When it’s bone-cold outside, this body-warming one-pot dish will be welcome at your dinner table!

This stealth vegetable-packed ragu is loaded with immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. The parsnip and carrot impart a delicious sweetness, kind of like a “meaty” carrot cake!  It’s both savory and sweet, wonderfully spiced and leaves you feeling sated and satisfied.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC), lamb is considered “yang”—to have warming qualities. For example, in Northern China, lamb is commonly eaten during the winter months.  TMC views lamb as a food that can strengthen the body and help promote good circulation of the blood and around the joints (it can be beneficial if you have joint pain).

If you have Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, an underactive (low) thyroid, like I do…you are likely more sensitive to the cold. I know I am—even though I take thyroid hormone. Eating more lamb during the cold weather months can help support your thyroid and adrenal glands.

One of the best investments you can make if you do a lot of batch cooking or typically chop a lot of vegetables is a large food processor.  This is how I quickly and efficiently minced all the vegetables in this recipe in a matter of minutes!

Cumin-Spiced Lamb Ragu with Butternut Squash Noodles

1 pound grass-fed & grass-finished ground lamb
3 medium yellow onions, finely minced
4 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 organic zucchini, finely minced
1 parsnip, peeled and finely minced
3/4 of a 1-pound package of organic baby carrots, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/4 cup organic strained tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 cup filtered water: use as needed
1 or 2 packages organic butternut squash noodles
(or you can use a spiralizer to make your own “squoodles”)

For the lamb ragu:

Melt coconut oil in a 5.5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the onions and fennel. Saute for about 4 minutes, or until softened and gently browned. Add the minced ginger, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg, combining with the onion-fennel mixture about 1 minute.  Stir in the minced zucchini, parsnip and carrots, mixing until well-combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. If vegetables begin sticking to the pan, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water to loosen.

Add ground lamb. Break up lamb in Dutch oven until even distributed and there is no visible pink, about 3-4 minutes.  Add organic strained tomatoes, stirring until well combined.  If ragu is especially thick, you may want to add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to thin slightly, or until you achieve the desired consistency.

Bring mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook another 10 minutes.  Stir in 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt.

For the butternut squash noodles:

Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the butternut squash zoodles. Saute about 1-2 minutes. Add a 1/4 cup filtered water to the saucepan. Cover.

Reduce heat to medium-low. This “steams” the noodles. Cook apx. 2 minutes or until soft (but not soggy).

Using tongs, apportion butternut squash zoodles on plates or bowls. Ladle ragu over
the butternut squash zoodles.  Serve a salad or other green vegetable alongside the ragu and noodles.  Enjoy!