Persian Green Bean Stew

I have an adventurous palate and enjoy trying exotic new foods.  I have especially taken a strong liking to middle-eastern cuisine.  Years ago, while attending college, I worked for a surgeon from Iran.  We became good friends and I was honored to attending his house parties, where his wife would serve the most amazing dishes, always seasoned with an array of herbs and spices.  She often shared her recipes with me, and this is one of my favorites that I still make on a regular basis for my family.  

2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
1 lb. stewing meat, veal, lamb or beef, cubed
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. tomato paste or 5 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced

Sautee onions and garlic in coconut oil in a cast iron pot or Dutch oven until translucent.  Add meat and brown.  Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg.  Pour in 2 ½ cups water.  Cover and cook for about 45 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Remove strings and cut green beans into 1-inch pieces.  As an option, you can pre-cook the green beans by sautéing them in a skillet in coconut oil while the meat stews.
When the meat is done, add the green beans, lemon juice, tomato paste and/or tomatoes.  Cover and simmer 45 minutes more over low heat.  
Taste and correct seasoning.  Serve hot.  

Brazilian Fish Stew


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.