Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spicy Slow Cooked Beef Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado-Cilantro Cream

I really love being able to toss ingredients into my slow cooker in the morning in order to have a meal ready to go later in the day, don't you? There's just so much less stress, and I feel so organized, with a clean kitchen going into dinnertime! This recipe for tomato-free, paleo slow cooked beef can be used in a multitude of ways. If you don't want to stuff it into baked sweet potatoes then you could use it as a taco filling for corn tortillas, Brown Rice Flour Tortillas, or simply served with sautéed kale and cabbage! If you or some of your family members eat dairy you could put the beef into the sweet potatoes and then top with shredded raw cheese and place in your oven under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese (some of my children like this)!

I first made this with some of my lacto-fermented hot sauce (yes, I cooked my precious sauce)! After that I wanted to recreate it using some of the same ingredients from my sauce that everyone could find and use. This recipe contains bell peppers and hot peppers, but no tomatoes, and it's not too spicy (my children eat this). If you are following our Elimination Diet and have tested out ok for peppers and beef then you can enjoy this during the rest of Phase 3. In fact, you could even use this recipe for testing beef in Phase 3! I hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Slow Cooked Beef Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado-Cilantro Cream

Serve this easy-to-make dinner with baked sweet potatoes or gluten-free tortillas and your favorite fillings! The shredded, slow-cooked beef is even better on the second day so feel free to make a double batch so you can have enough for the week. It also freezes well. Pictured here, the stuffed sweet potatoes are served with my spicy lacto-fermented carrots and jalapeños. This not only adds a lot of flavor, but beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and fibers for healthy digestion! I usually like to serve denser meals with some sort of fermented food.

1 ½ to 2 pounds organic grass-fed beef roast (eye-of-the-round)
½ large onion, cut into half moons

1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 to 3 cherry bomb peppers, stems removed (you can leave the seeds in)
½ to 1 cup diced onion
4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 cups water or bone broth
1 to 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

4 to 6 medium sweet potatoes
Avocado Cream (recipe below)

Place the beef and onions into your slow cooker. Turn onto low or high, depending on your time frame. 

In a blender, add all of the ingredients for the sauce and blend until smooth. Use more liquid if you are using a larger piece of beef, less for a smaller piece. Pour sauce over beef and onions and gently stir together with a spoon. 

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for about 5 to 6 hours. Each slow cooker will vary in temperature and cooking time. Yours might only take 3 to 4 hours on high. These are the times I've found work best for mine. Once the beef is cooked (it may not even feel tender yet), begin pulling it apart in the slow cooker using two forks. Keep pulling it apart until it is shredded, then let it cook for another 20 minutes or so on high or up to another hour on low. Taste and add more salt if needed. 

Once your beef is near done (or about an hour before you plan on serving it), preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse your sweet potatoes and prick each with a fork a few times. Place onto a cookie sheet or 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Bake for about one hour or until tender (baking time with vary depending on the size of your sweet potatoes). Let cool for about 10 minutes then make a slit into the top of each one and push on the two ends to open up the potato.  

Serve sweet potatoes with a scoop of the shredded beef stuffed inside. Dollop with Avocado-Cilantro Cream (below) and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and green onions if desired. Serve with some type of raw vegetable, leafy green salad, or sautéed kale.

Usually I don't really measure the onion. I just cut it in half and use half (diced) for the sauce and the other half (cut into half moons) to cook with the beef. Also, I always use an eye-of-the-round beef roast for this recipe. It is a leaner cut which lends well to slow cooking.

Avocado-Cilantro Cream

Serve this avocado cream dolloped on top of your stuffed sweet potatoes. It is also delicious on top of scrambled eggs and kale, baked winter squash, or used as a dip for baked chipotle sweet potato fries!

3 small ripe avocados, pitted
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ to ½ cup water
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small jalapeño or serrano chili pepper, stem removed
½ teaspoon sea salt
handful fresh cilantro

Place all ingredients except for the cilantro into a wide-mouth quart jar. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. Add the cilantro and blend just to incorporate. If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender. Using an immersion blender just creates less mess, and then your avocado cream is already in a storage container ready to go into the fridge!

More Nourishing Beef Recipes:

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Hi Ali, i am doing yours and Tom's elimination diet now. I reacted to nightshades (as in major joint pain flare ups). Do you think this recipe would work if i subbed in the cherry juice from your nightshade-free chicken taco recipe? I have not tested beef yet but I am about to this weekend. Citrus works for me so I will make the avocado cream recipe w/o the pepper. Please post more slow cooker elimination diet recipes. i work full time so these are a life-saver. thanks, love your blog!

    1. Hi Rochelle,

      I have not tested a nightshade free variation yet, but I bet you could blend 1 cup of the tart cherry juice with 1 cup of bone broth, along with the onions, garlic, salt, and ACV. You could even add some ground cumin if you would like! Let me know how it works. :)

      Glad you are enjoying the blog! I hope to post more slow cooked recipes and pressure cooker recipes. Both make life easier.

  2. Ali, have you tried the Instant Pot yet? I have been making a lot of your recipes in it and oh my goodness-it is so much easier. We always have baked squash and sweet potatoes on hand easily now. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Instant Pot people; I just love that it's stainless steel and that it cooks rice, root vegetables, eggs, stews, curries, meats, soups and puddings so quickly! Our eggs are fresh and hard-boiling them used to be a pain because the shells would be impossible to peel; now they just come off neatly and easily. I look at this recipe and think, "Great! 35 minutes in the Instant Pot! Yay!" or with the glass top, you can toss it all in and cook it all day--depending on what kind of day it is! That combined with the stainless steel immersion blender is amazing. Thanks for all your recipes! We love them!

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Yes! I actually got one a few weeks ago. I love it. I can make soup in 20 minutes! I used to have a stovetop pressure cooker but it broke a few years ago so I've been without one. I have to admit, the electric version is SO much easier! I am finding that I use it much more often than I ever used my stovetop pressure cooker. I bet this recipe would work really well in the Instant Pot.

      I got the 8-quart size and I'm so glad I did. So many people to feed! :) Last week I made 4 different soups/stews in an afternoon. It was amazing to stock up the fridge!

      I hope to post some recipes soon. I totally think like you too now...."that will take xx minutes for me in the Instant Pot"!!

      If anyone here is reading this and wondering what the Instant Pot can check it out here on Amazon:

    2. Hi Ali,

      Not to change subjects too much, but I made your coconut yogurt in the Instant Pot and it turned out *amazing.* I had tried it before using different methods to keep it warm and came out with coconut jello (kind of like haupia!) or the consistency was too thin. I am very excited to have found a recipe/process that works really well predictably! Thanks!

      Go you for stocking up! It makes the week a whole lot easier having a few dinners ready in advance, especially with a lot of hungry children running around!

    3. Hi Jennifer.....oh my! I need to try making it in the Instant Pot! I use a yogurt maker but can only make a quart at a time. It's easier to make big batches......though lately my kids have really been into goat milk yogurt. I feel better with coconut milk yogurt. :) Thanks for the tip!

  3. I like your blog,i hope it can be helpful for other people


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)