Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage

 

The kitchen counter doesn’t look much different this morning than it did 4 days ago when we picked up the CSA box. My days have been so long that I haven’t had a chance to look at the produce, let alone do something about it. I have been leaving the house at 4:50am and getting home at 8pm – just enough time to shower, do some reading for the morning, and go to bed. They feed us at the hospital, so I haven’t been very motivated to cook this week either. But today will be different; this morning I have house chores, food prep, cooking, freezing, and canning to do. I thought the weekends were for rest and relaxation…

Anyway, here is a recipe I made a few weeks ago. The weather has turned and it is now crock pot season. As I’ve mentioned before, we bought 1/2 a grass-fed cow from a local farm last winter, so we have a lot of beef to eat. We’ve made a surprisingly huge dent in the stored and the basement just has 1 milk crate full of meat left. Thank goodness, because we just purchased another 1/2 (but this time we will share it with a few other people).

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Crock pot beef is a simple meal to throw together in the morning before work. You can really add any vegetables to the mix; This recipe has cabbage, onions, green peppers, and carrots. I plan to use some of the frozen vegetables from our CSA when I make this again during the fall/winter.

Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 3-4 pound beef roast
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large green peppers, diced
  • 1 pound carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • Water

Directions

  1. Spray a 6qt crock pot with cooking spray.
  2. Place roast in crock pot. Pour vinegar over the top. Season with pepper. Cover with vegetables. I like to put the cabbage in last.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Check after 6 hours – if there is no liquid, add water. There should be plenty of liquid from the vegetables cooking down.

 

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cabbage and beet slaw

I was really excited when I read the CSA email this week and saw it was cabbage or broccoli. please let it be broccoli, please let it be broccoli. I had my fingers crossed when I walked up to get my box – yes, it contained broccoli. But wait, what that huge thing in the bottom. Oh, it’s cabbage.

Don’t get me wrong, I like cabbage. I am just getting sick of it. I can eat it each week, but the problem is one head is SOOO much cabbage. I know, I know, I can freeze it for cabbage soup in the fall. I just needed a moment to be over dramatic.

This week’s box also contained beets, which I have had a recent love obsession with. I had been a little sad the last two times because the beets were more golden than red. Not this time – bright red and juicy, leaving my hands stained for the better part of the day.

I knew I’d make a slaw with the cabbage, so I did a search to see if there were any cabbage and beet slaw recipes. I had already roasted the beets, which was a bummer once I started to read recipes that called for raw beets. I found a great recipe at The Kitchn that I sounded perfect. I had all the ingredients on hand and it would go well with the shredded beef sandwiches I was making for a trip this weekend.

I also found a few recipes I saved for later – a Ukrainian dish called borscht. Turns out the Russian astronauts even take it with them to space (in a tube…I’m sure that’s appetizing). I had never heard of it before, but it looks like something J would love. I found a summer version and a traditional version.

Cabbage and Beet SaladCabbage and Beet Slaw
Recipe from from The Kitchn (more or less)

Ingredients

  • 4 beets, trimmed, roasted, and peeled (see how to roast them here)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar (I did a small handful, so this is just a guess)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Slice beets into matchstick-size pieces. I sliced mine into circles first and then just stacked them to slice them into rectangles. 
  2. Add cabbage and beets to a large bowl. I used an ice cream tub to make for easy mixing.
  3. Whisk vinegar, sugar, and mustard in small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture. Mix well. I put the top on the tub and shook it like crazy. Make sure to coat everything.
  5. Place slaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating. You want the vinegar to have some time to work with the cabbage and give it that awesome slaw flavor.

note: the mixture may seem dry at first, but after it sits for a day some liquid from the cabbage will come out and you will have adequate liquid. If it is still dry 1 day later, add some more vinegar. 

