Tag Archives: Beef

Taco Soup

Taco Soup with Cilantro Cream

Welcome to winter! Except that it’s still fall… in Florida…. We had to wear something other than flip flops which was so weird. Then, I had to put an actual coat on my children, and not just to school! Even home from school! It was just weird all around. It would be better if there were a picture of them wearing said coats, but alas, I do not. Oops. Hey, we can’t all be perfect, right!

Anyways, back to cold! Whenever it gets a little chilly, I automatically want something for dinner that will really keeps you warm! Growing up, my mom used to make this amazing, delicious taco soup and oh man, it was so good. Like, eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so good! I craved it like crazy when I was pregnant with Harper and made it immediately after my mom emailed me the recipe. And it was so worth it! Even with all the taco seasoning, ranch packet and block of Velveeta were worth it!

Tonight, however, I decided to give myself a challenge…. make the beloved Taco Soup, without those 3 above items! (Since I didn’t have them and didn’t want to get out in said cold with said children in said coats to buy them!)

So, here is the recipe of my taco soup. And I got pretty darn close! I even made up an extra topper to mimic the creamy velveeta!

Taco Soup
Taco Soup
cilantro
Cilantro
Cilantro cream
Cilantro Cream

Taco Soup with Cilantro Cream
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Taco soup gets a healthy update without the taco seasoning, ranch packet and velveeta of my beloved mother's version.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1½ T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, each
  • ½ tsp oregano, cilantro each
  • 8 oz salsa
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can hominy
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown the beef in a large pot over medium high heat with onion and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes to soften onion.
  2. Add chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powder, oregano and cilantro. Stir to combine. Add salsa and season with salt and pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  3. While spices and beef are cooking, drain black beans, kidney beans and hominy. Rinse.
  4. Add to pot and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add chicken stock and 1 cup of water and diced tomatoes. Bring to boil on high.
  6. Turn heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  7. While soup is simmering, prepare cilantro cream. Hand chop or blend cilantro until leaves are very finely minced. Mix sour cream and half of lime juice in a small bowl. Stir together with cilantro and set aside.
  8. When soup is done, add juice from the other half of lime and stir.
  9. Serve warm with cheese and dollop of cilantro cream.

 

Taco Soup
Taco Soup

Thankfully this will be all gone by the time it gets back up to 75 degrees in a few days!

Please let me know what you thought about the Taco Soup! I would love to hear!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

We started making this easy recipe when our whole family went on a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, no-preservative diet. We were trying to eat this paleo diet (like the paleolithic times!) to see if it eased my daughter’s eczema. Unfortunately, it didn’t really help her symptoms much and she still had a lot of itching and dryness. On the plus side, we felt great, it made us eat a ton of vegetables and healthy foods and cut out a lot of unnecessary junk in our lives.

Nowadays, we still eat pretty healthfully and I make shephards or cottage pie (or turkey) every few weeks or so. Its such an easy way to get a lot of veggies in a dish and its easy to prep in advance, most likely during a nap time. It also has such a homey, filling quality to it. I hope you enjoy it as well!

There is a lot of chopping involved here, but it really makes the dish super hearty and delicious. It’s something I feel really happy about feeding to my family 🙂 You can always do that step in advance and store until you are ready to cook.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my special helper this time.

Harper chose to work on "her job" instead of cooking with me this time
Harper chose to work on “her job” instead of cooking with me this time

But this guy came to keep me company:

Waiting for any dropped food!
Waiting for any dropped food!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

2 lbs. ground beef (I used 93/7 this time.)
1 tsp each: thyme, basil, oregano
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
4 oz mushrooms
4 celery stalks
4 carrots (or big handful of baby carrots)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 TBL worcestershire
1 1/3 cup chicken broth, divided (Or beef broth)
2 tomatoes
2-3 large sweet potatoes*
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup milk
parmesan cheese

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube sweet potatoes and place in boiling water to steam 10-15 minutes, until fork-tender.

(*FYI I roasted my sweet potatoes the day before for 1 hr in 375 degree oven wrapped in foil and then cooled and refrigerated overnight).

