Archive of ‘Beef’ category

15 Minute MEATZA

I know, I know. Pizza crusts made with meat are sooooo 2010. But, you know, it’s been a while. Cauliflower crusts seem to be dominating and while I’m generally a fan, sometimes I need a wee bit more substance. Feel me?

I had forgotten how seriously quick and easy this was. Like, when I say 15 minutes, I really do mean FIFTEEN minutes. Admittedly, I didn’t even have to chop my own veggies since I’ve been stocking up on pretty much every frozen vegetable pack Trader Joe’s carries. The fire roasted peppers and onions I used for the meatza are seriously the best thing to happen to the planet. I challenge you not to find amazing meals at any time of day that are made better with them. Seriously. Can’t be done.

MEATZA : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Even without a full time job anymore, I somehow feel like I’ve got even less time to lay around and play scientist in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because I notice all the little things that never, ever, in a million years would have bothered me. Like actually folding laundry? Making beds? Ice in my chardonnay? When did I turn into my mom???

In my defense, I’m making a point to take as much off my husband’s plate as I can. Darden is no joke, you guys. As a pre-med last year I know what a huge difference it makes to have someone there to keep things in their place, have the fridge stocked (his classmates seriously subsist on hot pockets and gatorade…ugh), pick up dry cleaning, blah blah blah. Besides, I can just say I’m paying it forward so he can take care of me in med school ;-)

Apologies for the iPhone pictures lately. Camera battery died and I lost the charger…which happens to be an antique that cannot be replaced easily or cheaply. I’m thinking this may be the time that someone finds it in his heart to help me with an upgrade? I do happen to have a birthday coming up next month…

15 Minute MEATZA
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c pizza sauce, store bought or home made
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 pkg Trader Joe's roasted frozen peppers and onions, thawed and drained
  • 1 pkg Applegate Farms pepperoni
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine the beef, pork, and eggs.
  3. Press into a greased baking sheet with some kind of elevation on the sides to prevent leakage.
  4. Bake for 10 mins. Prep you toppings while it bakes.
  5. Remove from the oven and **carefully** drain off the drippings from the pan. Blot the surface of the meatza with paper towels so that toppings will adhere better.
  6. Top with sauce, cheese, onions and peppers, and pepperoni.
  7. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve!


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Cheeseburger Chili (without cheese)

Seriously, y’all. It’s like I put a cheeseburger in a blender. I had this fantastic concoction cooking all day yesterday as we were moving in and our tiny kitchen was thick with the smell of backyard barbecue.

Cheeseburger Chili : The Not So Desperate Housewife

This was our second meal actually prepared in the new house. If you recall, half our house was without power and the AC was out for the whole weekend because things like that just…seem…to happen to me all of the time. I think we’re finally in the clear, but just know for the rest of the year I’ll be afraid to turn on the dryer…20A to start when the whole house is only 60A is terrifying. My only good ideas are to either a) just do laundry out, or b) to designate a laundry day and make sure *everything* is shut off before even thinking about washing clothes. At least our water bill might be lower?

Anyway, this chili. I went ahead and roasted half a butternut squash in foil and just scooped out the inside and dumped it into the crock pot, but in the future I’ll probably just used the canned stuff since a) it takes way less time, and b) I won’t have to turn the oven on. I’m making a lot of lists today. If I’d have been thinking ahead, I’d have thought to get some ketchup and mustard to dump over my bowl and make this even more like a cheeseburger smoothie. Trust me on this one.

Cheeseburger Chili (without cheese)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 c mashed butternut squash
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 c sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high.
  2. Place beef in a crock pot with all other ingredients.
  3. Give it all a quick stir and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.



