Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gluten Free Grass Fed Beef Stew

I've updated this post with better pictures and a bit more information in this font.Well, it has been the week. So much snow for a small community, so much to be overwhelmed with by Mother Nature.
Almost like the feeling I got when I realized my family needed to be gluten free. All four of us had had symptoms for so long, but it was so easy to explain them away.
Beef Stew Gluten-Free
00" />Can't now, we have been gluten free for nine years now and we all are feeling so much better.
No gas in the mornings, no foggy heads, unable to put together comprehensive thoughts beyond 8pm.
No dark under eye circles on any of us. Yipee!

So the girls (fraternal twin 7 year olds) got the week off from school and were horribly disappointed! They had to spend their time with games, sledding, reading and baking GF snacks with mom and dad.

I can relate, I always enjoyed school so much. Maybe that is part of why I went back to school as an adult and became a naturopathic physician. That is part of the story, I am sure, but there is a much greater story there too.

Like how I managed to meet a terrific guy, catering in NYC and discovering that he too wanted to go to school. Acupuncture for him, he is one of the best to break through long standing patterns of illness. He is gluten intolerant too.

Discovered it when he broke his femur ice skating with the girls. Nobody with a strong skeleton breaks a femur. You need tremendous force typically. It is the long bone at the top of your leg. It takes so much pressure and stresses in the course of a day that it is one of the strongest bones in the body. But his broke, and we discovered osteoporosis was the cause. Yes, he is tall and has always been slim, but that wasn't enough to explain this.

So the research began, what would cause a healthy 40 something man to have osteoporosis?
It all came together at Celiac disease. His anemia, slimness, dark circles, gastrointestinal complaints, everything.

So now we all are gluten free. The girls had been wheat free since first food introduction at 9 months anyway. We had slacked off a bit with the starting of school and didn't really see too many changes. Maybe they had outgrown it? But when Child B was always cold and very pale, we realized that wasn't the case. Just a bit of iron added to her diet made all the difference.

As for Child A, she presented with symptoms of gluten intolerance in the emotional end of the spectrum. She would get hyper and start bouncing off the walls with enough wheat. As a baby she had a bleeding rash as her main symptom but that went away around 4 ish. We have always watched the wheat intake, choosing spelt bread or rice crackers. Now it is the rice crackers or nut thins or any of the myriad GF crackers I can find.
I am so grateful for the GF foods available.
But I have one quandary,  I've fed my family organically grown food for years since I learned just how bad conventionally raised food is for both the environment and for our bodies. So much of my training involved following the trail of environmental toxins to their entry into our bodies that I just made our diets as clean as I could.

But I can't seem to find the items I need now for our gluten free organic lifestyle.
Thanks to Trader Joe's I have organically grown brown rice pasta.
But where do I get organic brown rice flour that isn't cross contaminated?
Where are the GF organic crackers? Breads?
I know I am asking a lot but corn is one of the highest GMO foods out there.

I don't want Genetically Modified Organisms in my family!

I want whole grains, preferably locally grown options.
I know I am asking a lot but maybe you all can help? I want this to be a discussion. A place we all can find our way. Want to help?

In that light, and because before I was a Doctor, I was a chef in the Big Apple, one of our recipes from this cold wet week.
We were gifted half of a grass fed cow by a patient. He has a farm up north in Lynden and was very generous to us. In appreciation, I created this stew to keep us warm and satisfied this cold, wet week.

Grass Fed GF Organic Beef Stew

By ,

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts
Category Stew
Equipment needed: Stock Pot
3 pounds of stew meat
3 Tablespoons of rice flour
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil
6 carrots cut into 1" pieces
3 parsnips cut into 1" pieces
4 stalks of celery in 1" pieces
1 Large onion cut in 1" pieces
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon basil leaves
3 cups of water, red wine or beef broth- I use Better than Bullion when I don't have homemade
5 small red potatoes cut into 8 pieces (not peeled)
1. In a plastic bag, combine the meat, rice flour and the pepper. Toss the meat till it is covered with flour and the pieces don't stick together. If you need a bit more flour, go for it.
2. Heat 1/2 of the olive oil in a large flat bottomed stew pot. Add 1/2 of the meat when the oil is very hot but not smoking. Let it sit for a bit to create a crust on the contact side. Turn the meat over to get another side nice and browned and crusty. Continue with this till the beef is browned on all sides. Remove from the pan. Repeat with the rest of the olive oil and meat. It doesn't take as long as it seems to be done with this step. Don't wash the pot between batches, we want all those browned bits for the gravy. Remove the rest of the meat.
3. In the same crusty pan add the onions, carrots, parsnips and celery. Stir and heat for a couple of minutes allowing the moisture to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the cumin and basil. Stir a minute more.
Then cover the stew with your choice of water, wine, or beef broth. I chose water because the beef was so flavorful and I didn't want to use wine with the kiddos. I didn't want to overwhelm it with the broth. But if you happen to have homemade stock, feel free.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes and add the potatoes. These will cook quickly but I wanted them to retain thier shape. Simmer 1/2 hour more or so till the potatoes are tender and the gravy has thickened.

Feel free to change the veggies. I just used what I had in the fridge but I love to add corn or celery root or turnips or rutabagas to stew too.
Any cold storage veggies work well.
This is even better the next day so feel free to double it and make a whole lot.
Makes a wonderful lunch too.

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