Beef and Mushrooms

Twenty-five weeks, boys and girls. We’ve been at this for twenty-five weeks. That means at the end of next week, we will have been at this for six months.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I’d be going to a gym for six months, losing weight, and actually enjoying it. It’s almost as if someone else has taken over my mind and body. This can’t possibly be me!

But it is me – and I have the sore muscles to prove it.

I lost two of the pounds I gained over the holidays and Victor is down two, as well. I think, though, our focus for the next six months is going to be a bit less about weight loss and a bit more about how we feel and how we’re doing. We both have more weight we want to lose, but 2 pounds a week is pretty unsustainable. Even one pound a week is stretching it after a while. The goal is to drop some more, but not push it. At some point we’re going to reach that magic number we’re looking for and it will all be about maintaining at that point.

The gym is getting both easier and more difficult. Easier in that many things are much more doable today that they were six months ago. more difficult, because as we get better at doing something, our trainer adds another twenty pounds or throws another move into the mix. He’s pushing – and not letting up. It’s the discipline I need to keep going forward. At the same time, I’m finding myself saying that I can take another 10 pounds, or I push it to twenty when the rep was fifteen.

And then there’s recovery time. When we first started this, we’d walk out of the gym and be shot for hours. Now we walk out and are ready to face the day. There’s no down-time. It’s almost like our bodies are starting to work the way they were designed.

What a concept.

On the food end of things, I still need to work on portions. I will probably always need to work on them – although I really am getting better. Marginally, perhaps, but better. Kaizen, as we used to say at Trader Joe’s.

Tonight’s dinner was going to be Beef Stroganoff – until I went to the ‘fridge and found out what I thought was sour cream was actually ricotta. Dinner became beef and mushrooms, instead. Served over egg noodles. We did not suffer.

Things that still amaze me are things like taking one steak and having enough food for both our dinners and at least one lunch the following day. Once upon a time, it would have been two steaks – and no leftovers.

Beef and Mushrooms

  • 1 12oz strip steak cut into strips
  • 1 lb assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder

Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Dredge beef in flour mixture. Reserve flour mixture for finishing sauce.

Melt a pat of butter in a skillet and sauté beef strips just until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add chopped onions to skillet with a bit more butter, if needed, and cook about a minute Add sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are quite well-cooked.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook slightly. Add the beef and coat with the tomato.

Add the brandy and cook until it mostly evaporates. Add the wine and do the same.

Add the beef broth and bring back to a boil.

Add a bit of water to the leftover flour to make a smooth paste. Stir in small amounts at a time until sauce has thickened to your liking. Continue cooking for a few minutes.

Meanwhile. cook egg noodles according to package instructions. When done, drain and stir into beef mixture.


There’s lots of flavor going on with this. One thing I tend to do is under-cook mushrooms. They really like to be cooked well – and half the time I try and rush it. Tonight, I did it right – and it showed in the finished product.

Little splashes of brandy, of wine, and of tomato paste all added to the sauce. And I weighed the noodles.

A successful dinner – even if it was supposed to be something else.

And another successful end of a week.

Twenty-seven more until the end of our contract. Just in time for summer!