Thai Beef Curry (4)


The word curry is used as a blanket term for spicy food when, in reality, there are many differences in ingredients and flavors. Indian curries tend to use blends of dry spices as a basis for their taste, whereas in Thailand a paste is used. There are many other countries that have curried dishes as part of their diet – the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa to name a few.
Red curry paste, as opposed to green or the harder to find and creamier yellow, is used in this recipe and the finished dish is fairly mild with the coconut milk offsetting some of the heat. This Thai Beef Curry is quickly prepared and there are lots of nice juices to soak up the rice, quinoa, noodles or whatever you wish to serve with it.

8 oz. flat iron steak – thinly sliced
1 shallot – thinly sliced and separated
1 red pepper – thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
4 oz. frozen peas
1 can of lite coconut milk
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Prepare the first 4 ingredients on a chopping board.
In a mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk and whisk it together with the curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce, then pour into a frying pan and bring to a boil.
When boiling add the steak, shallot, red pepper and garlic to the curry sauce, turn down to a simmer,let ingredients cook for about 7 minutes then add the peas, lime juice and cilantro and cook for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Sprinkle with a little cilantro for garnish and serve.


Beef Stew with Cranberries and Horseradish (4)


Stews do very well in a slow cooker. However, I always start off by browning the vegetables and searing the beef on all sides before I add them into the pot because this gives the stew a better flavor. The vegetables – onion, carrots and celery – are basically a ‘mirepoix’, a French term describing the combination of vegetables used as a base for many soups and stews. The ratio of the vegetables is 2 parts onion to 1 part each of carrots and celery. I cooked the stew in a slow cooker for 6 hours, then I removed the beef from the pot, pureed three-quarters of the sauce and then put them all back together.

2 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

4 oz. carrots – chopped into small pieces

4 oz. celery – chopped into small pieces

6 oz. frozen cranberries

2 pounds stewing beef – cut into bite size pieces

2 cups beef broth

1 cup of red wine

2 tbsp. redcurrant jelly

3 tbsp. prepared horseradish

Heat 1 tbsp. oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper in a skillet and when sizzling add the onion and let cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic, carrots and celery.

When the vegetables are nicely browned place them in the bottom of the slow cooker pot and cover with the cranberries.

Add the second tbsp. of oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to the skillet and when sizzling add half of the meat  and sear until browned on all sides, then add to slow cooker. Repeat with the other half of the beef.

Pour in the beef broth and red wine then add the redcurrant jelly and horseradish and cook on low heat for 6 hours.


Jo’s Thai Beef (4)


A mild dish inspired by Thai flavors. Because the flank steak is cut into thin strips it doesn’t take long to cook.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 13.66 fl. oz. can of lite coconut milk

2 tbsp. Thai Red Curry Paste

4 tsp. Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp. Five Spice powder

8 oz. flank steak – cut into thin strips

1 red pepper – diced

4 oz. broccoli florets

1 cup of peas

1 cup of beef broth
Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown a little bit, then add the garlic.

In a small mixing bowl mix together a little coconut milk, the red curry paste, fish sauce, peanut butter and five spice powder and set aside.

Add the flank steak to the casserole dish and quickly sear.

Toss in the red pepper, broccoli florets and peas.

Add the sauce mixture, rest of the coconut milk and the beef broth.

Stir well, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size of the flank steak strips

Toto’s Beef Loaf (serves 4)

Toto’s Beef Loaf (serves 4)

Never did my grandmother from Lancashire, UK imagine in her wildest dreams that her beef loaf would be served gluten and dairy free in sunny Florida! Toto’s beef loaf is not the same as meat loaf. We eat it cold in the summer with a salad and new potatoes. It has no tomato sauce/ketchup in it. Instead it has a nice hint of garlic. I made a breakthrough with this beef loaf (and think it will work well with other recipes that require bread as a filler). I replaced the breadcrumbs with cooked brown rice. I ignored the need for melted butter altogether, thinking that the ground beef had enough fat in it. The resulting beef loaf tasted pretty much the same as Toto’s recipe and once it was cooked I turned it out onto a metal rack over a metal baking tray to let any fat from the loaf drain out.


1 pound of ground/minced beef – the leanest and most organic you can find

4 oz ham – minced in food processor

1/2 cup of cooked brown rice

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – minced

Handful of parsley – minced in food processor

1 egg – whisked with a fork

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Put ground/minced beef in a large bowl.

