Monday, September 23, 2013

Crock Pot Roast Beef

This was the easiest thing I have ever made in the crock pot, and it cost me about $5.

I had some coupons for Von's (Safeway in Southern California) and one of them was a 5% off from the meat department. I found a Top Round Beef roast with a 50% off sticker. The day I bought it was the "sell by" date. I think it came out to about $4.50 for the 2+ lb roast. I took it home and froze it.

A couple days ago, I took it out of the freezer, expecting to make it for Shabbat dinner. However, Big Sis was sick, my friend had other plans, so it sat in the fridge.

I knew I had to make it today, or risk having to throw it out. I browsed Pinterest for "easy" crock pot roast, and found one that needed three seasoning packets. I don't buy those because of the excess of processed ingredients and MSG, but I did have some homemade Italian Dressing Mix.

So I put the roast in my big crock pot. I sprinkled the Italian Seasoning over it (probably 1.5 packets worth, since I didn't measure), and drizzled the last of the EVOO from my bottle over the top. I set it on low before I left the house, and when I came home 9.5 hours later, it was falling apart.

Both kids loved it, Big Sis asked for seconds, and I can't wait to take some to work with me tomorrow for lunch. I'll shred the leftovers for tacos, another easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy meal my kiddos love.

Here's a picture of my plate. (I use the plastic Disney ones when we don't have company.) I also realized when I got home I was out of rice and the girls don't like mashed potatoes (and I had forgotten to buy some yesterday to put in the crock pot with the roast). So I made the package of Birds Eye steamers of rigatoni and broccoli. 4 minutes to perfection.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Egg Rolls and Stir Fry!

Dinner last night was AH-MAY-ZING! I love when meals are a huge hit, and I had to bring down the pride when we were all sitting around being stuffed after dinner.

We had egg rolls, which I had made before, and something else I whipped up, stir fry (never made it before). Everything was quick and easy - I think it took less than an hour when all was said and done.

Ingredients you'll need:

2.5 pounds ground turkey
1 large carrot (finely shredded)
2 small-medium carrots (chopped into bit-size pieces)
1 medium to large zucchini (finely shredded)
egg roll wrappers
frozen broccoli florets
frozen sugar snap peas (you can substitute fresh for frozen for both)
stir-fry noodles
teriyaki sauce
salt and pepper


1. In large skillet, add the ground turkey and shredded carrot and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper (I used fresh ground sea salt and pepper). Add about 1/4 cup of  teriyaki sauce. Cook until turkey is browned. 

2. Thoroughly drain turkey mixture. I used a strainer over a sauce pan to let it drain completely. You do not want wet meat when you wrap your rolls.

**For this next step, things can get a little tricky if your work space is even a tiny bit wet. I used a wooden cutting board. If you use your counter, I would wipe it after each roll to ensure it's dry. Start by lining a large plate or cookie sheet with wax paper to prevent sticking (I didn't do this last time, and they stuck to the plate, creating holes that caused problems while frying).**

3. Once your turkey is drained well (I just lifted the strainer to check to see how much liquid was dripping), lay out one wrap. Spoon a small amount (less than 1/4 cup) into the middle of the wrap. Fold over one corner and tightly roll and tuck under the corner. Fold up the side corners, making sure there is no gap. Finish rolling towards the opposite corner. Use a little bit of water to seal. Place it on the wax-paper lined plate.

**If you are using a fryer, go ahead and start heating up the oil. While it's heating, let's start the stir-fry.**

4. In a large skillet (you can use the same one from the turkey) or wok, heat a small amount of oil (to coat the bottom). Add the carrots. (At this time, I started steaming the sugar snap peas in the steamer bag they came in.) After about a minute, add the frozen broccoli (if you're using fresh, add them later, after the noodles). When the sugar snap peas are done (mine took about 4 minutes in the microwave), add them (with the liquid). 

**My noodles were refrigerated, so they only required a minute in the microwave, which I put in after the peas were done. If you are using dry noodles, check the directions to prepare them and start that accordingly. You don't want your veggies to sit for too long in the hot pan.**

I added the noodles along with the 1/2 cup of water. The noodles came with a teriyaki package, but I used the sauce I already had. I added about 1/4 cup, and continued the fry. I also added the left over turkey mixture. 

5. If you are using a fryer, it should be hot by now. If you are not using a fryer, put oil in a pan so there is about an inch of oil on the bottom. To test the heat, put a small piece of bread in the oil. If it starts frying right away, it is hot enough. Put a cooling rack over a cookie sheet or in a cake pan. Several paper towels in the bottom of a square pan work great, too, as you can stand the egg rolls up, allowing for a more thorough draining. But if your oil is hot enough, and you rolled them tightly enough, you shouldn't have a lot of oil collecting in the wrap.

Only fry 3-4 at a time. This allows room to move them (without splattering oil) and also allows the oil to heat back up quickly (too many will cause it to cool too much, causing the egg rolls to be greasy). Fry until they are a golden brown all over. Remove, and place on the draining rack. Continue until all are cooked.

6. Here's the best part!! Serve with sweet and sour sauce (I like La Choy) or ketchup (kids' choice - blech). I also served with white rice because the kids didn't want the stir fry.

Kids' Reaction:

Little Sis liked it. For some reason, I couldn't get her to give me a real smile. Even with carrots and zucchini in the egg roll, there were no "faces" or problems!

Big Sis even liked it! (Don't mind the flood of ketchup on her plate. She likes ketchup on rice and used the excess to dip her egg roll.)

My plate. I had seconds of everything. 

Off to reheat the leftovers for lunch......

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