Sunday, September 4, 2011

Either because of or in spite of?

About 16 years ago, as I was cruising through my senior year in college, I met a blond guy at a student association fair. It was a quick introduction - I didn't even remember his name. However, over the course of the next few months, our paths kept crossing in classes, at the student newspaper, at happy hours, etc. Fast-forward to February of our senior year, and he finally asked me out. The first date was a typical restaurant deal, and on the second date, he made me beef stroganoff.

First of all, I had never tasted beef stroganoff. Second of all, I had never had a guy prepare an entire meal for me - think salad, rolls, dessert - the whole enchilada. AND he served it on a TV tray! As you might have guessed, dear readers, I ended up marrying that blond guy and we are fast-approaching our 11-year wedding anniversary.

While this post might have been better timed around our actual anniversary, I felt like making beef stroganoff tonight. Plus, as I mentioned in a previous post, the chances of me cooking on our anniversary are pretty slim. Of course, I have multiple versions of this recipe - some healthy, some not so healthy.

Beef Stroganoff
Source: Clean Eating magazine (Nov/Dec 2010)

  • 1.5c. extra-wide whole wheat egg noodles
  • 4.5 tsp evoo, divided
  • 2 tbsp white whole-wheat flour (just used white flour)
  • 1 c. low sodium beef broth (I use unsalted)
  • 1/3c. low-fat sour cream at room temp
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (skip)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • 1.5 tsp chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley, divided (skipped - forgot to buy)
  • 9oz beef tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 6 shallots, quartered lengthwise (used onions)
  • 1.5 lb brown or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (used sliced)
  • Cook noodles according to directions.
  • Meanwhile, heat 3tsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, for one minute. Add broth in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream, Dijon, soy sauce, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp dill. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  • Heat remaining 1.5 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Cook beef, stirring occasionally, until browned on both sides but still pink in center, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Add shallots to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until browned, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and tender, 7-9 minutes. Return beef, along with any accumulated juices, to skillet. Stir in sauce.
  • Transfer noodles to plates or a platter and top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp dill and serve.
Yield: Six servings (2/3c noodles and 2/3c beef mixture)
Per serving: Calories: 303; total fat: 8.5g  (sat: 2g; mono: 4g; poly: 0.5g); carbs: 41g; fiber: 6.5g; sugars: 3g; protein: 20g; sodium: 195mg; chols: 31mg

I also made peanut butter brownies, just because they sounded good.

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Source: Cooking Light, September 2011

  • 5.6oz all-purpose flour (about 1-1/4 c.)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tbsp 2% milk (used 1%)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • cooking spray
  • 4 (0.75oz) peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk.
  • In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter and next 4 ingredients (through eggs), stirring well. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Scrape the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Arrange the chopped peanut butter cups over batter bake at 350 degrees for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Yield: 20 servings (1 brownie)
Per serving: Calories: 153; Fat: 7g (sat: 2.9g; mono 2g; poly: 0.8g); Protein: 3.2g; carb: 20.8g; fiber: 0.7g; chol: 28mg; iron: 0.7mg; sodium: 98mg; calc: 17mg

First up - the brownies. Very easy to prepare - the only issue I had was that it took longer than 19 minutes to bake through. Maybe because I used a glass pan instead of a metal one? Very good taste - I was worried they were going to be super-sweet (which I don't love), but they aren't. Me and the hubs enjoyed the brownies, the kid thought it was so-so. I think he just had his mind set on ice cream.

We also all enjoyed the stroganoff. Kind of a hassle to make with all of the different pans, etc., but good flavor.

Side note: The hubs once again showed his stroganoff chops by serving as a sous chef to help with the cooking when I got called away for some thing I had to deal with. That's also why there's no picture of the stroganoff. Double side note: Serious shout out to a couple of my 'hood mamas who came through big-time tonight!

Yum - blondies!

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