I know a lot of you want fast meals at dinner time. But I'm going to admit defeat here and say, I have never been able to make a hot dinnertime meal in less than 45 minutes (chop to table). Maybe 30 minutes if we're talking a stir-fry - which is a great go-to! This dish takes 1 hour & 15 min (chop to table) and here's why I like it & am featuring on Thrive:
- it's full of vegetables to give plenty fibre and nutrient value;
- the organic meat chuck is a very affordable cut and cooks super tender making this one of the few organic beef dishes you can feed a whole family with for under HK$150;
- you can also use grass-fed beef which means it's higher in the heart-healthy Omega 3 fats than the more readily available grain-fed meats, which are high in the more inflammatory Omega 6s;
- this stew is so hearty that you can option out of the grain component or replace the grain with more vegetables, which for me is a big plus. Why?
- Because our digestive fire is strongest in the morning and weakest at night. I find it much easier to digest a meal that is just protein + veggies, than a meal that is protein + veggies + grain. So opting out the grains means less night-time bloating & burping.
- yes, you're spending a bit more time on dinner but you're saving time on lunch because this makes for a very nutritious thermos lunch meal. Make it on the weekend so that you start the week off with a good lunch the next day.
- 500g of organic (or grass fed/ no hormones / no antibiotics) beef chuck (chopped into medium sized cubes)
- 2 large carrots (chopped in cylinders)
- 1 onion (chopped finely)
- 1 celery stalk (chopped finely)
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped finely)
- 2 peppers (yellow and red, chopped finely)
- 1 whole bag of baby spinach
- 2 large zucchinis (chopped in cubes)
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 3-4 cups of stock or water
- salt, pepper and about 1 heaped tspn of smoked, sweet (non-spicy) paprika. I LOVE this one but I don't know where they sell it in Hong Kong. Maybe City Super. I buy my year's worth supply in Kensington Market, Toronto.
- a few glugs extra virgin olive oil
Marinade the beef chuck in bit of chopped garlic, 1 tbspn olive oil and 1 tspn of paprika for about 30min or overnight. (If no time - just skip the step).
To save time, you can chop the onion, celery and garlic in a food processor.
In a dutch oven or big pot with heavy bottom & lid, start by frying up the onion, celery and garlic with a bit of salt & pepper. Add the beef with paprika & stir until golden. Add the remaining vegetables (I like to do carrots first, then peppers, then zucchini) until well coated and turning soft. Add the tomato paste and then the stock or freshly boiled water and mix thoroughly. Simmer gently for 45min - 1hr (depending on how fast a chopper you were!). And in the last 5 minutes of cooking add the baby spinach.
Serve with your choice of favourite steamed greens or brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free pasta.
A clean, whole-food organic meal that won't break the bank AND is a great lunch!
Thrive Nutrition Practice launches Spring 2016