Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beef and Vegetable Stew in the Slow Cooker {Gluten Free}

Looking for a warm and hearty stew to make in the slow cooker? This one is super tasty and the kids loved it. You can also use a beef chuck roast, which I have done when they go on sale two for one at the grocery store.  Additionally, you can always add other vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or turnips.  Serve this up with some of our gluten-free biscuits on the side and enjoy!
I'm linking up with Jo-Lynne's, Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan over at Musings of a Housewife

Recipe: (serve 4 or if you use more meat up to 6)
1-1.5 pounds Beef stew meat, very lightly salted (or you can also use a beef chuck roast 1 1/2-2 pounds - no need to cube it)
2 tablespoons White Rice Flour
6-8 small (lime sized) golden or red potatoes, leave whole (half if larger)
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced into large chunks - Save the other half of the onion using this trick
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, rolled gently between fingers to release the oils
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 - 6 cups water
8 oz whole, baby Bella mushrooms, rinsed
2 tablespoons white rice flour
1/3 cup water

1.  Heat a large pan over medium high heat, add beef cubes and begin to brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle beef with about 2 tablespoons of white rice flour and flip to coat all sides and continue browning about 2-3 minutes more. We're looking for nice browning on the meat, not cooked through.
2. While meat is browning, add potatoes, celery, onion, Italian Seasoning, thyme, garlic powder and salt to the slow cooker.
3. Once meat is browned on both sides, remove from pan and add to the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.  Add about 1/2 cup of water to the hot pan and deglaze it, gently stir up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.

After about 1 minute, pour the liquid from the pan over the meat.

4. Arrange mushrooms over top of the meat.  Add additional 5 - 5 1/2 cups of water, or until meat is nearly covered in water.
5.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  About 1 hour before serving, combine 2 tablespoons rice flour with about 1/3 cup of water and add mixture to the slow cooker to thicken your sauce.  Season to taste.  Serve hot with some gluten-free biscuits on the side.

{Make ahead} For those days you know you will be busy, even too busy to brown the meat for the slow cooker...Follow all the directions through number 4, place lid on the slow cooker and refrigerate overnight.  If your slow cooker does not have a silicone seal, you may want to cover it with plastic wrap before putting the lid on to prevent your fridge from smelling like onions.  The next day pull the slow cooker out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to start cooking, then turn it on and cook as per #5 above.

*this post contains affiliate links here for the recipe!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Brownies {Paleo}

 We had company over for dinner last week and I made brownies for dessert.  I wanted to be sure my hubby had some kind of dessert as well.  These turned out more like a chocolate bread than a super sweet brownie, which is great for those that don't like a lot of sweet.  They have a good texture and a great cocoa flavor.  If you are okay with chocolate chips, I think a few sprinkled on top of the batter before baking would really be a nice sweet touch.  The plate was empty by the next day and the kids enjoyed them too.

Recipe (makes about 9-12 squares)
1 cup Organic Creamy Almond Butter
1/3 cup Organic Agave Nectar
1 egg
1 teaspoon good quality Vanilla
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350'F.  In a mixing bowl combine wet ingredients; almond butter, agave, egg and vanilla.
2. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stir to combine.
3. Bake in a greased 8"x8" glass baking dish at 350'F for 20-22 minutes until set and sides begin to pull away form the glass..
4. Let cool then slice into squares and serve.

*this post contains affiliate links here for the recipe!

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