I invented a recipe! Last week, it was cold and miserable out and I just wanted some comfort food. Now we all know that comfort food is generally not that great for us: not nutrient dense and usually made with crappy ingredients. But the weather had me thinking about beef stroganoff for some reason and so I decided that I would make that for us for dinner anyway.
One tiny problem: I don’t know how to make stroganoff and I’ve never made it before. Ha!
By the time dinner rolled around, I had been thinking about this dish all day. I started to google stroganoff recipes and compare the basic ingredients. “Yup! I think we have all this. It’s going to be soooo good… I can even make some swaps to make this healthier!” So in typical me fashion, I jump into cooking immediately without double checking that we actually have the ingredients in the house.
In typical “me” fashion, I suddenly have to improvise. A lot.
Things I’m missing? Oh, just the beef, onions, sour cream and/or shredded cheese, beef stock, NOODLES… crap. Now what? Improv to the rescue!
I swapped out the beef for ground bison that we had on hand in the fridge. First step was to brown the meat. The last onion we had in the house was no longer good, but luckily I had my favorite onion substitute on hand: Tastefully Simple’s Onion Onion seasoning. We also didn’t have any black pepper, but we did have Penzys Shallot Pepper seasoning so that’s an upgrade. After cooking the meat with the spices, I added in the mushrooms (the one thing we DID have) and I decided to add a bag of frozen peas (mostly for color, but also to get a pseudo vegetable in there).
Now it’s time to make the sauce! From what? All the recipes I found called for butter, flour, beef stock, sour cream and various other ingredients like white wine or sherry. Yeah… no. Originally I thought I would use a full fat greek yogurt and beefstock for the sauce, but no yogurt. All we had that was dairy was a block of cream cheese. Luckily, it was high quality cream cheese (organic, full fat, and minimal ingredients). So our sauce was chicken stock (cause we didn’t have beef) and the cream cheese whipped together. This made a super easy and smooth sauce, but it was a tad watery so I added a bit of organic corn starch to thicken it up.
I’m happy to report that the meal came out great! My family scarfed it down, which is especially awesome because Ari is in her I’m-three-and-therefore-hate-all-things-served-for-dinner phase. It was also pretty fun to improvise at every step. It was great to flex the creativity muscle while cooking.
The full recipe and instructions are below. If you try it out, leave a comment and tell me what you think!
1 package of ground bison meat
2 TBSP Onion Onion seasoning
1/2 TBSP Shallot Pepper seasoning
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 16 oz package of frozen peas
2 cups of stock (you can use beef, chicken, or veggie stock)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (find a high quality, organic and full fat brand)
1 TBSP corn starch
2 cups quinoa (or substitute noodles if you prefer those)
Using a large skillet, brown the bison meat. Add the Onion Onion and the Shallot Pepper seasonings to the meat and mix well. Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the package of frozen peas and cook covered for an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a separate sauce pan, bring the 2 cups of stock to a boil. Add the cream cheese and over low heat, whisk the cheese and stock together until the moisture is smooth. Add the corn starch and whisk thoroughly so no clumps remain. Allow to simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Add this sauce to the skillet mixture and mix well. Serve in a bowl over the cooked quinoa or noodles.