Bistro Steak with Red Wine Sauce

If you haven’t noticed a theme the past few weeks from my blog – things have been crazy around here. At least, during the week. Hence the cheese fries and casseroles.

Nothing wrong with those foods, because, you know, they’re delicious. But sometimes it’s nice to have a special meal. You know, slow down the pace, sip on a glass of wine, not have to rush off anywhere or get the laundry folded?

I was grabbing some quick groceries at Target the other week and came across some “Laura’s Lean Beef” organic sirloin steaks. They were a pretty good price (about $6.00 – think what you’d pay at a restaurant!) and were vacuum sealed in their own juices so they looked super tender.

So I tested out this recipe and the verdict was: it’s pretty darn delicious! I’ve been known to scramble around a little when it’s time to eat, but this one is pretty simple with some prep work done ahead of time. I recommend an easy starch like rice or potatoes to soak up some of the delicious sauce…that’s just a necessity.

I must say, if time preparing a meal is not a luxury you have, but the time to savor one sounds like pure bliss – you should definitely give this one a try!

Bistro Steak with Red Wine Sauce (Serves 2 / 10 pts. per serving)

Ingredients

2 (6 oz.) sirloin steaks, trimmed of fat

1/2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 Tbsp. shallot, chopped

2 tsp. ground thyme

4 fl. oz. red wine

1/2 cup fat-free beef broth

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. butter

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Cook steaks in oil for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.

Steak Collage

Saute shallots and thyme in remaining oil for 1 minute before adding wine. Cook 2-3 minutes until majority of liquid evaporates. Add beef broth and cook 5 minutes until liquid thickens and reduces by half. Whisk in remaining salt and pepper, and add butter and mustard.

Slice steak into strips across the grain and top with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve…

Plated Steak

 

And don’t forget something to soak up all of that delicious sauce…

Bistro Steak

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

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Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries

Why is it that I can’t get enough of buffalo-chicken-flavored things?

Oh, right – because they’re awesome…

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries

I ordered something “buffalo-style” last week at lunch and my co-worker laughed and said “You seriously have an obsession with buffalo flavor don’t you?” Um, yes…have you read my blog?

Well, just when you thought I couldn’t possibly come up with another thing to layer with blue cheese, celery and hot sauce – I went and did it again.

With my Memphis Grizzlies in round 3 of the NBA Playoffs, it’s tough to want to make like, roasted fish with vegetables for dinner when a game is on – I need (faux) bar food!

So I’ve sliced up potatoes before to make my own cheese fries, but my Tuesday evening did not warrant that kind of effort after my workout. Then I remembered seeing a recipe on a blog I follow (“My Life as a Mrs.” check her out!) for buffalo cheese fries using frozen french fries, so I gave it a shot.

Excellent choice.

Y’all, these are so delicious – and I portioned it out to make sure it was enough food without being totally horrible for you! I’m sure they’d be a welcome addition to any party you are attending this holiday weekend!

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries (Serves 2 for a meal / 13 WW pts. per serving)

Slightly modified from original recipe found here.

Ingredients

10 oz. Alexia Waffle Cut Fries

1 cup shredded chicken breast (boneless and skinless)

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce (+ about 2 Tbsp. for drizzling)

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1/3 cup reduced-fat blue cheese

1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar

1 Tbsp. chopped green onion

2 Tbsp. fat-free Ranch (for dipping)

Heat your oven to 400. Layer fries on a baking sheet and bake according to directions.

Chop your veggies and mix your chicken with the hot sauce.

When fries are done baking, move them close together and top with chicken and celery. (I separated mine into 2 portions because the hubby was studying and wanted to eat later, so this portion is allll for me.) Then top with blue cheese crumbles and shredded cheddar.

Step by Step

Bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with additional hot sauce and add green onions and serve with ranch on the side for dipping.

Plated

I barely needed any ranch, as these were so full of flavor!

Bite - Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries

Try it out if you’re a buffalo chicken freak  fan like me, or if you just want to try a new (and healthy!) twist on a classic.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everybody!

 

Cheeseburger Casserole

So I mentioned last week that I started a new workout program. While I knew it would be a challenge to get back into shape, holy cow I did not realize how much of a challenge it would be physically and mentally!

I blame myself of course. I mean, what did I expect – I haven’t exactly done anything along the lines of “fitness” since I had to fit into a wedding dress…and that was a year and a half ago!

Well, I’ve learned a few things with my new schedule, aside from the fact that sports bras are my friend. During the week, the two things I learned the hard way were A – eating dinner before working out isn’t ideal for me and B – cooking dinner after working out isn’t ideal for me. Quite the conundrum, right?

So how do I eat dinner after working out (so that I don’t feel it coming back up on high cardio days) without having to make dinner after working out (so I don’t writhe in pain when I lift a saucepan after doing a zillion push ups)?

Enter the wonderful world of casseroles. I’ve had a few written down and decided week 1 would be the perfect time to try them out. Thanks to one of my food blogs, Skinny Taste (also a big proponent of Weight Watchers!), this casserole suited all of my needs! Quick, easy, delicious and healthy – I made everything ahead of time and popped it in the oven after my workout while I cried in fetal position showered! You should definitely try this one…it was great for a meal paired with some Alexia House Cut Fries with Sea Salt.

Cheeseburger Casserole (Serves 6 / 6 WW points per serving)

Very slightly modified from original recipe here.

Ingredients

8 oz. lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I’d get petite if possible, lesson learned!)

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 oz. Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta

1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup dill pickles, chopped

Heat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a small casserole dish.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.