Cabbage Rolls

More cabbage for you all. This week we received Napa Cabbage. I had never cooked with napa cabbage before but after a quick search I found a number of recipes for cabbage rolls. Based on what I saw, I came up with these. I only used some of the large leaves for this recipe and used the rest for an asian cole slaw (recipe to come :))

Cabbage Rolls
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Ingredients
– 9 large Napa cabbage leaves, washed and dried
(I found that storing them in the refrigerator for one day made them softer and easier to work with)
– 10 oz lean ground beef
– 1/2 cup onion, diced
– 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– 1 cup rice, prepared

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with non-cook spray.
2. Prepare the ground beef with the onion.
3. After the meat is close to being complete, add the oil and soy sauce. Finish cooking until the meat reaches 165F.
4. Add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture into the top portion of the leaf. Bend the harder part of the cabbage leaf up to the mixture. Fold the sides of the leaf towards the middle and the top of the leaf down. Set into the baking dish and repeat with all 9 leaves.
6. Drizzle the top of the leaves with soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook for 30 minutes.

Looking for more things to do with cabbage? Here are some great sites!

Kitchin Seasonal Spotlight

Beyond Slaw – 8 Things to do with Napa Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon

Thai Cabbage Salad

Easy Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza)

Pickled Napa Cabbage

Bok Choy and Beef Pockets

Image from Steamy Kitchen (click image to visit site)

Bok Choy – have you ever cooked with it before? I haven’t but after getting a huge head of it in our CSA last week, I knew I was going to learn. After searching online I found a number of recipes for egg rolls using bok choy. We had some egg roll wrappers in the refrigerator from a different recipe I meant to make a few weeks ago (but never got around to…stupid board exam).

I decided to make more of a pocket than an egg roll, because it would allow for more filling to fit into each nutritionally meaningless wrapper. It also made them more filling. They were super easy and super delicious! I prepared the filling in advance, which made it easier to work with, because when it is hot it is very runny.

Bok Choy and Beef Pockets

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of bok choy 
  • 16-20 ounces of lean ground beef (we use grass-fed, which is so lean that we don’t need to drain any fat afterwards)
  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (16 count)

Directions
Filling

  1. photo (1)Prepare the bok choy by cutting and cleaning the leaves. You can use all the plant, including the stem. Chop into small pieces.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium and add the ground beef. Once the ground beef is 50% done, add the sesame oil, garlic, and bok choy. Stir and cook down until the leaves wilt and the beef is completely cooked. Add soy sauce and more sesame oil, if needed.
  3. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until you are going to assemble the pockets.

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Pockets

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. IMG_0252Place a wrapper on your prep surface. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1 spoonful of mixture into the center of the wrapper.
  3. IMG_0253Fold up the bottom corner so the tip is in the middle of the pocket. Repeat on each side. Use a basting brush and water as needed to help the wrapper stick together.
  4. Place each pocket onto a prepared baking sheet with the folded sides up. You could coat them with egg using the basting brush if you’d like them to be more golden.
  5. BIMG_0254ake the pockets for 20-25 minutes. I turned mine after 15 minutes so both sides would be crispy and to prevent one side from burning. This did make them less pretty because the sauce from inside the pocket leaked a bit when the folded side was on the pan.

Simple Summer Slaw

photo (2)

Here is a quick recipe I threw together for a friend’s cookout yesterday. I should rephrase – quick if you have a food processor, but doable if you don’t. I was able to chop all the vegetables in less than 5 minutes with the food processor. If you don’t have time for that, you could by pre-shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw mix at the store. I don’t measure my liquids, so I am guestimating below…feel free to tweak as needed.

Simple Summer Slaw

Ingredients

  • 2 pound head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 pound celery (1/2 package), finely diced
  • 5 whole carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 pound radishes, julienned
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, diced (something tart works well)
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds (chopped walnuts would be great too!)
  • 2/3 cup thaini
  • 1 TBSP real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Mix all the vegetables, cranberries, apple, and almonds together in a very large bowl (I had to use 2 bowls)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the thaini, syrup, and vinegar together.
  3. Pour over vegetable mixture and spread throughout. A little goes a long way, so just make sure to coat well.
  4. Let sit for at least 8 hours before serving. The longer the better – slaw gets its awesome taste after the cabbage ferments a little with the vinegar, so make sure you let the ingredients do their thing 🙂