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Lightened- Up Beef Stroganoff

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been making a lot of changes to my diet. I am trying to incorporate tons of fruits and veggies in to my meals while replacing the empty calories.  I am really enjoying the challenge of taking a  high-calorie, fat laden, classic dish and putting a healthy spin on it.

Traditionally, Beef Stroganoff  is made with either heavy cream or full-fat sour cream, lots of butter or oil for sauteing the steak and  mushrooms, and is usually served over a bed of buttered egg noodles. I replaced the full-fat sour cream with fat-free sour cream, adding a tablespoon of light cream cheese for extra richness. used cooking spray and a non stick pan for sauteing the steak and mushrooms. So, how did I make the buttered egg noodles lighter in calories? Well, those aren't noodles at all, they are actually very thin slices of summer squash. Crazy! OK, I am not going to tell you that a bowl of squash is as soul-satisfying as a big bowl of buttered pasta, because it isn't, but it is a really great alternative when you are trying to drop a few pounds.

Lightened-up Beef Stroganoff
(serves 4)

12 oz. lean sirloin steak, cut in thin slices against the grain
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. cold water
1Tbsp. light cream cheese, softened
1 cup low-sodium beef stock
fresh dill, chopped
3 or 4  medium yellow summer squash or zucchini
salt and pepper to taste

With a vegetable peeler or mandolin, slice long, thin ribbons from the zucchini. Try and do it from four equal sides, until you get to the centre, then discard. Sprinkle with a little salt, then place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl. Before sauteing, pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Spray a large non-stick pan with cooking spray. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper. Saute the steak in small batches until browned. Remove steak, wipe out pan, and saute mushrooms and onion until mushrooms or golden brown. Add the garlic, cook for about one minute. Add the tomato paste to pan, cook for another minute. Add beef stock,Worcestershire  and cream cheese, bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Reduce heat to low. Add the steak back to the pan and let simmer for a few minutes. In a small bowl mix the sour cream with a couple of spoonfuls of the stroganoff ( this will temper the sour cream and prevent it from curdling). Stir in the sour cream and cook on low heat, without boiling, just until hot. Season with salt, pepper and dill. Right before serving, saute sliced  squash until tender, about 2 minutes. Arrange  on plates, top with stroganoff.

Tags: Beef, Stroganoff, Main, Light

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