In a medium skillet, heat oil and cook onions for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and ground beef and cook through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomato pasta, tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture simmer slightly. Then add pasta and toss to coat.

StepbyStep

Add mixture to the casserole dish, spreading into an even layer. Top with shredded cheddar and bake 15-20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes, add chopped pickles (only to one side if you have a family member who is a freak and doesn’t eat them) and serve.

Plated Casserole

Fries were great with this, but you could toast up a hamburger bun as a “roll” to eat on the side too! Gotta stick with the theme…

Cheeseburger Casserole

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

French Onion Style Salisbury Steak

Confession: I am like a little kid on Christmas morning when my magazines arrive in the mail each month.

They all usually come within a few days of each other, so I try to save them all up so I can scour the pages for tips on gardening (psh, right), decorating (eh, okay), shopping (heck yes) and of course, cooking (woot woot!).

So in addition to my Southern Living, Cooking Light, Food Network and Veranda magazines (don’t judge), I got a bonus one this month – and it’s full of recipes!

Okay, full is a bit of an exaggeration as it’s not a full-fledged 90-pager, but has anybody else received Cuisine at Home?

Well, I went ahead and sampled a recipe for y’all…slimming it down of course, because bathing suit season is upon us! I’ve even started a new workout program…if it doesn’t kill me, it is certainly going to make me stronger.

Now, I’ve never made or eaten salisbury steak, so I’m not sure what drew me into this particular recipe – but after eating it, it’s totally on the “make again” list. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

French Onion Style Salisbury Steak (Serves 2 / 10 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

Adapted from original recipe here.

8 oz. ground beef (points based on 93% lean)

1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped scallions

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3/4 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour (+ 1/2 tsp. for later)

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup yellow onion, sliced

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup beef broth

2 Tbsp. red wine

4 slices french baguette (I use the Target brand “Archer Farms” petite baguette

1 slice reduced-fat swiss cheese

2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray

Heat oven to 350.

Begin by combining your ground beef, scallions, parsley, salt and pepper together. Form into to small patties. Dredge in flour.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add patties to skillet and saute over medium for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove patties. Add onions and sugar to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. flour. Add broth, wine and thyme and a little dash of salt. Stir until blended well. Return patties to the pan, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until patties are cooked through.

Assembly

While the patties are cooking, get your cheese bread ready. Place baguettes on a baking sheet, spray with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt. Tear up swiss cheese slice and place on each slice, and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 7-9 minutes until toast is crispy and cheese is melted.

Cheese

Add 2 slices of bread to a plate. Place a cooked Salisbury steak on top. Pour onion sauce mixture over each and serve.

FrenchOnionSalisburySteak

I served this with a side of mashed potatoes to soak up sauce and it was an excellent decision!

CloseupSalisburySteak

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Work and Success

One of my absolute favorite “inspirational” quotes is something one of the basketball coaches at my high school always used to say (I think it’s attributed to Vince Lombardi) is “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

There are so many examples of this in my daily life, and yet I still find myself almost waiting for positive things to happen. That would be like an athlete just hanging out between games without watching tape or working out or meeting with his team and just showing up expecting to win.

Take this blog for instance…I’ve gotten a few questions lately on how I come up with recipes, test them, etc. One of the questions I found funny was “Do you put everything you cook up on your blog?”  I wish. But honestly, it takes a little more work than what you might see on here.

If I’m trying something new, I do go ahead and photograph it in case it turns out awesome – but I don’t put anything on my blog that I don’t like. Unfortunately, I’ve made a few meals lately that haven’t turned out so hot.

One item I found on Pinterest was a stuffed flank steak. It’s stuffed with spinach, roasted red peppers, blue cheese, and a lot of other goodies. It sounded delicious. It looked delicious. But when I bit into it, I was completely underwhelmed. I don’t know if I didn’t pound the steak enough or it was roasted instead of grilled, but the flavor just wasn’t there for me.

StuffedFlankSteak

Another recipe I tried came as a recommendation from a co-worker from a blog she found. I’m terrified of my crockpot when I’m not at home to check on it, so when she assured me that this chicken curry recipe didn’t turn into a pot of black lava in her home, I figured I’d give it a try. My kitchen smelled awesome – but I don’t know if it’s my dislike for coconut or if I just don’t like curry, but I was not at all a fan. I actually didn’t even eat it!

ChickenCurry

So, just a testament that it’s not as simple as throwing together a meal and calling it a day! I try new things and make sure they are tasty before sharing them with y’all, so if it doesn’t pass my test, then I don’t pass it on to you! It’s disappointing because I get my hopes up for meals and put a lot into them, but obviously, it’s a learning process on what works and what doesn’t – so I just try to learn from my mistakes and improve upon them down the road!

On the other hand, a surprising success in my sad little world of “I can’t keep green things alive” – my babies I planted on April 7th are still here and are looking beautiful! See…not dead! The rain has definitely helped me, but it’s so much fun seeing what a little TLC and work will do…

Planter

Well, now I’m off to cheer on the Memphis Grizzlies as they take on the LA Clippers in Game 6 of the playoff series. My Grizz are up 3-2 and are coming home tonight to hopefully pull off a W for the home crowd, so I’m super pumped to be there with my husband! My Biffer and I attended Game 4 last Saturday (thanks to our wonderful hubbies) to see the Grizz tie up the series, so tonight is going to be even more intense.

BiffersandGrizz MemphisGrizzlies

may  have listened to Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” a few times this afternoon just to get myself in the spirit…and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that.

Hope everybody has a great weekend…and GO GRIZZ!