Japanese-Style Beef Stew

Japanese-Style Beef Stew

This is just wonderful. My husband had 3 helpings. The flavors are American stew with an asian twist. The spicy ginger and sweetness of the squash are perfect together. Ultimate comfort food! This was inspired by the New York Times recipe but with my own variations. It is easy to overcook the squash so after adding it watch to make sure it does not get too overcooked and mushy.



  • 2 – 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck in 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3-4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin (honey or sugar can be used – adjust to taste)
  • 10 nickel-size slices of ginger
  •  Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • tsp cinamon (optional)
  • 1 large peeled butternut cut in 1-inch chunks (sweet potatoes would also work)


  1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Add meat in batches to coat.
  2. In a large stock pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (you may need more or less depending on how much beef) . Over medium-high heat, sear meat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer chunks to a medium-size bowl. I did this in 2 batches.
  3. Add mirin and soy sauce to the skillet, and cook over high heat, stirring and scraping until all the solids are integrated into the liquid, add beef stock.
  4. Add beef back into the pot. Cover, and cook on top of stove, maintaining a steady simmer. Stir after 30 minutes. Then check meat every 15 minutes.
  5. While beef is simmering, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and add onions. Cook slowly over medium heat until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from heat.
  6. When meat is tender, about 45 minutes, stir in squash and onions. Continue to cook until squash is tender but not mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

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Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Avocado Rolls

Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Avocado Rolls


I was inspired by a recipe posted a couple of years ago on a blog I love, LemonsandBasil.com.
I love roasted sweet potato and these make wonderful appetizers as well as a side dish. I am going to try a version with goat cheese, because everything is good with cheese. These are super easy. I used a grill pan for the zucchini but you could use them directly on the gill or in a grill pan on the stove top. NOTE: I think next time I will also make the sweet potato “fries”a little shorter.






  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • smoked paprika
  • course sea salt and pepper


  1. Slice zucchini into long thin strips, then lay out on fresh paper towels and coat with layer of salt, then let them sit for about 15 minutes. This helps to sweat the water out. After the 15 minutes, apply pressure with a paper towel to remove some of that moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, peel sweet potatoes and chop into small stubby fries, approx 1-1.5 inches long.
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, lay sweet potatoes flat, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, pepper and smoked paprika  and bake 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the zucchini has “sweat” for approximately 15 minutes, brush lightly with a little olive oil.
  5. Grill zucchini slices on an indoor grill pan {stove top} or outdoor grill until soft (approx 3-4 minutes each side). Sprinkle with salt and pepper {you may want to blot the cooked zucchini with a dry paper towel to remove any extra moisture}.
  6. Add sweet potato wedges and avocado slices to zucchini pieces and roll up.
Soy Chorizo, black bean & sweet potato skillet

Soy Chorizo, black bean & sweet potato skillet

I came up with this recipe because I needed to clean out the fridge and I wanted something for dinner that did not involve turkey. I has some sweet potatoes and squash leftover so I just made this up as I went along. It is vegetarian but you can use real Chorizo as well. Butternut Squash would be good in this as well as a red pepper.
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium (1 lb.) sweet potato cubed
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 small Delicata squash peeled and cut (optional)
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
  • 1 can diced fired roasted salsa style tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup white quinoa, cooked


  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato (and squash) into ½ to ¾ inch cubes. Sauté the sweet potato cubes in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have softened about half way through.
  2. Add the onions and cook until tender.
  3. Take Soy Chorizo out of its casing and put into a separate skillet. Sauté over medium heat,  breaking it up into small pieces as it browns.
  4. Rinse and drain the black beans. Add the black beans and tomatoes to the sweet potato/onion mixture. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Add in the cooked Soy Chorizo.
  6. Cover and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
  7. While the mixture is simmering, cook Quinoa according to directions.
  8. Add in the cheese and stir to combine with the squash mixture.

Spoon quinoa into a large bowl and ladle squash mixture over it and sprinkle with additional cheese

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


This is another recipe inspired by http://www.lemonsandbasil.com. Her posts are so lovely and probably more healthy than mine… but they always inspire me. I would not have thought of BBQ meat combined with a sweet potato but it is wonderful. I have made this twice, once as a vegetarian meal without the meat (using only caramelized onions, roasted corn and Cojita cheese) and once following this recipe. We loved both versions but this is my favorite. You could use beef, chicken or pork. I had BBQ beef brisket in the fridge so I went with that. The first time I used fresh roasted corn but frozen works just fine. 

Serves 3-4





  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 package or Trader Joe’s frozen Roasted Mexican corn (or 2 ears fresh corn toasted in a frying pan)
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 16 oz BBQ Pork, Beef or Chicken (I used Beef Brisket from Trader Joe’s)
  • 6 oz shredded Cojita, Cheddar or Monterey jack Cheese


  1. Wash sweet potatoes and prick each one several times with fork. Place on a foil lined or non stick baking sheet and bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes or until they are soft to the touch. I used a convection oven so it took only about 45 minutes.
  2. Warm the BBQ beef in the oven at 350 for about 15- 20 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the sliced onions. Cook for about 20 minutes until golden and caramelized.
  4. For frozen corn: use a non stick pan to toast over medium heat to give it a bit of caramelizing; about 5-7 minutes.
    For fresh corn: Grill for a few minutes on each side and slice kernels off the cob OR Slice corn off the cob and toast in a pan for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. When the potatoes are done, cool for a few minutes then remove the skin and place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mash with a fork and add 1/2 the cheese, onions, corn and fold in the shredded BBQ. Mix well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Place the filling In oven safe dishes and bake just until the cheese is melted.


This is my vegetarian version. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut off the tops and scoop out the cooked flesh of each potato, add to a large bowl. Leave the skin of the potatoes intact along with a thin layer of potato to help hold skins together. Mix all the ingredients and then scoop sweet potato filling into the skins, drizzle with BBQ sauce, top with cheese and bake for 6 or 7 minutes until cheese is melted. I served with a greens and apple salad.