Beef and Barley Soup

My husband loves soups, especially ones that are thick and hearty. We had some leftover barley and I found a super easy recipe from one of my favorite YouTube chefs, The Domestic Geek. She unfortunately didn’t write a blog post about the recipe, so here is the YouTube video:

The recipe was super easy to put together before you just let it cook for ~40 minutes. I thought it tasted great but my husband absolutely loved it and ate two bowls. Overall, it’s not a quick meal but is perfect to save for a cold weekend.

I ended up using a bit more carrots and celery than she suggested and it turned out even more hearty and thick. I used a dutch oven like she did but I’m sure you could use a big pot instead. I also probably didn’t cut my steak cubes small enough; make sure they are bite sized!

I’ve pasted the recipe below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Season beef well with salt and pepper.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil on high heat.
  3. Add beef and brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a bowl and set aside, leaving behind all the juices and browned bits.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-high and add onions, celery and carrots. Cook 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf and barley. Cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Add broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  8. Cover with a lid and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until barley is cooked through.
  9. Remove bay leaf. Stir in parsley and serve.
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Chicken and Stewed White Beans

I don’t like to chronicle all our Blue Apron recipes because there are a lot of them and some of them are too hard to replicate again, usually because the ingredients are hard to find. However, sometimes we get recipes we really love and aren’t too hard to make again! Recently we made Chicken and Stewed White Beans and my husband and I agreed we would love to make it again.

Usually I don’t like the taste of mustard at all and was worried that I wouldn’t like the final meal. However, I think the vinegar really cuts through some of the strong mustard taste and leaves a really delicious sauce on the vegetables. It was also a pretty healthy and filling meal.

I posted the recipe below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 carrots, quartered-lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a medium pan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil on medium-high heat.
  3. Cook chicken 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Leave the browned bits in the pan and transfer chicken to a plate.
  4. Add 2 tsp of olive oil to the same pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Add shallot, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly browned and slightly softened.
  6. Add kale and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is slightly wilted.
  7. Add mustard and water. Cook 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale has wilted and liquid is thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. While the vegetables cook, in a separate pan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  9. Add breadcrumbs. Season with salt and papper. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  10. Turn off heat and add half of the thyme to breadcrumbs. Stir to combine.
  11. Add chicken and remaining thyme to the pan of cooked vegetables. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cook 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced and chicken is cook through.
  12. Remove chicken and slice crosswise.
  13. Stir in vinegar into the pan of vegetables.
  14. Plate the vegetables with sliced chicken on top. Garnish with the breadcrumbs.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

I had some leftover pearl barley and wanted to make something with it. I found a Mushroom Risotto recipe from the YouTuber, The Domestic Geek, that looked easy and perfect.

In general, it was very delicious and filling but I ended up cooking it for about 15 more minutes than the recipe called for. (I was waiting for more of the liquid to absorb) I also used vegetable broth because I could not find mushroom broth, but I bet the mushroom broth tastes better.

I pasted the recipe below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups leeks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 4 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • Oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add leeks and mushrooms. Cook until leeks have softened and the mushrooms begin to brown.
  3. Add garlic, thyme and barley. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add white wine to deglaze the pan. (Skip if not using)
  5. Add broth and stir.
  6. Cover saucepan and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until barley is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Add parmesan and parsley and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Polish Stuffed Cabbage (Gołąbki)

I grew up in a Polish family and one dish my mom always made was gołąbki (pronounced like goWUMPkee), or stuffed cabbages. They are a huge comfort food for me, but they are both labor and time intensive. (At least 2-3 hours to prepare and cook) My mom would surprisingly make them for weekday dinners! However, I save them for the weekend and make a big batch. (Plus, they reheat great as leftovers)

My mom made them with minced meat and rice filling and a tomato sauce on top, but there are other variations. For example, for Wigilia (Polish Christmas Eve), my aunt makes a vegetarian variation with mushroom and rice filling. However, I much prefer the tomato and meat version!

