When the temperature drops and a deep chill prevails, there’s nothing more satisfying (and warming) than a savory one-pot meal.
If you’re cooking for picky children (or a fussy spouse / partner / girlfriend / boyfriend), they won’t notice that plenty of good-for-you vegetables hide in this one-pot grass-fed beef ragu served over sautéed zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Loading up on vegetables is also a budget-friendly way to stretch grass-fed beef. If you struggle with leaky gut and digestive issues, this ragu makes it easier to eat your quota of high-fiber vegetables since they are in an easy-to-digest puree form. A grass-fed beef and vegetable ragu also helps nourish the adrenal glands, which become depleted under chronic stress.
This is an easy dish to make, especially if you have a large (11-cup or 14-cup) food processor, which takes the labor out of chopping. With a few quick pulses, you can finely mince each vegetable individually. As for the frozen (organic) vegetables, simply cook according to package instructions and set aside.
Grass-Fed Beef and Stealth Vegetable Ragu + Zoodles
Serves 4 to 6
For the ragu:
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
2 cups finely minced yellow onion
2 cups finely minced celery
1 cup finely minced zucchini (with skin)
2 cups finely minced Delicata squash (with skin)
1 bag frozen organic peas, cooked according to package instructions
1 bag frozen organic green beans, cooked according to package instructions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup water
Celtic sea salt, to taste
For the zoodles:
4 zucchini, well washed, ends discarded
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/4 cup water
To cook the ragu:
Warm coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When the coconut oil is hot (but not smoking), add onions.
Saute until translucent about 3-4 minutes, reducing heat to medium-low (or low) if necessary. Add celery, cooking about 1 minute. Stir in garlic, cooking about 30 seconds. Add minced zucchini and Delicata squash, stirring until well combined, about 2 minutes. Fold in nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, combining well with the vegetables. Add ground beef, breaking meat up thoroughly and cooking until pink is no longer visible, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add water; bring beef-and-vegetable mixture to a gentle boil. Cover. Lower heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Fold in the cooked peas and green beans; mix well. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. Season with Celtic sea salt, to taste (I usually start with 1 teaspoon) and stir well.
To cook the zoodles:
Warm coconut oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the zoodles. Saute zoodles about 2 minutes, coating well with coconut oil. Add 1/4 cup of water; stirring zoodles well. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer another 1-2 minutes. Cooked properly, the zoodles will be al dente—not overcooked and mushy.
To serve: Ladle grass-fed beef and vegetable ragu over zoodles. Season with Celtic sea salt to taste.