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.

Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread

Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread - The Nourishing Gourmet

Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread is a delicious pizza alternative, and makes a perfect main dish for a simple weeknight dinner or appetizer for your next party (football, anyone?).

The first time I saw a pull apart bread recipe, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Tell me I’m not the only one it happens to? Week after week, I’d sketch out my weekly meal plan and think, “I really need to make that bread.” When I finally did, we were hooked.

This stuff is crazy good, you guys – how could it not be? A “blooming” sourdough boule stuffed with Italian sausage from our local farmer, garlic, onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms, with a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to top it all off!

Oh, and did I mention you first brush the entire loaf with garlic butter? Yesss.

One big comforting bread bowl of cheesy Italian goodness.

To serve, I just placed it on a cutting board with a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping, then added a large salad with our favorite Greek dressing, and dinner was done!

Cheesy pull apart bread made with sourdough, Italian sausage, veggies, and two cheeses -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Pull apart recipes can be made with nearly any type of bread, but I found that the crispy outside and airy inside of the sourdough was pure perfection – the porous interior soaked up the garlic butter beautifully, while the firm crust held up to the hearty Italian sausage, mushrooms, and mozzarella stuffing.

Speaking of the stuffing, I think next time, I’ll cook up a double batch of the sausage-veggie mixture and freeze it for another night. This recipe is definitely easy, but omitting the stove-top step would shave 15-20 minutes off the time. And I’m always up for saving time in the kitchen!

And a tip for serving – Once it finished baking, I used a sharp knife to retrace the horizontal and vertical slits in the bread, then used tongs to loosen each piece of bread a little. This made it much easier to pull each piece out for dipping.

Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread with marinara sauce for dipping -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Have you made pull apart bread before? What flavors did you use?

I’m already planning which variation I’ll try next – Cheddar and chive? Bacon and Swiss? Ham and Gruyere?

Really, I don’t see how any of those could be less than awesome.

Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread

Use homemade sourdough, or buy it from a favorite local bakery! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp pastured ghee
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 links (about a pound) pastured Italian pork sausage, casings removed
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese + 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large sourdough boule
  • 6 Tbsp pastured butter, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Marinara sauce for dipping
Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread
 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp pastured ghee
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 links (about a pound) pastured Italian pork sausage, casings removed
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese + 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large sourdough boule
  • 6 Tbsp pastured butter, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Marinara sauce for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat ghee and add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until veggies soften.
  2. Add dried oregano and Italian sausage to the pan, using a wooden spoon to break into small crumbles as it browns.
  3. When sausage has browned, add mushrooms and continue cooking until softened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fold in about ⅓ of the cheese mixture remove from heat to cool.
  5. Place the sourdough boule on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut horizontal slits about an inch apart, all the way across the boule. These should go almost all the way down to the bottom crust.
  6. Repeat going the other direction - make vertical slits about an inch apart, all the way across the boule. You'll need to use the stabliizing hand to firmly hold the already-cut sections together.
  7. Stir the garlic powder and melted butter together, then use a pastry brush to brush it down into each horizontal and vertical slit in the bread. This will take a few minutes but it's worth it!
  8. Once the bread has been cut and buttered, use clean hands (my preference) or a spoon to distribute the cooled meat-veggie-cheese blend evenly between all the slits. This will cause the sliced bread pieces to spread or "bloom" a bit more, but be sure not to allow the pieces to break apart.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese blend over the top of the bread, pressing some gently into the slits if needed to use it all.
  10. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. (I've been trying to cut back on my use of aluminum foil in the oven but, for less browning, wrap the loaf in foil before placing in the oven).
  11. To serve, I like to use a sharp knife to retrace the rows and columns of slits, then use tongs to transfer the cheesy bread pieces to plates.
  12. Serve with marinara for dipping.

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