Comfort food like beef stroganoff greets your family with a hearty meal to refuel after a day of meetings and soccer practices. Spending hours chopping, searing and simmering isn't an option for most busy moms. A simple beef stroganoff menu keeps your kids satisfied without chaining you to the stove.
Beef stroganoff uses chunks of stew meat mixed with creamy ingredients, such as the traditional cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. For an equally tasty alternative sauce, use chicken broth, sour cream and powdered ranch dressing. Mushrooms and onions are often included in a stroganoff. The beef mixture goes on top of a bed of mashed potatoes or cooked noodles. Choose the option most appealing to your child to encourage him to finish his dinner. You can also modify the vegetables you add to the stroganoff or use different cream soups for varying flavors.
Light side dishes balance the heaviness of beef stroganoff. Steamed or roasted vegetables come together quickly and add nutrients to the menu. A salad is another way to get vegetables into the mix. In place of the traditional lettuce-based side salad, try one consisting of chopped, grilled vegetables tossed with a light salad dressing. A tomato salad is another variation. Mix together several different varieties of chopped tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and stir.
Instead of cooking the stroganoff on the stovetop, let your slow cooker handle the work. Mix all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook for about eight hours on low or four to five hours on high. Give the stroganoff a quick stir before serving it. Instant mashed potatoes offer a shortcut for the base of the stroganoff. If a side salad is on the menu, save time by using a salad kit.
Make Your Meal Healthier
Choose low-fat versions of the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream in the typical stroganoff recipe. For the alternate sauce, use fat-free chicken broth and sour cream. The taste and texture is similar to the original, but you're serving your family fewer grams of fat and calories. Brown rice offers a healthier base than the usual potatoes or noodles for your beef stroganoff, but if the kids just demand noodles, use the whole-wheat kind. If you serve a side salad, choose light versions of your child's favorite salad dressing for additional reduction in fat and calories.
Shelley Frost writes professionally on a full-time basis, specializing in lifestyle, family, parenting and relationship topics. She holds an education degree and has extensive experience working with kids and parents.