Posts Tagged With: Beef


Zucchini Pizza Casserole

I am sticking this on my blog again.  I made this for dinner tonight and Cameron, who has become very picky recently, LOVED it and demanded seconds!  That has not happened in a very long time.

And I am tickled that it was with a zucchini-based dish.  I used ground turkey this time and it worked just as well.img_0716

I had planned on having leftovers to freeze for when we came home, but no, any leftovers were claimed for lunch the next day before we left.




Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini (from the garden)1/2 teaspoon salt2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 pound ground beef (locally raised)

1/2 cup chopped onion

15 ounce can Italian tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture.


Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13″x9″baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce and cook about 5 minutes.


Spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 8

Freeze option: Cool baked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap casserole; reheat on a lower oven rack until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Zucchini | Tags: | 1 Comment

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu

During my Levy Court campaign, pretty much the only type of cooking I did was in the crock pot – slow cooking.  The only free time I had was at the very beginning of the day, and that only for about 15 minutes. So, that meant it needed to be recipes with very little preparation before going into the crock pot.

This beef ragu was a great meal that, served with pasta, provided us with hearty meals for several days.

I was able to pick up some locally raised beef (flank steaks) at the butcher. Yes, we are lucky to have a butcher near our home.

And look at the colors (and flavors) that went into the sauce. The herbs all came from my garden.

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu


1 teaspoon olive oil

6 garlic cloves, smashed slightly

1½ pounds flank steak, cut against the grain into 4 pieces (locally raised)

salt and pepper

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup reduced sodium beef broth

1 carrot, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme (from the garden)

16 ounces pappardelle pasta

Parmesan and parsley for topping


In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Pour the tomatoes and broth over the beef and add the garlic from step one, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Discard the herbs and shred the beef in the pot using 2 forks.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and add the sauce from the slow cooker. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the pasta and sauce are combined, about 1 minute.

Divide among 8 bowls and top each with Parmesan, ricotta, and parsley. Serve hot!…Yum!

Serves 8.

Categories: Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kalam Polo (Persian Rice with Cabbage and Beef)

I have to admit that I was shooting in the dark when I made this.  I had made a different version before, and it was ok, not great.  But I figured, making a tasty combination of rice, beef and cabbage is kind of in my eastern european, Jewish blood.  I just needed to figure out how to do a Persian version.

So, I researched some different recipes, and they were all very different from each other, and decided to follow my gut and go to the Persian flavors I know.  We ended up with this version…and it is yummy, and comforting, and so beautifully yellow! Gotta love turmeric and saffron!

This version uses a Persian rice cooker, but if you don’t have one, not to worry.  Instead of putting the rice and meat mixture into the rice cooker, put it in a pot and place a clean dishtowel on top then the lid and cook it over a medium-low flame. The rest of the directions are the same.

So much happiness from such humble ingredients.

Kalam Polo (Persian Rice with Cabbage and Beef)

3 cups basmati rice

1/2 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water

1 Tbsp grape seed or canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 medium cabbage, cut into 1/2” inch pieces

1 lb extra lean ground beef

3 cups water, divided

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp advieh (if you cannot get advieh, you can substitute cinnamon, but use a little less)

1 Tbsp turmeric

1 Tbsp tomato paste (or a little more)


Place the rice in a bowl, rinse with cold water until it runs clear.  Then leave the rice to soak in salted water for 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (one you have a cover for) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the cabbage and ground beef and cook until the beef is browned and the cabbage starts to get tender, breaking up the beef as it cooks, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, advieh and turmeric.  Stir to mix the spices through.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, a couple of minutes.

Add 1 cup of water and the prepared saffron.  Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes.

Drain the rice and place it in a rice cooker.  Add in the meat and cabbage mixture and mix through thoroughly.

Add 2 cups of water, cover and set to cook for 45 minutes.

To serve, break up the tah dig that forms at the bottom of the cooker. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Stuffed Cabbage

I hate to say it, but my mother was not such a great cook.  But there were a few dishes that she made that were outstanding – sweet and sour meatballs, noodle kugel (when she remembered all the ingredients), chicken fricasse, and stuffed cabbage.  Sadly, her stuffed cabbage recipe has been lost. But I have found one that very closely resembles it and is just as delicious…Aunt Myrna’s Cabbage Rolls from Monday Morning Cooking Club.  This is basically their recipe, I only made some slight changes in technique.

One thing I definitely agreed with them on is to cook this a few days before serving it, to let the flavors blend and grow.  My mom would say the same thing.