Add all the other ingredients and mix together well by hand.

Oil a glass loaf dish.

Place meat mixture in loaf dish and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until beef loaf is cooked through in the middle.

Turn loaf out onto a rack to let any fat run off.

Let cool, slice and serve.

Bobotie (serves 4)

Bobotie (serves 4)


I have had such fun making this as it was quite a challenge to find ingredients that would work for me and yet the end result would still taste like bobotie (National dish of South Africa). I first had bobotie when a friend from S. Africa cooked it for me. I think it is one of those recipes that everyone has their own version of. My friend used apricot jam, I use chutney, etc. It is comfort food along the lines of meat loaf and Shepherd’s Pie. I imagine it would work with various types of red meat – lamb, venison, boar (I used ground buffalo instead of the usual ground beef). In bobotie the meat is topped with a mixture of eggs and milk. I used lite coconut milk instead and it combined nicely with the eggs (could I have stumbled on something new here?!). Maybe it would work with almond milk too (see my very easy recipe for almond milk).


1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large onions – finely chopped

3 good-size clove of garlic

2 pounds x ground beef with the least possible fat

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1/2 cup golden raisins/sultanas

2 oz slivered almonds – finely ground in food processor

2 tbsp. Sharwood’s Major Grey Mango Chutney

1 tbsp. garam masala

2 tsp. gtound coriander

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. Herbes de Provence (whoever would have thought they would end up in a mildly curried S. African dish, but they work.

3 bay leaves


Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil into a cast iron casserole dish.

When sizzling add onion and garlic and cook until softened.

Put ground beef, beef stock, sultanas, ground almonds, chutney, garam masala, ground corianader, turmeric, Herbes de Provence into a large bowl.

Break up the ground beef and mix all ingredients together well.

Add the onion and garlic into the mix.

Place the mixture into a baking dish brushed with oil (measuring about 9″ x 6″)

Almost bury 3 bay leaves in the mixture.

Cook for 45 minutes and longer if needed at between 350 and 400 degrees.

Remove from oven and if necessary pour off the juices.

Turn out onto a plate.

Top with omelet mixture (see below) and trim to fit (or omit and just slice and serve)

Slice and serve as you would meat loaf (the poured off juice, once the fat has been taken off (use paper towel), can be used as gravy).

Serve with mashed potatoes (mashed with olive oil).




2 eggs – whisked

1 cup lite coconut milk – well shaken

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


Put 1 tbsp. olive oil in large frying pan.

Whisk eggs and lite coconut milk together.

Pour into frying pan and cook until omelet-like.







Chili (serves 6 – 8_

You can just make the chili and serve with a salad or on top of a baked potato or do as I sometimes do, which is to alter a recipe I used to make back in the day of no intolerances. An American friend of mine served chili in a bowl. The chili rested in the center of a bed of lettuce, grated cheese and diced red onion was sprinkled on the chili,  around the edge of the chili was some guacamole and some salsa and the final edge was corn chips. So, eliminate cheese and corn chips and you still have a nice mixture, especially if you make your own guacamole and salsa. I thicken the sauce by putting 2 cups of the kidney beans in the food processor along with the sundried tomatoes. I made this the other day for  guests and my sons and there was as in known is my family ‘an ample sufficiency’. Seconds were had and then just before bed I found my guest dipping in again (which was a great compliment). In the end – no leftovers!



1 tbsp. olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion – finely chopped

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 pounds ground beef

2 tsp. chili  powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 pinches red pepper flakes

2 x 14 0z cans kidney beans – rinsed and drained

1 cup tomato puree (I use Pomi variety)

3 sundried tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

A few drop of Worcestershire sauce

A few drops of Tabasco sauce


Heat the oil, salt and freshly ground pepper in a cast iron casserole dish.

When sizzling add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft and slightly browned.

Then add chili powder, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile process 2 cups of drained kidney beans and the sundried tomatoes in a food processor.

Add ground beef and cook until browned.

Then add kidney beans, processed kidney beans and sundried tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock to casserole dish along with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.

Bring to boiling then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.


Garnish – chopped lettuce, chopped red onion, guacamole and salsa (will post homemade guacamole and salsa recipes later)