Meatloaf with Sofrito

2 Tbsp butter

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, minced

½ c minced carrot

½ c minced celery

1 slice bread, crusts removed, torn into rough pieces

4 oz white mushrooms

½ c sofrito (recipe below)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ lb ground beef

1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning (Oaktown Spice Erbe Italiano di Lusso)

1 large egg

Kosher salt

1 tsp paprika


½ c sofrito

2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

¼ c cider vinegar

½ tsp ground black pepper

Cayenne or other red pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat until it foams. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool. In a food processor, coarsely chop bread and mushrooms.

In a large bowl, combine beef, mushroom mixture, cooled vegetables, spices and egg. Mix until beef is tacky.

Prepare glaze:

Combine ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium high heat until thick – 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Press meat into pan (8×8 square works). Cook for 10-15 minutes, then top it with ½ c glaze and continue cooking 10-15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

Red Sofrito (makes 3 cups)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, small, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 tsp paprika

4 oz canned diced green chiles

2 roasted bell peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

½ c chicken stock

Put oil in skillet and place over medium heat. When hot, add onion, garlic and shallots. Cook until onions start to brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in paprika; cook 2 more minutes. Add chiles, roasted pepper, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until almost dry, about 30 minutes. Use a potato masher to break up tomatoes into smaller chunks, if desired. Add salt to taste.

Mushroom and Beef Stroganoff+

Makes 4 servings

12 ounces boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain

¾ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 or 2 large shallots, chopped (about ½ cup)

Two 10-ounce packages white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced (about 6 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp flour

1¼ cups low-sodium beef broth

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup sour cream

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cooked whole-grain egg noodles

Season the meat with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the beef and cook for one to two minutes, until seared but still pink inside. Transfer the meat with its juices to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the skillet (medium heat). Add the shallot and cook for about a minute, stirring, until softened. Add the mushrooms, and then the garlic, and cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their water and it has evaporated.

Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour and stir until well combined. Add the beef broth and, stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; add the remaining 1½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens and reduces slightly, then stir in the mustard until well incorporated. Add the sour cream, stirring until well blended.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan; cook for one to two minutes, until the meat is just warmed through, but still medium-rare.

Serve warm, garnished with the parsley, over the noodles.

Per serving (without the noodles): 310 calories, 25 grams protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

Seared Porterhouse with Oozing Maitre d’ Butter+

Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 40 min

2 to 4 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 8 additional tablespoons, softened
1 cup minced shallots
Coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons green peppercorns
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, plus a “few grates” lemon zest
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 porterhouse steak, about 2 1/2 pounds and about 2 1/2 inches thick
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Make the butter: In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, then add the shallots. Season with salt, to taste, and cook until they are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a medium bowl. Add the green peppercorns, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk to blend so all of the flavors start to meld together. Use a fork to blend in the other 8 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the parsley.

Roll the butter into a cylinder (like cookie dough) in plastic wrap or parchment pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook the steak: Heat a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the steak until it begins to visibly smoke. Use a kitchen towel to “blot” any excess moisture from both sides of the steak and season with salt and pepper. Shut the heat off underneath the skillet and use a pair of tongs to put the steak squarely in the pan. Raise the heat high and brown on the first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Resist the temptation to move it as it cooks. Lower the heat and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Turn it on its second side and brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the steak on the edge with the fat “cap” and brown that for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat and allow the steak to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Slice the maitre d’ butter into1/2-inch rounds and set aside.

Testing for doneness: The simplest way to check for doneness is to make a small incision by the center bone in the thickest part of the steak. It should be a little less cooked than you would like to allow for “carry over” cooking and the “finishing” touch of running the steak under the broiler. For rare, a 2 1/2-inch porterhouse steak should take around 30 to 35 minutes to cook. Add about 4 minutes for medium-rare and 4 additional for medium. If using an instant-read thermometer, rare registers between 125 and 130 degrees F. For medium-rare, 130 to 135 degrees F and between 135 and 140 degrees F for medium.

Remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and transfer the whole thing to a heatproof platter with the meat still arranged around each side of the center bone. Top the steak with a single layer of the butter slices, put it under the broiler until the butter softens, about 30 to 45 seconds. Serve immediately.

