Shepherd’s Pie

My mom has made shepherd’s pie for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, I liked the melty cheese.  As an adult, I like how easy & cheap it is to make. The last time I made it, I used leftover mashed potatoes, but you could also speed up the preparation by using instant potatoes if you wanted. I added more veggies to my mom’s recipe & made it gluten free, so know that this recipe is easy to customize.

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Shellie McMaster’s recipe

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can green beans
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 c mashed potatoes
  • optional: sliced or shredded Cheddar

Directions:

  • Mix together hamburger, ketchup, egg, corn & beans.  Bake in a pie plate at 350, for about 30 minutes, or until the burger is browned
  • While the meat is cooking, make the mashed potatoes
  • Remove the meat from the oven & drain off any juices.  Spoon potatoes onto meat.  If desired, cover with cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and/or potatoes are warm
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Tater Tot Casserole

Cody loooooves tater tot casserole… and apparently he’s not the only one.  I made this for a quick dinner when we had company over & it was a big hit- seconds were taken 🙂  The recipe is definitely tasty, but the tots get kind of mushy/stale-tasting when you re-heat the leftovers, so eat it quickly with lots of friends.

You could probably health-ify the recipe by using some kind of cream of mushroom soup substitute, like this or this, and using hash browns instead of pre-made tater tots.  Or you could leave it as is & indulge every once in awhile 😉

Tater Tot Casserole

Adapted from Kathy Richardson’s recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 (2 lb) bag of tater tots
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (15 oz) can of corn, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can of green beans, drained

Directions:

  • Bake the tater tots according to the package directions, for half the length (mine said to cook for 24 minutes, so I cooked them for 12)
  • Meanwhile, brown the burger in a medium skillet, over medium-high heat
  • Mix burger, soup, corn, and beans together, then spread out in a 9 x 13 cake pan.  Top with tater tots
  • Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes

Broccoli Beef

Here’s a super tasty broccoli recipe for you- the sauce is perfect for the broccoli & the beef.  It’s not really difficult, but it looks & tastes impressive 🙂 I modified the sauce, because the original called for oyster sauce.  My rule is to never buy a new ingredient, unless I’ll use it at least twice.

I’ll definitely be making this recipe again- Cody also approved & has already requested a repeat.

Broccoli Beef

Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 3 tb low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak (I used mule deer back-straps & it turned out fine)
  • 1 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tb low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tb light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c rice

Directions:

  • Cut the steak into 2 inch wide strips, 1/2 inch thick.  Combine with soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover & place in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes
  • Cook rice according to package directions (or, boil 2 cups of water.  Add 2 cups of rice & remove from heat.  Cover & allow to sit for 5 minutes)
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl: vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch
  • In another bowl combine garlic, ginger & 1 tsp olive oil
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat; add marinated beef to pan.  Brown steak pieces, then remove from pan
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in the same pan.  Add broccoli & water.  Cover pan & cook on medium heat until broccoli is steamed tender-crisp, about 2 minutes
  • Push the broccoli to the side.  Add the ginger-garlic to the pan & cook for about 30 seconds, smashing with a spoon. Stir into the broccoli
  • Add beef back to the skillet & combine with broccoli.  Whisk the sauce again & add to the skillet
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes).  Serve over rice

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

Cody really, really wanted goulash.  In my mind, goulash was gross… but I love him, so I dug up a recipe.  I wanted a crockpot version too, since we joined a Monday night bowling league & we needed something quick for dinner.  And then I forgot to actually start the crockpot.  So we ate this a day late 🙂

Apparently, this is what Cody thinks goulash should taste like.  And it wasn’t gross like I imagined- it was actually pretty good.  I think we’ll be eating this again over the winter.

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

Slightly adapted from Kraft Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tb paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c cold water
  • 3 tb flour (I used GF Better Batter)

Directions:

  • Brown the beef in a medium skillet.  Add the beef & onion to a 3.5-6 quart crockpot
  • In a small bowl, mix the broth, tomato paste, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Stir into beef mixture.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours
  • Mix flour & water; gradually stir into beef.  Cover & cook on high for 30 more minutes
  • Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes

Beef & Zucchini Skillet

This skillet turned out pretty well, but of course Cody had suggestions for improvement.  The flavor was subtle, so he wasn’t crazy about it, but you just have to pay attention.  We just ate the mixture plain, but Cody’s suggestions included: serving over rice or noodles, adding tomato sauce to make it saucier, or dicing the zucchini (rather than slicing it).

Beef & Zucchini Skillet

from This Chick Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium or 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise & sliced
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, or 3-4 diced large tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tb balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Fry the zucchini in olive oil, over medium heat, for about 2-3 minutes per side. The zucchini should be soft & slightly browned in places
  • In a separate skillet, brown the ground beef.  Add garlic a few minutes into cooking
  • Add tomatoes, vinegar, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper to beef.  Cover the pan; cook until tomatoes are slightly soft, about 5 minutes
  • When the zucchini is all fried, stir it into the beef mixture & serve

Taco Pizza

I’ve been trying to use up our hamburger supply… without making a casserole.  Taco pizza was my first (and, so far, only) idea.  Well, I also thought of nachos… but we’ve eaten those about 5 times in the last month. I couldn’t find a recipe I loved, so I made up my own.  The great thing about tacos (or taco pizzas) is that they’re totally customizable~ make it your own!  Baking did seem to make the taco seasoning flavor more intense, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive.

Taco Pizza

A Cooking Sugar original

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite pizza crust (the gluten free version I use is here)
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, de-seeded & diced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (check the label if you care about gluten)
  • water as called for by the seasoning mix
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 (4 oz) can sliced black olives
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c sour cream

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, combine ground meat, onion, and bell pepper.  Saute until meat is browned & veggies are soft.
  • Add taco seasoning mix.  Follow packet instructions.
  • Prepare your pizza crust.  Top with taco meat, tomatoes, olives, and chilies.
  • Spread cheese on top.  Bake according to pizza crust instructions.
  • After baking, place dollops of sour cream on top & serve!

Pizza Burgers

A new take on burgers~ a little less oregano (or actual Italian seasoning) would make this delicious!  I’ve adapted the sauce recipe a bit to make it less spicy, since neither of us loved the original.  If you were in a hurry, you could just heat up a jar of pizza sauce, or make your version to get the exact taste you’re looking for.

Pizza Burgers

slightly adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tb olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp steak seasoning (I used A-1)
  • 1 1/2 tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tb dried Italian seasoning
  • 6 oz cheese- sliced mozzarella is recommended, but I only had shredded cheddar & it still worked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes *undrained*
  • 3 tb tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning (optional, in my opinion)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  • Heat 1 tb olive oil in a small skillet; saute onion until soft (about 5 minutes).
  • Combine ground beef, sauteed onion, steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.  Mix all together.
  • Divide mixture into 6 portions & shape into patties.  Cook over medium heat until done (4-5 minutes per side).
  • Meanwhile, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add garlic & cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato past, Italian seasoning (optional), sugar, salt, and pepper.  Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.  Keep warm.
  • When burgers are done, spoon sauce over burgers (on buns, if desired) & top with cheese.