Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chipotle Beet Stew

Crock-Pot Dish
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt & pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cubed 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium parsnips, sliced 
  • 1 lb red potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle chili, minced or dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups beef broth 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
 1. Cut steak into 1 inch cubes. Place flour in a large ziplock bag. Add salt, pepper, & cumin, seal the bag & shake. Add meat & shake to coat. 

2. Warm 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat, shaking off excess flour mixture. Brown on all sides for 5 minutes total. Transfer to a slow cooker. Repeat with remaining meat. Discard all but 1 tablespoon flour mixture.

3. Chop carrots, parsnips, & potatoes then add to CrockPot. 

4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Saute onion for 3 minutes. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Sprinkle reserved flour over onion mixture, stir. Add chipotle chili or chili powder & tomato paste, cook 1 minute while stirring. 

5. Stir in broth & tomatoes, bring to a boil. Season with salt & pepper then pour mixture over the meat & veggies in the CrockPot. 

6. Cover & cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until meat & veggies are tender. If desired serve over Creamy Polenta, or Sweet Potato Mash & top with chopped cilantro. 

Plate Finished Product 
Stew over Creamy Polenta
Stew over Sweet Potato Mash
I have been in search for many years for a good hearty CrockPot beef stew. I came across this recipe in a magazine & modified it to my liking. It turned out better than I expected & it pair great with the Creamy Polenta or Sweet Potato Mash makes a more filling dish.

For Whole30 or Paleo use olive oil, remove flour & toss meat with seasonings only during browning process. Use the chipotle chili powder not the chipotle chili because they are not approved. Check labels on canned tomatoes, if the one with salsa is not approved mix regular diced canned tomatoes with approved salsa. Also as of Aug. 2014 potatoes are now Whole30 approved so you can use those or sweet potatoes, or remove both & use the Sweet Potato Mash as a base. I decided to replace the red potatoes with sweet potatoes, I like the spice mixture with sweet potatoes better. The stew has a kick when you use the chipotle chili so the powder is usually more mild. For more heat add more chili or powder after you have tasted the dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

Printable Recipe 

Pastry Crust
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled & cubed
  • 2 lbs cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 large red potato, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced 
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 large egg, whites only, beaten 
Make Crust 

1. In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, & pepper. Pulse in butter & shortening until mixture is in small pieces.

2. With processor running, add 6 tablespoons cold water, process just until dough forms a ball, adding more water if needed.

3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter top, knead until it comes together. Shape into a somewhat flat rectangle, wrap in plastic or foil & chill. 

Make Filling
1. Fully cook chicken breasts in boiling water over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or use precooked chicken or rotisserie chicken. Shred chicken into small pieces. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray 9x13 baking dish or individual ramekins with cooking spray.

2. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, carrots, & celery, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt & 1 teaspoon pepper & stir well. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes.

3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes.

4. Add 2 cups of chicken broth & add milk, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium & cook, stirring for 3 minutes. 

5. Stir in peas, chicken, & thyme. If mixture is very thick, thin with some additional chicken broth. Season with salt & pepper, if desired. 

6.. Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish or ramekins. Brush some beaten egg whites around the edge of baking dish. 

7. Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper or plastic, cut shape & size according to dish, lay dough across dish & press the pastry to the edges, trim of necessary. Brush a small amount of egg white across the top of the pastry & cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. 

8. Place on baking sheet & bake until top is golden brown & filling is bubbly. Approximately 50 - 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

 Plate Finished Product


Chicken Pot Pie is one of my favorite comfort foods. It is a fun dish to make & is something that can be created to anyone's preference. I used a few different recipes I was give by family friends to create a dish to my liking.


You can put just about anything in a pot pie, but I prefer the traditional way. I wanted to lighten up this classic dish a bit by using a 2% milk in place of whole milk & I cut down the butter a bit. It is no low cal dish by any means, but making small individual portions makes this cup of comfort worth every bite!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fresh Salsa

  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce 
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded & minced 
  • 1/2 Serrano pepper, seeded & minced 
  • 4 garlic cloves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 lime juiced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cilantro bunch 
1. Chop onions, garlic, & peppers removing seeds to decrease the amount of heat. Place the onion in a bowl & set aside for later.

 2. In a food processor or a blender, place tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Serrano pepper, garlic, onion powder, lime juice, salt, & pepper. Blend well.

3. Chop cilantro then place into the food processor or blender, and pulse several times to chop the cilantro. Do not over blend. 

4. Pour the tomato sauce mixture into the bowl with the onion & a few pieces of coarsely chopped cilantro, stir well to combine, and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Plate Finished Product

A few years ago one of my favorite Mexican restaurants closed. I loved their salsa!!! This is a recreation of what I believe is close to the real thing. They did use red onions & also I added diced tomatoes to give it a thicker base but the taste is almost spot on! 

This dish is Whole30 & Paleo approved, just make sure your canned tomatoes are approved. You can use just tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes if you want the thinner version, which is still amazing! If you want more heat, I like my salsa mild, you can add more jalapeno & Serrano peppers to the salsa. This pairs well with any Mexican dish, I usually pair it with my CrockPot Chicken Taco or Steak Tacos.

Steak Tacos

Crock-Pot Dish
  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Spice Rub
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • corn tortillas
  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • fresh salsa
  • lime

1. Mix together all spices in a small bowl. Rub the spices all over your flank steak, be generous! Then, place your steak at the bottom of your crock pot.

2. Cover the steak with the chopped onions, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Turn heat on LOW and cook for 8 hours. (Note: it may seem like it will not be okay to cook without water but it will cook just fine!)

3. After 8 hours, remove meat from crock pot and shred with a fork. It should be incredibly easy to shred. You can either stick the shredded meat back in the pot for another hour or serve as is.

4. To serve, heat your corn tortillas in a skillet on the stove. Spoon some carnitas on a tortilla then top with salsa, avocado, cilantro & a squeeze of lime. Enjoy with a margarita! 
Plate Finished Product


These Crock Pot steak tacos are one simple & impressive dish. They are great for entertaining & make for a great week night meal. 


This dish is Whole30 & Paleo approved. Just use lettuce wraps in place of tortilla or make it a taco bowl over lettuce and grilled peppers. If you want more spice you can add fresh chilies, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the meat. Sides that pair well with this dish are Mexican Rice & Fresh Salsa. Additional toppings that would also pair well are cheese, sour cream, & diced onion.