Friday, October 12, 2012

Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff with Buttery Cabbage Noodles

Eating like poor folk doesn't equate to eating poorly.

Big steaming bowl of low carb Poor Man's
Beef Stroganoff with Buttery Cabbage Noodles.
Thanks for your patience last month as I prepared for a major surgery on the girls. Team Save Second Base has been a provisional success and assuming I continue to heal and don't start to reject my self-donated (autologus) tissue transplants, I should theoretically wind up with a pair that won't try to kill me like the originals - who were unceramonously voted off Survivor Island last November 1, 2011.

All I can say is, whooooo doooooggggggey! Finally!

I’ve been waitin’ and waitin’ for fall to arrive here in Texas and it looks like if I blinked, I may have just missed it. I’m pretty sure we had two days and two nights of fall last week, but I was in an
opiate addled haze from surgery and am not quite sure. I am however, very sure we’re approaching triple digits this week with an added heapin’ helpin’ of hospitality in the form of high humidity. But it’s a “dry heat”… NOT! So this might not be the best week to discuss fall comfort food. But hey, most of you guys out there do get to experience four seasons and so you may just appreciate the timeliness of this recipe. Even if us Gulf Coast Texans have to fake it till we make it with fall weather.

Rich and hearty Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff is ready for
the sour cream, no thickener needed.
I’m gonna warn you right now, this is not a pretty recipe. So if you have your heart set on rainbows and puppy dogs, and glitter, you will be disappointed. Brown food tastes delicious but photographs like – well, brown food. But, if you want happy tummies and everybody lives happily and healthily ever after, well heck, this recipe is your huckleberry as Doc Holiday might have opined.

If you remember back a few months ago, I challenged Hamburger Helper to a throwdown and gave you a Meat Base recipe to add to your freezer repertoire. I sure hope you took it to heart and made up a few bags of this base for those emergency nights when it’s either your way or the pizza delivery guy’s way. For almost less time than it takes to go online, read the menu, order, pay for it, and take delivery, you can have a bowl of this deliciously cheap and filling fall comfort classic sitting in front of you.

Yes indeedy, Poor Man’s Beef Stroganoff is rich, nutritious, filling and comforting. Add Buttery Cabbage Noodles into the mix and you won’t even miss those egg noodles. And it’s pretty cheap, too. For less than a $10 spot, you can feed a family of 4 to 6, depending on how big and hearty you make a serving. The nutritional quantities reflect serving 4 people.

I hope you will make this recipe. It’s dead easy and tastes great. I never bother with adding thickener to the stroganoff broth. I prefer a looser sauce anyway. The nutrition totals do not include thickeners. IF you must have them, feel free to use a number of different thickening options such as chia seeds, or the gums of your choice or even use a bit of glucomannan or resistant corn starch. You could even throw in a tablespoon or two of pork rinds or coconut flour to thicken it up, but why bother? Honestly, it’s great without any thickener other than the sour cream.

Be sure to let me know how you like it!

Meal – Costs for 4 Total $9.33Poor Man’s Beef Stroganoff - $8.57
Buttery Cabbage Noodles - $0.76

Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff
Total Cost of Recipe: $8.57
Cost per 1/4 of Recipe: $2.15

Serving Size:   About 1 1/2 cups          Yield: 4 – 6 Servings
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Simmer Time:  25 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 45 Minutes
Difficulty:  So easy the sock monkeys make it for us

Using the Meat Base II foundation for this dish means you can have this satisfying comfort meal on the table in 45 minutes from start to finish.

Buttery Cabbage Noodles top low carb Poor Man's
Beef Stroganoff.
1 recipe  Meat Base II
¾ pound  mushrooms -- sliced
½ cup  green onion -- washed and chopped
1 clove  garlic -- slivered
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ - 1 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground
½ teaspoon thyme, dried
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 fluid ounces dry vermouth -- or dry white wine
2 cups  chicken broth
1 cup  sour cream

Optional Thickener1 teaspoon glucomannan powder -- or 1 tsp xanthan gum or 2 tablespoon chia seeds

Optional Side Dish4 servings Buttery Cabbage Noodles (Recipe follows)

Take 1 package of Meat Base II from freezer and place in refrigerator the night before or morning of making this recipe. Allow it to defrost in the fridge while you're at work.

Wash, dry, and slice mushrooms. Peel garlic and sliver very thinly. Wash green onions and trim root ends off onions and trim the top 2 inches off the green ends. You will use the whole green onion for this dish, whites and greens. Chop green onions into 1/8" chop.

In large saute pan or skillet, add olive oil and garlic slices. Allow pan to heat up over high heat and allow garlic to begin flavoring the olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms and green onions. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Saute mushrooms until soft and beginning to brown on the edges. Add Worcestershire sauce and continue to saute another minute or two. Add dry vermouth or dry white wine. Allow wine to cook off for 2 minutes.

Add chicken stock. Add the Meat Base II to the recipe.

Cover and simmer 20 minutes over medium heat.

Remove lid and turn off heat. Add 1 cup sour cream. If mixture is too runny and thin, thicken with glucomannan powder, xanthan gum or use your favorite thickening agent. Chia seeds can be used to thicken it as can cream cheese.

(Note About Chicken Stock - Look, this is a budget dinner. IF you don't have chicken stock on hand and want to save money, just add water to replace the broth and/or the dry vermouth or dry white wine. The dish will taste different, but we grew up without using all that fancy pants kinda new-fangled technique and loved this dish. So don't stop yourself from making it on account of that!)

