Tag Archives: grass fed beef

Turning us into chili peppers, one meal at a time!

What better than a comforting bowl of stew on a cool fall night…

Apparently that’s been a theme here lately!

And last night’s dinner, another recipe from my beloved Oaxaca al Gusto, did not disappoint 🙂

Perfect too since The Man and I decided to stay in and watch scary movies in lieu of dressing up and going out… we felt kind of guilty about it at first but it definitely ended up being the perfect choice for us.  With all that has been going on lately it was just what we needed!

Asado de res (Beef Stew)

Here’s what I started with:

Onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, Mexican oregano, cloves, olive oil.

Simply add the onion and garlic to a pot with some olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Then in goes the beef.  I chose a local grass-fed stew meat from the farmer’s market.

Season with salt, pepper, oregano and cloves.  Cover and let cook over medium until beef it browned, about 10 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes, potatoes, scotch bonnet (which I toasted like this) and some water.

Cover and let cook over medium-low for another hour or two.  I let it go two since we had the time, gotta love cooking on the weekends 😀

To serve with the stew I took a stab at some homemade tortillas.

They may look pretty but I definitely have some work to do on these, the texture was just not quite right.  I think I need a tortilla press (hello Christmas present ideas ehh hmmm 😉 )

Tortilla Fail.

Beef Stew WIN.

Served with some fresh steamed broccoli, which the farmer at the market advised soaking in salt water prior to cooking because there could be “critters” in there…  hmmmm don’t know how I feel about that 😉

No critters here.  Phew.

But back to the stew, which had the perfect amount of heat.  Love these scotch bonnets, they have not only a spiciness but also great flavor.  The meat and potatoes were fall apart tender.   Plus the Mexican oregano and cloves gave the stew a flavor like I have never tasted…

Upon further research I learned that Mexican oregano is in fact stronger than your familiar Mediterranean oregano.  It also carries notes of citrus and mild licorice, which could explain it.  I loved it!

I also had another kitchen adventure yesterday prepping for the upcoming week, here’s a little hint 😉

I have a problem.

I promised The Man that I’d try to work in some more “traditional” fall meals soon… this Mexican obsession may turn us into chili peppers at this rate if not! 😛

Beef Stew (Mexican Style)

If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional beef stew, I highly recommend trying this recipe.  I made a few minor changes to the original Diana Kennedy recipe:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 7 red potatoes, sliced thick
  • 1 heaping tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves, crushed
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, about 5 minutes.  Add meat and spices, cook until browned, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, potatoes and water – cover and cook for another hour or two, stirring occasionally.  Add in additional water as necessary depending on what consistency you like.

I’m sure this would work great in the crockpot as well.  I’d  probably brown the meat before adding and reduce the amount of water a bit.

How is it Sunday already? 😛



Just recently I purchased one of the most amazing cookbooks I’ve ever gotten my hands on:

Oaxaca al Gusto by Diana Kennedy

Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere)

I think ya’ll know my affinity towards authentic Mexican cuisine, so this cookbook was like a dream come true 🙂

The flavors from this region of Mexico use the freshest and most flavorful of ingredients (known for it’s mole – the sauce, not the animal ;), with the beauty of a simple complexity that just can’t be described…

So why am I telling you all this?

Well since my nose has been buried in this cookbook over the past week, tonight’s dinner just had to be inspired by my recent readings…

And boy do I have a treat for you 😀  This was a simple way to whip up a healthy dinner with such unexpected flavors!

Not a traditional Oaxacan dish – but instead, an idea of the flavors of Oaxaca made into an easy weeknight dinner using fresh ingredients.

Plus remember that abundance of veggies that I told you about earlier too?  Still had more to use so this was the perfect dish to do so!

  • red potatoes (love these thin skinned, tender goodies)
  • red & green Italian sweet peppers, seeds removed & chopped
  • zucchini, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • SPICY HOT pepper (thanks Brittany for hookin’ me up with these fresh-from-the-garden beauties!)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

1)  Wash potatoes.  Place in water to cover.  Bring to boil, cook until tender (about 15 minutes).

2) While potatoes boil, chop up all your veggies and saute until tender.  Into the olive oil first, the onion – give it a minute or 2.  Then the zucchini & peppers.  Close to the end add the garlic.  Don’t forget to season with salt & pepper too.

3)  While everything is cooking, whip up your spice mixture – dried oregano, cinnamon & cumin.  This is the stuff that dreams are made of (at least I think so 😉 )

4)  Once the veggies are tender you are ready to add your protein.  I chose grass-fed ground beef, moving the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan and placing the meat in the center to let it brown.  I also added the spice mixture at this time.

Now if you aren’t a fan of beef, I think that chicken would work beautifully in this dish.  Either shredded or chopped. 

And if meat isn’t your thing, black beans would be amazing as well.  In fact, I think I may try that combo next time around for a meatless meal night 😛

5)  Once your meat is cooked, stir it in with the veggies and also add the potatoes (which, once done cooking, are quartered).  Stir lightly, don’t want to break the taters!

