Persian Beef Cutlets with Potatoes and Cauliflower

These Persian Beef Cutlets with Potatoes and Cauliflower is updated to include some healthy cauliflower into this family friendly dish.

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Our kitchen is topsy turvy right now. The DIY bug inside of me has been suppressed for too long, and it’s in full force and all over my kitchen. What started innocently enough with new curtains has evolved into painted walls, refinishing cabinets and making a barn door. With my hubby away many weekends for boy scout camps, this process is taking a little longer than it should. But, I am thoroughly enjoying the transformation and can’t wait to share the final reveal with you.

On top of this chaos, the kids are in full school mode and the homework load is KILLING US. I look at what my kids are going through and I am sad. Why sad? They aren’t enjoying school. When the Professor began middle school, his love for learning started to slide. By the time he began high school last year, he found little joy in the classroom. Despite many talks and wishful optimism, this year is not starting off any differently.

And it’s not just him. Middle Child is an 8th grader this year, and he is drowning in homework and miserable in school. And it’s not just a boy thing. My daughter, my Princess who has always been my happy thoughtful child came home last week after 3 weeks into her first year of middle school and told me, “School isn’t fun anymore.” And this was coming from the kid who loved every day of elementary school.

School isn’t fun anymore?

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Geez, that sucks. School wasn’t all fun and games for me as a kid, but I did not have 6 hours of homework, even in high school. AND, I had time for fun and games AFTER school. That just isn’t the case anymore. In middle school, it’s quite normal for my kids to have 4-5 hours of homework. Seriously?

All through elementary school my kids learned about being college-ready. Each classroom represented a college. Every spring they competed during College Field Day. Every year my kids bought class shirts representing their colleges. In Middle School, we heard the same thing. They were preparing our kids for college and the homework loaded increased tremendously.

And high school? They are now on the quarter system and the pace is pretty quick. I’m actually fine with that, since they only take 4 classes at a time. But the expectations and work load in high school now is insane. Sophomores are loading up on AP classes. There is an unspoken competition between the students and parents expecting so much from these teens. Classes are being graded on a curve, college level classes are the norm. They are expected to hold leadership positions, have a rounded extra-curricular life AND have time for charity. And on top of all of that, these big kids are wired 24/7 and bombarded with pressures from social media. It’s no wonder anxiety and depression has sky-rocketed among our youth today.

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The fun HAS been sucked out of school.

As parents, my husband and I do our best to help our kids. We try to translate the new math of Common Core. We stay up to 2am with our high schooler until he digitally turns in a paper that he only had a day or two to organize and write. We wake them up every morning with hugs and kisses to get them up and ready for their day. We try to infuse fun on the weekends, knowing we have to work it around the homework assigned over the weekend. We hug them when they cry. We tell them we love them when they make a bad grade on an assignment they didn’t understand. We go camping, hiking, kayaking. We chill out and watch goofy movies together. We remodel the kitchen together, too.

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As corny as it sounds, I cook my kids their favorite foods to give them comfort and to show my love. I make a pot of chicken noodle soup every week so my soup-loving kids can enjoy a thermos full for lunch everyday at school. I make them breakfast, I stock up on their favorite snacks. I prepare their favorite meals for family dinners.

One family favorite are Persian Beef Cutlets. Ground beef is mixed with grated onions, cooked potatoes, egg and seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric. They are formed into flat patties, covered in bread crumbs and pan fried until crisp. For my twist, I mix equal portions of cooked cauliflower and potatoes. You can also ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef.

Whatever mix you come up with, these beef cutlets are pretty addictive. Eat them alone, or make lavash sandwiches with them. Serve with radishes, pickles and fresh herbs like basil, tarragon and green onions.

So hug your kids. Let them know that there is more to life than slaving away over school work. Because after school, they have the rest of their lives to work and prove themselves. Their childhood should be nourished and cherished, not squashed or trampled on. Because in the end, we all are not going to turn into doctors or lawyers or engineers. One size education does not fit all.

Persian Beef Cutlets with Potatoes and Cauliflower

These Persian Beef Cutlets with Potatoes and Cauliflower is updated to include some healthy cauliflower into this family friendly dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 tsp dried turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cover with water and bring to boil:
    • 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  2. Cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain water out and mash soft vegetables in hot pot with a potato masher until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Reserve and allow to cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Grate by hand or use a food processor with a grating attachment, grate:
    • 1 medium onion
  6. Squeeze out excess juice and place grated onions and mashed potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  7. In the same mixing bowl, add and mix by hand until fully incorporated:
    • 1 lb ground sirloin
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg, large
    • 1 tsp dried turmeric
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  8. In a separate plate, place:
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  9. Grab a 2 inch-ball of meat mixture and flatten to an oval shape about the size of your hand up to 1/2-inch thick.
  10. Press both sides of cutlets into bread crumbs and reserve on a large platter or baking sheet.
  11. Heat a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  12. Sauté 4-6 cutlets for 3 minutes on one side, flip over and saute the other side for 3 minutes.
  13. Remove cutlets to plate covered with paper towels to soak up excess oil, then transfer to serving dish and cover with foil.
  14. Repeat steps 12 & 13 until all cutlets are cooked, adding if needed:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  15. Squeeze over finished cutlets:
    • 1/2 lemon , juice
  16. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh herbs, radishes, pickles, tomatoes and lavash or pita bread.

Cooking Tips: You can also make this dish using ground chicken or turkey. If you prefer the original recipe, omit the cauliflower and use 1 lb of potatoes.

Prep Time:

Yield: 8 cutlets

Cook Time:

Total Time:

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