I’ve learned to really listen to what my body needs from me. This is a wonderful consequence, outcome, and gift of living with a chronic autoimmune disease. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been able to figure out what my body needs and when it needs it.
And I always say that if you’re in tune with your body, then you are your own best physician. Of course that comes with years of dealing with something that affects your body in various ways so that you tend to recognize what exactly is going on in there. As weird as it may sound, you really become friends with yourself in a new way and respect and appreciate your body in a new way.
I’m very fortunate that I’ve learned how to balance my health really quite well. Food is an integral part of the way I look out for my health.
So the other day when I was craving beef, BIG TIME, I knew that my iron levels must’ve been pretty low. I was also really craving mushrooms and I’m not a huge mushroom fanatic. Don’t get me wrong because I love them and all but it’s not like I have to get them on my pizza or need to eat them every week.
Well so here you go: mushrooms actually contain a few important elements rarely found in other foods. Two of these are selenium and iron. Selenium is an important antioxidant that helps rid your system of free radicals. And iron, of course, is necessary in helping to carry oxygen to the blood.
Antioxidants = Awesome, especially for people dealing with an autoimmune disease. Don’t overdo it though because too much can actually backfire.
Iron = Eat your RED meat (especially if you’re a fellow anemic) because you’re getting your iron from the blood in the meat, and since you need the iron for your blood too, it only makes sense that your body will quickly know what to do with it when its source matches the destination, right? Does that make sense? It really should.
Alright, so I did what was right for myself by stopping into my local grocery store and picking up some very simple ingredients that I knew my body would benefit from. I went home and braised some beautiful hunks of beef with sweet caramelized onions and lots of crimini mushrooms. Threw in some garlic, tomato paste, some baby orange tomatoes for some freshness, some herbs, a dash of this, a pinch of that, and ta-daaaaa! Dinner is served and my food becomes my medicine! The best tasting medicine in the world, mind you.
What could be better than that?
Ohhh, I know. If after marrying all the lovely povely ingredients together, you spooned it all over a bed of al dente pasta. In a nice big bowl. Sit on the couch. Eat it all up. Oh. yes.
Tender, flavorful beef and comfort food galore. Come to me.
Let’s just be happy and thankful now. After all, Thanksgiving is in 2 days!
Oh! By the way! This stuff only gets better the next day, and then the next day…
- 1.5 lb beef bottom round roast, cubed
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 6 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (pulled off of approximately 4 sprigs)
- 4-5 tbsp tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 10 oz sunburst tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 fresno red chili peppers, sliced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley (one big handful)
- 1 box campanelle shaped pasta (1 lb package)
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
- Coat beef with flour, ½ tbsp salt and ½ a tsp pepper.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large oven-safe pot on high heat. Add beef in a layer and sear for about a minute or two before flipping. Turn heat to medium and sear on all sides for a minute or two, and remove from pot. Turn to medium-low and add another 2 tbsp olive oil and add mushrooms. Cook down mushrooms until soft. Add in onions and mix around until onions have softened and started to really caramelize. Get all the bits from the bottom of the pot while mixing. Add in garlic and mix. Mix in beef, remainder of salt and pepper, paprika, thyme, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Add tomatoes and red chili pepper, and mix in. Add beef broth and mix in. Place lid on top of pot and place in oven for 45 min - 1 hr or until beef is tender. Add chopped parsley and mix. Serve on top of pasta like pictured or even on top of mashed potatoes or polenta!
- For the pasta:
- Boil a large pot of water. Add plenty of salt and add pasta. Cook for about 7 min or until al dente.