Let everything warm through for about 5 minutes and you’re ready to serve!

I chose to top mine with Chipotle Cholula, because I’m in love with the stuff 😛  Any hot sauce would work wonderfully as a topper though, or if that’s not your thing, use none at all!

This had the most wonderful flavor, it was warm & comforting with the sweetness of the cinnamon and the spiciness of the hot pepper & cumin!

I loved it. 

And I loved its versatility factor. 

Don’t have beef?  Use chicken!  Don’t eat meat?  Use beans!

Either way, it definitely won’t disasppoint in the flavor department or keep you in the kitchen for hours 😉  Win!

See you friends tomorrow —>  surprise girls trip planned!!! 

Can you guess where?!?!

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Easy Weeknight Dinner

Good morning friends!

Boy do I have an easy yet delicious recipe for you… which after a longgggg day at work yesterday was a much welcomed dinner in our house 🙂

“Not Your Manwich” Sloppy Joes

  • 1 package grass-fed ground beef (1.25lb)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16oz. canned/boxed chopped tomatoes, pureed
  • 2-3 tblsp hot sauce
  • 1 tblsp worcestershire
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • buns/bread & cheese for serving

These two were the superstars of this show!

Chop the veggies and add the onion and green pepper to a hot pan with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and let cook until the veggies get tender, about 7-8 minutes over medium to medium-high.

Add in the ground beef and cook until close to done, stirring occasionally.  Throw in the garlic towards the end of cooking.

Puree your tomatoes until smooth.  You could also use tomato sauce, however I had some leftover chopped tomatoes on hand so that’s what I used.  I liked how they made a bit thinner of a sauce too!

Add tomatoes, worcestershire and hot sauce to the mixture and let cook over medium until flavors blend, the meat is done cooking and the sauce has thickened up a bit.  I let this go for about 10 minutes or so.

To serve, toast up some hamburger buns and make your slop slop sloppy joes!  Top with some cheese if you so desire 😀

Served with a side of vegetables – broccoli & tomatoes topped w/ Pecorino Romano was my choice – and you have a complete meal!

This will easily become a go-to in our weeknight dinner rotation! 

It was so incredibly easy and definitely a crowd pleaser 😛


Soft Taco Dinner Winner

This week’s meals have been sort of ad-hoc if you will, considering I didn’t have much time for planning & grocery shopping with our busy weekend and beach day-trip extravaganza!

So I’m working with the fresh farmer’s market purchases as well as some items in our freezer & cupboards that have needed to be used up.  Feels good to “cleanse” the kitchen of this stuff and not let it go to waste.

Plus I like a good kitchen challenge, so weeks like this can be fun! Smiley

In an effort to use up the grass-fed ground beef in our freezer as well as some more of the farmer’s market veggies, last night I came up with a new recipe that turned out to be a star.

Beef, Black Bean and Veggie Soft Tacos

I just love when meals pull together perfectly like this and the flavors just “work”  … plus isn’t that the beauty of cooking anyways?!

Since we only had a little under 1/2lb of ground beef I decided to bulk it up using some canned black beans as well as diced veggies.  This also lightens the meal and sneaks in some yummy veggies at the same time —-> another win win?

I started by chopping the veggies – here we have onion, tomato, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and garlic.

Then I added the onion and peppers to a hot pan w/ olive oil and cooked over medium heat until they were tender, adding some salt & pepper along the way.

Next in went the ground beef and black beans, which I cooked until the beef was browned and done.  As the beef was cooking I added in the mixture of spices (cumin, chili powder, oregano) and hot sauce as well.

Oh the smells!

Last into the pan went the fresh tomato and garlic and the temp down to med-low, letting the taco filling do it’s thing for a few minutes while the rest of the meal was pulled together.

To serve, we have wheat tortilla, salsa and shredded raw cheddar (loving this stuff).

And a side dish of cooked zucchini and corn surrounded by fresh from the garden tomato (Fanatic Mom’s gift from their recent trip, which you’ll be hearing about soon!)

These soft tacos totally hit the spot!  I loved how they almost seemed like chili w/ the black beans and veggies, but still had the flavors of a delicious taco.

I got the seasonings perfect this time too, which I was excited about since last time around it took me a while to get there!

Take that taco seasoning packet mix <—– yuck Smiley

The recipe:

Beef, Black Bean & Veggie Soft Tacos

  • 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans – drained & rinsed
  • 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 tomato – diced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • approx. 1.5 tsp cumin
  • approx. 2 tsp chili powder
  • approx. 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • Frank’s hot sauce, to taste
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve:

  • wheat tortillas
  • shredded raw cheddar
  • salsa

Alright well I better get to work, mid-week is here hooray!  Have a great day all.

Exercise I am loving this week:

– ExerciseTV Less is More Pilates (hello abs & thighs!)

– YogaDownload.com Yoga with Weights (whoa arm work!)

