Easy Crock-Pot Mallard & Teal

Last weekend we traveled down to Riverton after work Friday night to camp out at Ocean Lake in preparation for the duck season opening Saturday morning. My parents joined us in their camper as well. It was a beautiful fall morning and my husband & dad did pretty good. Maggie also did some great retrieving, swimming out to get two potential escapees! With the addition of our six-month old son (hence the paper plate!) I try to plan quick & easy dinners & utilize the crock-pot as much as possible while I’m at work all day. This recipe is quick & easy.

  • Rinse duck breasts from mallard/teal (4-5 birds)
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • Brown & Wild Rice

Add duck, soup, dressing, and apple cider to crock-pot & cook on LOW for 6 hours. Microwave or cook wild rice. Serve duck over rice with your choice of veggies & ladle on the sauce from the crock-pot. Stir fry veggies would be great, but I whipped up some glazed baby carrots this time since I had them on hand. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Mountain Man Beans with Fluffy Cornbread

I made this dish basically using this recipe for “Cowboy Beans with Beef” from the Thrifty Recipes website. However, I scaled down the recipe to make enough for dinner for two with one serving of leftovers, and subbed in ground elk for the beef. Therefore, Joe came up with the idea that they are Mountain Man Beans (elk) rather than Cowboy Beans (beef). Makes perfect sense when you think about it!

I REALLY liked this meal, and it makes a good substitute for chili. I plan to make it again in the next few weeks. Plus it uses stuff one would mostly have on hand, and is filling, inexpensive, and nutritious. I came to the realization that healthy is a subjective term, so I am going to stick with the term nutritious : ) The cornbread recipe is my go-to, it is from the back on the Quaker cornmeal can and I simply substitute plain Greek yogurt for the vegetable oil, which results in a soft and fluffy cornbread. Nutrition stats for my cornbread recipe can be found on Livestrong.

Slow Cooker Mountain Man Beans with Fluffy Cornbread

Servings- 3

Mountain Man Beans

  • 2 slices bacon, cooked & torn into pieces
  • 1/2 pound ground elk or ground elk infused with bacon
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 -15-oz cans of baked beans (I used Bush’s onion baked beans)
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, drained

Cook the bacon and chop or tear into pieces. Brown the ground elk with the onion, garlic, and spices.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.

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Dump meat mixture into slow cooker. Add in the bacon, beans and corn. Give the mixture a stir and cook on LOW for six hours.

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Fluffy Cornbread

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk + 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg

Spray an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients and then add in wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 until top just begins to brown. 

Cut cornbread into nine slices. Scoop up a bowl of beans and sit down to a delicious meal.

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2-for-1: Boozy Crockpot Elk Roast Recipe–> Fajitas

DSC01371While neither of these recipes are my own, both are really good and fairly easy to make, so I am excited to share them with you. The roast makes good leftovers: these Pioneer Woman fajitas were really good!

I found the Elk Roast Recipe from ChipolteChick on Food.com. I halved the recipe and used my crock pot to make. Here’s what I used:

  • 1.5 lb. elk roast
  • 1/2 can beer (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire
  • Season salt 
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce

Place roast in crock pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour in chili sauce and brown sugar, layer onion slices and minced garlic on top. Pour beer into crock pot and cook on LOW for 6 hours. The roast was pretty tender, and the juices do have a slight beer taste to them. I served it with mashed potatoes, but you could easily put veggies into the crock pot with the meat.

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The roast was OK, but the leftovers were FANTASTIC! I used the Pioneer Woman’s Beef Fajita recipe as a base for the remaining 1/2 pound of roast that we had.

In a shallow 8 x 8 inch glass pan, I combined:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 T Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar

I had onions left over mixed in with the roast already, but feel free to add more sliced onions if needed.

Then I thinly sliced the remaining roast and placed the meat into the pan, turning it with a fork to coat all sides. I marinated it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, then heated it up in the frying pan for about 40 seconds on high heat.

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I then put the meat into a warm flour tortilla and topped it with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. You could add salsa or guacamole, too. Delicious!

Crockpot BBQ Elk Round Steak with Veggies

I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago after not having had time to marinade the elk steaks I pulled from the freezer, or plan a meal for dinner that night. During my lunch break I threw this together using what I had in the fridge and left the crockpot to do its job during the afternoon. I picked up a brown gravy packet on the way home from work to finish off the meal. Cooking the round steaks LOW and SLOW with the BBQ sauce and steak seasoning made the meat tender and gave it a nice spicy flavor. No gamey taste at all.

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Crockpot BBQ Elk Round Steak with Veggies 

Serves 2

  • 3/4 lb. elk (or venison) round steak
  • ~14 baby carrots
  • 1/4 c yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 head (about 1.5 cups) broccoli
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Worchestshire
  • 1 package brown gravy mix (I used low-sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp. BBQ Sauce
  • Steak seasoning- I used this from Hi Mountain Seasonings
  • Garlic salt
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • Season Salt
  • Black pepper

Clean and chop vegetables. Feel free to use more onion, I didn’t have time during my lunch break to peel and cut another one, so I just used up what I had.

