Beef Stew Over Mashed Cauliflower

Beef stew over mashed cauliflower

One of my guilty pleasures is watching hours and hours of the Food Network every week. On nights when I’m home alone, I can watch several Chopped episodes back to back. My poor husband is not a fan of cooking shows, but tolerates my crazy cooking show marathons because he knows I get great ideas and inspiration from them. One of my favorite shows to watch on weekend mornings (while my husband is still sleeping) is the Pioneer Woman. She’s so awesome and always has great ideas. One of my favorite meals from the Pioneer Woman is her Sunday Night Stew. Her delicious recipe inspired me to create a paleo version of beef stew. This hearty stew is definitely a crowd pleaser with it’s tender meat, veggies and gravy all poured over creamy mashed cauliflower. My favorite way to make mashed cauliflower is to not mash it at all. I much prefer the creamy consistency I get when I purée the cauliflower with a bit of EVOO.

Beef Stew Over Mashed Cauliflower (stew recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients for stew:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef stew meat
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 turnips, peeled and diced
3 tbsp EVOO
4 cups low sodium or no salt beef broth
4 ounces tomato paste
5 dashes of raw coconut aminos
1/2 tsp raw honey
Salt and pepper
Fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Ingredients for mashed cauliflower:
1 1/2 bags of frozen cauliflower florets (24 oz)
1 tsp EVOO
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper

1. Add EVOO to a large pot and turn heat to medium-high. Salt and pepper meat and add to the pot.
2. Cook meat on all sides until it turns a nice brown, about 4 minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Remove meat to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same pot with the leftover meat juice, add onions and garlic and cook them for about 2-3 minutes until they get soft.
4. Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Pour in beef broth and add the coconut aminos and honey. Add the meat back to the pot, stir everything to combine, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
6. While stew is simmering, add cauliflower to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Drain cauliflower and add to a blender with EVOO and purée for a few seconds (you may need to do this in batches). Don’t purée for too long or you’ll end up with cauliflower soup! 😉 Add thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
7. After 1 1/2 hours, add the carrots and turnips to the pot and simmer for an additional 45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
8. After 45 minutes, taste the stew and add salt and pepper if needed.
9. Serve stew in a bowl over mashed cauliflower and sprinkle with fresh parsley.



Paleo Chiles Rellenos

Paleo Chiles Rellenos

Did your mom ever tell you “you’re going to like it when you grow up” when you refused to try a certain food when you were little? I can remember my parents telling me this all the time when I turned down peppers, guacamole, mole, guisados and tons of other things they made when I was growing up. Chiles rellenos were one of those things I used to think were super spicy and would never eat. Little did I know that one day this dish would be in my monthly meal rotation.

I have to say, my mother-in-law makes the best chiles rellenos! She knows the way to our heart by making a batch of these every time we visit. Her chiles inspired me to make my own without regular flour. I have tried chiles rellenos with both coconut flour and tapioca flour and tapioca was definitely the winner. While the coconut flour worked well, it seemed to get too hard and crunchy when cooked in oil. I enjoyed these chiles with a side of my Mexican cauliflower rice and sliced avocado.

Oh by the way, Happy Fiesta if you live in San Antonio! Fiesta is an 18-day city-wide party filled with live music events, food, festivals, parades and cascarones! While I think 18 days of non-stop partying is a little crazy, I totally enjoy the lively feeling the city has during this time.

Paleo Chiles Rellenos
Makes 6 chiles

Ingredients for chiles:
6 poblano peppers
1 cup finely ground tapioca flour (starch)
2 pastured eggs, beaten with a hand mixer for 4 minutes until fluffy
3 tbsp coconut oil

Ingredients for meat filling:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
3 pitted dates, chopped
1 tbsp pecans, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Directions for meat:
1. Season ground beef with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir and break up the meat as it cooks.
2. Add in coconut oil and onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes until meat is fully cooked.
3. Stir in dates and pecans and cook for additional 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Directions for chiles:
1. Turn on oven to broil.
2. Rinse and dry poblano peppers and put them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
3. Place peppers in oven and broil for 8 minutes, turning the peppers half way through. Peppers should be charred and blistered when you take them out of the oven.
4. Wrap peppers in a moist kitchen towel and let them cool for about 5 minutes.
5. When peppers are cool enough to touch, carefully peel off the skin. Rinse peppers under cold water to help remove any excess skin.
6. Cut a 1-inch slit in each pepper and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon. Leave in a few seeds if you like your chiles spicy. Don’t worry too much if your slit is a little larger than an inch.
7. Add coconut oil to a pan and turn on heat to medium.
8. Stuff each pepper with meat and carefully dip into the egg and then coat with tapioca flour, holding the slit shut so that no egg or flour gets inside the pepper. (Use toothpicks to hold the slit shut if it’s hard to hold.)
9. Place stuffed peppers (in batches) on pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until the flour turns to a light brown color.


Fajita Taco Salad Bowls

Fajita taco salad

Sometimes I really, really miss taco bowls from this big Tex-Mex fast food chain. Yeah, you know which place I’m talking about. They are loaded with beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, fajitas and all inside a fried corn? shell. They used to seem like such a “healthy” choice when compared to other fast food joints, but more than half of the stuff in that bowl now makes me sick. I was really craving one of these bowls so I decided to make my own. I promise you this salad is the most satisfying salad you’ll ever eat. It’s so simple to make and is sooo good.

Fajita Taco Salad Bowls
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for fajitas:
1 pound beef skirt steak
2 tsp salt
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp EVOO


Ingredients for salad:
2 cups of frozen (or fresh) strips of red and green bell pepper and onion
4 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 large avocados, mashed in a bowl with juice of a small lime (guacamole)
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp EVOO
Chopped jalapeno (optional)
Spicy salsa (optional)

1. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add EVOO.
2. Season meat on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
3. Place the meat on the skillet and cook each side for about 5 minutes until desired doneness. (5 minutes on each side comes out medium well)
4. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
5. In the same skillet, add 1 tblsp of EVOO, bell peppers and onions and sauté for 4 minutes on medium-high heat.
6. Compose each salad in a bowl with lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, fajitas and a hefty scoop of guacamole.



Paleo Picadillo

Paleo Picadillo
When I think of a picadillo, I think of my dad. My dad was and still is the cook in our family. He made dinner every night of the week growing up. I attribute my love for cooking to him.

Picadillo was a staple in our household, my dad kept it in our weekly meal rotation. There are many different kinds of picadillo, but basically it is a ground beef hash, similar to a chili. My dad and grandparents make picadillo with white potatoes and ground beef and a side of tortillas. Since white potatoes and tortillas aren’t in my regimen, I’ve paleofied my dad’s recipe for picadillo.

Makes about 4 servings

1 lb grass fed ground beef
3 turnips, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces tomato paste or fresh puréed tomatoes
1 1/4 cup unsalted or low sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt

1. Cook ground beef on medium heat until lightly browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
2. Add in garlic, onion and spices and cook for 7 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste and then add the turnips.
4. Pour in chicken stock, stir to combine everything and lower heat.
5. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until turnips are tender.

Serve picadillo in a bowl and eat like chili or serve it with a side of my Mexican Cauliflower Rice.