Paleo Recipes - Italian Stew

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Done- Italian Stew

There are days when inspiration comes to me so easily I can recreate, cook and write a Paleo diet recipe even with a few items in the fridge. There are days when I feel like going out to try some meals on a newly opened restaurant or grab something from our favorite restaurant. Then there are days when I simply want to stay home but can’t think of anything to cook. Being uninspired but coming up with a delicious meal is rare, and tonight I have done this rare feat.

I started with an uninspired night thinking of what to eat for dinner. The kids were also not interested in going out or even ordering anything at all. We hadn’t been to the supermarket and I only have a few vegetables and other ingredients to work with. The weather was inviting laziness over us and I am really not in the mood to resist. But we had to eat and I needed to make sure I had dinner ready. So I went over the ingredients we had once more and thought of what I could make.

Paleo Diet Recipes - Italian Stew

I still tried to make the dish as special as I could despite being uninspired and I decided to do a sauce which we could eat over mashed or riced cauliflower. I somehow found myself adding other ingredients and creating a stew that can rival any other dish that I made with passion. The curiosity of how this dish would taste got the better of me and it did not disappoint! I can tell from the reactions of my kids and husband and how they eagerly asked for it to be cooked again for dinner.

Pull some random ingredients together… You won’t know what you’ve got until it’s done.

Paleo Italian Stew
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A delicious stew that can be made with any kind of approved Paleo diet foods that you have in your cupboard. Why not think about replacing the Italian sausage with some Chorizo or just conventional sausages.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ lbs (681 g) Mild Italian Sausage - Casing Removed
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash – Cut Into Cubes
  • 4 Medium Carrots – Peeled and Chopped
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion – Peeled and Chopped
  • 4 Small Garlic Cloves – Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Cups (473 g) Spinach – Chopped
  • 1 x 15 oz Can (443 g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) Thyme – Fresh or Dried
  • 2 Whole Bay Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon (5 g) Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon (5 g) Sea Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon (1.25 g) Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon (5 g) Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Coconut Oil
  • 4 Cups (946 ml) Broth – Beef or Chicken
  • ½ Cup (118 ml) Water
Instructions
  1. • Ready a large Dutch oven. Heat the coconut oil in the Dutch oven over a medium heat.
  2. • Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the Italian sausage. Cook until sausage is brown for about 6-8 minutes. You can mash the sausage into small or bite size chunks if you wish.
  3. • In a separate pan sauté the onion, garlic, celery, squash, carrots, and thyme. Cook for about 8 minutes over a medium heat.
  4. • Once the vegetables have softened slightly, transfer everything into the Dutch oven with the sausage.
  5. • Add to the Dutch oven the broth and water.
  6. • Then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper.
  7. • Bring the soup to a light boil by increasing the heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Let the soup cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. • Add the spinach in at the end and give a little stir.
  9. • Serve immediately whilst hot. You can eat the soup with cauliflower rice or mash, or you can eat it on its own!
This particular one of my Paleo diet recipes will surely be a great comfort food for your family and become a staple in your meal plans. Cooking this recipe is easy but you need to have the right pots to do the trick as well. If you have a Dutch oven, this recipe will be easy and you’ll get just the right softness of the vegetables and the sausage. Dutch ovens can also bring out the goodness of the broth. However, not all people own a Dutch oven and making soups like this can take some time and you may not be able to bring out the best taste of the soup.

Paleo Lifestyle - Dutch Oven

But not having a Dutch oven should not stop you from enjoying this meal. Recipes like this can also be cooked in crock pots or slow cookers. Dutch ovens have thick walls, which means the heat can easily spread and be retained in the pot. This helps to cook all the ingredients at a steady temperature, bringing out the flavor and aroma of the Paleo food. Although slow cookers and crock pots do not have the thick walls of the Dutch oven, these two kitchen miracles can still cook the food at a steady temperature. If you want to cook more Paleo recipes like this, but don’t have a Dutch oven but have a slow cooker or a crock pot, here are the things you can do to still make Paleo diet meals delectable.

Cook Meat and Vegetables Separately First

Unlike Dutch ovens where you can sear, sauté or brown meat and vegetables first when it comes to using a crock pot or slow cooker you won’t have these options. Some slow cooker models may have a searing option, but if you’re getting the usual kind then the easiest fix is to cook, sauté or brown the meat and vegetables first in a separate pot or pan. This can also initially release the flavor and aroma of the ingredients that you will be using. Cooking the ingredients prior to putting into the crock pot or slow cooker will also allow the approved Paleo food to cook well.

Paleo Diet - Slow Cooker/Crock Pot

Vegetables Should Be Cut into Larger Pieces

Dutch ovens can cook way faster than slow cookers and crock pots, thus the vegetables and meat will not shrink or get mushy or too soft. If you are going to cook vegetables and meat for a longer period of time in a slow cooker or crock pot, always make sure you have them cut into large pieces. This way you won’t get mashed vegetables or over cooked meat. Starchy vegetables should also be added into the crock pot or slow cooker at a later stage during the cooking process. The greens which do not need much cooking go in last.

Mind The Water

Dutch oven covers are meant to release steam, but crock pots and slow cookers do not. Because of this including lots of broth and water into your meal when using a slow cooker or crock pot is not a good idea. Having more water when using a slow cooker means that the taste of the food will be much less, also you will cause more of the nutrients to be found in your Paleo food to be released. So cut back on the liquids and allow the steam created in the crock pot or slow cooker to do its job.

Control The Heat And Cooking Time

Dutch ovens cook faster and can endure high heat, but allow you to cook Paleo diet food on a  lower heat that allows you to then cook the ingredients for longer. When using a crock pot or slow cooker, adjust the heat and cooking time accordingly. Ideally, when a Dutch oven recipe suggests a temperature of 300°F (149° C), you can set the slow cooker on high with a cooking time of 4.5 to 5 hours. Anything lower then you need to set the crock pot or slow cooker to a lower temperature with a cooking time of 6 hours, more or less.

Paleo Recipes - Control Heat And Cooking Time

Dutch ovens are a great choice for these types of Paleo diet, but you don’t have to worry if you don’t have one as long as you have a crock pot or slow cooker. The results are the same, as long as you follow the tips above. Slow cookers or crock pots may even be better since these won’t let the flavor and aroma decrease with steam. The nutrients to be found in the Paleo diet food are also maintained since slow cookers and crock pots cook in a closed environment. This recipe and the use of a Dutch oven, crock pot or slow cooker will surely give you the best and most inspiring dinner ever.

 

 

 

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