Comfort Food

recipe remix: guiltless beef stroganoff


Welcome to the third of five recipe remixes for early summer!  This is three nights in a row of recipe remixes, and I’ll pick back up with numbers four and five next week.  Alex and I are headed to the beach for a long weekend, so the challenge will conclude next week.

Many thanks to Lyn Harris, Laura Peacock, and Claire Steinbeck for the push to find a guiltless version of beef stroganoff!  I will be the first to admit that I’m actually not a huge fan of the original recipe.  Stroganoff is one of those dishes that is, by nature, a leftovers recipe.  Have leftover pot roast?  You make stroganoff, right?  Well, if you have a hankering for stroganoff but don’t have leftovers to transform, I have a tasty, healthy, and economical meal for you!

Here are a few of my lightened up highlights: I used thinly sliced sirloin for the meat.  I’m only cooking for two people, so I got 1/2 lb. thinly sliced sirloin for $4 at Kroger–pretty affordable!  I cut out a good bit of butter, but retained some for flavor.  I also used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or heavy cream and cut out some of the flour.  I used extra mushrooms for volume and also added some thinly sliced carrots for color, fiber, and bulk.  Since I cut out a good bit of fat, I made sure to use flavor enhancers like cracked black pepper and chives on top to brighten up the dish.  I also carefully portioned out the buttered egg noodles to make sure that the dish was filling, but also didn’t get carried away with carbs.

Nutritional breakdown: 15 Weight Watchers Points Plus, or about 700 calories.  This includes everything–sauce and noodles.

I paired this dish with a light green salad with some blueberries from our CSA and a lemon vinaigrette.

Guiltless Beef Stroganoff

Serves 2, but recipe can be multiplied for a larger crowd

1/2 lb. thinly sliced lean sirloin

2 Tbsp. butter, separated

1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

8 oz. sliced white or baby bella mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup good white wine

2/3 cup chicken broth

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. flour

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt

4 oz. egg noodles

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp. chopped chives (or parsley, rosemary, or any fresh herb of your choice)

Prepare noodles according to package directions.  After draining, add 1 Tbsp. butter to the noodles and stir to melt.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat.  While butter is melting, salt and pepper both sides of the sirloin slices, then place pieces in a pan in a single layer.  Let each side brown for about 3 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions to the remaining butter in the pan, stir, and let cook for about 8 minutes.  Next, add the garlic, mushrooms, and carrots and let cook for about 8 more minutes.  Next, add the wine and, using a spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine cook for about 3 minutes.  While this is happening, whisk together the chicken broth, Worcestershire, and flour.  Add this mixture to the pan and let cook and thicken for about 3 minutes.  Next, turn off the heat and add in the Greek yogurt, stirring to fully combine.  In two bowls, evenly distribute the buttered noodles, then evenly ladle the stroganoff sauce over the noodles.  Top with chopped chives or other herbs and serve hot.



wild card wednesday: grilled chicken and rice stew

chicken and rice


So, new month, new wild card topic. It is February, its a time when we are ready for a season change for being tired of the leaves being brown and that patch of snow on the ground. By golly, when the sun has gone down and the chill hits, you want nothing more than “comfort food”. The problem with that is that most comfort foods seem to derive their name from being carb and/or fat rich and that comfort you feel is that natural sedative of heavy, complex carbohydrates. So, why not come up with some ways to get those comforts of food that feel like a warm blanket while still being a little conscious of the fact that you have still been eating leftover sweets from the holidays. Thus, the challenge: healthy, nutrient rich comfort foods. (If you think of a snappy way to say it, let us know)

I must admit that this meal has its origins in the fact that the finale of Top Chef New Orleans is tonight and there always seems to be recipes starting with celery, carrots, and onions. At the store, I started there and just kept adding flavors to come up with a nice stew with some big flavors. MMMM

Grilled Chicken for the Stew:

Chicken legs and thighs, one each per bowl.
Zest of two lemons
Juice of 1 lemon,
3 cloves garlic, minced.
Salt and pepper

Mix zest, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/2 the lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread over chicken pieces and marinate about 30 minutes. Grill on a grill pan (or sear, depending on preference) until skin develops a good color, about 4 minutes. Place in 350 oven until it reaches 165 or so, 10 mins give or take). Squeeze other 1/2 lemon juice over chicken.


They call it mirepoix.

They call it mirepoix.

1 medium onion chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sage, separated
2 tsp thyme, separated
2 tsp red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped discarding stems
4 cups chicken stock
1/8 cup flour

Heat oil and butter in dutch oven. Add the onions, carrot, celery and saute with 1 tsp of each sage, thyme, and red pepper with salt and pepper until softened slightly. Heat stock in separate pan.

Add flour to the vegetables and stir until coated. Heat for about 2 minutes to cool the flavor our of the flour. Stir in half the stock until the consistence of thick gravy. Add the remaining stock. Add in the sweet potato, remaining herbs and spices, and kale. Bring to a boil, stir, and simmer at least 15 minutes.

Serve the chicken and stew over a couple spoonfuls of a quinoa rice blend (2 cups water, 1 cup rice, bowl water, add rice, cook 15 mins until water absorbed) or brown rice.

This stew will have a light flavor will be packed with vitamins and fiber. The chicken will add a nice bright flavor that will mesh well with the flavors of the stew.

My belly was certainly happy. Hope yours will be to!