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Tag Archives: vegetables

Savory Beef and Vegetable Stew

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Beef Stew with Vegetables 2

This recipe is slow cooking but the every bit of it is totally worth the wait. If you’re like me who likes beef stews, I know you would appreciate the process of why beef has to be cooked slowly over a long period of time. If you have no patience for waiting, then you’re better off ordering your beef stews from a restaurant or let someone else cook for you.

This is the dish where the first bite or smell gets you hungry immediately. And it also makes you remember what it was like to taste it for the first time as a child. For me, it was my grandma who made it for dinner. She let us sit on our chairs and wait as she ladled on this steamy sauce onto our plates. Nothing beats that first bite into the soft and moist meat.

It makes me feel all warm and nice when I accomplish a recipe that my ancestors before me have perfected long ago. It’s like I have passed the test. Now I am ready to make my kids feel the same way. I want them to experience the sensation of tasting a good home cooked meal that would satisfy them completely. I know they’ll never forget that. And to me, that would be mission accomplished.


  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold water


  1. Warm up your large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Place in the beef and Italian dressing and cook until the meat is browned. That should be about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add 2 cups of water, beef bouillon, diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and oregano to the skillet. Bring this one to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover it up and simmer until the meat is tender. That takes about an hour and a half.
  4. Then, add in potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and onion into the stew. Cover this and simmer over low heat this time. This takes another 45 minutes.
  5. Mix flour and cold water in a small bowl. Then add this to the stew mixture and stir slowly. Bring this to a boil and cook until the stew sauce has thickened. Give this about 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Best served hot.

Beef Bourguignon with Vegetables

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Beef is one of the world’s healthiest foods. For being so spectacularly rich and nutritious, beef is best with vegetables. With that, you get about enough omega-3 fats, calcium, Vitamin E and proteins.

This dish sounds fancy and meals like this tend to make my family a little giddy about how it’s made. They drill me about every detail of the dish because they like to test me especially on the name. My friend Google saves me a lot.

I found out that Beef bourguignon or bœuf bourguignon and boeuf à la Bourguignonne is also called beef Burgundy. The recipe (not the beef) is named after Burgundy, a region in France. This steaming red meat cooked on the best sauce and paired with vegetables is a traditional French recipe. Personally, I think their beef recipes are brilliant and should be on every dinner table. Trust me, you’ll agree with me on this one a hundred percent.


  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 thick bacon slices, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef cross-rib roast, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 large fresh sage sprigs
  • 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups (or more) canned beef broth
  • 12 ounces pearl onions
  • 3 bunches baby carrots, trimmed, peeled
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, quartered


  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then take a large piece of foil and place the garlic on it. Add the 2 tablespoons of wine and wrap the foil around to enclose it. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Let cool after. Press garlic between fingertips to release from skins and set aside.
  2. Warm a large pot and then cook the bacon for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. Remove and dry over paper towels. Save the drippings into a small bowl. Take about 2 tablespoons of it. Increase the heat and cook the beef in batches. It takes about 7 minutes to cook per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a large bowl.
  3. Reduce the heat this time to medium-low. Next, add the chopped onions and carrots to the pot. Sauté this for 5 minutes. Then mix in the flour and add the cooked beef including its accumulated juices. Stir in tomato paste and herb sprigs, bay leaves, roasted garlic and 2 cups of wine. Simmer this mixture for 15 minutes. Add 3 cups broth, cover and then simmer again for an hour and a half. Stir occasionally. Uncover and then simmer for another 1 and 1/2 hours. Remove the herb sprigs and bay leaves.
  4. In a large saucepan, cook pearl onion on salted water for 2 minutes. Then transfer the onion to a medium-sized bowl using a strainer. Cool slightly and then peel. Bring water to a boil and cook carrots for 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to the bowl of iced water. (Bacon, stew and vegetables can be prepared a day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
  5. Heat up the 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings on a large skillet using medium to high heat. Add the mushroom, sauté until golden brown for about 6 minutes. Next, add in the pearl onions, carrots and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Bring this stew to simmer, thinning with more broth. Stir bacon and 2/3 of the vegetables into stew. Transfer to large bowl and top with the remaining vegetables.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

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There’s a reason why I like the French style of cooking. Aside from the butter, of course, they name their dishes in the most fancy of fashions which is what I adore most. If they’re hard to pronounce, then they must taste just as interesting. And this dish doesn’t disappoint in the taste department.

It’s the cream, I say. The creams and sauces in French cuisine are the best. Couple that with toppings of cheeses, seasoned breadcrumbs and then baked to perfection and it becomes pure heaven. I have always loved any dish with a thick sauce on it, especially when the sauces are white and oozing with cheese.

Now if you’re very fond of the classic mashed potatoes, then this one will surely give your taste buds a good trip. Trust me, you’ll think of the French countryside when you take your first bite on this. You see, potatoes are great by itself. You can add them to any baked meats and it’ll still rock your taste buds. But when you pair it with a creamy cheese sauce, it’s a whole new level of culinary heaven.

Cooking in au gratin style is the best way to prepare your potatoes. If that doesn’t persuade you then you are not the foodie I expect you to be.


  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F or about 200°C. Grease a 1-quart casserole dish with butter generously.
  2. Arrange half of the potatoes at the bottom of the dish by layering them in one by one. Top with the onion slices and then add the remaining potatoes. Make sure to season this with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Use medium heat on this one so you won’t burn the butter. Next, mix in the flour and salt and stir constantly with a whisk for a minute. Then stir in the milk. Cook this until the mixture has thickened a bit. Lastly, add the cheese over the potatoes and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. By the then, the potatoes will have been tender and cheeses are melted. Best served hot.

Baked Chicken and Tomatoes Casserole

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I got into a mini debate with a friend today about calling tomato a fruit or a vegetable. I insisted on calling it a vegetable. To my knowledge, people classified them as such, right? I was schooled today. She googled it and won the argument. I was on my way to get the chicken recipe I wanted to show her until I was inspired by earlier events.

I planned on making tomatoes the star of my dinner. This recipe is just the perfect complement to the day filled with food debates and internet surfing for answers. I ended up inviting her over for dinner so she could see the humor in what I was about to do.

Baking tomatoes from scratch is good. Simply drizzle olive oil on it and salt and you’re good to go. They give off a special aroma which not all vegetables/fruits have when baked. And they’re pretty nutritious too. Having the chicken to bake along with the tomatoes is a lovely combination, in my opinion.

This recipe also kept my kids craving for tomatoes more. They used to hate eating them because they tasted bland and had no special flavor. I can’t blame them for thinking this way. But this dish will change all that. Trust me, your kids will love tomatoes after having this.


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Begin with the dry ingredients: Mix in flour, salt and pepper. Next, drench each chicken piece with this mixture. Rub it all over until every part is coated.
  2. Over medium-high heat, warm up a skillet and then add in butter to allow it to melt and follow it up with oil so it doesn’t burn right away. Then slowly add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
  3. Take the cooked chicken out from the oil and place it into a baking dish. In the same skillet, sauté the mushrooms and onions. Next, add the remaining drenching flour mixture to make rue. Then throw in the tomatoes and bay leaves and give it a light stir.
  4. Cook this for about 4 minutes or until rue is done and pour this over the chicken pieces. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake at 350°F until chicken is tender or wait about 40 minutes. Remove from oven to cool down a bit before serving. Best served warm. Serves 6.

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