Meal Prep Monday: Beef Stew with Cauliflower Couscous

7/17/2017 08:37:00 AM

Meal Prep Monday again! I am still very much with the warming winter comfort food. I can't believe it, but it actually seems to have gotten colder again this week. Brr! Today's Meal Prep is: beef stew with cauliflower couscous. Because comfort food is awesome, but we should definitely still be eating our vegetables.

Beef Stew with Cauliflower Couscous
Beef Stew with Cauliflower Couscous

Let's start with the stew. It's a classic beef stew, all tender pieces of beef in a rich tomato sauce. I make versions of this quite often! You start with a base of onions, carrots and celery (I was quite generous with the amounts this time - more vegetables!), then add beef, tinned tomatoes, stock, and spices, and let it all simmer away until the beef is tender. I also added a chopped red capsicum to the stew this time, for a bit of a goulash vibe. Lovely!

Beef Stew, start of cooking time
Beef Stew, pre-simmering

Traditionally you'd dust the beef pieces in flour before frying them (to help the meat brown, and to thicken the sauce later). However, as I was serving it with cauliflower couscous, I thought I'd try out a gluten-free method of thickening the sauce. So I skipped the flour, but added a peeled and halved potato to the stew at the start. I got this tip from the family in Germany, when we made Gulaschsuppe. As the stew cooks, the potato breaks down and mixes into the sauce, giving the finished stew a thick and velvety texture. It works a treat! (And any little mushy pieces of potato that remain at the end are super flavourful and totally delicious).

Beef Stew, end of cooking time
Beef Stew, end of cooking time

Onto the couscous. I'd never had cauliflower couscous before - it was actually Sandra who suggested it. (She with the newfound enthusiasm for exercise and healthy eating). It's über popular among wellness bloggers and the like - just crumbled up cauliflower to serve as a carb-free carb substitute. I ended up really liking it. Not only did it add a bonus serve of vegetables to my lunch, but it tasted good, and I found it satisfying but not overly filling. (No post-lunchtime carb coma for me!) Obviously it didn't taste like couscous or rice, but the crumbly little pieces served reliably as the base for the saucy beef. (And I do love the taste of cauliflower). Would eat again.

Here's my beautiful cauliflower. I love how the leaves curling around the cauliflower make it look all shy. Is that just me? Yup, I'm weird, moving right along...

Whole cauliflower
Whole cauliflower

So to turn it into cauliflower couscous (or, cauliflower rice, which I guess is the same thing), you peel off the leaves, cut the cauliflower up into florets and chuck in a processor...

Cauliflower florets in the processor
Cauliflower florets

... and then process until it's all rubbly.

Cauliflower Couscous
Cauliflower couscous

And then all you gotta do is cook it in a pan with a little oil for about five minutes, and you're done! You could cook it plain, or flavour it up however you like - I followed this recipe from A House in the Hills, and cooked it with leeks and sun dried tomatoes. Huge flavour boost, but also: more veggies! (Side note: do we all remember how good sun dried tomatoes are? I made this recipe for sun-dried tomato-stuffed chicken breast recipe the other night, and it was so good, I can't remember why I ever stopped eating sun-dried tomatoes! The 90's are alive and well in my house.)

Cauliflower couscous, sundried tomatoes, leek
Cauliflower couscous flavouring ingredients

So this is an easy recipe - you just sautée the leeks and sun-dried tomatoes...

Sautéeing sun-dried tomatoes, leek

...then add the cauliflower rubble and cook through. Simples!

Cauliflower couscous

This meal worked great as a meal prep! Stews definitely improve over time, and the cauliflower couscous lasted well, not going soggy at all. It was just as good on the fourth day as it was on the first! The meal was totally comforting, but not heavy at all. And as I've mentioned throughout the post, I kept trying to cram different vegetables into this meal, but it didn't taste like a punishment. It just tasted good!

N.B. The recipes below make six servings in total. As you know I make my meal preps for Monday-Thursday, but also had this for dinner with Sandra on the Sunday. If six servings is too much for you to eat in one week, I'd suggest freezing a couple of portions! Your future self will thank you.

P.S. Do you like cauliflower rice? Any serving suggestions? Hit me up in the comments!

Beef Stew
An original recipe by Sarah Cooks

1 tablespoon butter (use olive oil for dairy-free)
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 sticks of celery, chopped into cubes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
450 grams cubed beef
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon beef stock powder
1 x 400 gram tin chopped tomatoes
1 red capsicum, seeded and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 potato, peeled and cut into half
Parsley, to serve

Melt the butter in a large casserole. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cooked until softened.
Add the garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the beef, cayenne pepper and paprika, and cook until the beef is sealed.
Add the beef stock powder and tinned tomatoes. Fill the tin with water and pour this into the pot. Add the bay leaf, the capsicum and the potato.
Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the potato is cooked through (mash it into the sauce to thicken it), and the beef is tender.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

Cauliflower Couscous
Recipe adapted from A House in the Hills

1/2 large cauliflower
1 tablespoon butter (use olive oil for dairy free)
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

Wash the cauliflower and cut into florets. Place in a food processor and whizz into small pieces, like couscous. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the sundried tomatoes and stir to distribute evenly.
Finally, turn the heat up to high and tip in the cauliflower couscous. Stir so all the ingredients are distributed evenly. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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  1. I love cauliflower rice! And the dish where the potato breaks down and becomes the sauce sounds divine! :D



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