Category Archives: Beef

My Mushroom & Meat Sauce

As I mentioned on my Facebook page, this past week has been a gloomy, rainy and grey mess!  I need comfort food and I need it now!

Tonight’s meal plan was for homemade mushroom and meat sauce over whole wheat spaghetti.  Are you a bottle sauce person or do you make it yourself?  There are numerous choices at the grocery store for bottled or canned spaghetti sauce.  Once I became allergic to carrots I ended up switching to homemade sauce because a lot of spaghetti sauces out there contain carrot fiber…(ie: Hunt’s brand sauce).  Plus it is cost-effective and healthier to make your own.

I use a recipe that I base off of my mother’s spaghetti sauce recipe.

My Mushroom & Meat Sauce Recipe

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
Ground Pepper, just a dash
1/4 cup beef broth
8 oz. Cremini mushrooms, sliced and diced
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 oz. can of tomato paste
16 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute

– In a stockpot place the olive oil, garlic cloves, and pepper and turn the burner to a low/medium setting.
– Cook the garlic until you can smell a wonderful garlic aroma, no more than 2 minutes.  (If you’ve never burnt garlic before this is not the time to find out what it smells like)
– Add beef broth and mushrooms to the stockpot.
– Cook together for 2 more minutes to cook the mushrooms down a bit.
– Now add the ground beef to the stockpot and break down the beef into chunks and cook until browned. (I break my ground beef down into the smallest pieces I can, but that’s my preference)
– Drain liquid and grease from the beef and mushroom mixture.
– Turn the burner to low and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, basil, oregano and sugar.  Mix well.
– Cover and cook on low for as long as you want (be reasonable, that doesn’t mean all day).  I let mine heat and mix up for an hour.  Stir every 15 minutes.
– Serve over hot noodles of your choice.

Did she say SUGAR?  Yes, I did.  Sugar takes the tartness out of the tomato sauce.  You do not need to add this but it helps take the bite out of the sauce.  Adjust to the level you enjoy.

Mushroom and Meat Sauce

Mushroom and Meat Sauce

– Jennifer


Guest Post – Maria from Chronicles of Chaos

Today I have the pleasure of introducing y’all to my friend Maria.  She goes by “Mia” but I met her as Maria and now my brain won’t switch over to calling her something else.  We met when we worked together in HR.  She is a great cook and an awesome friend.  Though I must warn you, I have already read this post and she mentions the C-word.  That’s right…CARROTS!  This makes me weary of any food she wants to give me.  Though I did make her a lemon cookie once that put her into labor with her first son. 
Welcome Maria…..

Well, hello there lovely 86 Carrots readers!  I’m Mia from The Chronicles of Chaos, where I blog about all the crazy ramblings that come to my brain.  I’m so happy to be here today because I have something awesome to share with you!

Now that the weather is quickly turning colder, it’s the perfect time for my favorite Texican Chili crock pot recipe that I adapted from Taste of Home.


•8 bacon strips, diced [I omit this ingredient]

•2-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

•2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained

•2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce

•1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained [We didn’t have any, so I substituted black beans. You can’t even tell the difference!]

•2 cups sliced carrots [Optional – I know what you’re thinking… this is 86 Carrots blog, Mia, why are there carrots in this recipe?! Well, that’s why it’s optional. I don’t think the chili loses anything if you omit the carrots. So HA! :)]

•1 tablespoon chili powder

•1 teaspoon salt, optional

•1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

•1/4 teaspoon pepper


1) In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp [if you choose to use bacon]. Remove to paper towels to drain. Brown beef in the drippings [or just use a bit of oil, like we do]; drain.

2) Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; add bacon and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Yield: 16-18 servings. [Or, cook it on high for 5 hours, if you’re impatient like me and want to EAT! 🙂 And if you like it a tad bit spicy, add a 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Boo-ya!]


Without the beef. I added it last. Cuz I’m a rebel!
BEEF! It’s what’s for dinner.

Easy peezy, right? And it tastes amazing. Throw together some corn bread muffins and you have the perfect cold weather meal! Plus, there will be TONS of leftovers, promise.  And thanks Jennifer for having me today! Hope you guys stop by and say hi sometime, I’d love to hear from you! Enjoy!

Well Smack Me Silly!

Well smack me silly; that’s some good stroganoff!

This past weekend I went to my local library and checked out the American Heart Association’s new cookbook.  I copied a few recipes and have thus far tried two.  The first was Chicken Scallop al Limone but that was just ok, so I didn’t want to waste your time with it.  But tonight, ooooooo-eeeeee, Ground Beef Stroganoff.  It is fantastic and uses ground beef which I prefer highly over hunks o’beef.

All done!

All done!

It is quick, easy and oh so delicious!  Great for a quick meal on a work night.

Ground Beef Stroganoff (Courtesy of The New American Heart Association Cookbook)

Serves:  4

5 oz Dried No-Yolk Noodles (no seriously, they mean only 5 oz)
Cooking Spray (I nixed this)
1 lb. Extra Lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup Chopped Onion (I had to puree’ this for Garrett)
2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
4 to 6 oz of Button Mushrooms, sliced (I used 8 oz. of regular mushrooms sliced)
1/2 cup Fat-Free, No-Salt added Beef Broth
1 cup Evaporated Milk
2 teaspoons All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Light Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, lowest sodium available
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 – Prepare egg noodles using the package directions, omitting salt.  Drain well in a colander.  Set aside.

2 – Meanwhile, lightly spray a Dutch Oven or large skillet with cooking spray.  Cook the beef over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring frequently to turn and break up the beef.  Drain if necessary.

3 – Stir in the onion and garlic.  Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft, stirring occassionally.

4 – Stir in the mushrooms and broth.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

5 – In a small bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and flour until smooth.  Stir into the beef mixture.  Increase the heat to medium.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.

6 – Stir in the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and salt until well blended. 

7 – Serve over the noodles.

Oooooooh yeah!  NOM NOM NOM.  If you make it, let me know what you think!