Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry

This easy dish makes a wonderful and flavorful frugal main dish that is paleo and AIP friendly too!  Serve it over desired carbohydrate (AIP - think cauli-rice or sweet potato). -- The Nourishing GourmetThis easy main dish is a stand by for our family. Ginger and garlic brightly flavor broccoli, mushrooms, and ground beef. It’s wonderful served over rice, cauliflower rice, or even eaten on its own. It’s very frugal, and fast to make – all of which makes this dish reappear on our menu frequently.

This is also the type of meal that works so well for us to be both an AIP-friendly main for me, and a dish that everyone else can enjoy too. I can serve this with rice or quinoa for my family to enjoy, and for me, I can enjoy it with cauliflower rice, or top a sweet potato with it.

I’ve mentioned many times that we typically eat a very simple diet, and this is an example of that. It just takes a couple of vegetables (and really, you can also make this with just broccoli), a meat, some fresh ginger and garlic, and a carb to serve it with. I should also note that this isn’t a “stir fry” made the traditional Chinese method. This is our easy no-fail method where the vegetables get well cooked along with the meat.

A couple of notes on the recipe:

  • For those on the AIP diet, you may like to pick up a bottle of coconut aminos. I like this recipe just as it is, but having the option of the sweet and salty coconut aminos is nice too.
  • To grate the fresh ginger, I love using my microplane (it has many uses in the kitchen!).
  • I use my largest beloved cast iron pan for dishes like this. I bought my largest pan at Goodwill (and practically had to fight off other shoppers for it). This 12-inch cast iron is very similar to what I used.

 

Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of fat of choice (I like saving leftover bacon grease for dishes like this. Yum!)
  • Two cups of broccoli (cut into smallish stalks/florets )*
  • ½ pound of mushrooms, gently washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ground meat of choice (I used grassfed beef, but pork would be nice too)
  • 1 to 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (you want about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • To serve: soy sauce, tamari (for gluten-free), or coconut aminos (for AIP option), optional

Directions: 

1. In a large pan, heat fat of choice over medium to medium-high heat (stay with medium if using a cast iron pan) until hot. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

2. Add the beef, ginger and garlic cloves, and sprinkle again with salt. Stir, breaking the beef into small pieces as it cooks, until the beef it completely cooked.

3. If you have excess fat (depending on the grade of ground beef you used), push the meat and vegetables to one side, and tip the pan slightly to pool the grease on one side of the pan. Remove with a spoon.

4. Salt to taste. Serve with desired carbohydrate (such as rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes), and soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.

*After I cut off the bunch of florets at the top of the broccoli stalk, I cut off the very end of the broccoli stem. I then peel the stem of the broccoli to remove the hard exterior, and thinly slice it. I add it back to the florets, and it will cook in the same time as the florets (plus, it’s very delicious, and reduces waste!).

Gingery Broccoli and Mushroom Beef Stir Fry
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of fat of choice (I like saving leftover bacon grease for dishes like this. Yum!)
  • Two cups of broccoli (cut into smallish stalks/florets )*
  • ½ pound of mushrooms, gently washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ground meat of choice (I used grassfed beef, but pork would be nice too)
  • 1- 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (you want about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • To serve: soy sauce, tamari (for gluten-free), or coconut aminos (for AIP option), optional
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, heat fat of choice over medium to medium-high heat (stay with medium if using a cast iron pan) until hot. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
  2. Add the beef, ginger and garlic cloves, and sprinkle again with salt. Stir, breaking the beef into small pieces as it cooks, until the beef it completely cooked.
  3. If you have excess fat (depending on the grade of ground beef you used), push the meat and vegetables to one side, and tip the pan slightly to pool the grease on one side of the pan. Remove with a spoon.
  4. Salt to taste. Serve with desired carbohydrate (such as rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes), and soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
Notes
*After I cut off the bunch of florets at the top of the broccoli stalk, I cut off the very end of the broccoli stem. I then peel the stem of the broccoli to remove the hard exterior, and thinly slice it. I add it back to the florets, and it will cook in the same time as the florets (plus, it’s very delicious, and reduces waste!).

