This is such a mutt of a dish, it’s a little ridiculous. I mean, typical food blogger, right? I couldn’t just make one dish and call it a day, I had to make a “hybrid”.
I won’t lie, sometimes I roll my eyes at dishes like this (there’s something to be said for making the classics and making them well instead of mucking them up with a bunch of weirdo ingredients), but this one was sort of begging to be made.
How is it that I’ve never heard of someone combining Beef Stroganoff and Salisbury Steaks? They’re basically a match made in heaven, so it’s not really that weird.
Of course, then I went and subbed bison for the traditional beef and made it weird. But when you have this exchange with your boyfriend:
You’re really not left with much of a choice. Bison it is!
(By the way, there was no exaggeration, you guys. He literally bought nine pounds of ground bison.)
Anyway, for some reason I had Salisbury Steak on the mind last week, and stroganoff is pretty much always a good idea, so I whipped up this little hybrid bastardization of a dish and it was quite tasty! Plus, bison is arguably a better choice than beef – it tends to be quite lean and is generally grass-fed. Wins all around!
Bison Stroganoff Salisbury Steaks
1 lb ground grass-fed bison
1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 t ground mustard
1/8 t ground black pepper, plus extra (to taste) for sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce + 1 t, divided
5 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1/4 t salt
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 t cornstarch (optional)
1. Place bison in a large mixing bowl with next six ingredients (through 1 T Worcestershire sauce). Mix gently until completely combined and score into fourths. Form each fourth into oblong “steaks” with your hands.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat spray with cooking spray. Place steaks in skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3. Spray skillet with additional cooking spray, reduce heat to medium, and add mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and mushrooms are deep brown and have released their liquid, about 10 minutes.
4. Add broth to the skillet, along with the remaining 1 t Worcestershire sauce and black pepper, and allow to cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes. If desired, you may create a slurry with 1 t cornstarch and 1 t water and add to skillet if you want the sauce to thicken up further.
5. Remove skillet from heat and add sour cream (you do not want to boil/overheat the sour cream, otherwise it will curdle). Stir to completely incorporate.
6. Add steaks back to the skillet and spoon sauce over them. Serve hot.
I used a non-stick skillet for this recipe, which actually worked out nicely (sometimes I worry about browning with non-stick, but it wasn’t an issue with these steaks). You can use whatever you’ve got, though!
Right about now, your house is starting to smell very, very good.
What is it about the smell of onions and mushrooms sauteing that smells so homey?
As Martha would say, it’s a good thing.
(PS, did you see the hilarious Buzzfeed article about Martha Stewart’s disgusting food photos? I almost peed myself laughing. Read it, it’s amazing.)
That is a nice looking sauce right there.
That’s a nice looking sauce bath right there.
No?…Did things just get weird?
Oh, that’s a meal, my friends.
Not to sound too corny, but as the weather is getting colder and you want a good (but fairly healthy) stick-to-your-ribs meal, this is your dish.
Serve them with some veggies and roasted potatoes and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Wow, that post title isn’t even as long as I was originally intending it to be.
You see, what I’m sharing with you today isn’t so much one recipe, or one technique. This post is about the sum of its parts. Hence the extraordinarily (some might say obnoxiously) long title.
All that is to say that I’m sharing a meal I made this week that was pretty impressive if I do say so myself. But, for the record, I’m pretty sure my Taste Tester would agree.
So here you have it:
I’ve made meatballs before, too.
The one thing that I’ve been itching to make is Lindsay’s Creamy Cauliflower Sauce. I mean, I love garlic, I love cauliflower, and I love not eating my weight in cheese and cream (read: traditional alfredo sauce) on a weeknight because I also love fitting into my pants.
So, seeing as I had 2 giant spaghetti squash (squashes? squoosh?) sitting on my kitchen counter, I decided that it was finally time to execute my grand plan of making spaghetti squash with this cauliflower sauce to have a dinner of veggies and more VEGGIES! Oh, and some protein…
But the truth is that these meatballs turned out really well. Maybe even surprisingly so. I used the leanest ground beef that I could find (96% lean/4% fat) and skipped the gravy. You really don’t need it when your squash “noodles” are covered in this creamy, garlicky sauce.
Lean Spinach Beef Meatballs with Garlicky Spaghetti Squash
1 large spaghetti squash, prepared using these instructions
1 recipe Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (ps, go buy the book!)
salt+pepper, to taste
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 oz freshly grated parmesan
1/2 T grass fed butter (I like Kerrygold)
1/2 cup beef broth, as needed
1. Prepare and place spaghetti squash in oven and roast as instructed in above link. Once you remove it from the oven, separate the strands of squash and set aside.
2. Prepare the cauliflower sauce per Lindsay’s instructions (link above). I would even encourage you to add an extra clove or two of garlic since we’re increasing the veggie quotient and you want all the flavor you can get. Plus, I <3 garlic.
3. Place beef in a large mixing bowl with spinach, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix until just combined.
4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted, roll the meat into golfball-sized balls and place in skillet.
5. Cook the meatballs, gently turning so that all sides are browned. If you want them fully cooked, slowly add broth and cover until no longer pink in the middle.
6. Remove meatballs from skillet, reduce heat to low, and pour the cauliflower sauce into it. Add spaghetti squash strands and toss to combine.