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Grilled Beef Heart w/ Lemon and Cracked Pepper Marinade

Grilled Heart w Lemon and Cracked Pepper

When you and your spouse are both funemployed at the same time you get to do some really awesome stuff together.  Like wake up late and sip coffee out on the deck on a Thursday.  Like make breakfast side by side without bitching at each other because one or the other is already running late.  Like just decide on a whim to go take a bike ride along the C&O.  Like head over to the butcher afterwards and freak out the whole place when you ask for a beef heart and the guy says he’ll go see what they’ve got in the back and promptly slams what is most certainly the heart of a wooley mammoth–not a cow–onto the counter. What can I say? We’ve got fertile land.

Beef Heart

“What is THAT??” asks the lady behind me.

“A beef heart!” my husband cheerfully replies. “They’re amazing. And cheap. And are, like, the beefiest beef you’ve ever had!” What we left unsaid was that by eating the cow’s heart we’d gain all of its strength and power.

Grilled Beef Hear with Lemon and Cracked Pepper

Usually the easiest thing to do with a heart is to toss it in the slow cooker—they’ve got enough fat on them that they stay really moist and will flavor whatever accessory vegetables you put in alongside it. A “fancier” way to use it is to cut it into strips or chunks and just do your thing like you would with any other cut of beef. Being a holiday weekend and all, I figured now was the time to take a stab at grilling the thing.

Unlike other organ meats there really isn’t the need to disguise the flavor at all—the heart is a muscle, and tastes like any other muscle meat. If there’s anything distinctive it’s the almost “beefier” taste, if that makes any sense. I’m pretty confident that as long as you cut it right you could serve it to a crowd without anyone being the wiser. This is good because I’m not a huge fan of drowning something in sauce or marinade if I don’t have to…especially not when we’re lucky enough to have our herds raised on sweet, sweet valley grass.

Grilled Beef Heart w/ Lemon and Cracked Pepper Marinade
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 beef heart, trimmed to your liking
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T cracked pepper
  • 1 T coarse sea salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  1. Cut the heart in half, then place each half in a bowl or dish for marinating.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, pepper, salt, and oil.
  3. Pour the marinade over the heart and marinate at least 4 hours.
  4. Grill, covered for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the grill and slice to serve.


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Guacamole Stuffed Beach Burgers

My husband and I spent all last week on vacation in Texas…both of us needed to get out of town, like, months ago, but with school and jobs and all that life business we haven’t had a chance to take a real vacation since our honeymoon.  We probably wouldn’t have gone this year, either, until we realized his cousin was graduating college–kind’ve an big deal.  And oh, wait, her school is an hour from the beach.  So we spent the weekend engaging in graduation festivities and then drove out to the shore and rented a house with some friends.

As fate would have it, said beach house had a full kitchen and–most importantly–a grill.  So we grilled.  We grilled a lot.


Call me crazy, but I’ll take guac oozing out of my burger over cheese any day.  The beef is also seasoned to give it a little more substance, too…feel free to just use plain ground beef (I know the Grillmasters out there won’t have it any different) but against the cool, creamy avocado a slightly sweet and spicy burger is Ah-mazeballs.

Guacamole Stuffed Beach Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t paprika
  • 2 T pineapple juice
  • 2 or 3 ripe avocados
  • ¼ c salsa of choice
  1. Mix together everything except the avocados and salsa. Make sure you don't over mix, since the burgers can get tough.
  2. Mash the avocados together with the salsa.
  3. Assemble the burgers...the easiest way is to make largish patties and press them into large, flat circles.
  4. Spoon some guac into the middle of each burger and draw up the sides around it, pinching the edges to seal it in. No need to make them look perfect.
  5. Grill 'em!
  6. Eat 'em!


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Home-Made “Chipotle” Burrito Bowls (Vegan and Paleo)

As much as I love to hate on fast g=food, I’m not going to pretend it’s not convenient.  And damn if I don’t love me some Chipotle burrito bowls teeming with gobs of guac.

