Red, Wine, & Bleu Burgers (THM S)

Burgers are a staple in my household. Husband loves them. Kids love them. I love them! Plus, they are ridiculously easy to make.

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This whole recipe (burgers plus a sauce topper) is less than 10 ingredients. Unbelievable, I know, but this recipe packs in the flavor with just a few ingredients.

I seasoned up 2lbs of ground beef sirloin with sliced scallions, salt-free all purpose seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and dry sherry.

It probably sounds weird to “season” burgers with wine before cooking, but trust me the flavor is *amazing*. The sherry adds a beautiful depth of flavor while keeping the burgers nice and moist. I cooked my burgers to a strong medium (warm, pink center) and there was no trace of raw alcohol.

Mix the burgers with your hands until just combined, score with the side of your hand into sections (for even patties – I got about 7 big burgers out of this), and form into patties.

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My best burger tip is to always make these slight dents in the center of your patties prior to cooking. The centers rise as they cook, so instead of them rising and you ending up with cylindrical burgers they rise to the height of the outsides, making it flat.

Before tossing your burgers onto the grill or sauté pan, season each one with a little extra salt and pepper on the outsides. This helps to ensure they’re seasoned well.

I cooked these burgers in a cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.

While the burgers are cooking, make the bleu cheese sauce.

Place the sour cream into a small bowl with the bleu cheese crumbles, a few dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper, and a touch of half and half or heavy cream to slightly thin the sour cream.

When the burgers are done, top each one with a generous helping of bleu cheese sauce. I served my burger alongside some fresh celery sticks and Trader Joe’s parsnip chips (which are seriously amazing, by the way. 1g of net carbs per serving and they’re a real chip!).

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You can serve the burgers atop lettuce (red or green leaf would be a great choice), or stuff it into half a Joseph’s pita. Either way, it’s delicious!

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The burger itself really is incredible – the sherry keeps it moist while adding a slight red wine flavor and the dry seasoning adds a punch of different herbal notes (citrus, parsley, rosemary, etc.) with a little hint of onion from the scallions.

The bleu cheese sauce makes it rich and a little tangy from the cheese. [Really, I think beef and bleu cheese were put on this Earth to be best buds because they certainly rock together.]

These burgers would be perfect for a holiday party! With a burger this good, your guests will be knocking down your door for the recipe.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Red, Wine, & Bleu Burgers (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 2lbs ground sirloin
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt-free all purpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 c dry sherry, or other dry red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • For the bleu cheese sauce:
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c bleu chesse crumbles
  • 4-6 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • half and half or heavy cream to thin slightly (about 1-2 Tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat a large skillet or grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the burgers in a large bowl, and use your hands to incorporate everything together gently. Score the meat with the side of your hand into even secitons, then form patties. Make a slight dent in the center of your burgers for even cooking, then season the outsides with salt and pepper before cooking.
  3. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.
  4. While the burgers cook, prepare the bleu cheese sauce.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the bleu cheese sauce in a small bowl and set in the fridge until serving time.
  6. When the burgers are finished, top each one with a couple generous tablespoons of bleu cheese sauce. Enjoy as a lettuce burger, or stuff it into a Joseph's pita.

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Sunday Bolognese (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Bolognese is basically an Italian meat sauce. It has a different flavor than traditional marinara, and usually has some vegetables in it as well. I call this my “Sunday Sauce” because you can make it on Sunday, and it tastes just as good (or better!) on Friday.

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This sauce comes together in one, big pot on your stove top, and it’s low-maintenance (lots of simmering, not a ton of stirring).

When I make Bolonese, I always make extra for freezing. It’s perfect with Dreamfields Noodles, spiralized squash/zucchini, eggplant steaks, Lazy Lasagne (Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook page 140), or any other Italian fare you can dream up. My kids love this sauce, and will eat anything I put with it.

Start with 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef. I used 85% lean, but you can go for whichever variety your family likes best. Sauté it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some dried basil. When the meat begins to brown, start breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and onions. I use a fine hand grater to get small strings of grated carrot. The best thing about using a hand grater, as opposed to a box grater, is that you can hover it over the pot and grate straight down into it. No extra step of transferring it from the cutting board to the pot. Plus, when it’s cut that small there’s no need for peeling.

When the vegetables begin to soften, de-glaze the pan with one heaping cup of red wine. Don’t fall for the “cooking wine” tricks here – you want to use something dry, bold in flavor, and that you would enjoy drinking. If you don’t enjoy the taste of it uncooked, then you really won’t like it once it’s reduced and concentrated. I used a Côtes du Rhône because I still had some left over from my Coq Au Vin, and it was just enough for this recipe. The Côtes du Rhône gave my sauce a bold, deep flavor, and I highly suggest it if you can find it in your grocery store. (I found mine at Costco for around $10).