 

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms - a frugal, lovely comfort food that's full of nourishing ingredients too! -- The Nourishing Gourmet
This casserole’s aroma and visual appeal had my kids ogling: first the smell of the easy roux cooking (think browned butter and cream!), then the grating of the Gruyere, the toasty smell of quinoa bubbling in bone broth, and, of course, the redolence of sauteed mushrooms with garlic and herbs.
I first made this casserole when we were phasing off of a grain-free diet, to see how we’d do with quinoa. I soaked the gluten-free grain overnight, to reduce phytic acid and improve its digestibility. (That’s an easy step- just a little salt water overnight: instructions below.) We all loved it and pronounced it an instant creamy classic.
Although the recipe is topped with a roux (homemade cream sauce), I hope you’ll know this is one quick-to-assemble casserole that provides 8 big servings; so it’s great for guests or a weeknight meal. Melted cheese atop chicken and cozy, high protein quinoa (that cooks while it bakes!) provide a comfort food that’s fun to make and sure to please.
The main ingredients are all accessible at Trader Joe’s- an easy way to grab what you need for a plentiful dinner. (There are a few additional basic pantry or fridge ingredients you may already have on hand at home.) The ingredients aren’t all inexpensive, but they’re high quality and relatively affordable; (let’s face it: organic chicken isn’t cheap). When you buy a couple of the ingredients, the Gruyere cheese (or jack, for a milder flavor) and quinoa, you’ll be able to use leftovers of these ingredients another time as well; the recipe only uses half of what you’ll buy. Or perhaps you already buy quinoa in bulk?
The whole casserole costs about $18.25 to make. If you serve 8 people, each servings costs about $2.25.
Here’s the price breakdown if you purchase your ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
$4.58- 1 pound organic mushrooms
$1.75- 1 cup quinoa
$8.50- 1.75 pounds organic chicken thighs
$3.15- 1-1/4 cups grated Gruyere (or less for jack cheese)
$.25- 3 cloves organic garlic
The additional ingredients you’ll need are bone broth, a cup of cream or milk (we use raw cream), a teeny bit of white rice flour, butter, herbs, salt and pepper. The casserole is loaded with chicken; so if you want to save money, make a really big salad and give smaller portions of the casserole, or use less chicken, if you’re really stretched budget-wise. It’s the spendiest ingredient by far.
Enjoy!
Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup organic, grass-fed cream (or raw cream or milk)
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water
  • 1.5-1.75 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″/bite-size cubes/pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  •  1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or use jack for a milder flavor)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons animal fat, butter, or avocado oil (for sauteing)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or mixed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium size bowl, soak the quinoa in the 1-1/2 cups water and apple cider vinegar overnight. When ready to assemble the casserole, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and set aside. It will cook in the oven.

Grease a large casserole dish (9″ by 13″ or similar) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the 1/4 cup rice flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes, to cook the raw flavor out of the flour. (This part smells really good.) In a steady, thin stream, constantly whisk in the bone broth, then the cream, allowing the liquid to absorb the flour, as it becomes a creamy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, stirring, and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons preferred fat over high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, stirring briefly. Cover for 2-3 minutes, to produce steam. Uncover and add herbs. Saute over medium-high heat for 8 minutes more. Set aside and allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Add cubed chicken and stir to combine.

Place soaked, rinsed quinoa (uncooked) into greased casserole dish, spreading it out evenly. Top with chicken mushroom mixture, spreading it out over the quinoa. Add about 3/4 of the total grated cheese to the roux (cream sauce), stirring briefly to mix. Top chicken and mushrooms with cream sauce. Spread the sauce to within 1″ of the edges of the casserole. Pour the 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water in around the edges. Carefully transfer dish to oven and bake 45 minutes, until edges are bubbling rapidly and all water is absorbed.

Serve with an optional side of wilted greens or a green salad.

