Here’s another true confession from my dark days of cooking past. I thought the only way to make any dish was to buy a box kit. You know, Hamburger Helper, taco kits, lasagna kits, you name it. If we didn’t have a box for it with prepackaged ingredients full of highly questionable preservatives and lab made chemicals, then we weren’t eating it for dinner. Take Beef Stroganoff for instance. Back then, making that from scratch was a total mystery to me, and just was not happening. Now, the real mystery is how the ingredients to make that dish could ever be sitting in a shelf stable box for years, just lurking in your pantry, daring you to breach the void and puncture the packet holding the sauce.
When I was stationed in the Mojave Desert at the China Lake Naval Base, there were these tiny shrimp in the dry lake beds that would lay dormant until a big rain came in the spring. Then they would spring to life, awkwardly ask each other out to the big dance social that night, mingle, mate, die, and leave the offspring to lay dormant in the desert sand until the next spring rain. That’s what I imagine is happening with all those weird substances in those boxes of prepackaged “helpers” over and over. Picture those goings-on and maybe it will keep you from cracking open one of those dinner disasters, and just make the stuff yourself.
I knew the ingredients list on those boxes would be a total horror show, and looking them up, I was right. Your internal organs would look at the items sent to them after eating this meal like someone just dumped five Ikea boxes of furniture in a pile, mixed them all up, and then gave you an instruction pamphlet on how to put together a bicycle. They literally have no idea what they are looking at, or how to use them. Then the fat cells just sigh and go grab everything like they always do.
Here are a few examples of the big scary words on the back of that box:
Ferrous Sulfate, Monoglycerides, Silicon Dioxide, Potassium Magnesium Chloride.
I can’t tell if that sounds more like something that MacGyver would use to blow a door off its hinges, or maybe something that shocks your pool water when you first open it for swim season. What I know it doesn’t sound like is good food, either for taste or health. I use heart of palm noodles in this to replace the pasta. I have found they are the best substitute for pasta dishes, and they are easily found at most mega-marts. If you are sensitive to the taste of hearts of palm, you can soak them in half and half for an hour or so and then rinse, and it takes the flavor to neutral just like regular pasta. Here’s an image in case you are not familiar with the product:
So ditch the scary box patiently waiting its time in the deep, dark recesses of your pantry, with all it’s who-knows-what things that are happening inside, and give this healthy version of Beef Stroganoff a go. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s a quick, healthy comfort food that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. Most of the comfort comes from knowing it didn’t come out of that box.
- 2 packages Palmini heart of palm linguine
- 2 cups beef bone broth
- 1 lb ground turkey or beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package mushrooms, rough chopped
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 1/2 cup grass fed plain yogurt – not Greek style
- 2 oz grass fed cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmsan cheese
Brown the turkey or beef over medium heat. Season with the sea salt. pepper, onion and garlic powder.
Once the meat begins to brown, add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until the veggies are soft and have given up their moisture, then drain the meat mixture and return to the pan:
Add a cup of bone broth and the coconut aminos to the pan with the meat mixture and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until most of the liquid is reduced. Then add the cream cheese and shredded Parmsan cheese and stir until melted:
Finally drain the noodles, add to the meat mixture, and then add the grass fed plain yogurt and drizzle over the pan:
Stir to combine:
Serve with roasted broccoli or another roasted veggie of your liking:
See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.