Just a couple of things I've dredged up so far this week...
First: Deer Stew. For the deer stew I used the same recipe I normally use to make beef stew. Here is the recipe (taken from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook), with my modifications in parentheses.
Old-Fashioned Beef (Deer) Stew
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use more)
12 ounces beef (deer) stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cups vegetable juice
1 cup water
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules (I use 2 beef bouillon cubes)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
(2 1/2 teaspoons salt)
3 cups cubed potatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 cup sliced carrots
Place flour in a plastic bag. Add meat cubes, a few at a time, shaking to coat. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven brown meat in hot oil; drain fat. (I don't drain the fat.) Stir in vegetable juice, water, onion, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, oregano, marjoram, (salt), pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until meat is nearly tender.
Stir in potatoes, green beans, corn, and carrots. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Tip: When I'm getting my ingredients together to make something, I like to measure out all of the spices/seasonings into a shot glass. It's the perfect size!
Here's Josh digging in. He's not waiting for me to take a picture.
You absolutely have to eat this stew with crumbled up cornbread. I think you do anyway. I mean, why would you not?
Here's the cornbread I made. We had this on Thanksgiving also. It's got jalapenos in it. Classic Buttermilk Cornbread. Click on the link, and give it a try the next time you are making cornbread. It's a very special recipe that gives you a nice crusty crust. And don't even think about using anything other than a cast-iron skillet.
Anyway, this stew is healthy because it contains lots of vegetables; some fresh, some frozen. One cup of this stew has about 235 calories, and if you cut the cornbread into 12 pieces, each piece has about 140 calories. That's 375 calories, and those are my recommended portion sizes. Not bad for a hearty lunch!
Next: Eggplant Parmesan
So I had never made this before, but Josh's dad brought us two white eggplants from his garden. They were SO adorable!!! I really should have taken a picture of them before I cut them up. Anyway, this is what I did with them, and it turned out so good! Once again, the recipe is from the BHG book.
1 small eggplant (12 ounces) (I used two VERY small eggplants that approximately equaled that weight.)
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used way more, and I added salt and pepper to my flour.)
2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used like 4 tablespoons of olive oil.)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce (I use Newman's Own marinara.)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
Wash and peel eggplant (I didn't peel mine); cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; dip eggplant slices into egg mixture, then into flour, turning to coat both sides. In a large skillet cook eggplant, half at a time (all of mine fit in at once), in hot oil 4 to 6 minutes or until golden, turning once. Add additional oil if necessary. Drain on paper towels. (It took me longer than 6 minutes to get a nice brown color.)
Place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. If necessary, cut slices to fit. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with the spaghetti sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through. (It took mine longer than 12 minutes. I turned the oven up 25 degrees at the end to get the cheese to turn brown like I wanted it to.)
Now this was good stuff!
I estimate that each of these little guys has about 100 calories. (Of course it would be different if you used a different size eggplant.)