Start filling by browning meat in large skillet and seasoning with salt and pepper and all herbs. Remove to another dish, leaving any fat in pan and set aside.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Browned meat

Chop veggies: onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, red pepper and garlic. Add to skillet on medium low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Chopped veggies Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Veggies

While veggies cook, remove sweet potatoes and mash. (I use my immersion blender, it’s awesome!) Add garlic and onion powder, milk and 1/3 cup of chicken broth, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Mashed sweet potatoes

Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to veggies and scrape up any bits on bottom of pan.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- broth added

Chop tomatoes and add to veggies. Add tomato paste and worcestershire, continuing to stir.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Tomato, worcestershire added

Add another 3/4 cup of chicken stock and bring to simmer, 1-2 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- skillet

Return beef to pan and stir to incorporate.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Filling complete

Add beef and veggie mix to 9 by 11 in pan. I find it helpful to press everything down with my spatula to even-out the filling.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- in the dish

Mound sweet potatoes by the spoonful atop the beef filling.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- Sweet potato dollops

Grate parmesan cheese all over top. The dish can be covered and put in refrigerator if need be or placed directly in oven, uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- grated cheese

I like to broil the top for the last 2-3 minutes to get cheese really melted. Let stand for 5 minutes, then dig in!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- in the oven Sweet Potato Cottage Pie- broiled

Please let me know what you thought of the Sweet Potato Cottage Pie! I would love to hear from you!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Savory Beef Stew

Savory Beef Stew

About a year ago, my grandparents came to visit and I was given a few of my grandmother’s old cookbooks; some were 40-plus years old. After sitting on my shelves for most of that year, I finally got them out a few weeks ago and started sifting through the recipes. Some of them I sounded just perplexing (Creamed Chicken in Zesty Corn Ring; Asparagus-Peanut Casserole?) and some sounded down right delicious. This is one of the awesome ones, it has so much great flavor.

So I made this stew in my slow cooker instead of on the stove (which you could do!) and I added a few more vegetables but I think it made it even better! Its perfect for autumn evenings since it just sticks to your ribs!

Savory Beef Stew

1 1/2 lb. beef chuck, cubed
2 TBL olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 med onion
3 stalks celery
3 parsnips
4 oz mushrooms
3 carrots (or handful of baby carrots)
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
1 tsp basil, thyme and sage, each
1 lb gold potatoes
parmesan cheese for finishing

Savory Beef Stew- Ingredients

Begin by seasoning beef with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil in a Dutch oven for 3-4 minutes. (I tried to avoid my non-stick pan for this to get all the extra flavor on the bottom to scrap off later!) Remove with slotted spoon to a plate.

Savory Beef Stew- Browned beef

Chop all vegetables and add onion, celery, parsnips and garlic to pan with beef juices. Saute on medium low until transparent, 3 minutes or so, stirring often.

Savory Beef Stew- Onion, Parsnip, Celery, GarlicSavory Beef Stew- Into the fire!

Add carrots and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes more. Add herbs and a good amount of salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to scrap up all brown bits from bottom of pan.

Savory Beef Stew- Mushrooms and Carrots Savory Beef Stew- Browning Vegetables

Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to vegetables and warm through. Take off of heat.

Savory Beef Stew- Tomatos added

Chop potatoes and add to slow cooker.

Savory Beef Stew- Potatoes

Add veggie/tomato mixture, remaining chicken broth and beef to potatoes in slow cooker. Stir to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Savory Beef Stew- Crock pot turned on

Turn slow cooker on Low for 4-6 hours or High for 3 hours.

Savory Beef Stew- LOW

We had my daughter’s soccer practice in the evening so this was awesome to come home to and just dig right in!

Savory Beef Stew- Dinnertime!

We added a little grated parmesan cheese to the top, just to give it another layer of flavor! Even Calvin, the baby loved this hearty stew!

If you wanted to do it on the stove, just add everything into the Dutch Oven with the vegetable mix (instead of slow cooker) and set on low for 1 hour.

Savory Beef Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Rich, hearty beef stew is cooked low and slow with delicious beef chunks with carrots and potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. beef chuck, cubed
  • 2 TBL olive oil salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 med onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 parsnips
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 3 carrots (or handful of baby carrots)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1½ cup chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tsp basil, thyme and sage, each
  • 1 lb gold potatoes
  • parmesan cheese for finishing
Instructions
  1. Begin by seasoning beef with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil in a Dutch oven for 3-4 minutes. (I tried to avoid my non-stick pan for this to get all the extra flavor on the bottom to scrap off later!) Remove with slotted spoon to a plate.
  2. Chop all vegetables and add onion, celery, parsnips and garlic to pan with beef juices. Saute on medium low until transparent, 3 minutes or so, stirring often.
  3. Add carrots and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes more. Add herbs and a good amount of salt and pepper. Add ½ cup chicken broth to scrap up all brown bits from bottom of pan.
  4. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to vegetables and warm through. Take off of heat.
  5. Chop potatoes and add to slow cooker.
  6. Add veggie/tomato mixture, remaining chicken broth and beef to potatoes in slow cooker. Stir to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.
  7. Turn slow cooker on Low for 4-6 hours or High for 3 hours.
  8. If you wanted to do it on the stove, just add everything into the Dutch Oven with the vegetable mix (instead of slow cooker) and set on low for 1 hour.

 

Please let me know what you thought of the Savory Beef Stew! I would love to hear from you!