Winging It

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 10, 2011

in beef, random, simple recipe, vegetables, vegetarian

Thank you all so much for your supportive words on my last post! I think that with all your support, and of course the support of Adam and my family, I CAN DO THIS!!

So, in the spirit of going healthier, I knew that tonight’s dinner had to be a complete trifecta:

  1. A good balance of protein and vegetables
  2. Extremely delicious
  3. Easy to prepare

I had no idea where I was going with the meal when I purchased a trimmed bottom round roast, tomato paste, onions, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and goat cheese at the grocery store. Ok, that’s not completely true. I had a tiny idea.

Let’s start with the end result, shall we?


Is it pretty? Absolutely not. Did it smell and taste amazing? Absolutely!


I ended up with a slightly spicy, slightly sweet, oniony and tomatoey kind of barbecue sauce that I really should jar and sell. Or at least save so I can eat it on chicken, steak, or a brillo pad.

Improv BBQ Sauce


  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 15-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 Tb. dark molasses, divided
  • 1 Tb. sriracha
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet (or other “gravy browning sauce”)
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


Peel the onions and shallots. Slice very thinly, preferably with a mandoline. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the crushed garlic and cook until aromatic and lightly browned. Add the sliced onions and shallots to the hot oil and garlic and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook the onions until lightly brown and very soft. Add 1 tablespoon molasses, stir well, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir well, and cook until slightly browned, about one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until reduced by one quarter. Puree with a stick blender if desired.

I didn’t puree the sauce. Instead, I nestled my bottom round roast in the sauce, heated the oven to 375, and cooked the roast in the sauce in a covered pan for about 2 hours.

My improv dinner? Worked out just great!


I also made these:


But you’ll have to wait until next week for the recipe. And you may have to go somewhere else to find it! The ingredient list though is worth waiting for. I gave a few things away earlier in this post.

Yes, I’m a tease.


(not really!)



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy March 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Nice on the dinner! It looks good! Good for you for going healthy! It can be hard, I’ve been doing well but tonight I made some baaaaaaaad choices that I totally regret! Don’t make that mistake! Keep healthy!


VeggieGirl March 10, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Mmmm, loving this recipe AND I know I’ll love the one coming up :)

I’m your cheerleader – you can do this!
VeggieGirl´s last blog post ..The Moment of Truth


J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 11, 2011 at 4:12 AM

Those sweet potatoes look very interesting! I like the way they are cut. Thanks for the BBQ sauce recipe, I’ve always wanted to make my own!


Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle March 11, 2011 at 10:29 AM

that improv bbq sauce looks awesome!!
Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle´s last blog post ..Challenge- Frustrate- Learn- and Love


Brooke/ Bitchin' Nutrition March 11, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I am with Debbie, cheers for getting healthy! I talk with clients all day about filling half their plates with non-starchy veggies :) Your BBQ sauce recipes looks great…mmmm
Brooke/ Bitchin’ Nutrition´s last blog post ..One SWEET Foodie Tour


Roz March 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM

ah, ha, ha….laughed out loud at eating the sauce on a brillo pad!!!! Very funny! Looking forward to your healthy recipes! Have a great day.
Roz´s last blog post ..It was a housework kind of day…


natalie (the sweets life) March 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

ahh! can you come cook for me tonight? :) this looks awesome!
natalie (the sweets life)´s last blog post ..Birthday Cake Batter Ice Cream Cake


Sagan March 12, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Looks really tasty! And good for you on healthifying/smallifyng – I’m trying to do the same thing so I’m looking forward to the recipes that you post :)


Christin@purplebirdblog March 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Twice baked sweet potatoes? Whatever they are, they look amazing!
Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..Shrimp Curry and Chickpea Cakes


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