Zucchini Stew

Last night, my mom and I cooked one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. My family makes an amazing zucchini stew that is usually served over rice, but since adopting a more grain-free diet, I've eaten it just by its lonesome without the rice, and have never looked back! I don't even miss the rice because the zucchini, beef, and tomato sauce give so much flavor to this dish that is still tastes delicious even on its own. It is the perfect bowl of comforting nutrients, which is why I put it on the menu for last night! I wanted to make a meal that was warm, nourishing, and that would make enough for leftovers for me to take to my first day of work today! This meal was just that!

Zucchini Stew (makes 6 servings)

2 T olive oil

1 cup diced onions

1 lb ground beef (we used the grass fed 85/15 from Trader Joe's)

6 medium-sized zucchini

1 15 oz diced tomatoes

3 T tomato paste

1 t salt

1/2 t red pepper

1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t all spice

 

Start by heating up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the ground beef and chop it up into tiny pieces until it is cooked through.

While the beef is cooking, wash and slice up your zucchini into thin disks!

Once the meat is cooked all the way through, add the zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings! Mix all the ingredients together, then leave the pot over medium heat, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. There should be enough liquid in the pot since zucchini release a lot of moisture, but if the mixture ever gets dry, add a bit of water to it!

Once the zucchini cooks through and gets mushy, the dish is done! It should resemble a stew-like consistency.

We thoroughly enjoyed this meal last night; my parents added rice to theirs, but I enjoyed the stew as is! I hope you all get to try this dish this winter; it's perfect for cold and cozy nights! Not to mention it is gluten/grain free, paleo, and Whole 30 approved!

Paleo Kung-Pao Chicken with Vegetables

I am so excited to finally be sharing this recipe! I absolutely love Chinese food, especially Kung Pao chicken with the crunchy toasted peanuts! Growing up, eating Chinese food usually resulted in me “throw out” my healthy eating goals and just indulging in this salty, sweet, saucy, yummy food. This would unfortunately leave me with, shall we say, digestive discomfort, not too long afterwards. Ever since discovering that I have a gluten allergy about a year ago, eating Chinese food has been out of the question for me, since soy sauce contains wheat and is a main ingredient in most Chinese and Asian cooking. However, I always wanted to create a “healthier,” no sugar version of my favorite Chinese dishes in order to enjoy the flavors without the guilt and discomfort soon afterwards!

After experimenting with the paleo lifestyle earlier this year and following the Whole 30 program in March, I finally perfected my very own soy free, gluten free, sugar-free, PALEO Kung Pao Chicken with Cashews recipe! Here it is! J

Kung Pao Chicken w/Cashews (makes 2 serving)

4 chicken tenders

Marinate chicken for about 30 minutes with:

2 T coconut aminos (I found mine at Whole Foods!)

1 tsp Aleppo pepper (or 1-2 tsp cayenne, depending on how spicy you like it!)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 T olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

While the chicken is marinating, heat up about ½ T olive oil to sauté:

1 onion chopped

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

Once veggies are cooked, add the chicken with its marinade. Cook chicken all the way through (I usually chop it up in little cubes or strips to make this easier).

While chicken is cooking, you can prepare the sauce by whisking together the following ingredients in a separate bowl:

½ cup water

1/3 cup coconut aminos

S&P (to taste)

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 T olive oil

Once the chicken is cooked through, add the sauce and lower the heat to a simmer setting. Allow the sauce to thicken up while stirring occasionally, which usually takes about 8-10 minutes. While the chicken and sauce are simmering, toast about 1/4-1/2 cup of raw cashews in a saucepan. This should take no more than 5 minutes over medium heat!

Once the sauce thickens up, turn the heat off and serve! Top with the toasted cashews and green onion slices if desired and serve with cauliflower rice!