Posts Tagged ‘ground beef’

Asian Lettuce Wraps

October 4th, 2010 by andrea | 6 Comments | Filed in Appetizer, Asian, Beef, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Snack, Turkey

Make your friends happy by bringing these delicious Asian Lettuce Wraps to the next gathering. They’ve got loads of flavor and are super easy to make. I guarantee you won’t have any leftovers, which is kind of a bad thing since they’re so good.

I substituted ground turkey (93% lean) for the ground beef, and used Romaine lettuce leaves since the store I was at didn’t have Boston lettuce. I had some ginger in the fridge that was already minced so I used that instead of grated ginger. For something a bit heartier, serve the cooked meat mixture over rice. Enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
-recipe from Sunny Anderson, Food Network

Makes 4 servings.

1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and saute beef until brown. Stir in ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and hoisin and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm wrapped in lettuce cups.

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Chile Mac

September 13th, 2010 by andrea | 5 Comments | Filed in Beef, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick Cooking, Recipes

Now that we’re heading into Autumn, it’s time to start hauling out the comfort food recipes!!! Chile Mac, a simple and comforting dish, is nothing fancy but it is a good, quick weeknight dinner. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive to make and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

I usually use beef broth instead of chicken broth, and I like to add a little more chili powder and cumin. Sometimes I use fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles to add a little more zip. Corn would be a nice addition, too. I garnish each serving with shredded cheddar or jalapeno jack cheese, or a dollop of sour cream. Serve with a big green salad. Enjoy!

Chili Mac
-recipe from The New Boston Globe Cookbook by Sheryl Julian

A great kids’ dish, this mixture of ground beef and macaroni, cooked together with tomatoes and a few spices, makes a fine weeknight meal. Serves 4.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 can (16 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Extra grated cheddar (for serving)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and when it is hot, cook the onion, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the ground beef and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Add the macaroni, tomatoes, stock, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and macaroni is tender but still has some bite.

Add the cheese and stir just until melted. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Serve with extra cheddar.

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Real Sloppy Joes

May 11th, 2010 by andrea | 16 Comments | Filed in Beef, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Main Dish, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Sandwich

When I think of sloppy joes, the old Saturday Night Live Lunch Lady skit with Adam Sandler & Chris Farley comes to mind. It’s quite funny if you haven’t seen it (and if you have seen it, it’s worth another viewing). I can’t remember when I had my first sloppy joe but I know I’ve always liked them…all that messy, meaty goodness. I’ve tried different recipes over the years. One time I tried a turkey version and Husband immediately asked upon taking his first bite if it was a Healthy Joe. This time I decided to try Real Sloppy Joes, a recipe I found on the Williams-Sonoma website. Fortunately, my whole family liked them…even my Picky Eater (yahoo!).

Note: The recipe calls for ketchup-style chili sauce (I used Heinz Chili Sauce), not the spicy Asian chili sauce.

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Real Sloppy Joes
-recipe from

The poor sloppy Joe has gotten a bad rap. Perhaps the uninspired versions served by overworked school cafeteria staffers dulled whatever luster it ever possessed. Here’s a recipe that returns the sloppy Joe to its rightful position as a dish to cherish when you want a quick and unpretentious supper on a bun.

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup-style chili sauce
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
6 sesame-seed sandwich buns, split

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately. Makes 6 sandwiches.

Variation:Sloppy Joes are just as good when made with ground turkey or ground chicken. Some cooks like to add 1 to 2 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans to the beef mixture just before it is ready. Or, you can top the beef mixture with thin slices of cheddar cheese before covering with the bun tops.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).


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Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle & Avocado

January 19th, 2010 by andrea | No Comments | Filed in Beef, Chili, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup/Stew


This delicious chili is easy to make and loaded with flavor. I love the combination of the creamy avocados with the smokiness of the chipotle pepper. Mmmm, this recipe is a winner!

I started with cooking the beef most of the way then added the onions to the pot while the beef finished cooking (therefore eliminating the remove-the-beef-from-the-pot step). I then spooned off as much fat as I could and discarded it. Since my chili was a bit thicker than I wanted it, I added more broth and some beer to thin it out, then added a little more chili powder and cumin. I used beef broth instead of chicken broth to bump up the beef flavor.

The recipe calls for using a food processor to blend some of the beans with the tomatoes and chipotle pepper. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the chipotle pepper and use a potato masher to smash the beans. The mixture will be chunkier than the original recipe but that’s ok…it’s chili. This recipe is easily doubled and is great for entertaining because it can be made the day before and reheated. Garnish each serving with avocado and your favorite chili toppings.

Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle & Avocado
-recipe from

Serves four.

3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium chipotle pepper plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice

Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min. Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Coarsely crumble about 3 handfuls of tortilla chips in a zip-top bag, and use them as an additional chili topping.

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