Finally, add the whole can of crushed tomatoes with their juice and a touch more salt and pepper. Place the lid on your pan, and let it simmer on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue simmering until sauce is reduced and thickened.

Turn off the heat, taste and adjust for seasoning, then add one large handful of fresh chopped parsley.

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What you end up with is a bold, hearty, sauce that’s slightly fruity from the red wine. It’s perfect to use right away, or you can cool and package it up for Italian night later in the week (all it will need is some heat). Like I said earlier, this sauce only gets better with time, so there are no disappointing leftovers here.

Sunday Bolognese (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef (I used grassfed 85% lean)
  • 1 heaping cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced (leafy greens included)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 large handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the onions, shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and a touch more salt and pepper. Continue sautéing until onions begin to get soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, then add the crushed tomatoes and a little more salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the lid and continue simmering another 10 minutes, until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the parsley, taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately, or cool and store until future use.

Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Who’s ready for another one-pot wonder?!

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If I haven’t said it enough already, I really love my cast iron Dutch oven. It’s perfect for my chili, stews, everything. This lady in red has been making dinner a lot easier lately.

If you haven’t had Coq Au Vin before, it’s a French country chicken stew. Most often, I see it with mushrooms and onions. However, you can add a wider array of vegetables if you like – celery, shallots, carrots, or parsnips would also be good here.

All those beautiful veggies and chicken pieces get cooked down in some dry red wine. I used Côtes du Rhône because the Barefoot Contessa tells me that’s a good red wine, and I’m not about argue. ^_^

I started by rendering the fat from a few slices of chopped bacon.

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Once the bacon starts to crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set to the side.

Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. I used chicken thighs and breasts.

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Crisp the chicken on both sides, in one layer of your pan. Brown the pieces in multiple batches if needed, then remove to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked yet, as it will cook through later.

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Add the mushrooms, carrots, red onion, and garlic to the pan with an extra pat of butter (or coconut oil) if the pan is looking dry. Saute about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms start to have a little color. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the xanthan gum.

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De-glaze the pan with the red wine, picking up any bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Add the pearl onions, chicken pieces, bacon, and whole thyme sprigs. Top off with a little chicken stock if it looks like you still need more liquid. Cover, bring to boil, and reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the lid after 20 minutes, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces.

Shred the chicken roughly, if you like (it will be falling apart anyway). Turn off the heat, and add a handful of fresh chopped parsley. Don’t forget to remove the woody thyme stems – the leaves come off in the stew.

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YUM. Tender, delicious chicken in a rich red wine sauce with hearty vegetables. How can you go wrong?

I served this stew as-is for me. For my young creatures, I poured it over some cooked brown rice.

Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken breasts and thighs
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 c dry red wine (I used Côtes du Rhône)
  • 1/3 c frozen pearl onions
  • 6-8 whole sprigs of fresh thyme (you’ll remove the stems later)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown the chicken in a single layer in the bacon drippings. Remove pieces to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the pan, then saute the carrots, mushrooms, red onions, and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are browned and soft.
  4. Sprinkle with xanthan gum, then add the wine, chicken stock, pearl onions, and thyme. Add the chicken and cooked bacon back to the pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat (or in a preheated 400 degree oven), for about 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces down.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Only in my recent years I’ve come to have a love for shepherds pie. It wasn’t a dish I grew up with, but it’s grown into being a Winter staple in my household. It’s easy to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and can feed an army.

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I started this pie using low fat, grass-fed ground beef. It’s not traditional for a shepherds pie, however it lends a lot of great flavor. I then sautéed it with a little red onion, celery, cremini mushrooms, carrots, shallots, and garlic. I sprinkled the mixture with a little xanthan gum, then de-glazed the pan with about a cup of dry red wine and reduced the mixture for about 7 minutes.

When the wine is reduced by about half, turn the heat off, add the peas, parsley, and thyme then set aside.

Meanwhile, I had my creamy potato topping going in a separate pan.

I peeled and diced 5 medium white sweet potatoes. Yes, these things exist! I found them bagged at Trader Joe’s – they have purple skin and white flesh. I also peeled and diced two large parnsips to go with it. Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor, which helps cut the sweetness of the sweet potato and they make for a very velvety puree.

