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Well, there goes that promise

October 2, 2009 2 comments

Sorry I didn’t do a recipe update like I said I would yesterday.

In my defense I will say that I had several interactions with my mother…which usually results in eating a batch of cookies and/or a quart of ice cream.  Well, I don’t have these things available anymore so I had to actually cry.

What is the world coming to?

My mother is very old, very sick, and very frustrating.  She loves me and my sibs the best she can…and most of the time that just creates confusion.  Whattya going to do?  I only have one mom and she’s not going to last forever so I just am trying to walk through it a step at a time.

Okay, back to food.

Yesterday I was so hungry.  Not so much the kind of hungry you get after skipping some meals…which I didn’t.  No, it was hunger for something comforting, filling, mothering (I guess).  Quinoa and hummus would not fit the bill.  Yesterday was the day before payday and we were pretty broke so I had $10 to spend on dinner for the four of us.

Off to Albertsons.  Definitely not the health food store.  But I found some beef round steak on sale cheap and picked up five.  Then to the veggies where I got a head of cauliflower.  Not organic and it makes such a difference.  But I was in no shape to go all around town. Last but not least, I splurged on some portabella mushrooms.  Total spent?  $11.60…HA!

Beefy, mushroomy dreams began as I drove home.

So the menu looked like this:

  • Beef strips and mushrooms in gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted cauliflower

Yes, I said potatoes.  I thought I would go with a food challenge that shouldn’t do me in.  The roasted cauliflower was a recipe I got from Gluten Free Goodness, an excellent food blog that I must remember to put in my links. She cooks with no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs or corn.

Anyway…I made the potatoes with vegan margarine (which is disappointingly full of soy) and hemp milk since it is a little more creamy than rice milk.  I find the hemp milk has a stronger taste but it couldn’t affect the mashed potato taste so it worked beautifully.

I’m going to try and approximate the beef recipe because it was good!

Beef Strips and Portabello Mushrooms

  • 3 lbs of round steak (Yes, this is a wild guess.  Just get enough round steak for your family.)
  • 1 cup sliced portabello mushrooms
  • 1/2 to 1 cup brown rice flour (which is the only usable flour I had in the house)
  • 1/4 scant cup seasoning mix.  I used two kinds of Mrs. Dash.  But as I say that, I’ll bet it has corn in it somewhere.  Argh!

I used my big soup pot/dutch oven type pan.  This recipe would work even better in a crock pot but I was pressed for time.  I cut the round steak into strips.

In a bowl I mixed the flour and seasoning salt together.  Here’s the place to improvise.  Got some rosemary?  Try it.  Your family loves Italian?  Throw in some Italian seasoning.  I think I also put a dash of cayenne in the mix.

A big handful at a time I put the beef strips in the flour mix to coat.  Then into the hot pan with some canola oil.  I would have preferred olive oil, though it might have been too hot for olive oil.  But we are out of it.  So canola oil it was.

I fried up the beef strips…and there were a LOT of strips.  The flour thickened the juices nicely.  When the strips were about cooked through I put in the mushrooms and soon thereafter, I put in some water (just about 1/3 cup) to extend the gravy and salt/pepper to taste.  Then let it get all warm and bubbly and thick.

Mash the taters, and serve the meat over them.  Hits the spot.

And how did I fare with the potatoes?  Not too good.  It wasn’t shocking but I started to wake up from body pain in the wee hours.  Getting up this morning I feel sore and stiff and my throat feels sting-y (yeah, I’m so technical).  But it’s also raining outside so I have to figure that in.

In the end I’d have to say that potatoes are do-able but in small amounts and not with any other marginal foods like cheese and egg.  Seems like my two lists, Can eat and Can not eat, are morphing into three.  The new one called “Can probably eat a little bit without too much problem but don’t try and push it.”  I think potato is on this list.

So there you are.  At least it’s a recipe finally.  Even though you had to wade through some mother issues to get there.

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Chicken Enchiladas

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

So I ended up tweaking the enchiladas quite a bit from either recipe.  Here’s my best approximation this morning:

  • Chicken thighs (I used the extra big package)
  • The Broth from cooking the chicken
  • Black beans, fresh cooked or canned
  • A can of fire roasted green chilies
  • One onion, chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Salt, garlic, chili powder, cumin, seasoning salt (Mrs. Dash) to taste
  • A generous dash of balsamic vinegar
  • A stingy little bit of agave syrup.
  • White corn tortillas
  • Cheese for topping (real or vegan)

Early in the day I put the package of chicken thighs in the crockpot on high.  I was using dried black beans so I put them in a pot, brought them to a boil and then turned off the heat for an hour.  This is just as fast as cooking them the whole time.  After an hour soak, I put the beans on medium low.

I’m finding it easier if I get small things done during the day since my energy level is still quite effected by my fibro.  And, as long as I was cooking beans, I might as well have another pot of chickpeas going for my go-to food, hummus.  I cooked all the beans I had knowing they are super easy to freeze whatever I didn’t use.

Okay, back to the recipe…

Forward to late afternoon, dinner prep time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I took out the chicken thighs and shredded the meat off them.  This practically happens all by itself if you’ve been cooking them all day.  The thighs are great because there is basically ONE bone in them so you zip right through this step.

Into the shredded chicken bowl I added a couple of cups of cooked black beans.

Now for the enchilada sauce.  There were several considerations; I’m off citrus, Jacob doesn’t like things too spicy and I can’t have dairy.  So I went back to the chicken broth left in the crockpot.  I thickened it with a little of my GF baking mix; I put cold water and the mix in a cup, stirred and then added it to my boiling chicken broth.

Next, comes the fire roasted canned chilies.  In they go.  Then a whole chopped onion and chopped cilantro.  I whirled the whole thing with my hand held blender until the chilies were dissolved.

Finally into the mix goes garlic, salt, seasoning salt (I use Mrs. Dash), chili powder, cumin, a dash of balsamic vinegar (instead of lime) and a small glop of agave syrup.

That’s it.  This part is where you can play around with the flavor quite a bit.  Just taste and add, taste and add, etc.

I put a couple of cups of sauce into my chicken/bean mix and stirred.  Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan on medium, one at a time.  Into each warmed tortilla spoon a bunch of chicken and bean mixture.  Roll it up and put it in a greased 9×13 pan.  When the pan is filled with your precious little packages, pour the sauce over the top generously.  (I still had sauce left over which is going into the freezer along with the extra beans.  Building up my freezer stash.)

Top it with cheese, except for my part, whaa!.  Put it in the oven for 25 minutes or until it looks all bubbly and warm.

That’s it!