Dinner

Winter is Coming

It’s starting to feel like winter! It’s been 32 degrees in the morning with lots of ice on cars. It’s time to bring out the winter coats. Stevie has found his favorite spot in the new house:

…on the heater!

There’s also a small vent near the floor under the kitchen sink and he’ll sit right in front of that, too. Which is super convenient for us when we are trying to do dishes. 😉

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because our house is a little weird, we had to do a special situation for AC and heat. The first half of the house is the original 1920’s with vents like the above picture. So the main floor was “AC ready” but because the upstairs was a converted attic, there were no ducts up there. So when we got AC installed in our house this summer we had to do it in two parts. We got traditional AC for the main floor, then we had to get those Mitsubishi ductless units for our bedroom and for Logan’s bedroom.

Because it’s been so cold lately we finally got to use the heat portion of the ductless units and they are AMAZING! So quiet. Super efficient. It doesn’t take much to warm up the room and you can set it up to maintain a certain temperature (instead of just having it run all the time). It will be interesting to see HOW efficient they are on energy. Since we have solar panels on our new house, I am hoping the combination of the panels and the ductless units will save us a ton of money on heating and cooling in the house. Even though we have to spend a lot of money to do two separate systems.

Anyways, this weekend we had the Halloween Party and then Sunday was kind of a chill morning, hanging out with my parents and Logan was playing with his Halloween toys:

After my parents left to head home to Seattle, I went swimming, had a late lunch and then prepped dinner. I decided to make this keto beef stroganoff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I get my grass-fed meat here)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (I use this brand of seasonings)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the slow cooker on the high setting. To the slow cooker, add the beef stock and mushrooms and cover.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sautĂŠ pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the sirloin with salt, add it to the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the steak, heavy cream, sour cream, beef bouillon, Dijon, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

It was pretty easy to make and I love having a crockpot meal! So easy. The only change I did was I added the heavy cream and sour cream one hour before it was going to be done. I didn’t thinking putting it in the crockpot for the whole time would be good–it might curdle or something.

I also used fresh garlic from a friend’s garden! It was so good!

Dinner was really flavorful! I liked it a lot. The sauce was a little thin. Then I realized that it was a SOUP! Duh. I might use less broth next time I make it, though.

I wasn’t sure what to use as a base — I had cauliflower “Rice”, low carb noodles, zoodles, and in the end we used a chickpea pasta rotini instead. Not low carb, but it was really tasty.

Right now I’m not really doing keto. I’m doing more of a low carb/carb cycling program. I saw the above graphic on instagram and I liked the diet suggestion. I might do something like what it suggests, where I do a month of keto, month of low carb, month of something else. Maybe Mediterranean Diet, maybe Paleo or Slow Carb. I just feel like my body adjusts to whatever diet I try REALLY FAST and then it stops working. So maybe doing something like this will be better to switch things up.

Cozy, Rainy, Yummy

Sunday we woke up to rain. Rain rain rain! Downpour, actually! I guess summer is officially over in Portland…So making something cozy for dinner was a must.

I’d been saving this recipe for awhile and finally tried it. And it’s a winner!

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red crushed chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. To make the chicken casserole: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 9×12-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

3. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized – about 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze if your pan gets too dry, and keep stirring until onions are browned. 

4. Stir in fresh minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Season chicken breasts with oregano, crushed chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salted. Arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish. 

6. Divide caramelized onions on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven (or more, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), until fully cooked and cheese is bubbly. Then broil for 2 minutes to crisp up the cheese. Garnish the French onion chicken casserole with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately with steamed vegetables or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can prepare the caramelized onion ahead of time, and just assemble the casserole at the last minute before baking.
  • You can flavor up the french onion with a dash of white wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
  • Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salty.

I caramelized the onions in butter and 1/4 cup white wine (the good stuff, too!) instead of chicken broth. I used a mixture of mozzarella and gruyere but used more gruyere then the mozzarella.

It turned out GREAT! Michael and I both loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! It was so delicious and the melted cheese (slightly browned from the broiler) was so so good!

I had one chicken breast with the cheese and onion mixture and a side salad with French dressing. Delicious dinner! I will definitely make this again! It’s a keeper!

I suggest you make this recipe asap!

Also, Friday night I made this recipe: BARELY-BLANCHED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH FETA AND FRIED ALMONDS.

It was delicious! I also recommend it.