I boiled those down together for about 12 minutes, in salted water, so that everything was nice and tender.

I drained them, then added them to my food processor with some chicken broth, fat free cream cheese, and a couple tablespoons of butter. Blend it all until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and you’re good to go.

In a large casserole dish (I used an oval casserole dish), place the beef mixture (with pan juices). Top with the potato/parsnip puree, then grate on about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

The whole thing goes into a 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until it’s hot and bubbly and the top is lightly browned.

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And this is the beauty you get once it’s finished – deeply flavorful ground beef and veggies with a little red wine gravy topped with creamy and velvety potato-parsnip puree. So creamy and delicious, you’ll have a hard time believing it’s an E!

Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1lb lean ground beef (96% or higher)
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 small stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 3/4 c dry red wine
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 5 medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large sauce pot, cover the potatoes and parsnips with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once they’re boiling, add a generous handful of salt and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes until very tender.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with coconut oil and heat on medium. Saute the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the beef down into bite-size chunks.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, onion, and Herbes de Provence. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the veggies become tender.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture with the xanthan gum, add the red wine, 1/4 c of the chicken broth, and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  6. Turn off the heat, stir in the peas, parsley, and thyme, and set aside.
  7. Transfer the cooked and drained potatoes and parsnips to a food processor. Add the rest of the chicken stock, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth puree.
  8. Add the beef mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the potato puree, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 for about 20-30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Chicken Marsala Pasta Toss – Lightened Up!

Chicken Marsala is a fabulous weeknight meal because it comes together quickly and there’s very little prep involved. The only unfortunate side of the traditional dish is that the chicken is often lightly breaded, the sauce usually involves cream, and most people serve it with mashed potatoes. Although, I have nothing against mashed potatoes they can tend to be a calorie-laden (hello, heavy dairy!) side to a dish that isn’t exactly light to begin with.

I don’t often see Marsala served over pasta, but it serves the same carb-side as potatoes without having the extra dairy calories. And you can make a rich-tasting Marsala sauce without adding milk or heavy cream – so why not make this luxurious dish a little more figure-friendly?

Chicken Marsala Pasta Toss

  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 8oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 Tsp butter
  • 2 1/2 Tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 140z pkg fettuccine pasta
  • 2 Tsp olive oil

Start by heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Heat a separate, deep skillet on medium-high with the olive oil for the sauce. When the pan is heated, add the chunks of chicken in a single layer and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides (it doesn’t have to cook all the way through because you’ll add it back in the sauce later) and remove it from the pan onto a plate or bowl. Add the butter into the same pan where you browned the chicken (DON’T clean it, you want the chicken taste). When the butter melts, add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Saute the mushrooms until they become soft, about 5-6 minutes, and after they’ve softened add salt and pepper to taste. The reason you don’t add the salt right away to the mushrooms is because it can slow down their browning process. When the mushrooms are soft sprinkle the flour in with the mushrooms and stir until you don’t see any raw, white flour in the pan – it’s supposed to form a paste-type deal. Let the flour cook with the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, then add the red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvignon – I know, I know it’s not “Marsala,” but I like using what I have. By all means, buy Marsala if you want to. Stir the wine into the mushrooms so that the flour works into the liquid to form a thick sauce. When the wine reduces down (it reduces by about 1/2 and takes 5 minutes) add the vegetable broth and reduce the heat to medium. At this point, add the browned chicken back into the sauce and let the whole thing simmer on medium for 8-10 minutes while the pasta cooks. Drain the pasta and add it right into the sauce pot to toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy name! Essentially, spaghetti bolognese is more or less a jazzed up meat sauce, and after you make it the first time you’ll want to keep making it over and over. This is even a lightened version of a bolognese sauce because traditionally it’s made with milk, and I subbed wheat spaghetti for a little extra fiber.

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 1lb box wheat spaghetti
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (about 1/2 of a small can)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tsp olive oil

Heat a large pot of water for the spaghetti. Heat a separate large, deep skillet on medium with olive oil. Once pan is heated, add the ground beef, season well with salt and pepper and begin breaking the meat into chunks with a flat spoon or spatula as it browns. When the meat is almost completely browned add the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic and saute until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and let the alcohol cook out (about 3-4 minutes). When the wine is reduced, add the diced tomatoes and juice. Drop the spaghetti to cook and let the sauce simmer on medium as the pasta cooks (about 8-9 minutes). When the spaghetti’s cooked, turn the heat off on the sauce and add the drained pasta right into the pot with the sauce. Toss to combine and serve!

Bolognese time!