Nutritional Information:
For 4 Servings - Per Serving (Does not include Cabbage Noodles or Thickener) : 527 Calories; 40g; 27g Protein; 11.5g Carbohydrate; 1.75g Dietary Fiber; 111mg Cholesterol; 960mg Sodium; 9.75g Net Carbs.

For 6 Servings – Per Serving (Does not include Cabbage Noodles or Thickener) : 351 Calories; 27g Fat; 18g Protein; 7.7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 74mg Cholesterol; 640mg Sodium; 6.7g Net Carbs.

Serving Ideas: Serve over Buttery Cabbage Noodles. Add a crisp house salad or simple sliced tomatoes and call it done.

This dish is one of my very favorite Fall Comfort Food Classics. It's perfectly Induction Friendly and makes a quick and easy weeknight meal - especially when you use have the Meat Base II cooked and frozen in the freezer. Fluffy Chix Cook believes you can safely break up with Hamburger Helper as long as you have these types of recipes on hand. Hard to believe it's low carb and healthy for you.

A slice or two of tomatoes is the only side dish you need for this speedy meal, if you need a side dish at all. It tastes like you spent all day on it. And the best part of all? Not a speck of soy or grains in sight!

It's well-worth the 13g of carbs that a 4 person serving with Buttery Cabbage Noodles will cost from your daily carb budget. The carbs are very slow acting and should not contribute to a huge spike in blood sugar. If you are concerned, simply scale back on your serving and get 6 servings from the recipe, then supplement your dinner with a salad filled with ultra-low carb salad greens and my tasty House Vinaigrette!

Buttery Cabbage Noodles
Total Cost of Recipe: $0.76
Cost per 1/4 of Recipe: $0.19

Serving Size:   About 1 cup      Yield: 4 Servings
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Sauté Time:  15 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty:  Must be allowed to use sharp objects. You MUST have a sharp knife to cut the cabbage.

Using the Meat Base II foundation for this dish means you can have this satisfying comfort meal on the table in 45 minutes from start to finish.

Buttery Cabbage Noodles is a low carb, satisfying
dish that easily replaces high carbage noodles.

Ingredients1 pound  cabbage -- about half a medium head
½ cup  water
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground

Wash cabbage and cut into ¼ - ½ inch thick slices. Try to make complete slices so the cabbage slice is intact and is a flat, evenly thick slice. (I personally like slicing them about ¼” thick.)

Heat large flat skillet with 1/2 cup water over high heat. Place cabbage slices into pan. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook covered for 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, remove lid and return heat to high. Using a spatula, stir cabbage and as it cooks, separate the slices into individual cabbage "noodles". Don't get impatient and break the slices up. Allow the steam to do the work for you.

Add butter, salt and pepper and allow the water to evaporate with cooking. If pan becomes dry and cabbage starts to stick, add water back to the pan about 1/8 cup at a time and allow it to evaporate before adding water. (I call this sautéing with water.) If you must, add more butter! Fear not the fat!

After about 10 minutes, noodles will be al dente. Remove from heat and serve piping hot. You should not have to drain the cabbage since most of the cooking water should have evaporated and left the butter to evenly coat each noodle.

Per Serving: 80 Calories; 6g Fat; 2g Protein; 6.25g Carbohydrate; 2.75g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 257mg Sodium, 3.5Net Carbs.

Serving Ideas: Serve with Poor Man's Stroganoff or traditional Beef Stroganoff. It's great as the "noodle" replacement base for one-pot-wonders of all kinds: pork, beef, chicken, lamb, or even vegetarian based.

This is such an easy dish to prepare. The hardest part is cutting the cabbage into slices! Be sure to use a sharp knife. I take the end off the cabbage (the first slice) and julienne that end by cutting it into ¼ - ½ inch thick strips. That way you already have shorter noodles to go into the pot with the other slices.

This is a perfect side dish for those fall and wintery types of one pot, hamburger helper-style dishes. Works great with beef, pork, chicken or lamb.

For a touch of heat, feel free to throw on a few dashes of pickled pepper vinegar or sambal oelek or Rooster Sauce.

A pinch of red pepper flakes and a scosh of chopped or dried parsley makes a colorful addition. As you can see, it's not the most colorful tool in the shed, but it sure gets the job done!


  1. YES!!! Rooster Sauce!! (See I read your posts all the way through).
    This sounds delicious and I can't wait to make it. I like the idea of using the cabbage as noodles. This is why they pay you the big bucks, isn't it?
    So glad you're feeling better. I pray everything continues to heal and improve.

    1. Arlene! Rooster Sauce on the Buttery Cabbage Noodles...well heck fire, I could eat it every day hon! Haha on the "big bucks". Don't we wish! Maybe one day, right?

      Thanks for your prayers for continued healing!!!

  2. First, and most importantly, best wishes to you for good health. Second, yum! Who knew I'd come to craving cabbage...

    1. {{Becky!}} I still owe you one of my lc flour blends hon. I have to confess that it was so hot here I was flat askeered to mail it this summer. Now unfortunately, it must wait till I heal and am back at it again. But I swear you WILL receive this during the cool weather and before the holiday season hits. Swearsies!

      Love ya hon!

  3. Happy to hear you are healing well. :) God bless you.

    Sounds flavorful - especially the buttery cabbage noodles.

    1. Thank you Jen! And thank you for your friendship and continued prayers for healing!!!

      MMMMmmmm buttery cabbage noodles, aren't they the best?


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