Melt margarine in frying pan and saute vegetables until carrots, onion, and broccoli are tender, about 10-15 minutes. I had to had a small amount of water to the pan two or three times to keep the veggies from buring. Potatoes should be softer but not yet fully cooked. Season vegetables with montreal chicken seasoning, garlic salt, and black pepper.
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Place steaks in a bowl and season liberally with steak seasoning. Pour on BBQ sauce and swirl steaks around in the bowl so that the meat is coated completely.

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Place cream of mushroom, beef broth, worchestshire, and partially cooked vegetables into the bottom of the crockpot.

Lay steaks on top. Sprinkle everything lightly with a pinch of season salt.

Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Liquid will form in the crockpot while cooking–this is good– you will want to save and use this! Pour off and measure one cup of the liquid that forms in the crockpot to use to make the gravy.

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When ready to serve, prepare the gravy: In a small saucepan, add the 1 cup of liquid reserved from the crockpot to the brown gravy mix and whisk on medium heat for 2 minutes until gravy thickens.

Serve steak and vegetables with brown gravy.

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Interesting Reads:

Viewing Wyoming’s bighorn sheep herds

Primal eating plan

Spinach Artichoke and Venison Sausage Alfredo

Wishing You a Happy Easter

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This wreath is the perfect blank canvas, an all-seasons wreath. It is perched outside my front door, and I change the decorations on it with the seasons and holidays. Both the wreath and this vintage egg-flower Easter basket (with 1968 handwritten in marker on the bottom!)  came from the Opportunity Shop, the local thrift store that uses the money it makes to provide grants to local non-profits. Pretty neat, truly passing the buck and creating opportunities for many people in many different ways.

On to the meal. With Spring Break upon us, it has been nice having some time in the evening to cook when I get home and not relying on the crockpot or piecing together meals with random leftover–not that random leftovers are bad, but regularly grazing on leftovers is not really a good habit to get into. With a large bag of fresh spinach and venison breakfast sausage that needed to be cooked or else, I came up with Spinach Artichoke and Venison Sausage Alfredo. The venison sausage is breakfast sausage, made from ground deer, ground pork butts, and this Breakfast Sausage Seasoning Kit. For more information on making your own breakfast sausage, check out this post.

Serves 2

  • 4 oz. dry spaghetti
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled vension breakfast sausage
  • 2 Tbsp. diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half and half (I use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 tsp. margarine or butter
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups baby spinach, packed
  • salt and pepper

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1. Melt butter and olive oil in frying pan. Add in green onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes.

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???????????????????????????????The green onions are from the garden last summer. After harvesting them, I cleaned and roughly diced them, and then put them in the freezer in an empty pop bottle. Throughout the year when I need to use them, I just shake them out frozen. Thank you, Pinterest!

2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain water and rinse. Then add 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese to the pasta, saving the remaining 1/4 cup for later. ???????????????????????????????

3. Add chicken broth and half and half to the frying pan with the vegetables and cook on medium-low for another 2-3 minutes to make a sauce.

4. To the skillet, add crumbled breakfast sausage. I had cooked my sausage the day before because I was worried that it was going bad. If you need to, cook and crumble the sausage in a small frying pan at this point.

5. Now add the pasta into the skillet with the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan over top and stir gently to combine???????????????????????????????

Scoop up a bowl and enjoy!  ???????????????????????????????

I like to know how what I am eating stacks up, so here are theNutrition Stats according to Livestrong. This recipe makes 3.5 cups.

Per 7 oz. (almost 1 cup) serving: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/spinach-artichoke-elk-sausage-alfredo/

spinartdata

Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Since I am really only cooking for one most of the time during the winter due to Joe’s work hours, I often find myself with leftovers to eat. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal that takes only about 15 minutes to prepare and makes fantastic leftovers that you won’t mind having around the house. Please note that this recipe can be doubled easily for a family of four. I made this recipe with the thawed ground elk meat that had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up. This is a basic sauce because tomato puree was all I had on hand, and it turned out good for this recipe. As an alternative, this spaghetti sauce recipe is a favorite of mine if I have a little time to spare and the ingredients it requires.

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Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Yield: (3) 1- cup servings

  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (I used Great Value brand)
  • 1/2 lb. ground wild game
  • 1 1/2 c (12 oz.) tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian Blend or mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Seasoning:

  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil
  • Garlic salt
  • Season salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano

1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and brown ground meat with diced onion. Meanwhile, start water boiling in a medium pot for the tortellini.

2. Liberally season meat mixture by shaking in Italian seasoning (about 1 T.), and basil, garlic salt, season salt, black pepper, onion powder, and oregano in smaller batches (about 1/2 tsp.) until you achieve your desired taste.

3. As meat browns, crumble with a wooden spoon and add in tomato puree and half of the parmesan cheese (1/4 cup).

4. Simmer meat and sauce on LOW heat until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.   Taste and add more spices if desired.

5. Measure out 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini and boil for 3 minues until pasta in tender.

6. Drain pasta, rinse, and pour into frying pan with meat and sauce mixture.

7. Stir gently to combine. Top pasta with Italian blend shredded cheese (or mozzerella) and remaining 1/4 c parmesan cheese.

8. Serve immediately.

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