I have never been one to diet or one to restrict anything I eat or drink. I truly believe that I should enjoy every single thing that I want to, and so I have never curtailed my consumption of food or drink. I scorn diets and I scorn the calorie counters… because it turns the ethereal and wonderful experience of food into a mathematical equation that makes you miserable. However, recently, I have found that the tremendous stress I deal with has negatively impacted my eating habits. I used to eat all I wanted – but I ate fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein – and because I ate good and clean foods… I felt good and maintained a trim figure. However, I am in law school and I live in a city where fried chicken is an institution and fries accompany every meal. And when you cook for one, it’s easier to snag a pizza and it’s easy to justify ordering in because the 40 minutes it takes for delivery to arrive is a precious 40 minutes you could be reading for school.
Anyway, this semester winds down, and finals scare the living sense out of me – I have made some small dietary changes to take my focus off being scared (I always start projects when I’m stressed out so I can distribute my nervous energy and handle my neurotic insomnia). My sister and mother recently transitioned to a paleo/primal eating pattern and both have felt they are vastly improved. Both have slimmed down and enjoy eating paleo/primal. While I have not made the drastic switch that they have, I have eliminated nearly all processed foods (with the exception of my candy stash for finals studying) and have drastically cut down my wheat intake. I’ve cleaned out my pantry, and just in time for donating to charities for the holiday season.
This December has been unseasonably warm, but with the drippy rain I felt the need for some stew. Instead of dusting the beef in flour, I seared the beef chunks in olive oil and then gently muddled a baked yam into the stew to thicken it up and for some added flavor. And since it is stew, I allowed myself a small handful of egg noodles to round out my dinner.
Jalapeño Spiced Beef Stew (Kaprise Kitchen)
- 16 oz ribeye steak, cubed (you can use any other cut of beef, but I prefer ribeye in mine)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 small seeded jalapeños, diced (be wary of those teeny ones that pack a punch. Mine were the small ones that positively emanated heat, so I seeded and rinsed mine with great care)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 portabella mushroom, diced
- 1 cup of red wine (I used a good Malbec, but anything on the drier side will be fine)
- 1 orange yam, steamed until soft
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- salt/pepper to taste
- Cube meat and dust with black pepper and salt
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil and sear the cubed ribeye, flipping cubes as the sides brown.
- Once the meat has browned, stir in the jalapeño and onion, until both have softened slightly.
- Stir in wine and allow the wine to reduce by half before adding filtered water
- In the broth, muddle the yam until it dissolves into the liquid. I steamed my yam for about 15 minutes until it was soft to touch.
- Add the remaining ingredient and simmer for 1 hour.
- Serve over noodles or on it’s own.