your family add a crusty Italian loaf rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil and there’s your complete meal!

Vege Version:  Use vegetarian meatballs.  Trader Joe’s has some available, that are very good. OR leave them out altogether…still scrumptious!

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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced carrots

3/4 cup diced celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

1 medium zucchini, sliced

6 cups beef or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning herb mix

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, UNDRAINED

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 cups or more of chunks of leftover meatloaf OR prepared meatballs (24 regular-sized)

One 15-ounce can Cannellini or Great Northern Beans, drained

One 14-ounce can Italian green beans, drained

1/2 cup small shell pasta – optional

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In large saucepan, over medium-low heat, saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery and zucchini in olive oil until onions are soft and transparent. Add cabbage, broth, seasonings, pepper, sugar, tomatoes, and tomato paste. (If using meatBALLS instead of LOAF, add them here.) Allow to simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender. Add Cannellini beans, green beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is tender. Carefully stir in meatloaf and gently heat through. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Makes eight 1-cup servings.

With pasta:

Per Serving: 298 Cal; 16 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 29 g Carb; 6 g Fiber; NET Carbs: 23 g; 6 g Sugar; 420 mg Sodium

Without pasta:

Per Serving: 273 Cal; 15 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 24 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; NET Carbs: 21 g; 6 g Sugar; 420 mg Sodium

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GYRO-SPICED MEATBALLS and TZATZIKI

Time for some solid, dense protein?  Need a lunch or dinner that’s full of flavor and super filling?  Something new and different?  Here ya’ go…

You can make meatballs, patties, or loaf….or even crumbly fry this off in a pan. The secret is to fry, bake, or broil the meat until it’s almost done – there will be some carryover heat and it will finish cooking out of the pan. This way your ground meats, especially, will stay nice and softly moist.

Super easy, very fast, and they are wonderful wrapped in some buttery soft lettuce leaves with my Tzatziki Sauce (recipe below).

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1 pound ground sirloin or turkey
2 large cloves garlic, crushed (thru a garlic press)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/8 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons half & half
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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In a large bowl combine the meat, garlic, salt, onion powder, oregano, allspice, half & half, and black pepper. Fry into two-tablespoon-sized meatballs or form into patties or loaf and bake off. Makes 6 servings.

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With ground sirloin:
Per Serving: 213 Cal; 23 g Protein; 13 g Tot Fat; 0 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 246 mg Sodium

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With ground turkey (mixed light and dark):
Per Serving: 133 Cal; 22 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 0 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 294 mg Sodium

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Tzatziki Sauce

3/4 cup thick plain yogurt such as Fage (or drain plain yogurt very well)
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Splenda
1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoon fresh dill weed
Kosher salt and black pepper

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In a small mixing bowl blend together the yogurt, sour cream, grated cucumber, garlic powder, Splenda, dill weed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill. This is best if made several hours in advance.

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Makes 6 servings. Per Serving: Calories 31; Protein 2 g; Fat 1 g; Carbs 3 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 25 mg

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“WENDY’S” CHILI

Hon loves Wendy’s chili – he would buy and eat it every single day…and does!

My friend sent me an e-cookbook of copycat recipes and this was one of them.  I changed it up a little bit, and made the first batch.  I held my breath as SuperMan ate one…and then two bowls of it and pronounced it “Very Good – almost exactly like the original.”  Whew…

It really does look and smell pretty darn close – and is easy and economical.   Treat your family to fast-food…but you’ll know exactly what’s in it!

I read about the original-original and someone said that to make it the closest to, use frozen diced onions and green peppers.  Ever wanting to make things super easy, I do.  They also said it was imperative to boil the meat after browning.  So I do that, too.

Does it make a big difference?  Who knows.  Hon likes it…I’m going with that.  You do what you want…!

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1 pound 97% lean ground beef or turkey (Vege Version: 1 pkg Morningstar Crumbles)

Salt and black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup frozen diced green peppers

1/2 cup frozen or fresh diced red peppers  (I’ve not found frozen in my neck of the woods)

1 cup frozen diced onions

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

One 15-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups water

One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

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In a stockpot, over medium heat, brown the meat with a little salt and pepper.  (Do NOT do next step if using Meat Substitute.) Add water, just to cover by 1/2 an inch, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse.

Return meat to pot – medium heat – and add the olive oil, celery, green peppers, red peppers, onions, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.  Cook for one minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and beans.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Makes approx ten 1-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 164; Protein 13 g; Fat 3 g; NET Carbs 13 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 512 mg  (The carbs are complex and from the beans and veggies – super for us!)

 

 

 

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MEATBALL STEW

Need a quick supper? Fix this dish and even the pickiest eaters in the house will gobble it up.

Toss a crunchy salad full of dark greens and colorful red and yellow peppers, radishes, some purple onion slices, and deep black olives. Dowse it with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar…sprinkle lots of freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt.

For the family, thickly slice a crusty baguette, rub the pieces with garlic and drizzle on some olive oil, and a sprinkling of Italian herbs. Throw it under the broiler until golden.

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 ribs of celery, diced
2 tablespoons pearl barley
1/2 cup water
Two 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium beef broth
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
One 16-ounce pkg. frozen OR homemade pre-cooked meatballs (Vege Version: 1 pkg Trader Joe’s vegetarian meatballs…or other brand)

In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are transparent. Stir in barley and sauté for 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium-high. Add water, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaf, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduced heat to low. Allow to simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Barley should be tender but still chewy at this point. Remove bay leaf.  Add meatballs and continue simmering for 15 minutes longer. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes approx eight  (1 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 217; Protein 13 g; Fat 11 g; Carbs 10 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 484 mg

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ITALIAN HERBED MEATLOAF

This smells so homey-good while baking!

For the family: in the same oven I put some chunky potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with grated parmesan, salt and pepper, a dash of garlic powder. Stir occasionally and roast until golden and crisp. Whip up a green salad and dinner’s done in an hour.

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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

One pound ground sirloin or ground turkey – mixed light and dark for moistest loaf

1/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

1/3 cup plain bread crumbs

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 cups marinara sauce

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Over medium heat add the pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook until just soft. Remove from heat to cool slightly. When vegetables are cooled, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, beef/turkey, oatmeal, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, eggs, Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, basil, parsley, salt, and black pepper .

Very gently mix until well combined. Shape into a loaf on an oiled baking sheet or casserole dish. Spread marinara sauce over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven and lightly cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving (Sirlion): Calories 260; Protein 20 g; Fat 12 g; NET Carbs 11 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 409 mg

Per Serving (Turkey): Calories 198; Protein 16 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 11 g; Sugar 4 g; Sodium 566 mg

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