Beef Bolognese Sauce

Beef Bolognese is a rich, thick, meat-based tomato sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. It is traditionally served over pasta but I prefer it over zucchini noodles or more recently, fall-appropriate spaghetti squash.  This recipe is a combination of many difference sources I looked into when learning to make this sauce.

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 lbs. ground beef, grass-fed/organic
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup stock of choice
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large, heavy pan over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, and carrot.  Sauté until soft.  Add beef and sauté until browned.  Add wine, and bring to boil.  After about 1 minute of boiling add stock, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and herbs.  Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for about 30 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple season ranges from August through November, making them a staple ingredient in many fall dishes.  This recipe is my fall variation of the grain-free (plantain) pancakes I posted back in April.  The apples and cinnamon make this the perfect breakfast comfort food on a chilly autumn morning.

Ingredients
1 ripe plantain, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large or 2 small tart apples, peeled and cored
2 eggs, organic/free range
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, more for frying

Combine all ingredients, except the apples, in a blender and blend until smooth.  Grate the apples and fold into the batter.  Fry on both sides in coconut oil until golden brown.

Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

One of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables is to roast them. Roasting brings out the rich earthy colors and sweet flavors of root vegetables by caramelizing the sugars found in them.  It also increases the bioavailability of nutrients in certain vegetables.  For example, you get more carotenoids from carrots if you roast them, versus steaming or sautéing.  Adding herbs, such as rosemary, brings more than just aroma and flavor to this dish.  Herbs are rich in antioxidants – compounds that help boost the immune system as well as fight disease and aging.

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This recipe is from Cooking for Baby, a cookbook of delicious recipe ideas for starting babies on solid foods.  Our whole family enjoys this dish, even my husband (though he’ll never admit it), who generally doesn't eat sweet potatoes.

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes
1 carrot
1 parsnip
1 turnip
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp fresh rosemary
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Peel and cut vegetables into equal size cubes.  Place vegetables in a ceramic or glass baking dish.  Mix in the coconut oil, sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Roast until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes (keep covered for the first 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning).

Braised Cabbage with Beef

The weekend is here and so is another one-dish meal!  Ukrainians are big on braised cabbage and there are many different ways of making it.  This is my version. It is inexpensive and easy to make, but it does not skimp on flavor! Braised cabbage is also gluten-free and paleo-friendly.

In case you are interested in knowing, cabbage belongs to the “Brassica” family which also includes Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and broccoli.  According to Dr. Mercola, this inexpensive and humble vegetable has the highest amount of some of the most powerful antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables.  Research has shown these compounds to protect against several types of cancer and lower LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood.  Cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K, as well as an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese.  It also contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.  The sulfur in cabbage is essential for the production of keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, skin and nails.

Ingredients
1 small cabbage head, shredded
1 lb. grass-fed, organic ground beef
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 2 Tbsp. organic ketchup
4 Tbsp. sauerkraut
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro or green onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Brown the ground beef, until completed cooked though.  Remove and set aside, leaving behind as much of the rendered fat in the skillet as possible.

Add onions and garlic to the same skillet and sauté until translucent. Next add the cabbage and cook until it shrinks and settles.  You may need to do this in multiple steps if all of the cabbage does not fit at once.  Add back the ground beef and season with ketchup, curry, cumin, sea salt, pepper and bay leaf.  Mix well, add 2 - 3 tablespoons of water or broth, cover and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is soft.  

Remove from heat.  Stir in the sauerkraut and adjust seasonings to taste.  Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle with cilantro or green onion before serving

Brazilian Fish Stew

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As a busy mom, I am always looking for one-dish meal ideas.  This is a great paleo/gluten-free dish I found on Pinterest.  The original recipe is from The Gaia Health Blog.  It is simple to make and full of exotic flavor.  My current favorites – cilantro and lime juice – really make the dish come alive!

1 – 2 lb. fish fillet of choice
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 - 3 tsp garlic, minced
2 - 3 tsp ginger, diced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ cup broth or water
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of one lime

In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and ginger; sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper and broth.  Cook until vegetables are tender.  Place fish over the vegetables, season with sea salt and pepper, and let cook through. Before serving sprinkle with green onion, cilantro and drizzle with lime juice.