7. Serve meatballs on top of squash or add back into the skillet and gently toss to combine.
I mean…it really does look creamy, doesn’t it? It’s hard to believe that there’s no cheese in it. (Though if you sprinkled some parm in there, I wouldn’t hate ya.)
Give ‘er a little toss….
Fry up your meatballs…
These meatballs, you guys. They’re real good. I wouldn’t kid you.
I usually put spinach in my turkey meatballs, but not usually the beef variety. But, turns out, it was a very good addition! It makes me question everything I believe in.
Like, should I add it to my grilled beef burgers in the summer?
Would it be good in beefy meatloaf?
Perhaps I worry about things like this too much. But someone’s gotta do it, right?
A small note: because this “pasta” dish is comprised of entirely vegetables, the water content is very high and you may notice it separating slightly. Don’t worry about it, it will still taste delicious and the liquid will mix back in if you give it a little stir.
And in fact, make lots of this, because the leftovers are even better.
It’s not really a secret that making dough from scratch kind of scares me.
The whole yeast thing- letting it rise…how many times was I supposed to knead it?…do I need to do the shake-the-baby-bottle-on-the-wrist test to see if my water is the right temperature?…
I’ll be honest, I find it a little overwhelming.
And then, of course, I stumbled upon the glory that is beer bread. It makes dough-making easy enough that even I’m not afraid of messing it up.
For some reason, it had never really occurred to me to try using beer bread as pizza dough. When I recently stumbled upon a post on Holly’s blog for beer bread pizza dough, I figured it was something that I needed in my life. And fast.
Of course, knowing me, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and make the dough as is. I’m always thinking of ways to add a little boost of nutrition to a dish, so there’s a little surprise in the crust recipe below. WINK.
Whole Wheat Spicy Chicken Sausage Pizza
3 c white whole wheat flour (feel free to experiment with different flours – most will work here)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 medium carrots, grated
1 12-oz bottle/can beer (I used Miller Lite because I’m classy like that)
2 links chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s jalapeno sausages), cut into thin coins
1 8-oz can pizza sauce
3 oz fat free monterey jack cheese (I used Lifetime brand), shredded
3 oz fontina (or mozzarella), shredded
1 oz parmesan, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add chicken sausages. Cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder. Whisk to combine.
4. Stir in grated carrot (I grated mine on a box grater) and then slowly pour in beer while continuously stirring the mixture. Using your hands, need the dough just until it fully comes together.
5. Using either your hands or a rolling pin, roll dough out onto a greased sheet pan (or lined with parchment paper or a Silpat) fairly thin. Mine was probably a good 15×11 and I could have rolled it out even thinner.
6. Pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes, then remove from oven,
7. Top crust with pizza sauce, chicken sausage and cheese. Place on top rack of oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and beginning to turn golden brown. If desired, turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes at the end. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before slicing.
Yet another reason to love Trader Joe’s: they sell white whole wheat flour! It’s not quite as dense and, for lack of a better term, “wheaty” as regular whole wheat flour, but is a heck of a lot better, nutritionally, than white all-purpose flour.
I would definitely recommend seeking this kind of flour out for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with different kinds. You can combine different varieties (like 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 all-purpose if you’re afraid of going all in for your kids), or seek out lesser known varieties, like spelt flour. Most will work in this recipe!
See those little specks of orange in there? You honestly can’t taste the carrot (and you don’t even notice it once the pizza is topped and baked). I think I’m going to experiment with different veggies in the future. Zucchini or yellow squash, or even finely chopped broccoli would work.
Any way you cut it, you’re adding extra vitamins to your pizza dough for practically no extra effort. (One note: I’d resist using pre-shredded bagged carrots in this recipe – they are too thick and won’t soften enough to disappear into the dough)
You could certainly make your own pizza sauce if you’re so inclined, but…I wasn’t.
There are actually some pretty good canned/bottled options out there nowadays, just be sure to check the label to make sure you aren’t adding a ton of funky chemicals to your pizza. (I mean, why throw in the towel after you went through the effort of making your own dough, right?)
Could I be any more anal-retentive about making sure I had my sausage coins evenly distributed over the pizza? I mean, chill, Megan.
The combination of fat-free monterey jack/fontina/parmesan was not an accident, by the way.
I like to call it the Pizza Cheese Trifecta. Here’s why:
- You’ve got your fat-free variety for bulk. The way I see it, you want to actually be able to notice that there’s cheese on your pizza, amiright? By using a light cheese, you can use more!
- The fontina is for the melting factor. Fat free cheese for bulk is great, but it doesn’t melt all that well. Use an equal amount of a cheese that melts very well and you’ll have the stringy-ness that you’re looking for.
- Parmesan adds a ton of flavor, and what’s a pizza without the cheesy flavor?
Have I over-thought the cheese?
But you all know that cheese is my life. I may have missed my calling as a dairy farmer.
Use whatever cheese you like (and have in your fridge) – I won’t be mad.
Honestly, I didn’t feel bad eating (maybe) a slice too many. At the end of the day, it’s pizza, yes. Maybe you don’t eat it every day. But as far as pizzas go, this one is at the top of the pile in terms of nutritional benefits.
Plus, I mean…I used light beer. So it’s health food, right?