After placing all the rolls in the sauce, I covered it with the leftover leaves to help seal in the moisture while it cooked. It worked quite well.


Stuffed Cabbage

very slightly adapted from

1  green cabbage


2  onions chopped

1/4 cup canola oil

1 can condensed tomato soup

3/4 cup pureed tomatoes

1 tin diced Italian tomatoes

juice of 2 lemons

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 lb ground beef, grass-fed if possible

2 – 3  cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup cooked long grain rice (about 1/2 cup raw) (I used brown rice)

1  onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2  eggs lightly beaten, from Powers Farm


Core the cabbage and place in a large pot of cold water so that the cabbage is fully submerged. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and allow to cool in the water. Remove when cool, separate the leaves and cut out the thick stalks with a knife.

In a large saucepan, fry the onion in the oil over low heat until soft, around 20 minutes.


Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Set aside until needed.

 Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt to form a paste.


To make the filling, put the beef in a medium sized bowl. Add the garlic paste,  rice, onion and pepper. Season generously. Add the eggs and combine.


To make the parcels, lay 1/4 cup of the filling in an oblong shape in the centre of a cabbage leaf. Fold in the ends and then roll up like a parcel.



Place into the sauce, seam side down. Continue with all the filling and cabbage leaves, placing the rolls snugly side by side in the sauce. Any unused or torn leaves can be rolled up and stuffed into the gaps in the pan. Make sure all the rolls are covered with sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours, basting from time to time. If the cabbage rolls start to dry out, add more water to cover.


Place in the refrigerator when cool and reheat to serve another day. Enjoy!


Serves 8.


Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Lima Bean Twist on Goulash

Perhaps it is my Hungarian grandmother coming through, but I love, love, love this dish!  The paprika and lemon flavor combination made me so happy.  The dish felt like love from beginning to end.


The love started at the beginning with shelling the lima beans. The process started with both Cam and the dog hovering, waiting for me to give them the beans that were either too small (Cam) or too big (Zuko) for me to use.  Pretty quickly, Cam joined in and helped me shuck the two cups of beans – you wouldn’t believe how many pods have to be shelled to get 2 cups of lima beans.


By the time we finished, Cam had eaten so many beans, that it almost didn’t matter whether or not he ate dinner. But instead of not eating, he devoured the meat and noodle combination (but left his limas for Zuko – he prefers his lima beans fresh from the garden and raw).


I decided to us noodles as a base instead of leaving the goulash soupy.  That approach goes best in my house, but you could just as easily leave it as a soup.  I am glad it was only the three of us home, I am looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!


A Lima Bean Twist on Goulash

Adapted from Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb lean ground beef (locally raised)

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups quartered tomatoes (from the garden)

1 tsp paprika

2 cups cooked lima beans, drained with liquid reserved (from the garden)

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup slice mushrooms (grown locally)


Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat.  Add ground beef, stir and fry until browned.

Add onions and celery and cook for 3 – 4 minutes longer.

IMG_7775.JPG Stir in tomatoes and paprika.  Add 2 cups reserved bean liquid (add water if need to to make it 2 cups).  Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice and beans. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

IMG_7776.JPG Add mushrooms and cook, covered, for 15 minutes more.

IMG_7777.JPG Serve over noodles (or not).  Enjoy!




Serves 4 – 6.


Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Khorest Gol Kalam (Cauliflower Stew) and 10K

I wasn’t sure how my leg would handle the 10K; my calf seemed healed,but my hamstring was very tight since my 1 mile test run on Thursday.  And, it was going to be a trail run with real hills, some steep.  So,my goal was to make it through, and I was going to apply the 4-5 minute run 30 second-1 minute walk pattern to keep myself from pushing too hard for too long.

The course was basically 2 miles of downhill, 2 miles flat along the creek, then 2 miles uphill.  The downhill aggravated my hamstring and I was in pain after 3 miles. But the flats helped.  Then came the uphills…ugh!…expletives!…but then, as I approached the finish, my daughter showed up to run the last bit with me (she had finished a good bit earlier)…and this is what I saw:

go you

So, I made it. Slowly, 1:06:15, but I made it!

Now for food!

We love cauliflower and I am always happy to make another cauliflower dish.  Look at this cauliflower, isn’t it pretty?

khorest gol kalam1

My cauliflower plants are still babies, with the cool spring, I am hopeful that they will produce for me.  But for now, I have to buy my cauliflower from someone else.

