Inspiralized

Inspiralized.com · Feb 16, 2014

Hearty & Healthy Beef Stew with Zucchini Noodles

I’m not so comfortable eating chunks of meat. There, I said it. After my two years as a vegan, it’s tough for me to do. But ya know what, there’s no better time than the present and I decided to seize the moment and make a beef stew… because what better way than to eat meat than to cook it slowly in broth and veggies?

And ya know what? I ate it! One mega portion. I just couldn’t resist the smells coming from my kitchen… I kept running over to the stovetop and lifting the lid just to stir it and smell. And yes, I dipped my fingers in a couple times.

This dish may look complicated and time-consuming, but it’s the exact opposite. It takes 15 minutes to chop and mince all of your veggies and get all your spices together. Then, it takes about 10 minutes to brown the meat and pre-cook the veggies. Then, you dump everything into the saucepan and let it simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When it’s done, you pour it over a bed of raw zucchini noodles.

So easy! Feel free to be productive during that hour. But let me warn you, your kitchen is going to smell the best it’s ever smelled.

While the stew simmers,

Try a Tone It Up workout. They’re the best, I really love those girls.

Maybe read a couple chapters out of that book you’ve been meaning to get through. Lu recently bought me Blake Mycoskie’s Start Something That Matters. He started Tom’s shoes. I recommend it if you’re looking for entrepreneurial inspiration. Anyone? Bueller?

Meal plan for the week. I’ve got plenty of tips for that here and here.

Watch an episode of Breaking Bad. Lu and I just got into it. We’re hooked!

The point is, is to not be intimidated by “Ugh, it takes an hour and 15 minutes to cook?!” because you can multitask (you don’t have to sit and stare at the pot of stew for that entire hour). Plus, you can make this the night before and reheat it for lunch or dinner the next day!

The carrots, celery and onions really enhance the flavor of the broth. The longer it simmers, the more tender the beef gets and the more the flavors fuse all together. Half-way through simmering the stew, I take the top off and let it reduce so that it becomes more stew-y and less soup-y.

Once the stew is done and has reached a thick consistency, spoon it over a bowl filled with zucchini noodles. As the stew runs over the noodles, the noodles will cook up. Toss around to combine and let sit for a couple minutes before you dig in – the stew is hot and the noodles will cook.

Plus, the softness and warmth of the stew works nicely with the crunchier noodles.

To the person that e-mailed me recently requesting more “meaty” recipes, I hope this does it for ya!

Any other requests? What would you like to see on the blog? Let me know in the comments, as always!

Print Hearty & Healthy Beef Stew with Zucchini Noodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Servings: 3-4

1

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef stew chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (14oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 4 large zucchinis, Blade A
  • freshly chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Add in the beef chunks and cook until browned. Remove from the saucepan and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In the juices left in the pan from the beef, add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add in the red onions and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute and then add in the celery and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes to let the vegetables sweat and then add back in the beef chunks. Add the worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Then, season with salt and pepper and add in the beef broth and diced tomatoes. Place the bay leaves on top and cover to bring to a boil.
  3. Once brought to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, covered. Then, remove the cover and let simmer uncovered for 35 more minutes or until the stew thickens.
  4. Divide the zucchini noodles into bowls and top evenly with spoonfuls of the stew. Let the stew cook a couple minutes over the zucchini noodles and enjoy, garnished with a bit of fresh parsley!
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Instructions with Pictures

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Add in the beef chunks and cook until browned. Remove from the saucepan and set aside in a bowl.

In the juices left in the pan from the beef, add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add in the red onions and red pepper flakes.

Cook for 1 minute and then add in the celery and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes to let the vegetables sweat and then add back in the beef chunks.

Add the worcestershire sauce, thyme, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Then, season with salt and pepper and add in the beef broth and diced tomatoes.

Place the bay leaves on top and cover to bring to a boil.

Once brought to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, covered. Then, remove the cover and let simmer uncovered for 35 more minutes or until the stew thickens.

Divide the zucchini noodles into bowls and top evenly with spoonfuls of the stew. Let the stew cook a couple minutes over the zucchini noodles and enjoy, garnished with a bit of fresh parsley!

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