Beef Mushroom Endive Taco Boats

This is a recipe for the Blend and Extend strategy – adding finely chopped mushrooms to ground beef to add more vegetables to your plate, extending portions and adding volume to meals.  

Recipe and photo by Raj of The Primal Desire.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins.
Tip: This is great with aged cheddar or even blue cheese if you eat lacto-paleo. If not, it’s still a really nice balance of flavours to share with everyone!

Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef
6 large white or brown mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 red onion (finely chopped – ¼ cup put aside for salsa)
1 red chilli pepper (finely diced)
2 cloves garlic
3 heaping Tbsp taco seasoning (homemade or Paleo variety)
4-6 endives (leaves separated from base – see video above)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (finely chopped)
2-3 Tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter
Optional:
½ – 1 can black olives (chopped)
shredded aged cheddar or crumbled blue cheese (if lacto-paleo)
Pineapple Salsa
1½ cups pineapple (about ½ a pineapple – finely chopped – choosing & cutting pineapples)
¼ cup red onion (finely diced – from above)
1-2 Tbsp cilantro (diced)
1 avocado (cubed, salted and coated in lime juice)

Method

Pineapple Avocado Salsa (make this in advance so that flavours can blend):
1. Mix ¼ cup finely chopped red onion with pineapple, cilantro, and avocado.
2. Place in fridge until needed.
Endive Boats:
1. In a large frying pan or pot, melt ghee or butter over medium heat.
2. Add remaining onions and mushrooms, cooking until soft.
3. Add chilli, garlic and beef, stirring well to break up ground beef.
4. Once browned, mix in taco seasoning and olives.
5. Fill each endive leaf with ground beef/mushroom mixture.
6. If using cheese, sprinkle each endive.
7. Serve with pineapple salsa and cherry tomatoes to be spooned on top.

Beef and Mushrooms Samosas

Charmian of The Messy Baker put the Blend & Extend method to good use in these party favourites. Her recipe for Beef and Mushroom Samosas would be a hit at any get-together. Try them yourself at home!

Recipe and photo by Charmian Christie of The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 45 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins. | Makes: 16 samosas.

Ingredients

Filling
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Wrapping
1 454 g package phyllo, defrosted
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)

Method

Filling
1. Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the mushrooms resemble couscous, about 10 pulses. If you don’t have a food processor, mince by hand with a knife. Transfer the minced mushroom to a large bowl and mix with the ground beef.
2. Peel and quarter the onion before placing it in the food processor. Pulse until minced. Alternatively, the onion can be minced by hand.
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, salt and dried chilli flakes. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to ensure the spices are well distributed.
4. Add the mushroom/beef combination and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink.
5. Place the beef mixture in a sieve and allow to drain five minutes to remove excess liquid. Too much moisture in the filling can cause the samosas to burst while cooking. Transfer the strained mixture to a large bowl, stir in the lemon juice, peas, corn and cilantro. Allow to cool. The filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Wrapping 
1. When you’re ready to wrap the filling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Unwrap the phyllo and it lay flat. Cover it with a slightly damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Remove one sheet, and brush lightly with oil using a pastry brush. Fold in thirds lengthwise so you have a long, narrow strip three layers thick. Place 1/4 cup filling  at the bottom of the phyllo strip, about 1/2 inch from the left edge. Fold the bottom right corner over the filling to form a triangle. Fold the filling up the sheet of phyllo, maintaining the triangle form. Place on a baking sheet, brush with more oil and sprinkle with black sesame seeds, if using. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot as is or with tamarind sauce.

Beef and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber/Lime Yogurt and Sriracha Peanuts

Easy and fun to make, these wraps can be used in a formal or informal setting, as an appetizer or main course.

Recipe and photo by Chef Christopher Pires of Food Inspires.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 15 mins.

Ingredients

The Base:
1 pkg Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
The Sauce:
½ cup yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ cucumber, deseeded and chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
The Filling:
1 lb beef, cut philly cheesesteak style – thin and in pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Cremini mushrooms blended with 1 medium onion in a processor – rough chop
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce, Sambal Oelek
2 tbsp chili flakes
Olive oil, salt and pepper – to sauté, and to taste
The Topping:
½ cup peanuts
2 tbsp Sriracha

Method

The Sauce:
Combine all ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes before serving (or use right away)
The Filling:
1. Brown the beef breaking up the bits that clump together
2. Drain any fat that comes into the pan, add about 2 tbsp olive oil to the beef and add the diced onion – you only want to soften the onions 
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sambal, salt and pepper – taste, season and taste again
4. In a separate pan (or empty the beef/onion mixture to a bowl), add 1 tbsp olive oil and the mushrooms and onions – you want to remove the extra water from the mushrooms and onions so sauté until they are almost dry – flavor with some salt, pepper  and chili flakes – remember, taste, season and taste
5. Once the liquid from the mushroom and onions has almost dried up, add the beef/onion mixture – stir to combine – That’s it for the filling!
6. Coat the peanuts in the sriracha, let dry on their own on the counter for about 30 minutes or in a 325F oven for 10 minutes (make more than you need, they won’t last and you will regret it!)
The Base:
Arrange lettuce on a plate, top with the beef and mushroom mixture, dollop with yogurt, top with peanuts – enjoy! Note if lettuce doesn’t lie flat, trim the bottom (middle stem) so there is a flat edge, stand it up in this edge

Beef and Mushroom Kofta

By using half the meat and substituting in a mix of chopped mushrooms you add more nutrients and a great woodsy flavour. I highly recommend using a variety of types since each one adds a unique flavour and texture.

Recipe and photo by The Tasty Gardener.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 10 mins.
Tip: If using wooden bamboo skewers make sure you soak them in water for several hours or over night.

Ingredients

1 lb lean ground beef
2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat BBQ to medium high heat.
2. Using your hands blend together all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Take a golf ball size amount and flatten in the palm of your hand.
4. Place a BBQ skewer in the middle of the patty and carefully fold the meat around the skewer pressing to secure. Repeat with remaining meat.
5. Place on preheated grill and cook 5-10 minutes, turning frequently until meat has cooked through.
6. Remove from grill and serve.

Balsamic Portabella Salad

Recipe courtesy of Sara of Sprouted Kitchen.

Prep Time: 5 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins.

Ingredients

2 Portabello mushrooms
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups organic baby greens
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup marcona almonds
1/2 cup crumbled goronzola cheese (or more to taste)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat the grill to medium heat, while preparing other ingredients.
2. Peel and halve the onion. Slice into half moon shape slices, as thin as possible. On medium heat, add the butter to a sauté pan until fully melted, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Move around to coat. Continue to stir every few minutes as onions begin to caramelize and turn brown, about 15 minutes.
3. While onions are cooking, prepare mushrooms. Wipe them clean with a moist paper towel to remove dirt. Cut off the stem and brush each with half of the oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put them on the grill with the gill side up to start and close lid, grill for 3 minutes on each side. (Note: the freshness and mushroom may vary the cooking time here. You want them to be fully warmed through, without getting too soggy. Remove and cool to room temperature.)
4. Prepare salad. In a large bowl, combine the greens, gorgonzola and the tablespoon of the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss gently. This is only lightly dressed, as the onions and mushrooms will also add some moisture to the salad. Cut the portabellos into slices. Top each salad with a quarter of the mushrooms, cheese and marcona almonds. Add more toppings to taste.