Mini Shepherd’s Pies+

4 servings | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 12 ounces 93%-lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 2 12-ounce packages frozen winter squash puree, thawed
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in beef, flour and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until the beef is mostly browned, about 3 minutes. Add broth, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is the consistency of thick gravy, about 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder; cook until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place squash in a fine-mesh sieve and gently press on it to extract excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Divide the meat mixture among four 10-ounce broiler-safe ramekins. Top each with about 1/2 cup of the squash. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  4. Broil until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and broil until it is just melted, about 3 minutes more.


Per serving : 310 Calories; 13 g Fat; 5 g, 26 g Carbohydrates; 29 g Protein; 5 g Fiber

Beef-and-Butternut Squash Chili+

6 plus points
Yield: Makes 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
This is pretty mild – could stand to be spiced up.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef (I used stew beef instead)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 (16-ounce) can chili beans
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Cook beef, bell pepper, and next 2 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well, and return to Dutch oven.

Stir in tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in corn, and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until squash is tender and chili is thickened.

CALORIES 234 (22% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 2.3g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.4g); IRON 2.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 21mg; CALCIUM 65mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30g; SODIUM 642mg; PROTEIN 17g; FIBER 6.8g

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash+

7 plus points

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.

CALORIES 283 ; FAT 9.5g (sat 2g,mono 4.8g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 67mg; CALCIUM 103mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.7g; SODIUM 617mg; PROTEIN 25.6g; FIBER 4.8g; IRON 4.6mg

Sesame-Soy Meatballs

6 points

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 5 meatballs)

1/3 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef; mix gently to combine. With moist hands, shape beef mixture into 20 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs to pan; cook 4 minutes, turning to brown meatballs on all sides. Arrange browned meatballs in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining meatballs. Bake meatballs at 400° for 7 minutes or until done.

CALORIES 241 ; FAT 11.3g (sat 2.7g,mono 4.8g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.3g; SODIUM 491mg; PROTEIN 23.5g; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 1.9mg

Beef Filets with Pomegranate-Pinot Sauce+

6 points
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and about 2 teaspoons sauce)

4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/3 cup pinot noir or burgundy wine
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 thyme sprig
1 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

2. Add shallots to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, wine, juice, broth, and thyme sprig; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat; discard thyme sprig. Add butter to sauce, stirring until butter melts. Serve sauce with steaks.

CALORIES 227 ; FAT 12.3g (sat 5.7g,mono 4.2g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 15mg; CARBOHYDRATE 3.8g; SODIUM 428mg; PROTEIN 24g; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 3.4mg

Beef Filets with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Popovers+


9 points (includes popover)

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 steak, 1 popover, and 1/3 cup sauce)

1 cup fat-free milk
2 large eggs
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 ounces sliced fresh cremini mushroom caps (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup pinot noir
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine milk and eggs in a bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt to milk mixture, stirring well; let stand 30 minutes. Place popover tin in oven for 5 minutes. Remove tin from oven; lightly coat popover cups with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each cup, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until puffed and golden.

3. Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl, and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving mushrooms and soaking liquid. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add cremini mushrooms to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until almost tender. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in porcini, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 3 minutes). Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over mushroom mixture; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Gradually add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, stirring constantly; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Stir in herbs.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add beef to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 10 minutes.

CALORIES 405 ; FAT 19.9g (sat 6.9g,mono 9.1g,poly 1.2g); CHOLESTEROL 146mg; CALCIUM 113mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.8g; SODIUM 675mg; PROTEIN 29.7g; FIBER 1.5g; IRON 3.6mg

Wild Mushroom and Beef Stew

7 points

Yield:  8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

5 cups water
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
Cooking spray
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced button mushrooms
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 10 cups)
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups coarsely chopped red onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring water and broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add porcini; remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Chop porcini; set aside.

Combine flour, salt, garlic, and beef, tossing well to coat. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining beef mixture. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel; coat with cooking spray. Add button and cremini mushrooms; cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms release liquid. Stir in the reserved porcini liquid, chopped porcini, beef mixture, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes, stirring twice.

Add roasted onion, rosemary, and pepper to stew. Cover and simmer stew an additional 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

CALORIES 324 (30% from fat); FAT 10.7g (sat 3.3g,mono 4.8g,poly 1.2g); IRON 7.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 71mg; CALCIUM 51mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.2g; SODIUM 509mg; PROTEIN 32.6g; FIBER 6.1g