Tag Archives: beef

Beef and veggie chili

 

beef and veggie chili

So, here we are on the eve of Halloween. My kids have been crazy excited ever since our annual family pumpkin carving last weekend. It’s one of my favourite traditions, although I’m going to be honest, I don’t really love carving pumpkins. It’s messy and kind of gross digging the guts out of the pumpkin. Also, I’m a horrible artist. Seriously horrible, unless you want me to draw hearts or flowers, which I can usually manage. I don’t think hearts and flowers will win a pumpkin carving contest, though. Typically, I am the carver and my husband is the gutter/scooper and draws the outline. It seems fair 😉 The kids, though being very enthusiastic about choosing the perfect pumpkins, are typically bored within roughly 10 minutes and disappear to play with their cousins. This year, my son drew his own outline and my daughter requested an Olaf jack-o-lantern. No, we didn’t win, but we did get to gut 4 pumpkins (I did help a little, there were 4 of them!!); 1 for my son and 3 for Olaf. Did I mention that I don’t like gutting pumpkins? Yeeck!

pumpkin carving contest

This years submissions

 

You can never really expect great weather on Halloween, but this year it’s promising to be extra rainy…buckets being dumped from the sky kind of rainy. There’s nothing to be done, we will march on through the rain, but I figure the best defense, is a great offence. My plan of attack is to fill our bellies with healthy, stick to your ribs comfort food and I think this beef and veggie chili will be just the thing to keep us warm through it all. Enjoy and I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup celery, diced

1 Cup carrot, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 lbs lean ground beef

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cinnamon

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 – 398mL tomatoe sauce

1/4 Cup water

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to sweat and become aromatic. Toss in the ground beef, breaking it up while it cooks. After about 5 minutes, once the beef is mostly cooked through, add in the tomatoes, chili powder and cinnamon. Stir together for about 1 minute, then add in the tomato sauce, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and allow it to continue cooking for another 20 – 30 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary. With about 5 minutes left, stir in the bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 – 6

This week I’ll be sharing this recipe at the Fiesta Friday blog party and at Fabulous Foodie Fridays. If you’re looking for some great recipe ideas, you should check them out.

 

 

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Greek Meatball Pitas with Mint Yogurt Sauce

I was reading an article the other day that said “Studies show that kids who eat the same meals as their parents are healthier”. It makes sense. Generally, when we prepare typical “kid-friendly” foods we sacrifice nutrition (chicken strips, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese), unless you’re making everything from scratch, which can be really time-consuming. I’m lucky in that my oldest child has always been a very open minded eater. He’ll try almost anything at least once, although he has a very specific list of three things he doesn’t like; tomatoes (unless in sauce or pizza), avocado and raisins. This is really unfortunate for his younger sister, who happens to be a wee bit pickier. Because my son is such a great eater, I’ve never really gotten in the habit of making “kid-friendly” meals. If I am making something that I feel might be a tough sell to the kids, I usually just make them the “broken down” version. A great example is Thai chicken curry. It’s super easy to set aside some cooked chicken, red peppers and rice for the kids without any effort. There are exceptions to this, of course. If we’re having friends or family over, I’ll make something super easy that all the kids will enjoy. After all, when it comes to food we all have a guilty pleasure or two (Or too many to count, in my case).

One of the more “kid-friendly” meals we do have fairly often is stuffed pitas (or wraps). I set out several different bowls of stuffing ideas and let them pick what they like. The only rule is that they have to choose at least three veggies.  We usually have chicken or chickpeas for some protein and I’ll make tzatziki (super easy). I think the kids like that they get to be in control a bit, it makes it sort of like Subway and my kids love Subway. This week, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit different, Greek meatballs. It worked out really well, except for my daughter, the youngest. With a bit of convincing, though (I stuck a toothpick in her meatballs and told her they were just like lollipops) I was able to get her to try a bite. She ultimately (with some bribery, I’m only human) ate two full meatballs. I’m calling it a great success!

Greek Meatballs

 

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground beef

1 Lbs ground pork

1 egg

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp oregano

2 tsp cinnamon

1 lemon, zest only, juice reserved

salt and pepper to season

 

Sauce:

1 Cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice (from above)

1/3 C mint leaves, chopped finely

 

Extras:

Pita bread

assorted veggies; I used lettuce, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers

feta cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

First make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and mint. Mix well and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg until the yolk and white are combined. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, garlic and oregano mixture. Using your hands, mix it all together until well combined. Roll the mixture  into 1″ balls. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked fill or top your pita with veggies, a few meatballs, sauce and some feta. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Tourtiere

With the opening of the Olympics last week, I decided to host an opening ceremonies party. It only seemed natural that the food would celebrate several of the countries from around the world.  Also, naturally, the idea to have a party only came to me the day before. I will admit a few of the dishes were store bought. However, this little gem was created and devoured in my own kitchen. This recipe will make two tourtieres.

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 lbs ground pork

1/2 lbs ground beef

1 C carrots, diced

2 C potatoes, diced

1 1/2 C beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pie shells (store-bought)

1/2 C Maple Syrup

Pre bake 2 pie shells at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until starting to sweat. Stir in Cinnamon, cloves and thyme. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes more. Add in the beef, pork, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Toss in the potatoes, carrots and beef stock. Stir and cover. Simmer for 10 -15 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp. Remove from heat.

Remove the 2 unbaked pie shells from the tray and roll them out. These will be used as the top crust on the tourtiere.

Spoon meat mixture evenly between the pre-baked shells. Lay the rolled out pastry on top and crimp the edges. Brush the top with Maple Syrup. Place the pies back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, until the top is golden brown.

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