See the recipe below. My recipe is mostly from my mother, but I’ve also taken inspiration from other Polish recipes I’ve found. You can also cook these in a deep pan if you want but I find it comes out best in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 lb ground beef & pork mix (like meatball mix or just ground beef)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups cooked white rice (from 1 cup dry rice)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Boil the cabbage in a large pot of water until it is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Take out and allow it to cool.
  3. In a frying pan, heat up a small drizzle of oil or a small pat of butter. Fry the ground meat and onion until browned.
  4. In a bowl, mix the cooked rice, ground meat, onion, egg and salt and pepper. Feel free to add more seasoning if you want to taste.
  5. After the cabbage has cooled, peel off the cabbage leaves.
  6. Grease a baking dish and cover the bottom with the outermost leaves.
  7. Put a small amount of meat and rice mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold two opposite sides toward the center and roll up from the bottom to create a small cabbage roll.
  8. Put each cabbage roll into the baking dish, creating tight rows of side-by-side rolls.
  9. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls. You want the liquid to fill about halfway up the dish. Add some vegetable broth or water if you need more liquid
  10. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  11. Serve each roll with a bit of tomato sauce on top.

Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Apples, Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts

I love watching the Domestic Geek on YouTube and recently she posted a video outlining 3 easy recipes that only use one sheet pan. I thought all of them looked delicious, but I especially wanted to try the pork chop one. I’m happy to say it was incredibly easy to make and super tasty! It was so good, my husband literally licked some off his plate. I think the combination of ingredients is perfect; you can’t go wrong with some squash, Brussel sprouts and apples. A nice and satisfying (and easy!) dish to make.

This recipe (and the other two) can be found on this blog post. I’ve pasted it below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 4 pork chops, center loin cut
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (I used a little extra)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 apple, diced (I used honeycrisp)
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1 cup Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, mustard, thyme, garlic, oil and some salt and pepper.
  2. Put pork chops into a large plastic zipper bag. Pour glaze into the bag and evenly spread it all over all the pork.
  3. Put the bag into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 10 minutes. A few hours or overnight would be better.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the apple, squash and Brussel sprouts.
  5. Season the mix with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Toss to combine.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the squash mix onto it.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven. Push the squash mix to one half of the pan and place the pork chops on the other half of the pan.
  10. Pour the remaining glaze over the squash mix and toss to evenly coat it.
  11. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until pork is cooked through.

Italian Meatloaf with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Green Beans

This was another Hello Fresh recipe that I enjoyed and it was easy and quick to put together. The recipe also included mash potatoes but you can prepare them however you like. My husband and I enjoyed it, even though I don’t usually like meatloaf. I think the sun-dried tomatoes made it taste different enough that I liked it.

I don’t think there is an online version of the recipe so I’ve pasted it below for convenience. This recipe is meant for 2 people, but you can adjust it for the size of your family.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 8-10 oz ground beef
  • 6 oz green beans
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, soak break in chicken stock, then break up the bread with your hands.
  2. Add beef, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, garlic, rosemary and a large pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix with hands until combined.
  3. Form two oval loaves from the meat and place onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Mix a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper with the green beans.
  5. With 15 minutes left of cooking, add the green beans to the baking sheet around the meatloaves.

Chicken and Dumplings

I had Chicken and Dumplings for the first time when I went to Disney’s Food & Wine Festival and always wanted to try my own. I found this recipe from Rachael Ray that is not only yummy but easy to put together on a weeknight. It’s thick and hearty and perfect for the chilly fall nights we have right now.

One problem I had was finding biscuit mix; my local grocery stores did not have them! Instead, I bought Bisquick mix and added as much water as they said on the package in order to make biscuits. It turned out great. I also find that using chicken breast tenders (instead of chicken breasts) really makes a big difference. My husband bought just chicken breasts by accident once and the chicken got really tough. Meanwhile, the tenders were perfect.

I’ve pasted the recipe below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast tenders
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth (I used stock)
  • 1 cup biscuit mix (like Jiffy or Bisquick)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice chicken breast tenders into bite sized pieces.
  2. Put a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables, and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
  4. Add flour to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Stir in broth or stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Add chicken to broth and stir.
  7. Place biscuit mix in a bowl and combine with water and parsley.
  8. Drop 1 tbsp balls of dough into the pot, spaced evenly.
  9. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove cover and stir to thicken. Stir in peas.