Balsamic Roast Beef with Fresh Green Bean Casserole

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I’m still dreaming about this dinner. I think it’s the most delicious meal we’ve had in a while, and I think it’s almost entirely due to how delicious that roast beef ended up being. I can’t take credit for actually making the meal, but I am responsible for setting up the menu and being a lifeline for my husband as he cooked throughout the day. If you have a beef round hanging out in your freezer like we did, and you’re looking for something to do with it… or if you are just looking for an incredible meaty meal, look no further, my friends.

Balsamic Roast Beef
(Adapted from addapinch.com)

Serves: 5
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins

1 3/4 pounds trimmed beef round (ours started off frozen)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c balsamic vinegar (break out the good stuff for this recipe!)
1 c beef broth (we used beef bullion dissolved in a homemade veggie broth)
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb honey
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1.) Place beef into your slow cooker. In a glass measuring bowl (at least 2 cups in size), mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over beef.

2.) Cook for 4 hours on high and 4 hours on low.

3.) When meat is ready, it should break up easily with two forks. Break meat up somewhat in slow cooker. Break it up the rest of the way in a serving dish/when serving.

4.) Serve with tongs and be sure to ladle some of the sauce overtop.

5.) Save beef and sauce leftovers for sandwiches!

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 7

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From Scratch Fresh Green Bean Casserole
(Adapted from Southern Living online)

Serves: 4
Time: 55 minutes total, 25 active

3/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 Tb butter
1/8 c flour
3/4 c 2% milk
1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 Tb Ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp butter
1 c French fried onions, crushed
1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
1 plum tomato (or 2 small regular tomatoes), seeded & chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook green beans by steaming them until desired doneness (not too soft!). Plunge the beans into an ice bath to stop cooking process. Drain and pat dry.

2. Melt 1 Tb butter in dutch oven over medium heat, whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking constantly, 3-4 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and whisk in buttermilk, Ranch dressing mix, thyme, salt, and pepper.

3. Gently toss green beans in buttermilk sauce. Spray a square baking dish or casserole and pour in green bean mixture.

4. Combine French fried onions, panko, and tomatoes. Sprinkle over green bean mixture.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Nutrition: 168 Cal; 8.4 g Fat (3.9 g Sat); 5.7 g Protein; 18.5 g Carb; 3.9 g Fiber; 15 mg Chol; 296 mg Sodium

Weight Watchers Points: 4

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Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

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Another vegetable that we’re drowning in, courtesy of Stillman’s Farm CSA, is green beans. As a result, I was on a hunt to find recipes that would allow me to plow through most, if not all, of the green beans we have on hand. I came across this pasta salad in a random cookbook I’m not sure I’ve ever otherwise opened. It sounded to me like the perfect summer salad. I made a large batch of it and we brought it along to Shakespeare on the Common (King Lear) last Sunday. It was perfect paired with the tasty sangria I made– both totally refreshing and great for enjoying outdoors. Recipe on the sangria to come later.

Sadly because I wasn’t in my normal cooking/eating element, I failed to take any photos of the dish. But take my word for it– it is as colorful as you think when you read through the ingredients.

Adapted from One United Harvest cookbook, as Snap Bean and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad (by Evan & jodi Verbanic)
Serves 8 as a Main (can also be used as a side dish)
Active Time: 20 minutes

3/4 lb bow tie pasta
3/4 lb green beans
2/3 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 c grape tomatoes (half cut in half, half kept whole)
3 Tb chopped basil leaves
2 Tb chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1.) Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, rinse with cold water and drain.
2.) Steam beans until just tender, then dunk in cold water with ice.
3.) In a large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and salt and pepper to make the dressing.
4.) Add the tomatoes, herbs, pasta, and beans to the dressing and toss to coat.
5.) Shortly before serving (1 hour or less), add in the shredded mozzarella and toss again to combine.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 10

Fish & Vegetable Packet

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This one was a tasty one involving fish and bunch of yummy early summer veggies, but I think some adaptations might make it even better.  I already adapted it a bit since it called for things like asparagus and peppers, which I didn’t have on hand.  I think you can really use whatever veggies you have available and maybe make this different every time.  As for fish, the original recipe calls for anything from salmon to roughy, cod, or tilapia.

Fish & Vegetable Packet

Fish & Vegetable Packet

(Adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook)

Prep: 40 Minutes

Grill: 12 Minutes

Serves 2

 

Fish fillets, 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick

1 cup carrots, cut into thin strips

1 summer squash

1 zucchini

1 cup green beans

1/4 cup white wine

1 tsp fresh rosemary, crushed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 Tb butter or margarine, cut up

White Rice

 
 

1.) Thaw fish if frozen.  Rinse, pat dry with paper towels.

2.) Cut 4 18 x 18 inch pieces of heavy foil.  Place 2 sheets together to form 2 stacks.  Coat one side of each stack with cooking spray.  Divide veggies among stacks of foil.  Top with fish and squash.

3.) In small bowl, combine wine, rosemary, garlic, salt, and black pepper.  Drizzle over fish and veggies, dot with butter.  Bring 2 opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold.  Enclose all sides, leaving space for steam to build.

4.) Preheat gas grill.  Reduce heat to medium.  Place foil packets on grill directly over heat.  Cover and grill until fish flakes easily with a fork and veggies are crisp-tender.  (Allow 12-14 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness of fish.  Serve with hot white (or brown) rice.

 

Nutrition: 518 cal; 22 g total fat (8g sat fat); 91 mg chol; 294 mg sodium; 43 g carb; 6 g fiber; 32 g protein.

Weight Watcher’s Points: 13 (based on counts above); 8 (based on 1/2 cup rice and other ingredient modifications