Oven Braised Beef – Nom Nom Paleo

This was a recipe that I actually found or someone sent me during our first round of Whole30, and I mentioned it quickly in one of my weekly meal line up posts I was doing to keep us accountable around here haha! I remembered it the other day and it actually took me a while to find it on here, and then I realized I never made a post just individually for this recipe and thought “hey, this little guy is totally deserving of his own spotlight.” So here we are. 🙂

This recipe is really straight forward and easy, but it does take some forethought because it has to cook in the oven for a few hours. So think, this is something I would need to put together after lunch or get it ready in the morning and set it in the fridge until later. Plus side of that though is that you don’t have to prep dinner later after you get home from your day or the crazy hours of toddler meltdowns in the evening! I don’t know what it is about 430-530 p.m. but in our house it is one of the most emotional hours of the day! I feel like you could probably do this in the crock pot, but I haven’t tried that yet myself, and I also just saw on their website when I was linking it that there is an instant pot recipe too, so that may definitely be a game changer if you have one of those!

So here it is! We like to serve this on top of a patacone or just alone with plantain chips and guacamole. You could easily add this to a bed of lettuce for a salad, do a lettuce wrap, or even use it as a taco/burrito kind of filler. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds boneless beef short ribs, beef brisket, or beef stew meat cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup roasted salsa
  • ½ cup chicken stock or bone broth
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ cup minced cilantro – optional topping
  • cherry angel tomatoes – optional topping
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced – optional topping

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F with the rack located in the lower middle.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cubed beef, chili powder, and salt and toss.
  3. Melt coconut over medium heat in a large, oven-proof dutch oven. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and fry for 30 seconds, then add garlic and seasoned beef to the pot on the stove.
  5. Pour in the roasted salsa and chicken stock, and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover pot and place in over for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
  7. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  8. Serve, top with cilantro, angel tomatoes, radish, inside of a lettuce leaf with guacamole.
Nothing like a picture of raw meat for ya, huh? 😉
Tomato paste and spices!
Ready to go into the oven!

All done!
This meat is SO tender!
So good with a side of guac and plantain chips!
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Whole30 Round 3 – Meal Plan

So if you read my first Whole30 post, you know we are embarking on our third round or reset! This has been so life changing for us, (I know that sounds dramatic but I can’t say it any other way) because our relationship with food is so different than it used to be. We know what makes us feel bad, we can pin point what is making us hurt, and we can make an educated decision if a meal or food selection is worth it or not.


I’ve started reading Melissa Hartwig’s newest book “Food Freedom Forever,” and so far I have to say I like what she has to say. It’s practical. This whole process is practical. Yes, it’s hard at first and takes a huge adjustment to your habits, but the more and longer you do it the easier it gets. But that’s most things in life though, isn’t it hehe??


She has set up a process for us to fall back on. To start with a reset, eat and make good food choices and when (not if but when – because we will all get off track at some point) we get off track, we reset again. It may not take a full 30 days, our last whole30 I felt back to normal after two weeks but continued to finish out the month as best we could. But her point is that it isn’t practical or realistic to think that any diet or get healthy promotion will have perfect lasting results. You’re going to have to work at it, it will take effort and just a conscious decision to be aware and reset when you need it. (I know that last sentence sounds like me preaching, but actually that’s me just talking in my head to myself haha…just thought I would write it out for y’all too!)

In the book she talks about how she expects and wants us to have cake at a birthday party or special foods from our childhood when our mother makes them, and enjoy our holidays and vacations, because we have this knowledge and tool to fall back on to get back on track. This relieves the guilt associated with making those food choices that may not be ideal, to just enjoy them selectively and move on. This is how we have been living for the last year, instead of constantly indulging and feeling guilty and sluggish, we choose to eat real food as often as we can, and I hope it is something we can continue with because we just feel healthier. I mean Jacob has lost 30 pounds! I just can’t get past that!

I know these are so corny but seriously, who is this guy?! And yes, I had his permission to post this haha…

But this just isn’t about losing weight. Let me tell you, I was excited to get those last 6-8 lbs (I don’t even remember what it was at this point) of baby weight off because that stuff sticks tight! This has thankfully relieved me of my issues with anxiety and insomnia, and helped me pinpoint that sugar is one of my biggest issues. Usually when I have an episode of anxiety or trouble sleeping, it is because I’ve been eating too much sugar (and trust me, I love my ice cream, cupcakes, muffins etc. so I have to be on top of this!) or refined carbs during the day. But I love how I never step on my scale anymore. Hardly ever. I used to weigh myself every single day (#confession), it was a little obsessive, and now I don’t want to and don’t feel the need to. I can tell when my body isn’t feeling it’s best and I know what changes I need to make for myself without staring at a number, and that is a very freeing experience.

That’s just the beginning though, because there are so many other diseases and health complications that this diet can help with, not to mention that your energy and clarity of mind significantly increases. It really is an amazing feeling.

So I say all of this just to really encourage you to consider it. I am a big believer that food effects us so much more than we give it credit for, and so many of our health problems find their source in our diets. The majority of the time we just don’t eat real food, foods that we can pronounce or even know what is in it, and this way of eating will really help you be more aware of what you are putting into your body and how your body processes it. I think the first time I went shopping for Whole30 I almost passed out because of the sugar content in SO MUCH of our food. Why is sugar in EVERYTHING if it so bad for us?! Please someone answer that question for me!!! (Insert cry face emoji here!)

