I grew up with a working mom who rarely had anytime to make big fancy dinners. In fact, one of my favorite meals as a kid was something we liked to call “meat pie”, which is essentially Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough pressed out in a pie pan, ground turkey mixed with tomato paste and spices, then baked under a layer of cheese. Sounds kinda good, doesn’t it? Maybe I will make it for the blog sometime.
This blog post isn’t about meat pie, unfortunately. It’s about Beef Stroganoff. When my mom did have some time to cook up something other than meat pie (she actually cooks a lot of other things, don’t get the wrong idea), she would make up her version of a healthy Beef Stroganoff. Healthy is sort of relative. It was loaded with butter, sour cream, and noodles. It can definitely get healthier.
Which is exactly what I attempted to do during my Whole 30 challenge. It did seem a little daunting when the key ingredients are sour cream and noodles. But I have become so accustomed to substituting in coconut milk and spaghetti squash, it was a no-brainer.
I started this off by roasting the spaghetti squash since that was going to take the longest. While the spaghetti squash was in the oven, I seared the beef then cooked the onions and mushrooms. Since I wasn’t using a heavy cream or thick sour cream for my sauce, I wanted to thicken up my coconut milk a bit. Fortunately, coconut milk is already pretty thick, so I just used a bit of agar agar powder to get it a bit thicker. I then poured the sauce over the beef, onions, and mushrooms, and let the flavors marry and sauce thicken.
To serve, I just spooned a healthy portion of the beef stroganoff right on top of the spaghetti squash, which I had already pulled apart with a fork.
It may not look it, but the resulting Stroganoff is rich, creamy, and has a hint of heat from the red pepper which my husband and I both liked (our personal twist to the recipe). It was definitely one of his favorite recipes during my Whole 30 and I have even made it since completing the diet because it was that good.
If you are not on a Paleo diet, but are looking for a healthy alternative to Beef Stroganoff feel free to use Greek yogurt instead of coconut milk and agar agar. You can also serve over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
- 2 small to medium spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 1/2 lb beef tenderloin (or preferred beef cut), cubed
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp agar agar powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Microwave the squash for 1 minute. Cut off the stem, then cut lengthwise down the middle. Remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes then flip to cut side up and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, place a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the ghee and beef and sear until mostly cooked. Remove beef from skillet and place on a plate.
- To the skillet, add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Pour in the red win vinegar and deglaze the skillet by scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Cook until onions are translucent.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, mustard, and agar agar powder until powder is dissolved.
- Once onions and mushrooms are cooked, add the beef back to the skillet and pour in the milk mixture. Sprinkle in paprika and red pepper. Cook on medium until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
- When spaghetti squash is ready, shred with a fork to form noodles. Spoon beef mixture on top of spaghetti squash. Top with parsley.
- If you don't like the taste of coconut milk, you can either replace it or cut it with almond or cashew milk.