The beauty of this meal is that it’s so simple and really only requires as much prep work as you’re willing to give.  If nothing else, just throw a bunch of leftover meat and veggies in a bowl and smother in salsa and guac (salsa and guac go well on EVERYTHING) and you’re good.  This week, though, I was obviously feeling a little fancy.  Sometimes you miss the diversity of textures and flavors you get from not-so-Paleo-friendly ingredients like beans and corn…

The squash cubes add the perfect addition of texture you’d get from the beans or corn, and the roast veggies are a must to add a little variety.  Just like the real deal, a variety of meats work well and this is a phenomenal way to use up leftovers.  Ross used chicken on last night’s, for example.  Since I’m on another “Paleo-Vegan” kick, I made some palm heart “barbacoa” in a nice little simmer sauce.  (Recipes below)

This is a great dinner that can be prepped well ahead of time.  Sort of reminded me of my mom’s “Fajita Nights”–she’d set up big containers of cooked meat and veggies in the fridge that just needed to be nuked and assembled.  Just make a giant batch of cauliflower (or regular) rice, butternut “beans,” roast veggies, meat, etc and have them staged and ready to go.  Also makes an awesome pack-able lunch or breakfast…add a runny egg and thank me later!

butternut squash tgipaleo

For the “beans”:

Take a butternut squash and cut it up into little cubes (about 1/2 inch).  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.

roast veggies tgipaleo

For the roast veggies:

Cut up a bunch of different veggies (I used cherry tomatoes and onion here but feel free to use whatever).  Drizzle and toss with olive oil and slat and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.  You can (and should!) save time and have these in with the squash.

For the simmer sauce:

To a bkender, add 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 T chipotle powder, 4 garlic cloves, 1 t oregano, and 1 t black pepper.  Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.  Transfer the sauce to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Lower to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.

No time to make a fancy sauce? Just use a clean store-bought enchilada sauce.

palm hearts tgipaleo

For the palm heart “barbacoa”:

Heat a skillet over medium heat.

Shred about 7-8 palm hearts with a fork.

Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet and then the palm hearts.  Saute for a few minutes, then add about 1 cup of simmer sauce (recipe above) and stir until combined.

vegan and paleo chipotle burrito bowl

Assemble your bowls!!

In a nice, big bowl, start with a layer of rice (cauliflower rice or regular, I won’t judge).  Add some “barbacoa,” butternut “beans,” roast veggies, salsa, and guacamole.  If there’s anything else you want to add, go for it!



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Sweet and Tangy Cocktail Meatballs

So I happened to find myself at a loss of dinner ideas, and for once Pinterest really wasn’t helping.  I texted my husband asking what he wanted for dinner, and he responded “Swedish meatballs.”

sweet and tangy cocktail meatballs from tgipaleo

I took a double take.  Did he mean the ones like at Ikea with all the brown gravy?  Or the ones my parents’ friends used to have in a crockpot at parties in the ’80s?  You know, the ones with the reddish brown sauce that was so freaking addictive?  The ones that aren’t actually Swedish meatballs at all but we call them that because we have absolutely no clue what they are?  Yeah.  he meant those.

sweet and tangy cocktail meatballs

I found a bunch of recipes for cocktail meatballs that fit the profile.  Thank goodness I’m not the only one who loves them so much…except they’ve all got gobs of sugar and apparently a lot of recipes use grape jelly.  I mean, sounds absolutely delightful but not really my cup of tea these days.  At least, not on a weeknight.  So I came up with these…and as usually I feel the need to apologize for my crappy photography skills.  I wish I could do them justice.  Hard to do when the dish is such a sloppy mess…which is part of the reason they’re so freaking good.  And totally worth the shame of your husband walking through the door and catching you spooning the sauce out of the pan into your mouth.  I know.  So classy.

Cocktail Meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 8 dates
  • 1 c hot water
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • ½ c rice vinegar
  • 2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t dried mustard
  • ½ t salt
  1. Let the dates soak in the hot water for about 15 minutes or so. You can do this while you're prepping everything else.
  2. Form the beef into meatballs.
  3. Heat the oil over medium high heat and cook the meatballs until they're nicely browned on all sides.
  4. Whilst the meatballs are cooking away, combine the dates, hot water, tomato paste, coconut aminos, cinnamon, mustard, and salt in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
  5. When the meatballs are done, remove to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the vinegar to the pan to de-glaze.
  7. Add the date/tomato sauce. Whisk to incorporate all the drippings and bring to a simmer.
  8. Add the meatballs back into the sauce and stir to coat.
  9. Cover and simmer together for 10-15 minutes.


