Mealtime Mama: Recipes from new sponsor Ozark Natural Foods

We’d like to welcome Ozark Natural Foods as our new Mealtime Mama sponsor. Aren’t they the perfect fit? Not only do they offer the products to make great meals, they also have a fabulous deli where they prepare healthy food for lunch or a fast purchase.

They are the go-to place in Northwest Arkansas for natural and organic foods/products, too. ONF is a unique store because it’s a co-op. That means it looks like a regular business, but it’s actually owned by the community. The next time you shop at ONF, ask about becoming an “owner”. Or click here to purchase and become part of the community. All you’ll need to do is pay a small fee, which gives you access to some great deals throughout the year, including “owner appreciation weekends”.

We wanted to share a few favorite recipes from ONF staff members today:

Amber’s Awesome Baked Meatballs

  • 1 lb Greenwood Farms All Natural Ground Beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup bell pepper, minced
  • ½ cup white onion, minced
  • 4 tbsp garlic, minced
  • ½ cup parsley, minced
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning from Bulk Herbs (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper or jalapeños (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat your baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. I like to use Spectrum’s Grapeseed Spray Oil. Combine the egg, bell pepper, onion, garlic, parsley and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add in the beef and bread crumbs, mashing and kneading it with your hands. When everything looks evenly distributed, form into one inch diameter meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the center is no longer pink. Makes about 25 meatballs.

I came up with this recipe recently and fell in love with it. You can enjoy these meaty treats immediately or freeze for another time. And remember, meatballs aren’t just for Italian dishes. You can pair them with anything that tastes good with beef!

Recipe by Amber Secrest, Wellness Manager

Braised Beef Tips with a Shittake Red Wine Sauce served with Green Beans in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Braised Beef Tips:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 package (appx. 1lb.) beef or lamb tips
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

On medium heat, cook tips and onion slices until cook to your preferred level of ‘done-ness’. Stir as needed. Add pepper towards the end or even after you have turned off the heat.

Shittake Red Wine Sauce:

  • ½ lb thinly sliced baby shittake mushrooms
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 small cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 & ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

In a large pan, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. Then add the broth and red wine, reduce heat and leave on a simmer until the liquid has cooked down by over half.  (This will take at least 25 minutes). Serve on top of the beef tips.

Green Beans:

  • ½ lb green beans, stems removed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 thin pad butter
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from ½ a lemon.
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a stove top pot, heat the green beans in the water until they are slightly cooked. Remove water and heat beans on high with the butter, lemon, and pepper for about 3-5 minutes, tossing regularly.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce:

  • 1 cup any type or combination of mushrooms (here I used oyster and lion’s mane, which is that crazy looking thing in the middle of the plate)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/c cup cottage cheese
  • Tbsp finely chopped chives (or green onion tops)
  • 2 small cloves finely chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of two of cornstarch (for thickening if desired)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small pat butter

In a sauce pan, sauté the mushrooms, chives, and galic.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until it thickens. Serve over the green beans.

This meat also cooks well in a crock pot, if you don’t feel like using the stove top.  I recommend adding a little red wine and beef broth if you choose to use the crock pot.

In the above picture I also included some roasted potatoes and braised brussel sprouts as side dishes, and as always, I made a simple summer salad.  I suggest making any sides that you like (mashed potatoes, asparagus, corn, or just the salad. I kinda went all out on this one).  The techniques here are simple and many ingredients interchangeable.  The creamy mushroom sauce for example was originally created by an old roommate of mine from those ingredients that we happened to have in the fridge along with a lot of mushrooms.  All together it makes for a great Sunday dinner.

Recipe by Pauline Thiessen, Produce Manager

Click here to visit the ONF website. We forgot to mention that they also have a program called Co-op Kids. When you get kids involved in picking out healthy foods with you, they’re more invested in eating them! Plus, they can score free fruit and ice cream at special times of the year at ONF.