I wish I could say that I have a degree to back up my statements, but I don’t, not one in nutrition anyway, hehe. Just lots of reading, lots of talking with other people about their experiences and my own personal experiences. I truly want to just help friends and family feel their best, which is why I take the time to share what I’ve learned. This site is a tool for me to organize my “go-to” meals and access them quickly when I am cooking, but more than that it makes me so happy to hear from you when you find things you like and have the positive results you are looking for. I in no way hope that I sound pressuring at all, because there are so many different things you can do to help yourself feel better. This has just been an amazing solution for us, so amazing and realistic that I just want to tell everyone about it! 🙂

Below you will find a few links to older posts and my meals for this third round of Whole30. I will continue to update this each week, (hopefully, if I can get more than a 30 minute break during the day haha… if someone could tell my children to nap that would be great!) so you will see more and more added. That is my plan anyway.

Best wishes to you all and good luck in your efforts!

Whole30 Introduction and Information

Whole30 Getting Ready

Whole30 Basics

Follow my Whole30 Board on Pinterest here

Breakfast

  • scrambled/fried eggs – use Coconut Oil
  • bacon – make sure it is sugar free (check ingredients – Pederson bacon is Whole30)
  • veggies/fruit
  • potatoes (any kind) – Quick Sweet Potato Hash – heat up a small sweet potato in the microwave until tender, heat coconut oil in a skillet, open and scoop out the inside of the sweet potato into the skillet and fry until golden and crispy. Top with sea salt.
  • Smoothie – coconut water, banana, frozen fruit, spinach, avocado, water (technically Whole30 compliant, but they say to use sparingly – lots of fruit sugars for breakfast in the morning sets your blood sugar for crashes throughout the day. I would probably use this as a midmorning/afternoon snack with just a little frozen fruit)
  • coffee – Check out Nutpods creamers on Amazon for a Whole30 approved almond milk coffee creamer!

Snacks

  • veggies or plantain chips with guacamole (Love the little snack packs of guacamole you can find at the store!)
  • mixed nuts (no peanuts)
  • fresh fruits/veggies
  • chia seed pudding with coconut milk
  • larabars (check ingredients, not all are approved!)
  • fruit with almond butter (check ingredients)
  • epic bars
  • seasnax
  • dried fruit – We are obsessed with dried mango! As always, just double check to make sure there is no added sugar… it’s so frustrating how many dried fruits in stores have added sugar. Who needs extra sugar on their fruit?! Come on people!!! 😉
  • sardines
  • unsweetened coconut chips with cacao nibs
  • dinner leftovers
  • smoothie
  • applesauce (sugar free, organic)
  • boiled egg (this is actually really good chopped up on top of avocado with some sea salt! I love grabbing this as a snack!)

Lunch

  • Leftovers – We have leftovers most days because I definitely want to make sure we eat what I am cooking, but it’s also easy and one less mess to think about!
  • Chicken Salad
  • Lettuce Sandwich Wraps – Lunch meat, avocado, tomato, mayo/mustard, boiled egg etc. wrapped in lettuce
  • Taco Bowls
  • Burger Bowls
  • Salad – Use leftover meat from dinner or chicken apple sausage
    • As far as dressings go, Tessemae’s has a line of Whole30 approved dressings. I have been able to find them at our HEB this time around, but you can order them online if you are desperate. Before I would just use olive oil, garlic salt or sea salt and pepper with some lemon juice maybe. There are plenty of make your own recipes too, but I don’t really care enough to take the time to make them haha…
  • Toddler Plate – Sometimes I just grab random things out of the fridge… avocado, boiled egg, cook some chicken apple sausage, nuts, side of fruit or veggie…

    Toddler plates rock!

Dinner – The days and meals listed below are what we made for dinners throughout the month of January. I tried to make individual recipe posts which you can also find under my recipes tab, and linked them below.

A word on reintroductions… (I’m working on a reintroduction post right now so hopefully that will appear here at some point hehe…) Reintroducing food is probably one of the most important parts of this process. Whole30 is not a quick weight loss diet. This is a 30 day reset for your body to get all the junk out, and then you take the time to extend your whole30 meals while reintroducing different groups of food on specific days to see what your body can tolerate and what makes you feel badly.

If you really want to learn from this process and benefit from all of your HARD work and effort over the last month (because people, I KNOW you have worked hard), it is really important to not think, “oh, my 30 days are done, time to eat whatever I want and blow it up!” You will regret this for one, because you will feel absolutely horrible and your body will hate you haha… but also because you will not be able to tell which foods are specially making you feel bad. So take the time to do a good reintroduction period. You won’t regret it, and it will make it so much easier for you to make better food choices as you go on!

This being our third reset, I really feel like I have learned so much more about my habits and the thought processes I go through when I am choosing what I eat each day. I know what bothers me…dairy makes me bloated, too much gluten hurts my tummy and makes me moody and down, and too much sugar sends my blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride throughout the day, and I know all of that because of this process. I’m not perfect in my choices by any means, but reading “Food Freedom Forever” has helped me develop a better mind set about choosing foods and not feeling guilty about those choices, and also feeling like I can say yes and enjoy something or “no thank you” and pass. (not quite done with this thought here but baby is awake so I will be coming back to this more when I get a chance!)

This is a pretty big post for me. I have been working on this obviously for a couple of months, and I’m really trying to make it as informative as possible. I want this to be a post you can refer to over and over for ideas, information and links all in one spot so hopefully I have accomplished that for you! Good luck everyone!