It does seem like Persian stews are the main times we eat beef in our family.  The stews are mainly vegetables, with just a touch of meat, so even when we eat it beef, there is not much of it.  For this recipe, I only used 1/2 pound of stew beef and it was plenty for 4 large servings.

khorest gol kalam7

If you notice the pickles, it is because some Persian dishes go best with little pickled vegetables (or torshi). All we had in the house tonight was dill pickles, so that is what we used and they were a fine condiment.

Khorest Gol Kalam (Cauliflower Stew)

4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 lb stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces

3/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp Kosher salt, divided

1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets

1 lime

1/8 tsp ground red chili pepper

1/2 tsp Advieh (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 tsp cumin)

1 Tbsp tomato paste

Boiling Water, about 4 – 5 cups


Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a small pot. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until translucent.

Add the beef and brown on all sides.  Add turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt, cook for another 2 minutes.

khorest gol kalam3

Pour in enough boiling water to cover the beef by about 2 inches.  Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot fry the cauliflower in the remaining 2 Tbsp oil for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

khorest gol kalam5

Add the juice of the lime (about 2 Tbsp), ground chili pepper, advieh, the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and the tomato paste, mix well.  While the beef continues to cook, remove the cauliflower mixture from heat and cover.  The cauliflower will continue to cook, but not overcook.

Khorest gol kalam9

Add the beef mixture to the cauliflower, add additional boiling water to cover, and cook over low heat for another 15 minutes.

khorest gol kalam6

Serve with rice and pickled vegetables. Enjoy!

khorest gol kalam7

Makes 4 large servings.

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Sweet Potato Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

This is my last sweet potato post from my garden this season.  That makes me sad, but pleased that I have had enough to get me this far.


For a while we had access to locally-grown, grass-fed beef.  During that period, I used to make a lot of beef stews.  One that I grew particularly fond of is a sweet potato stew.  Usually I make it with barley, but I do not have any barley in the house, so I am using short grained brown rice.  You can use either when making this.  Farro would also be good.

I was going to be making this on a day I would be commuting, so I prepped all the vegetables the night before.


When morning came, all I had to do was put everything into the slow cooker and leave.  Nine hours later, I added the frozen peas, cooked it a little longer, and….



Sweet Potato Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

2 lbs stew beef, cut in cubes

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup celery, sliced

4 cups peeled sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs) (from the garden)

2 cups carrots, sliced or cut into 1-inch rods

1 1/2 cups parsnips, cubed

4 cups low-sodium beef stock or broth

3/4 cup short grained brown rice, barley or farro

1/2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, crushed in your hands

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

1 tsp salt


Put all ingredients (except the peas) in the slow cooker.


Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.  In the last 15 minutes, add the peas.  Finish cooking, and enjoy!


Serves 6-8.

Categories: Carrot, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Qormeh Sabzi (Green Vegetable and Beef Stew)

This was one of the first Persian dishes I ever ate, and it was in Geneva, Switzerland when I first met the man who was to become my father-in-law.  What a wonderful dish and a great way to start my relationship with a wonderful man!  It is still one of my favorite Persian dishes, but it has to be made well; I have tasted some bad qormeh sabzi, but most of it has been a treat.  This version is adapted from Pamela Grau Twena’s The Sephardic Table.

It is a great dish for either the spring or fall, with leeks, scallions, and parsley as the stars. It can be made vegetarian by omitting the beef, and I have often eaten it that way.  But this is one of the few dishes in which I will actually use red meat (making my husband happy) since it is secondary to the rest of the dish, it is not the main focus of the meal.

Qormeh Sabzi

4 Tbsp canola oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

1 pound stew beef, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (bite sized)

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups water

6 cups chopped fresh parsley (from the garden)

1 bunch leeks, chopped

2 to 3 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp dried fenugreek (available in middle eastern markets)

4 dried limes (if you cannot get dried limes, you can use lemon zest)

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained.

1 tsp salt

1 dash lemon juice

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute 5 minutes.  Add the beef and brown on all sides.

Add the water, pepper and turmeric.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the other Tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Saute the parsley, leeks scallions and fenugreek until wilted – approx 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.


When the meat is almost done, add the vegetables and dried limes.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour more, or until the meat is fully cooked and easy to break apart with a fork.  As the lies soften, poke holes in them with a fork to allow the liquid of the stew to enter.

About 10 minutes before the stew is done, add the kidney beans, salt and lemon juice.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

Categories: Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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