Friday, March 30, 2012

Eat: Beef Stroganoff and Bonus: Short Shorts

Hey guys, question.

Do these shorts make me look pale?
Oh nevermind. Who am I kidding.
It has been so hot recently that I have been reduced to embracing my short shorts. These are one of the first pieces of Lulu that I ever got (a birthday present from BFF) - Run: Speed Shorts, and in the past I have been reluctant to wear them. These suckers are short - a 3" inseam. To give you an idea of just how ridiculous they are, I am 5'2" and have a 29" inseam and they are almost inappropriate on me. Before I packed them for last night's run, I put them on and consulted Husband:

Me: J, are these too short?
Husband: Turn around.
(I turn around)
Husband: Bend over.
(I bend over. No reaction.)
Me: Ugh, can you totally see my butt in these?
Husband: Nope. You're fine.
Me: I don't think I believe you.

Anyhow, Prabir and I had a semi-disasterous run on Wednesday. It was 80 degrees and there was so much tree pollen that I truly felt like I was dying only 2 miles into our planned 4 miles. Thankfully, yesterday it was only (only?!?!) about 72 degrees and the pollen didn't seem as bad. I wore the short shorts and think that my bum was safely covered the whole time. In fact, I was reminded of just how comfortable those Speed Shorts are and I'm thinking I need another pair for summer training... once my Lenten Lulu Fast is complete of course.

We did a 10k before the big 10k on Saturday - a totally random course that took us 58:00. Hoping for something faster on Saturday. We walked for a few blocks when we were overwhelmed by heat and pollen, which we will not be doing on Saturday, so that will help. Prabir's goal is to sub-55:00. I'm going to try to stick with him.

The other news of the week is that Wednesday was Husband's birthday. He requested that I make his favorite dish of mine, Beef Stroganoff. Because it is pretty easy and very customizable to fit a variety of diets (no diet, vegetarian, low fat), I figured it would be good Eat entry.

Full recipe after the cut...

But before that, let me just share two gorgeous pictures of Maymont's Italian Garden. The tulips are in full bloom right now and it is just breathtakingly gorgeous.

Yesterday afternoon

This morning - the tulips haven't woken up yet.

And now for the recipe...

Beef Stroganoff

My recipe (via my mother via who knows...)

Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes max

1 lb beef, cut into strips
1 medium red onion
8 oz mushrooms (I usually do a mix of baby bella and shitake)
1 (or 2) cloves minced garlic
2 packets of powdered beef gravy mix
8 oz sour cream
16 oz package of egg noodles (I use extra wide)
Parsley for garnish

Possible substitutions
- Go vegetarian by losing the beef and upping the mushrooms. When I do this I prefer to add in another variety of "exotic" mushroom like oyster to boost flavor and interest.
- Use reduced sodium beef gravy mix.
- Go with reduced fat sour cream for a lighter version (I wouldn't recommend using non-fat though)

First, chop your onion, rinse and slice your mushrooms (unless you're lazy like me and buy pre-sliced), and cut your beef into strips.

Next, throw a few swirls of olive oil in a saute pan and heat over medium heat.

When the oil is heated, add the beef, onions, and garlic.

Saute over medium heat until the meat is just about cooked through. Then add your mushrooms and continue to saute while you mix up the gravy according to the package directions.

It's also a good idea to start heating the water for your egg noodles at this point.

I also salt and pepper at this point.

Once beef is cooked and the mushrooms start to soften, pour in the gravy and mix in the sour cream.

Then lick the rest of the sour cream off of the spoon that you used to scoop it out of the tub. Just do it. You know you want to.

Let this mixture simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. I tend to add some more salt and pepper as it cooks.

By now, your noodle water should be boiling. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. I've found that the noodles tend to get too mushy if I cook them for anything more than the minimum amount of time called for, so be careful. Also, stir frequently because they can easily stick to the bottom of your pot (or to each other).

Once noodles are cooked, drain and combine with the beef/gravy mixture. Add some fresh parsley and voila!

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