Can Healthy Cooking be Convenient? {After Baby Un-Diet}

This is technically the last week of the “un-diet”. But only in terms of weekly blog/vlog posts. The entire point in case I was bad at making it up until now is that the UN in un-diet means that it doesn’t stop. It continues despite what the scale says, how easy the jeans shimmy on, or even how proud I am of my productivity running on baby sleep regression quality rest these days. We’ve addressed a big question – whether or not beef can be a part of a healthy diet (small “d”) and lifestyle. Heck. Yes.

Because this is the internet and it runs on this kind of stuff, I will share what I feel I’ve accomplished in this short period of time. But you’ll have to wait for it! This week I had the opportunity to connect with Chef Kirsten in person for the first time in forever. P.S. Rancher DVR’ed Frozen and we finally caved and watched it. RB is doing toddler donuts in the living room repeating “let it go”. I thought it would be way more annoying than entertaining. So happy I was wrong (again). Sometimes I hardly recognize parental me. But I kind of like her and her sentimental, kid-focused ways.

When Chef Kirsten and I got together we took a moment to film brief wrap-up video about the un-diet that I’ll post next week.

It was a beautiful day for filming the finale on the Seattle Waterfront!

It was a beautiful day for filming the finale on the Seattle Waterfront!

Photo by the awesome Frazer Loveman, who filmed the finale and edited our self-shot videos in the series. Thanks Frazer!

Photo by the awesome Frazer Loveman (1Love Media), who filmed the finale and edited our self-shot videos in the series. Thanks Frazer!

In the meantime, this week gave me one of my biggest helps in terms of making healthy cooking a realistic part of our often crazy life. I think of healthy cooking with beef as a formula:

Lean beef + Veggies + Simple homemade sauce = a tasty, healthy meal

Then it’s just a matter of what kind of flavors sound good. This saves my hide when I haven’t been so awesome at planning specific meals for the week or our schedule turns upside down. This not-so-coincidentally is the same time the Crock Pot is my BFF. Here are two quick and easy sauces to add to your preferred beef cut for a slow cooker meal that you’ll be so happy to come home to! Simply whisk together, pour over your beef and cook on low for 6-8 hours:

Balsamic-garlic = 1 cup balsamic vinegar, ½ cup broth, 1 Tb honey, 2 Tb olive oil, 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.

Beef Bourgignon style = 2-3 carrots thinly sliced, 1 onion chopped, 2-3 stalks celery chopped,2 cloves garlic chopped, 2 cups red wine, 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 tsp dried thyme or 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

And here is Chef Kirsten’s Cottage Casserole from the video:

Cottage Casserole
2 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb flour
½ cup broth
1 bag frozen vegetable blend (such as peas, carrots and green beans)
2 cups mashed potatoes

Prepare the mashed potatoes, if making homemade. Set aside. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add ground beef, onion, garlic and seasonings. Break beef into crumbles, stirring often, until golden brown. Stir the flour in to the beef mixture until you no longer see the flour. Stir in the broth and frozen vegetables. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Cover and cook until the vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes. To serve spoon the meat mixture in to a pie plate or casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes. Serve and enjoy!

The After Baby Un-Diet is a 6 week series focusing on health and deliciousness! It is a collaboration with Chef Kirsten Helle and Washington State Beef Commission. Information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace a medical professional’s orders. Information is for entertainment and informational purposes and Chef Kirsten Helle/Mesa de Vida/Washington State Beef Commission/Ranch Wife Life accept no responsibility for how you use it. Videos and recipes are copyright protected. Raw footage edited and produced by Frazer Loveman, 1Love Media.

3 thoughts on “Can Healthy Cooking be Convenient? {After Baby Un-Diet}

  1. Pingback: After Baby Un-Diet: Results and a Bonus Chili Colorado Recipe | ranch wife life

  2. Pingback: Protein Challenge Update #1 | ranch wife life

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