Beef with Cabbage (1 pan meal)


This is a meal that is easy to make, easy to clean up. It’s healthy and not heavy on the carbs. It reheats well, which is just another bonus. It reminds me in a way of almost a deconstructed egg roll. It’s warm and fills your stomach.

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1/2 head fresh green cabbage, sliced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions, turmeric and beef. While the beef cooks, cut the cabbage into large strips. Add the cabbage and both cans of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*I like to add a bit of cayenne pepper as well, depends on who is over for dinner. I like spicier food, where my family often wants mild.


Easy Roast and Veggie Slow Cooker Dinner


This was one of the days where I had to be to work at 3am. I can’t tell you how much I love having a slow cooker for days like today, I can prepare a meal before I go to work and after I get home there’s a delicious lunch waiting for me. I also love the way it makes the house smell – it’s so inviting. This doesn’t take long to prepare and get into the cooker, and on a cold snowy day it’s worth it to wake up a little bit early for it.

1 1/2-2 pounds chuck roast
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
4 medium potatoes cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 celery stalks cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary


Season the meat with salt and pepper and coat a skillet with the olive oil. Cook the meat over medium high heat, until all sides are golden brown (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer to the slow cooker and pour the beef stock over top the meat, then add the rest of the seasonings and vegetables. Turn the slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. The roast and vegetables should be very tender (basically falling apart) to the touch of a fork when done.

Perfect meal for a cold day – Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Kielbasa Hash

Sweet Potato and Kielbasa HashThis is an easy dinner you can put together in 30 minutes or less. It’s ingredients are fairly simple but it’s still big on taste. I love sweet potatoes for how great they are for you – and how great they taste! I also kept this to 1 pan – less clean up is always a good thing. I ate some of the leftover the next day with eggs over easy and it was a fantastic breakfast. This will serve 2-4, I’d serve a  side dish if you’re serving 4 hungry adults, however.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 15 oz polish kielbasa, sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the olive oil in a large skillet along with the onions over medium heat. Allow them to become fragrant and add the sweet potatoes. Allow them to cook and soften for about 10 minutes. Add in the green peppers, kielbasa, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the kielbasa is cooked through. Serve hot.


Black Bean Chili with Cilantro and Lime

black bean chiliI’d been in a mood for a good bowl of chili lately so I made one with a bit of summer flair. It has some of those wonderful traditional chili flavors we all love, and I added some fresh cilantro from the garden, fresh lime juice and cumin. Yum!

1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 quart reduced sodium beef stock
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

*extra toppings like sour cream or cheese if you desire

blackbeanchili3In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions. Cook until translucent. Transfer them to a large stock pot and place them with the beef stock over medium heat and bring to a low boil.

In the skillet brown the beef and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Drain any excess fat from the beef and transfer it to the stock pot. Next add rinsed black beans, diced tomatoes,  and spices to the stock pot. (Everything other than the lime juice and cilantro.) Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for an hour.

Add lime juice and cilantro and cook another 10 minutes. Top with additional toppings of choice. Makes 4 large bowls. Enjoy!


Meatballs with Mushroom and Onion Cream Sauce

Meatballs with Onions and MushroomsEven in the summer heat I crave some good old fashioned comfort food, so I gave in and made these delicious meatballs and served them with some garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve worked on making the dish a bit lighter and healthier, replacing the heavy cream with sour cream, and the meatballs are a mix of pork and beef. They go great served over any gluten free grain of choice, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 medium white onion, diced (other half is used below)
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire (double check it’s g/f)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups fresh sliced button mushrooms
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

mashed potatoes or grain of choice

meatballs2In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the beef, pork, diced onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce. (Using your hands is probably best.) Roll the meat mix into 16 evenly sized balls.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, place the olive oil and let it warm. Place the meatballs in the pan 5-6 at a time, or whatever comfortably fits, and brown the sides. Repeat till all are browned (they won’t be cooked through.) Remove all the meatballs from the pan and place the water, sour cream, and beef broth in the pan – then whisk together. Add cornstarch as needed to thicken. Place the meatballs into the sauce along with the onions and mushrooms. Bring to a low boil, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes – until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with gluten free grain or alone as is. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Baked Beef Chimichangas

baked beef chimichangaI love a good chimichanga, however they are generally fried, quite high in calories, and hard to get gluten free. This recipe gives me a great chimichanga that I know is gluten free, full of healthier ingredients – and topped off with fresh guacamole. The leftovers reheat quite well too, which made a great lunch the day after.

6 large gluten free tortillas (I used Udi’s Plain)
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 a white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt
1 cup tomato sauce
4 oz diced green chilies
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil

guacamole for topping


Preheat the oven to 400f. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil and place them in the oven for 7-10 minutes to soften when it’s ready. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onions, garlic and beef until the beef is cooked. Add the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, bit of salt, and tomato sauce and mix together. Next add in the black beans and green chilies and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Finally add the shredded cheese and stir occasionally until the cheese has melted into the beef and beans fully.

beefchimichanga3Lay the tortillas on a flat surface with enough space for you to work. Fill each one with about 1/2 a cup (plus just a tad more) of the beef and bean mixture. Carefully fold up the top and bottom first and fold in, then wrap the sides and lay seam down on a baking sheet. Do this for all 6 tortillas, then brush with a bit of olive oil on top. Place into the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, just enough for the tortillas to brown.

beefchimichanga1Remove from the oven and top with guacamole and serve immediately. Serves 6 with sides. Other great toppings would be fresh salsa, sour cream, cheese, or mole sauce. Enjoy!



