Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Chipotle Cashew Cream

Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

For a professional food babe, I’m surprisingly suspicious of kitchen gadgetry. So when my first spiralizing apparatus landed on my doorstep, designed by none other than the doyenne of inspiralization, it took me a few weeks to get up the courage to rip open the package and let the blades go to town on the bell peppers in this beef taco skillet recipe from her new cookbook Inspiralize Everything.

I’ve gotten to know Ali Maffucci over the last year through my #friendsinfood events in New York, and become slightly hypnotized by the volume and beauty of all the squiggly veggies spiraling out of her kitchen. Between that, and being a gluten-free recovering carboholic, you might think I’d have ditched the kelp noodles and jumped on the spiralizing bandwagon sooner. But I couldn’t bring myself to buy the machine.

Spiralized Peppers | Feed Me Phoebe Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

My gadget skepticism has less to do with usefulness and more to do with faith in my ability to successfully use said gadget.

Since we’re in confession mode over here, I’ll just come out and tell you that I don’t even own a blender. Nope. Not me. I’ve been using the same 3-cup mini Cuisinart for the last decade of my culinary trials and tribulations. For smoothies, for hummus, for soup. For everything. {Monkey speak no evil emoji}.

Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

While that’s a pretty good (and deserved) advertisement for that one particular gadget, the reason is silly. I was gifted this fancy food processor a few years ago. It was too big and heavy to use in my studio apartment, so sat in a closet for most of my tenure in Chelsea. But I had full intention of making the transition once we moved into our big new kitchen in Brooklyn. Somewhere along the way, though, the user’s manual was misplaced. And given my low-tech approach to the kitchen thus far, I still don’t really know what to do with all those blades of glory.

Ground Beef | Feed Me Phoebe Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe After a brief mean-mugging Clint Eastwood stare down with the Inspiralizer on my countertop, I did something that I rarely do: I read the instructions.

It turns out my fears were unfounded. The machine was incredibly simple to use, and learning the proper ways to do so did not cause me to experience the same mild headache that descends every time I step into an Ikea.

Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

In fact, despite my sweaty palms, the bell peppers easily whirled into ribbons, and once sautéed with onions, they provided a hardy layer to this taco skillet recipe, beefing up the dish in a way that allowed for a much healthier beef to veg ratio. And therein lies one of the things I love most about the recipes in Inspiralize Everything. They’re perfect for flexitarians who want to find ways to add more veggies to their life without completely giving up entire food groups. (i.e. my balanced diet philosophy to a T). The majority of the recipes are marked as gluten-free, and Ali even has a “dairy optional” label to let you know where it’s easy to turn something vegan or Paleo.

I decided to take her cue for this bell pepper and beef taco skillet recipe and skip the cheese. Instead, I created an easy chipotle cashew cream, using the gadget that had previously, before the Inspiralizer, held first position on my countertop.

For those of you who don’t know the beauty of a Gwyneth cashew moment, basically you soak the nuts in hot water for up to an hour (some people will do it for longer, but I find it gets too mealy), and then puree them with a little liquid and whatever flavorings you like to create a creamy sauce. In this Tex-Mex meal, my chipotle cashew cream takes the place of sour cream, cheese and hot sauce, wrapping them all into one dairy-free treat. What a moment!

Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

For the flexitarians out there, this is a great easy weeknight meal that doesn’t require much more than what’s already in the skillet. Even my carboholic other half was completely satisfied with just some sliced avocado on the side.

If you’re paleo, the only alteration you need to make is to skip the fresh corn. But given the late summer produce vibes, I think you’d be crazy to do so. Gab some peppers, tomatoes and cobs at the market this weekend, set any pre-existing gadgetry fears aside, go forth and spiralize EVERYTHING. Ali’s book should make that mission, should you choose to accept it, that much easier and more enjoyable. And though I have obviously never used any other kind of spiralizing gadget, my experience is evidence that her machine is the most idiot-proof and well-made around.

From one healthy, spiralizing hedonist, to another,

Xoxo
Phoebe

Recipes-Logo Spiralized Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Fresh Corn, Avocado and Chipotle Cashew Cream | Feed Me Phoebe

Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Chipotle Cashew Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Chipotle Cashew Cream

This recipes is adapted from Ali Maffucci's beautiful book Inspiralize Everything. I changed a few things. First, I used my own taco seasoning blend because I already had it on hand. Pick up a copy of the book to get Ali's! I also added the corn to the skillet with the other veggies instead of par-boiling it separately. As you know, I hate dishes. To make it dairy-free, I omitted the cheese and topped the taco skillet with a chipotle cashew sauce. To make fully Paleo, simply omit the corn!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 large bell peppers (I used yellow and orange), cored and spiralized (use blade A of the Inspiralizer, if using)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used 1 pint cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 large ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a 7-ounce can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • to serve
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves and/or chopped scallions

Instructions

  1. Mix together the taco seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Place the cashews in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes, or until you're finished with the skillet.
  3. Place a large 12-inch skillet (preferably, cast iron) over medium heat. When water flicked onto the skillet sizzles, add the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the meat begins to brown, breaking it apart with the back of your spoon to form bite-sized chunks. Add the garlic and oregano and sauté for 3 minutes more, until very fragrant. Remove the meat mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the olive oil to the skillet. When it shimmers, add the onion and bell peppers. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Return the beef to the pan along with the tomatoes, corn kernels, and taco seasoning. Toss together and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have begun to release their juices. Remove from the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, drain the cashews and puree them in a food processor or blender with the lime juice, chipotle and 1/3 cup of water. Add more water by the tablespoon until the nut sauce is smooth and you reach the consistency of ranch dressing. Season to taste with salt.
  6. To serve, drizzle the skillet with the chipotle cashew cream, garnish with avocado slices, lime wedges and cilantro leaves, and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Notes

If you don't own a spiralizer, you can simply chop the pepper by hand. But I loved how the veggie ribbons beefed up this skillet recipe even more.


instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!

http://feedmephoebe.com/beef-taco-skillet-recipe/

 

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4 Responses to Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Chipotle Cashew Cream

  1. Pingback: Bell Pepper and Beef Taco Skillet with Chipotle Cashew Cream | Gluten Free Web

  2. Julia says:

    Hi Phoebe, I made this recipe for dinner tonight and followed your recipe exactly. It turned out really well, I’ll definitely make it again. One question about the cashew sauce, mine turned out super spicy. Luckily I love spicy food, but I’m wondering if it was meant to be that way? I think I may have misread the ingredient list- you probably meant one pepper from the can but I put the whole 7oz can in! I might add more cashews to it tomorrow and re-blend and see if that fixes it. It definitely added a kick!

    • Frankie says:

      Definitely only one, the way I read the recipe. Whoa, your mouth must have been one big bonfire!

    • ahhh Julia! good news indeed that you like spicy food, as I’m sure your sauce was ragging! So sorry that the ingredient list wasn’t clear. I did mean only 1 pepper. You can definitely dilute by adding more cashews and water. Even some yogurt to cool it down if you need to. Will revise the instructions now! Glad you enjoyed it otherwise though and thanks for making it so lightening fast!

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