Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beef and Veggie Skillet

It’s time for some nourishing goodness at our house.  We’ve been catching quite a few bugs lately and our immune systems could use a boost.  I like to do this with foods first and add supplements as needed.  We eat really well on a regular basis but there are some things I like to cut back on or remove from our diet when we are sick.  Here’s my go to list when I feel something coming on.

Remove all gluten from diet and minimize grains.
Gluten is an irritant to many people’s digestive systems due to the higher gluten content in today’s grains and over consumption by the majority of the population.  Even gluten free grains are hard for your body to breakdown.  If you are eating sprouted grains they are easier to digest but still more difficult than other foods. If you are sick or getting sick, you want to eliminate as much stress on your body as possible since stress causes inflammation. 

Reduce or eliminate sugars.
If you are eating processed sugars you should remove them from your diet (it’s best to eat natural sugars regularly anyway).  You should also reduce or eliminate the natural sugars you are consuming temporarily.  This includes honey and fruits.  Sugar is an immune system suppressant and reduces the white blood cells ability to attack invaders.  If you are prone to yeast infections or Candida outbreaks it is especially important to remove sugars during times of illness.  The yeast will take advantage of your weakened immune system and abundant food supply.  This will cause hinder your body from fighting off the original bug and can also cause a secondary yeast infection.  Dakota has this problem and we are very careful about fruit consumption during times of sickness.  She once got a secondary yeast infection in her ear after an initial bacterial infection (yuck)!

Remove all dairy (even raw).
Dairy is notorious for causing mucus and congestion.  Many kids and adults have this reaction even if they aren’t “allergic.”  Dairy can also be irritating to your digestive track (stress!).  If you experience gas, boating, or extra bathroom trips after eating dairy, these are sure signs that it is not good for your digestive system.  Some people like to eat yogurt when sick for the probiotics.  While the idea behind this is good, its best to get your healthy bacteria from other foods or supplements.

Remove alcohol.
This should go without saying but alcohol is a stressor.  Your liver will have to work harder to eliminate the toxins so it should be avoided.

So what’s left?  Plenty of healthy nourishing foods!  Veggies and small amounts of fruits (only if not prone to yeast) are great because they are packed with nutrients and vitamins.  Healthy fats are also important.  They are packed with nutrients, energy and can help soothe and coat your digestive system.  Meat and fish is also ok as long as you are choosing the right kinds- grass fed, free range, wild caught, etc.

Soups are a great way to get all of these nourishing goodies into your body easily when sick.  That’s why your mom fed you chicken soup as a kid!  As great as soup is, sometimes it’s just not practical.  Like when you live in Florida and it is 95 degrees outside.  I just couldn’t bring myself to make soup when I was already so hot.  Instead I made a tasty skillet that combined tons of fresh veggies, grass-fed beef, and healthy oils.  Cooking everything in one pan and keeping all of the juices ensures you will get the most of those nutrients.

Beef and Veggie Skillet

1lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp sea salt or herbamare
1/4 tsp chile powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2.5-3 cups zucchini
1.5-2 cups broccoli
1 cup bell pepper
1 1/2 cups carrot
1 cup red onion
2 cups crimini mushrooms
2 cups tomato
1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth

Chop veggies to desired size.

 Heat a large skillet using medium heat.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat.
Saute beef until mostly brown.

Add garlic, basil, parsley, sea salt and chile powder.

Continue cooking until browned.
Using a slotted spoon, remove beef from skillet, leaving juices.

Add all veggies except mushrooms and tomatoes.
Sauté for a couple of minutes until the veggies have begun to soften.

Add broth, mushrooms tomatoes and stir.
Allow to cook down to desired veggie crisp-ness.
Add beef and stir to combine.

Serve over some dark leafy greens.

The kids ate this up like it was their job!  Multiple helpings were had and we even had round two of dinner about an hour later!

Apparently their bodies needed some serious nourishment today!

In between dinner rounds my little princess made her very own lego castle.

I'd say that is some quality construction.  Clearly she was feeling better.


  1. I love all the colors in this dish! I will keep this in mind next time we get sick and I need something simple and nourishing. :)

    1. Thanks Joanna, I love the colors too- something about it just makes me happy :) We just had this the other night!