Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stewed Beef and Acorn Squash

Ok, I admit. I am not a fan of the sudden cold. But I promise not to complain about the temperature in every post from now until May. Pinky promise. Besides, there is so much about Fall that I absolutely love. I love Thanksgiving, and little kids in Halloween costumes, and pumpkin flavored things. Oh how I love pumpkin flavored things! Squash, in general, is a family favorite.

I was excited to see acorn squash at the grocery store, and grabbed 5 for our lunches. The Whole Foods also had a huge stack of grass fed stew meat. But, because was making chicken noodle soup for dinner this week, I didn't want to eat beef stew for lunch. I decided to to make stewed beef, with all the flavor of beef stew, but none of the broth. It turned out delicious! AND I got to practice the reduction technique I plan to use to make Thanksgiving gravy.


4 lbs grass fed stew meat
2 yellow onions - diced
8 oz mushrooms - sliced
2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons rosemarie
1 tablespoon garlic powder

5 large acorn squash
3 strips thick cut bacon - diced
chili powder


Combine stew meat, onion, mushrooms, stock, bay leaf, rosemarie, garlic, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker. Cover and turn on high. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender. I let mine go all day.  Once the beef is tender, scoop out all of the solids using a slotted spoon. Discard the bay leaf and set the rest aside.  Pour the broth into a large skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Continue boiling, stirring more frequently as it reduces, until the liquid becomes a thick sauce.  Remove from heat.  Pour over the stewed meat and veggies and stir until coated. Makes 10 servings.

While the slow cooker does its thing, cut each acorn squash in half from top to bottom. Remove seeds. Arrange acorn squash halves on a baking sheet.  Divide the diced bacon among the 10 halves, placing in the center of each squash.  Dust with chili pepper and black pepper. Place in a 400 degree oven.  Cook until the squash is tender, about one hour. Makes 10 servings.

Doesn't that look amazing?
I just realized my camera has a "cuisine" setting,
so expect high-quality photos like this one in future posts.
Nutritional Information

  Cal Fat Carb Protein
Stewed Beef 580 37 6 54
Acorn Squash 116 3 22 4
Total 696 39 28 58
Percent   0.51 0.16 0.33

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paleo Chicken "Noodle" Soup

Who approved this weather?! 

We went from summer to late-late fall in one day and I am totally unprepared. Last year at this time I weighed significantly more and wore a much larger size. So, most of my winter clothes are saggy, baggy or frumpy. Not. Cool. Luckily I had one pair of jeans and a North Face sweatshirt to get me through the weekend. 

I am holding out hope that this is a temporary cold snap and stubbornly refuse to turn on the heat. Instead, I've been hanging around the house in oversized sweat pants and the hoodie-robe CaveBoy bought me for Christmas last year. Trust me, it's super cute. CaveBoy isn't so lucky. Rain or shine, wind or rain, hot or cold, he's out in the world doing his job. So, I decided to make something for dinner this week that would warm him up.

I've been experimenting with spaghetti squash and wondered if it would make a good noodle for soup.  It does! It obviously doesn't have the same texture as egg noodles. It's more like Lipton Noodle Soup. The mild squash flavor doesn't make a big statement, allowing the chicken and herbs to shine. This soup is perfect for a cold fall day. 


1 large spaghetti squash
16 skinless, boneless chicken thighs - cut into bite-sized chunks
2 large yellow onions - diced
1 large bunch of celery - diced
7 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons herbs de provence
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf


In a large pot, saute diced onions and diced celery in olive oil until they start to release some of their liquid.  Add chicken chunks and mix.  Allow the chicken to start to cook on the outsides.  Add chicken stock, herbs, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer while the spaghetti squash cooks in the oven.

Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature so that it is safe to scrape.  Add the spaghetti squash "noodles" to the soup, mix completely, re-cover, and allow to simmer until the chicken and veggies are tender, about an hour. Makes 8 servings.

It looks a little like mush, but it tastes delicious!
Cooking this soup made the whole house smell amazing and CaveBoy was thankful to have something so warming for dinner when he got home.

Nutritional Information:

Cal Fat Carb Protein
Total 365 18 18 38
Percent 0.45 0.20 0.41