– YogaDownload.com Solar Flow (total body stretch & strengthen!)

Crazy Peppers?!

After our night out Friday night, I spent yesterday being busy busy!  But busy doing things you love really doesn’t feel like “busy” now does it 😉

I talked mini-Fanatic into gettin’ up pretty early and hitting up the farmer’s market with me (she’s easily bribable with Starbucks friends haha), where we proceeded to buy everything they had.  Seriously.

Some of our bounty included these beauties:

Upon seeing these crazy peppers I may or may not have stated “this is something I HAVE to have!”

Who says that about peppers?  Really Steph?

A lady laughed “with” me about that one 😛

After a “necessary” Target stop we were famished, and these crazy peppers sure did make for a delicious lunch salad addition, sweet & flavorful!

Lil’ Sis and I pulled together an at-home salad bar with all our goodies.

Romaine, cherry gold tomatoes, cucumber, tomato, fresh basil, onion, peppers, white beans seasoned w/ oregano, farmer’s market pickles, S&P plus some Giada raspberry vinaigrette.

We picked these pickles up at the market from a new vendor and I love them more than Snooki loves fried pickles.

“This puts pickles on a whole new level.”  <—– anyone else watch it hahaha?!

We also gave a go at okra fries for the first time.

Cooking spray, S&P then baked for 20 minutes at 400F.

Verdict?  Unlike my aversion to the “beloved kale chip” of the blog world, these were DELICIOUS!  Lil’ sis and I are hooked.

In fact, so hooked that I made them again for dinner. I kid you not (proof’s in the picture haha?)

Pretty fan-spankin’-tabulous!

After lunch we headed to the pool for a bit and then continued our day of shopping with Fanatic Mom – peas in a pod I tell ya.

Once I got home I was beat!  I decided that some detox yoga was in order and it was a fabulous 20 minute quick workout.

After yoga-fying myself it was dinner time 🙂

I picked up some local grass-fed ground beef at the market so I knew that burgers had to be on the menu tonight 🙂

More okra fries (told-ya-so 😉 ) and fresh farmer’s market corn (found a worm in 1 of them *shriek!!* haha)

Made with a mixture of Dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce & Frank’s hot sauce plus S&P then cooked stovetop, these turned out beautifully.

I topped The Man’s w/ this buffalo wing cheese —> complimented the buffalo peanuts I got him earlier in the day.

I think he’d eat ice cream if it were slathered in buffalo sauce, it’s a bit ridiculous 😉

The fresh mozzarella was paired w/ some fresh Hanover tomatoes and topped w/ basil, S&P and balsamic vinegar.

Summer food beauty at it’s finest.  At least in my opinion!

And now it’s Sunday… and cloudy.  Looks like some around the house chores are in order (oh glamorous life!)

Enjoy you day everyone 😀

Cuban Picadillo

Hey friends!  Well we’ve made it to Thursday (what, it’s Thursday already, what a week?!) 😛

Anywho, last night’s dinner was super delicious & also fun bc The Man got in the kitchen and really helped me out!

On the menu?

Cuban Picadillo

“Fanatic Style”

Ever had it?

After purchasing some local ground beef at the farmer’s market last week, I was looking for fun & new recipes to try and stumbled across this one.

What is picadillo? A traditional dish in many Latin American countries made with ground meat, tomatoes and other ingredients that vary by region.  The Cuban version usually includes ingredients such as peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, olives, raisins and olive oil.

With the salty addition of green olives plus the sweetness of plump raisins, let’s just say that this recipe had me at hello 😀

So The Man & I proceeded with mixing up our own version of this dish!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 lb local grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 can green olives, drained & sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small package raisins, soaked in water for about 20 min to plump up
  • salt & pepper
  • approx. 1 tblsp cumin & coriander

1.  Saute onion in olive oil.  Add garlic towards end, plus spices and S&P to taste.   Holy smell, deelish 😛

2. Add in ground beef, cooking through until close to done.

3, Then comes the tomatoes, olives, tomato paste and raisins.  Let’s all be friends!

Then turn down the temp to med-low and cover to let finish cooking through.

Served unconventionally atop a bed of egg noodles…

We adored this dish!  The saltiness of the olives paired with a sweet bite of raisin here and there, plus the heartiness of the grass fed beef really made this dish unique.

We both mmmmmm’ed and yummmm’ed through the whole thing, loved it 😀

Oh yea, we also had some side salads to go with, per usual, his & hers…

… which featured this farmer’s market buy!

This cheese is spectacular!  I can’t wait to try a new flavor next time around too.

Such a fast and easy meal, plus I love spending time together in the kitchen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s long work day and it fully rejuvenated me to my core!

Good thing…. because it’s time to tackle another day 😉

After work we have a bazillion and one errands to run for the Cinco de Mayo party this weekend (menu is planned, sneak peak tomorrow perhaps????) so we’ll be busy bees tonight!  Hoping I can squeeze in a workout too, but we’ll see.

Until later my friends, enjoy your day!