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Pad Thai

My winter break was almost seven weeks long.  Seriously.  I have never…in my LIFE…had this much time off to do absolutely nothing.  Maybe it would be OK if I was like all of my classmates and took a trip somewhere?  Or if I was capable of sleeping 14 hours a day?  Except no.

The house is cleaner than it’s been or will be for decades.  I’ve put in a bazillion hours of MCAT prep.  I volunteered at the hospital.  The pups have gotten more walking in the last 6 weeks than they had all last year.  Ate a few too many of those chocolate covered acai berries (the ones from Costco…dangerous).  Too much…*way* too much…has been spent at Target.  I don’t know what else to do, you guys.

Class starts next week and it’s the home stretch…4 more months of pre-med and then…well, I’ll let you know.  Maybe.  Lots of *life plans* in the works and I’m honestly not necessarily sure how it’s going to pan out.  Not gonna jinx it.  Nope nope.  I can tell you, though, that we will be…moving…again.  Since I left college I have moved through 3 different states, 1 year-long deployment to Iraq, 5 different homes.  Six if you count my CHU in Iraq but I really don’t think that counts.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone unless you have some weird desire to live in a big tin box and sleep on a plastic mattress that smells like mothballs.  Blech.

Paleo Pad Thai

Enough of that…how about I make you dinner?  Following my weird BBQ fetish, I’ve been doing a lot of Asian cooking lately.  And by that I mean I’ve been putting fish sauce and coconut aminos in *everything.*  I recommend it.

This dish can be made meatless or with chicken, shrimp, beef, pork…or all of the above.  We like options, don’t we?

Pad Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • ⅓ c apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ c coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1½ T hot chili paste
  • ¼ c fish sauce (omit if you want this to be vegan)
  • 3 T palm sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 c snow peas
  • 3 green onions (scallions), sliced
  • ½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Slivered almonds and lime wedges to garnish
  1. Put the spaghetti squash in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 mins. When finished, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Using a fork, remove the squash strands into a bowl and set aside.
  3. While the squash is cooking, whisk together the vinegar, coconut aminos, chili paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar in a small dish. Set aside.
  4. In a high rimmed pan or pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.
  5. Add the garlic, sauteing until lightly browned, then add the onions.
  6. When the onions are translucent, reduce the heat to medium and add the spaghetti squash and snow peas. Toss to coat in the oil and garlic.
  7. Add the sauce, stirring to coat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. When you are ready to serve, add the scallions and cilantro, mixing well.
  9. Serve garnished with slivered almonds and lime wedges.


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Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

I saw this recipe for Thai Burgers the other day on MDA and haven’t stopped thinking about them all week.  No, really…I’m on break at last and the prospect of cooking and eating real food for 6 weeks has made me positively euphoric.


And so the day comes…yesterday…after the first wave of holiday festivities are over and I’m ready to make a nice dinner at home for the two of us.  Oh, so I’m finally going to make these burgers.  Except.  I have…nothing.  Well, except ground beef.

With an Asian theme still on the brain and pretty much nothing but leftover veggies to work with I turned out a batch of meatballs instead.  Just…too good.  Maybe not as pretty as the burgers, but I’ll take it.

Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 2 lbs ground beef or pork
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • 3 T chili paste
  • 2 T coconut aminos
  • ¼ c coconut milk
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • ¼ c chopped green onion (or any onion for that matter)
  • ¼ c chopped mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. With your hands, mix the ingredients until blended but DO NOT overmix or else the meatballs will be tough.
  3. Shape the mixture into meatballs (golf-ball size for me), and arrange in a greased baking dish.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.


