We had a pretty good run, however it looks like winter is now upon us. To me, after following summer for the past couple of years, I’m excited about what this means.
It’s time to get reacquainted with some comfort foods that I haven’t used for some time, in particular the winter vege I’ve always seen as slightly boring in comparison to their exotic summer cousins. Turns out they’re quite fun to cook!
My cooking has always been labeled as ‘rustic’ and I find coming home and chopping ‘mirepoix’ – never really knowing exactly what I’m about to create – rather therapeutic. The great thing about this recipe is – you don’t have to follow the recipe! Use up whatever vege you have on hand.
Kale ( de-stalk and keep it frozen to bring out sweetness), silver beet and spinach would work well. You can also substitute beef for brown lentils and mushrooms for a vegan or meat-free Monday option.
Over the past couple of years I have consciously cut back on the amount of meat I’m consuming but am instead opting for quality; grass-fed, responsibly sourced cuts. It is absolutely worth looking a little further than the regular supermarket fridge specials, for grass fed meat.
It’s higher in Omega 3 fatty acid than grain fed meat is, which in turn, has a myriad of health benefits.
This dish is pure comfort food without the guilt factor. A lovely combination of everything you need on a winters night- warmth, sweetness and a hint of spice.
At less than 500 cal. per serve (portion control dependent) this ifast friendly dish will feed 6 people. It’s even better after a day or two…perfect for warm workday lunches. Enjoy!
Ingredients (makes 6 servings)
- 500g grass fed beef- minced
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 large bunch of kale, de stalked, leaves chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- Generous handful of parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (homemade or low sodium)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. of allspice
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot (GF) optional
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- seasoning to taste
Heat oven to 180C. Prick the sweet potatoes and roast for 45mins to an hour or until very soft. Set aside to cool.
While the sweet potatoes are doing their thing; chop the onions, carrots, celery and half the parsley.
Heat a tbsp. of coconut oil in a large pot and cook the onions over a medium heat until browned. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme and seasoning. Grate the garlic cloves into the pot and stir, along with the tomato paste.
Once the tomato paste lightens in colour and the veges start to cook, add the mince, half the parsley, oregano, coriander and all spices except for the nutmeg.
Allow the beef to almost cook through, season again to taste and then and the kale and the stock. You can ‘put a lid on it’ and let it simmer away for about 10-15 mins, stirring a couple of times.
Time to peel the sweet potatoes, adding the nutmeg and then the coconut milk to achieve your desired mash consistency. Mash up with a fork, adding the remaining parsley and seasoning to taste.
Stir the arrowroot with ¼ cup of water. Add to the beef and vege mix to thicken it (if needed) and then transfer into a casserole dish. Top with the sweet potato mash and cook under the grill for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Delicious!!!