Thursday, November 21, 2013

Venison Stroganoff

A generous friend gifted us with a few pounds of ground venison. This is what I came up with! Everyone loved it, which surprised me. I had never worked with venison before, but a quick search gave me the idea to try Stroganoff. I called up my Dad, our family Stroganoff Expert. He instructed me to combine ground meat, onions, garlic, roux, broth, mushrooms and sour cream (plus a few more details as to how to do it). I thanked him, and got to work. I didn't have normal mushrooms...but I did have enoki! I threw some onions into a pan with some olive oil, and unwrapped the venison. Erm. It was frozen. Into the pot it went, with some flour (for the roux bit) and then...some water, because honestly? My roux was burning. (Sorry, Dad. I'm not great at following directions when babies are pulling on me.) 

Anyhow. It came out tasty - that is the main thing to keep in mind here! 

Aunt LoLo's Venison Stroganoff

1 pound ground venison
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. flour*
2 cups water
1 bundle enoki mushrooms, woody end removed, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup greek yogurt

In a dutch oven, brown your ground venison. Add your chopped onion, and sauté until soft. Add your flour, stir to combine, and cook until golden (about 2 minutes). Add your water, mushrooms, garlic powder and frozen peas. Stir. Cook, covered, until the peas are done (about 10 minutes). Uncover and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat and stir in the greek yogurt. 

Serve over noodles or brown rice. 


*This recipe can be made Gluten Free by using cornstarch or a similar thickener, instead of flour. You can make a slurry of the thickener and some cool water and stir it in at the end, when you are cooking the sauce uncovered to thicken it up. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Chow Review: Lunchbox Laboratory

Cinnamon Life Crunch and Key Lime milkshakes

Deep fried dork balls

Portabello, goat cheese and balsamic onion burger with sweet potato fries

Lunchbox Laboratory Review
989 112th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA // 425-505-2676

Pros: Really fun flavors, with unique combinations. The burgers are absolutely huge. I chose one with a portabello steak, and finished the whole thing. My sweet potato fries were blistered and crispy and delicious. The dork balls (duck and pork) were tasty, and just really fun to order. (Go on - I dare you. Say "dork balls" and DON'T smile. See? Not possible.) The standout of the night, for me, was my Key Lime milkshake. I love key lime pie, and this was spot on. I also appreciated the long, skinny, rectangular plates. The tables were cozy, and the plate shape shows attention to detail. The restaurant decor was fun, in a kitschy retro/mod kind of way. 

Cons: The restaurant is inside of an urban living/shopping building. The only restrooms are around the corner and down the sterile, empty concrete hall...and they are locked. You need a passcode from the waitress to get in, which you wouldn't KNOW until you actually got down there. Maybe there was a restroom in the restaurant, but I didn't see it. Also, the prices were a bit steep. We had a discount, through a corporate discount card, and still paid $50 for two burgers, two shakes, and an appetizer. Ouch.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Everyday Fettuccine Alfredo

A few days ago, Mr. LoLo and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. (D'aww.) We had already gone out, by ourselves, the previous weekend, so the actual day of our anniversary was spent at home. I tried to choose a menu that would get the whole family excited, but was also not TOO damaging to my post-baby weight loss efforts. This alfredo recipe uses very little dairy, compared to a classic cream based alfredo. In fact, the sauce is almost half vegetables. Not too shabby! Perhaps "every day" is going a little far, but I would definitely put this pasta dish into our regular rotation. I served this with a side of roasted broccoli. 

Everyday Fettuccine Alfredo
(Adapted from here, on

1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup cream
3 cups grated aged cheddar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fettuccine, cooked al dente

In a saucepot, combine your cauliflower and water. Cover and cook over medium for 25-30 minutes, or until your cauliflower is very, very tender. (Add your garlic to the pot as well if you prefer a milder garlic flavor. I added mine later, as I prefer my garlic quite strong.) 

(At this point, you can turn off the stove and set your cauliflower aside until you are ready to get dinner prepared. I did this step a few hours ahead of time.) 

(Time to cook your noodles! Put on a pot of water, and cook your noodles according to package directions while your sauce is being blended.) 

Pour your cauliflower and water into a blender, along with your garlic (if you haven't already added it), and puree until it is completely smooth. Return the puree to your sauce pot, add your frozen peas, put it over medium low heat, and heat until your peas are cooked. Stir in your cream and set aside. 

When your noodles are finished, drain them, return them to their pot, and pour the cauliflower pea mixture over the top. Sprinkle in a little of the cheese at a time, stirring well between each addition. If the sauce is too think, splash in a little extra milk or cream.