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Crispy Orange Beef

Fun Fact:  Going on 8 weeks now, there have been paper towels in our upstairs bathroom instead of toilet paper.  I’ll let you think about that for a sec.  So.  How was your day?  Yes, that was toilet humor.  My mind goes to weird places this early in the morning while I’m writing up a physics lab.  Except I’m clearly not working on that anymore.  Gotta space it out with other stuff, ya know?


Like takeout.  Except you know me way too well–I’m too finicky about my food to get takeout anymore.  And too cheap.  I find myself Jones-ing for it all the time, though, and most especially Chinese food.  Greasy, so-bad-for-you, no-way-in-hell-it’s-authentic-but-who-the-hell-cares Chinese food.

In college I had a thing for the local Chinese place.  No shiz, it was called Dong Fong.  So wrong…on Friday night in the area you could always hear someone yell, “I want the DONG!”  Ew.  Except it was reallyreally good.  The General Tso’s was famous.  Someone even made an ironic T-shirt about it.  After class ended Friday I’d go for a run, call down and place my order, shower, put on some clean PT’s, pick it up at Grant Circle with all the other Cadoodles, then come back to my room and chow down.  Went down like a rock, lemme tell ya.  Ah, memories.


It’s a miracle I didn’t have a stroke.

Crispy Orange Beef
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 lb stew beef (chunks, strips, whatever)
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 T grated ginger
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c arrowroot powder
  • Juice of 4 oranges (about ¾-1 cup)
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • 1 T grated ginger
  • 1 T arrowroot dissolved in 1 T water
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T honey (optional--omit for 21DSD and Whole30 compliance)
  1. Place the beef in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rice vinegar, ginger, and lemon zest.
  2. Mix well, cover, and marinate at room temp for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and ½ c arrowroot to the bowl with the beef and marinade. Toss well to coat--it'll be a pasty texture.
  4. Heat some oil in a heavy pot or pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Fry the beef in batches, browning lightly on all sides. Remove onto a pan covered in paper towels.
  6. When you're done frying, pour off the frying oil and reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Add the orange juice, garlic, ginger, and vinegar to de-glaze the pan.
  8. Add the dissolved arrowroot and honey, whisking well until it begins to thicken.
  9. Add the beef back to the sauce and stir to coat.
  10. Serve immediately.

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Smoky Southwest Oven Kebabs

My summer break is almost over…first day of class is on Friday and I’m a little depressed about it.  I just spent the last week and change in Oregon visiting family and am pretty convinced I’m meant to live there forever.  I also realized I have way too few tattoos and facial piercings to fit in anywhere in Portland.  That’s OK…anywhere I can get scrambled eggs and lox at 2 am is A-OK with me!  But now I’m back at my boring old life about to start four months of boring old premed and live off of salad and hard-boiled eggs.  OK that would be gross…so I’m playing with some new ideas for quick and easy meals with as few ingredients as possible and as little prep as possible while still being…I dunno…not boring.  Like everything else in my life.


So let’s welcome these kebabs to my regular rotation.  I have a serious addiction to anything and everything Tessemae’s…my newest love: Southwest Ranch.  You should get some.  And then make the fastest dinner ever.  Have fun with whatever add-ons you’d like…I used bacon and cherry tomatoes and they were outstanding but any veggie…or even fruit like pineapple or mango…would be awesome.  Crazy flavorful and juicy and are ready in less time it takes to grab a shower after a long day.


You’re welcome.

Smoky Southwest Oven Kebabs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 lbs Stew Beef or Beef Chunks
  • 1 c Tessemae's Southwest Ranch Dressing
  • Add-ins of choice (veggies, bacon, etc)
  1. Toss your beef and dressing in a big plastic Ziploc and squish around to coast the meat.
  2. Marinate for at least an hour but you can even prep this overnight and store in the fridge.
  3. Spear meat onto kebab sticks with whatever add-ons you want. Or on they're own. Either way. No pressure.
  4. Arrange on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Roast at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until you achieve desired done-ness.


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