We love all meat yet try to limit our consumption of red meats. So I developed a recipe for beef stew that uses only half a pound of meat. By adding a pound of mushrooms, I boost theumami taste. I sneak in more vegetables, too.
This is a pressure cooker recipe that’s easily adapted to slow cooking. By using the pressure cooker, we get that cooked all day flavor in about half an hour.
Beef and Mushroom Stew
Makes 4 one-cup servings
1/2 pound beef (chuck or round works) cut into 1” chunks
1 pound mushrooms, sliced and cleaned
1 cup broth + 1 Tbsp (reserved for slurry)
2 tsp. Oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 small red or gold potatoes, sliced or cubed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or sliced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat cooker pot.
Generously salt and pepper the beef.
Brown the beefon all sides, then remove from pot and set aside.
Sautéonions, garlic, and mushrooms 1 minute.
Add cup of broth, deglaze bottom of pot, and return the beef to the cooker.
Seal and cook under high pressure for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare slurry by combining Worcestershire sauce, reserved broth, and cornstarch.
Remove pot from heat (or hit Cancel if using electric) and allow pressure to drop on its own.
Carefully open pot and add potatoes and carrots. Reseal.
Bring to pressure and cook 1 minute under pressure.
Remove from heat, allow pressure to drop 5 minutes on its own, then release remaining pressure.
Carefully open the cooker and checkvegetables for doneness.
Stir slurry again right before adding it to the pot. Return to heat (or use sautémode on electric models) just until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat immediately and check for seasonings. Add salt and pepper if needed and serve.
Adding fresh chopped parsleybefore serving adds flavor. Unfortunately, I was out of parsley when I cooked this stew today. Next time …
If you think you can’t enjoy mashed potatoes without sacrificing your waistline or health, think again. For my Mashed Potatoes for Two, I use 1 pat of butter…real butter, no substitute. A pat of real butter is 1.5 tsp. or 50 calories. That’s 25 calories per serving. The butter adds plenty of flavor with a tiny amount of fat.
For my recipe you need only two russets, a pat of butter, salt/pepper, and a cup of water. The water goes into the pressure cooker. The peeled and halved potatoes go on a trivet above the water.
Pressure cook 15 minutes, allow pressure to drop 5 minutes on its own, then quick-release. Reserve the cooking liquid. Carefully remove the cooked potatoes to a bowl and add the butter to melt with the potatoes.
Using a fork, mash and stir the potatoes. Add a tablespoon or two of the starchy cooking water to loosen the mash. If mixture is still too stiff, add more of the cooking water. Season to taste.
That’s it. Potatoes boiled in water lose much of their flavor. By steaming potatoes above the water, you retain the natural flavor and nutrients. There’s no need to add anything beyond the small amounts of butter and cooking water for creamy mashed potatoes.
Add mashed potatoes to your Hasty, Tasty meals. Serve with fat free gravy, if desired.
This recipe is not original. I picked it up years ago at a Weight Watcher’s® Meeting in Atlanta. It’s been posted many times on social media. Just in case you’ve missed it, here is a hasty tasty dessert that is made a smidgen healthier by adding fruit. Enjoy!
Pineapple Angel Food Cake
1 angel food cake mix
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Empty the contents of the cake mix into the bowl of your mixer.
Add the entire can of crushed pineapple to the mix.
Stir on lowest speed to combine for 30 seconds.
Increase speed to high and whip for one minute. Set a timer. It’s important not to overbeat.
Pour into a large Bundt pan or tube pan (or you may use two smaller tube or loaf pans) until 2/3 full. Don’t overfill.
Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.
Remove from oven and cool, upside down, for one hour.
Run a knife gently around the edges and remove cake from pan.
Invert cooled cake onto a plate.
That’s it. If you keep a box of angel food cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple in your pantry, you’re ready for a quick and easy dessert.
Several have asked me about my fat-free roux method for making gravy or sauce. Traditional roux is made from browning equal amounts of fat (typically butter) and flour. Although my gravy isn’t fat-free (I finish it with a Tbsp. of butter for flavor and gloss), mine is a lot lower in fat calories. I recently made a batch of this gravy to reheat leftover cooked turkey. The turkey flavored the gravy while the gravy gently warmed the turkey. That’s a win-win!
Start by preheating a quality, heavy-duty skillet. To make one cup of gravy, add two tablespoons flour to the dry skillet over medium heat. Whisk often to cook the flour. Season the flour as desired. When the flour turns light brown and emits an aroma indicating it’s cooked, remove the skillet from the heat.
Add flour to dry, preheated skillet
Whisk flour often to keep it from burning.
Carefully add about a pint of broth or stock, whisking into the roux. Stand back as the hot skillet may steam from the cold liquid (as an additional step, preheat your broth or stock before adding it to the roux). After roux is incorporated into the liquid, return the skillet to medium heat. Whisk occasionally.
Remove from heat and whisk in broth or stock.
Continue to whisk over medium heat to blend together roux and broth.
Allow the gravy to thicken and reduce, then lower the heat. If using the gravy to reheat cooked food such as leftover turkey, place the food in the gravy and let it cook gently until warmed.
Optional: Use gravy to gently reheat cooked meat or poultry.
To serve, remove all food from the gravy and plate for serving. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in one pat (approx. 1 Tbsp.) butter to finish the gravy. Pour into gravy bowl to serve.