Creamy Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Mushrooms
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup organic, grass-fed cream (or raw cream)
  • ¼ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water
  • 1.5-1.75 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1"/bite-size cubes/pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or use jack for a milder flavor)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons animal fat, butter, or avocado oil (for sauteing)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or mixed Italian herbs
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl, soak the quinoa in the 1-1/2 cups water and apple cider vinegar overnight. When ready to assemble the casserole, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and set aside. It will cook in the oven.
  2. Grease a large casserole dish (9" by 13" or similar) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Place ¼ cup butter in small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the ¼ cup rice flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes, to cook the raw flavor out of the flour. (This part smells really good.) In a steady, thin stream, constantly whisk in the bone broth, then the cream, allowing the liquid to absorb the flour, as it becomes a creamy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the ½ teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon white pepper, stirring, and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons preferred fat over high heat. Add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon sea salt, stirring briefly. Cover for 2-3 minutes, to produce steam. Uncover and add herbs. Saute over medium-high heat for 8 minutes more. Set aside and allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Add cubed chicken and stir to combine.
  5. Place soaked, rinsed quinoa (uncooked) into greased casserole dish, spreading it out evenly. Top with chicken mushroom mixture, spreading it out over the quinoa. Add about ¾ of the total grated cheese to the roux (cream sauce), stirring briefly to mix. Top chicken and mushrooms with cream sauce. Spread the sauce to within 1" of the edges of the casserole. Pour the 1-3/4 cup bone broth or water in around the edges. Carefully transfer dish to oven and bake 45 minutes, until edges are bubbling rapidly and all water is absorbed.
  6. Serve with an optional side of wilted greens or a green salad.

Greek Sweet Potato Hash – $15 Meal from Trader Joe’s

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill of An Appetite For Joy

What could be better than diced sweet potatoes fried up with garlic and green onions, then topped with wild peppery arugula, salty feta and a sprinkle of sumac? Not much in this world if you ask me.

This Greek sweet potato hash is also versatile – delicious on its own or stuffed into a pita pocket or lettuce wrap!

One thing I love about the direction Kimberly takes with this blog is learning to save money while eating right. She came up with the idea of buying meal ingredients at Trader Joe’s with $15 in pocket and I thought it was a fun challenge!

I didn’t include cooking fat and spices in the cost. To more than offset this, know that there will be plenty of leftover sweet potatoes, arugula and sheep feta. My son loves packing the feta with olives in his lunch. And the extra sweet potatoes come in handy for our favorite dessert – Sweet Potato Pie with Lemon Zest.

3 FAVORITE TJ’S FINDS

When creating the recipe, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite items at Trader Joe’s:

Sweet potatoes – I find TJ’s to have good prices on basic organic sweet potatoes.

Wild arugula – This was a new one for me. I like that there are a couple of wild-grown foods in the store as a cost-saving option compared to organic (wild blueberries and now wild arugula). This bagged arugula was amazingly fresh and the best arugula I have ever purchased from a grocery store. It was almost as tasty as the one I buy from a local farmer.

Sheep feta – I love this stuff. It comes in a sizable block that is pre-cut into manageable pieces. This cheese is much creamer than cow-milk feta and easier on digestion, like goat’s milk. It lasts all week for us!

COST BREAKDOWN

3 lb bag of sweet potatoes – $4.49
wild arugula – $2
green onions – $1.29
sheep feta – $6.49
lemon – 50 cents

TOTAL – $14.77

This meal comes together in a flash, especially if you can grab a few minutes earlier in the day to prepare the sweet potatoes (I like breaking up cooking tasks). I just cut them into french fry shape (a good knife makes this easy!) and soak in ice water in the fridge til I’m ready to cook.

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet

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Greek Sweet Potato Hash - $15 Meal from Trader Joe's
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Greek-inspired
Serves: 4-6
 
This Greek-inspired sweet potato hash makes a great light meal for spring or summer. Enjoy it on its own or stuffed into a homemade pita, tortilla or lettuce wrap. A cup of bone broth on the side completes the meal.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and diced small
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano, to taste
  • unrefined salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat (ghee, bacon fat, coconut oil, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
  • chunks of sheep feta
  • arugula
  • sumac
Instructions
  1. This is a one-pot meal if you halve the recipe. But with the quantity of sweet potatoes, it's necessary to make it in two skillets.
  2. Heat two skillets over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon cooking fat to each. When hot, add diced sweet potatoes and cook until they start to soften, about 5-10 minutes. Add a little salt.
  3. Add the scallions and cook another 5 minutes, or until they start to get a little crispy. (Add extra fat if needed.)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and oregano and cook another 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with a lemon wedge, a pile of arugula on top and some feta if desired. I also like to sprinkle on a little sumac.

