Paleo-Friendly Beef Stew w/ Quinoa, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes

‘Tis the season for all things that are hot and served in a bowl. I’m talking about soups and stews. As the weather gets cooler, the need for steaming hot consumables gets bigger. Here is my first recipe (out of like a thousand. I’m a soup whore).

After my last post about hating kale, I know it’s a surprise that I’m literally posting another recipe that has kale in it, but I did say that I only find it edible in heavily flavored stews and curries. Well, here is one of my approved kale recipes. I personally fell in love with with this one while I was messing around in the kitchen (I do that sometimes). I had posted a picture of it just over a week ago on Instagram, and enough people expressed interest in it to where I decided to share the recipe. Now, I don’t have an excess of photos, but I do have the ingredients and directions written down.

So, here we go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of beef for stew
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of dried rosemary, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, crushed pepper flakes*
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper**
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or however much it takes to cover all of the beef pieces)
  • 1 stalk of celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 of a large onion (chopped)
  • beef stock or water***
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium sweet potato (small diced)
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

*I love dried spices. Obviously you can substitute these for fresh herbs, but I don’t think they have as much of an enhanced flavor.

**This is purely based on flavor. I love spicy things, so I add all of the spicy things. If you don’t like spicy things, don’t add all of the spicy things.

***I never mind using water in recipes like these because once the beef has been simmering in the pot for a while with the spices and onions and celery, you pretty much just created your own beef stock. So, I like to save myself the money and just use water.

Directions:

  1. Place the beef for stew, seasonings, and olive oil into a large bowl. Stir all of the ingredients until combined. Set aside for at least an hour to marinate.
  2. Once your meat is done marinating, heat up a large pot over medium-high heat. Give your meat one last toss in the bowl, and brown your meat on all sides. The oil from the marinade is enough the prevent your meat from sticking and adds flavor to the bottom of the pot. I usually brown the meat in batches so the pot doesn’t get overcrowded and the meat doesn’t steam. It might seem meticulous because the beef is cut into such small chunks, but the end result is so worth it.
  3. Place your browned beef into a separate bowl and add the rest of the seasoned oil from the marinade into the pot that has all of those delicious brown bits at the bottom. That stuff is delicious and the marinade has all of your spices that will season the rest of the stew. Add the celery and onions to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the beef back into the pot and pour in enough water to just cover the beef. Bring to a boil.
  5. Place the two bay leaves into the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook the beef at a simmer for about an hour and a half. Just until the meat becomes tender.
  6. After that hour and a half, remove the bay leaves.
  7. Add about an inch of water into the pot and drop the diced sweet potato into it. Bring the soup to a boil again, and then lower it to a simmer.
  8. After 10 minutes, add the quinoa.
  9. After another 10 minutes, stir in the cornstarch with the coconut milk before adding it to the pot. This will prevent the cornstarch from clumping and becoming lumps of not deliciousness. Stir this mixture into the pot and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  10. At this point, add the kale and wilt it down. Try the stew and add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve the stew in a bowl and enjoy!
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