Buttery beef and barley stew with green chili

I don’t know if it was general pandemic stress or the attempted coup on the government by white supremacists, but yesterday I really got a craving for something comfortable and familiar. I don’t mean to make light of a horrible situation, but jokes and food are how I cope. So I strayed from my usual gluten-free adaptations today for some traditional beef and barley stew—with green chiles because I’m from New Mexico and green chile is how New Mexicans cope. I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 5-10 cloves of garlic, to taste
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 12 oz jar or can of green chile
  • 1 cup beef bone broth
  • 3.5 cups hot water
  • 5-8 carrots, depending on size, peeled and chopped into rounds
  • 5-6 stalks celery, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley (skip if you are gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons grassfed butter

Directions:

Heat the avocado oil in a large and heavy soup pan or Dutch oven. Sauté the onion until it it translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and and the beef stew pieces, carefully —one or two at a time. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and brown the meat on all sides. Add the green chili and let simmer five minutes on low. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Drop the heat back to a simmer for about a half hour, and then add the carrots and celery.

Read the directions on your barley! The one I used took 50 minutes, but there are quicker cooking versions. Once your veggies are almost as soft as you’d like, toss in the barley for time it says on the package. Add the butter at the very end and stir till melted. Adjust broth for salt and serve. Makes about six large servings.

Easy no-breadcrumb meatballs

My family loves meatballs! But my stomach hates the hidden breadcrumbs. This recipe is a super simple, versatile version of the Italian favorite—and its gluten-free.

Ingredients (makes 15 two-inch meatballs):

  • One pound grassfed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs (I use parsley, but basil or oregano or a combo would work well)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl (I find it’s best to mix with my hands). Roll the meat mixture out into 15 balls. Bake for 25 minutes, let cool five minutes before serving. These go well with any gluten free pasta and Marcella Hazan’s simple marinara.

Broccoli and pancetta frittata: the easiest and best breakfast

Frittatas are so easy and so good. Recently I discovered that you can cook them in one pan too, which is a game changer over here (I’m all about less cleanup). I use a seasoned cast iron skillet similar to this one for this recipe. I used broccoli, pancetta and goat cheese for this because that’s what I had on hand. You can use any veggie and meat combo, though (bacon and potatoes? Ham and bell peppers? The options are endless). This will make four to five small servings or two to three larger breakfasts.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • One onion, chopped
  • About a cup of broccoli florets, chopped
  • One 4 oz package of diced pancetta
  • Three tablespoons of grass fed butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Two cloves of garlic or a half teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
  • About 1/4-1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles (optional)

Melt the butter in the pan, then sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the pancetta, then the broccoli, and cook about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, if you are using it, and let it cook for about a minute. Whisk the eggs with the salt and pepper, and pour the mixture over the veggies in the pan. Allow the pan to sit on medium heat for about 90 seconds, then add the cheese evenly on top. Place the whole pan in the oven (preheated to 350) for ten minutes. Allow to cool for about five minutes before serving.