Creamy Grain-Free Porridge

This creamy, flavorful porridge is grain and dairy-free, and is a lovely way to start the day. Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?! It also makes a great snack in the afternoon or evening. It’s perfect for those on a Paleo or AIP diet, or just those who enjoy a healthy alternative to grain based porridges. --- The Nourishing Gourmet

This creamy grain-free hot “cereal” is gently spiced with cinnamon and ginger for a delicious and good-for-you breakfast! I discovered this method of making a hot porridge since I started the AIP diet. It only takes a minute to put the ingredients together, and then it gently simmers while I get breakfast for the rest of my family together. The secret ingredient? Cauliflower! It’s crazy how many great things you can do with this vegetable.

I love that I can have a creamy hot cereal again! It’s perfect for those on a grain-free diet, paleo diet, or the AIP diet.

I will mention that my two oldest, who eat grains (one gluten-free, one not) weren’t too sure about this recipe, which is why I make it just for myself. This creamy quinoa breakfast cereal is more to their liking. So if you are eating cream-of-wheat one morning, and then make this the next, don’t expect it to taste similar! But I did find that my one-year-old is a fan, like me. :-)

Notes on Ingredients:

  • If you can have dairy, this would be scrumptious with cream or half and half.
  • I used this lovely Coconut Cream (gum-free). (Amazon links affiliate)
  • If you weren’t on the AIP diet, you could also try it with homemade almond milk.
  • Find out how to make cauliflower “rice” for this recipe here, but I cheated and used a package from Trader Joe’s. I used their unfrozen though I imagine their frozen would work as well.
  • Cauliflower when at the peak of the season and newly picked can be very very sweet. This recipe would be even better when using such yummy cauliflower.
  • I added this gelatin for added protein and benefits. I also like to eat this with bacon or sausage on the side.

This creamy, flavorful porridge is grain and dairy-free, and is a lovely way to start the day. Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?! It also makes a great snack in the afternoon or evening. It’s perfect for those on a Paleo or AIP diet, or just those who enjoy a healthy alternative to grain based porridges. --- The Nourishing Gourmet

Creamy Grain-free Porridge

Notes: I like using the high amount of cinnamon and ginger as it disguises the cauliflower flavor even more. However, the higher amount is on the stronger side so I recommend you start with the smaller amount and only adding more if desired. Though I haven’t tried this yet, I think that if you cooked this, and then let it cool and refrigerated it for 24 hours, that the flavors would be even better. You can also consider adding a bit of vanilla extract, or other spices too! 

Ingredients:

1 cup of cauliflower “rice”, uncooked
½ cup of coconut milk or cream (gum-free, if AIP)
½ cup of water
Dash of Salt
¼-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
½ tablespoon pure maple syrup (or desired amount for sweetness)

Instructions:

1. In a small pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down heat to keep to a gentle simmer, and simmer until cauliflower is tender (about seven minutes).

2, Usually, I keep it just like it is, but, if you want it creamier in texture OR if the cauliflower chunks were on the larger size, I recommend briefly pulsing it in a blender or food processor (carefully! The mixture will be hot).

3. Top with berries, diced fruit, toasted coconut flakes, or anything else you’d like!

Serves 1

Creamy Grain-Free Porridge
 
Serves: 1
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of cauliflower “rice”, uncooked
  • ½ cup of coconut milk or cream (gum-free, if AIP)
  • ½ cup of water
  • Dash of Salt
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup (or desired amount for sweetness)
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down heat to keep to a gentle simmer, and simmer until cauliflower is tender - generally about seven minutes.
  2. Usually, I keep it just like it is, but, if you want it creamier in texture OR if the cauliflower chunks were on the larger size, I recommend briefly pulsing it in a blender or food processor (carefully! The mixture will be hot).
  3. Top with berries, diced fruit, toasted coconut flakes, or anything else you’d like!