Cabbage Roll Casserole

Cabbage Roll CasseroleI love cabbage rolls but they can be really time consuming for me to make. When I’m wanting to have them for dinner and I’m low on time I make it as a casserole instead so I can have the flavors I want without all the work. I also add sauerkraut to the casserole for an added kick.

1 pound ground beef
1 white medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce (make sure gluten free)
1 tablespoon paprika
14 oz tomato sauce
14 oz diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice
1 small head of green cabbage, chopped
2 cups sauerkraut
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

cabbagecasserole4Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat with the onion and garlic. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until it’s fully browned.

Add the worcestershire sauce and paprika and blend well. Then add in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Mix well then cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the rice.

In another large skillet over medium high heat, add the cabbage and sauerkraut. Cook together for 5 minutes, just enough to soften to the cabbage a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large 9×13 pan spread half the cabbage and kraut mixture. Then add a layer of the beef and rice. Do 1 more layer of the cabbage and another of the beef and rice. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the tin foil, add the cheese and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.

cabbagecasserole3Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

sweet potato shepherd's pieShepherd’s pie is a family favorite here. It’s full of vegetables and doesn’t take long for me to put together. It also makes fantastic leftovers – so I don’t have to worry about lunch the next day.

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound ground beef
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
14 oz tomato sauce
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper, to tastespsheperdpie2

Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and place in a pot of water over high heat with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook 10-15, until softened. Drain the water, add the milk and cinnamon and mash until smooth.

In a large skillet add the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until the beef is no longer pink. Add in the tomato sauce and vegetables and allow the vegetables to cook for 5 minutes.

Place the beef and vegetable mixture in a 9″ pan, add a bit of salt and pepper to the top. Scoop and spread the sweet potatoes over the top, then place in the oven for 35 minutes. Feeds 4-6. Enjoy!

Can easily be made vegetarian by subbing in more veggies for the meat.



Salisbury Steak with Mushroom and Onion Gravy

salsburry steakWhen I was a kid, we often had tv dinners, and Salisbury steak was more than often in that tray with some potatoes and corn. I didn’t like it. A friend of mine told me how much they love Salisbury steak and all I could think of was the thing that was served to me in that little tray. I wanted to make a GOOD Salisbury steak. One that was fresh with flavor and served with real mashed potatoes, a fantastic gravy and some corn.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (get some with a bit of fat in it)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
salt and pepper, to taste
salssteak2In a large bowl mix together the beef, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Make into 4 patties that are the same size. In a cast-iron skillet (regular skillet works too) over medium high heat, place the butter and then add the patties once it’s melted. Cook for 6-10 minutes on each side, until there is no pink remaining.

For the Gravy start the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk together the broth and flour in a bowl, and slowly add it to the mushrooms and onions. Bring to a light bowl then reduce heat, cover and let simmer until thick. Serve over the steaks, works great with a side of mashed potatoes.

*Notes – I did call the Lea and Perrins company and they told me their Worcestershire is 100% gluten free. Some brands aren’t – feel free to give them a call and ask if you’re unsure.

Beef With Snow Peas

Beef with Snow PeasThis is another Asian style dish that I’ve remade to be a bit healthier and of course, gluten free. The only time consuming part of the dish is allowing the meat to marinade before cooking otherwise the rest is done fast. This is fairy mild but you can make it hotter by adding more Sriracha or adding a bit of crushed red pepper. The peas are crunchy, the meat is delicious, and it has a light sauce.

1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
8 oz fresh snow peas
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon gluten free Sriracha
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons corn starch
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

beefwithsnowpeas3In advance, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, Sriracha, ginger and corn starch and whisk well. Divide the sauce in half, and cut up the flank steak against the grain. Keep the pieces thin and up to 2 inches long.  (Cutting the steak against the grain will keep the meat from getting “chewy.”) Place the meat in 1 portion of the sauce, mixing well and getting all the pieces covered with the sauce. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour in advance.

If any of your snow peas are large, cut them in half. Otherwise just trim off the ends. When it’s time to cook get a large skillet and place 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil in it.  Turn the heat to high and let the pan get really hot. (Olive oil doesn’t do well at high temps, can use safflower or sunflower as well!) Then place the snow peas in. Cook them for 2-3 minutes – stirring them every 10-20 seconds. We want them to stay crisp, but not burn. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.

Place another tablespoon of the oil in the pan and bring it back up to a high heat. Add the meat. I had to do mine in two sessions. Cook the meat for 3-4 minutes, flipping as needed till it’s cooked through. Remove from heat and do the same for the second half of the meat. Once the meat is all cooked, add back the first portion of meat and the snow peas. Turn the heat down to medium low and pour in the reserved half of the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or grain of choice – serves 4.