Usually when I think up a new recipe it’s because I’ve craved something I shouldn’t really be eating. I then mess around with ingredients and cooking methods to come up with a healthier version. This time, my husband came to me with a request. He mentioned that his boss at work made a really good beef stew and he wanted Ian to try it. I had a look at the recipe and I have to admit, it sounded amazing. The original recipe came in at around 550 calories, so not too bad considering. I could have just made it straight from the recipe I was given, but there were a few bits I already knew I wouldn’t be using. The original stew called for loads of black olives and a tin of sardines. I love black olives, but I am the only person within a 10 mile radius of my house that does. I knew I needed to scrap these from the dish. The hubs and I are also not fans of sardines. Okay I say we aren’t fans, but to be honest we never tried them. I just couldn’t wrap my head around fish in beef stew, so out these went. The recipe also called for 1kg of beef – a whole kilo! That is a lot of beef to me, even for 6 servings.
So queue me mixing it up a bit and making this my own. I knocked the beef down to 400g and added in sweet potato, butter beans and spinach. I’ll touch on the hazelnut picada briefly here. I had to Google what picada was because this was foreign territory for me. Now I was expecting some time of sauce after reading Wikipedia. This baffled me a little considering this was going with stew. This picada is actually more like a crunchy topping and really adds a whole other dimension to the dish. I wish I could take credit for thinking this up on my own, but I can’t. I did change it slightly though. Hello decadent beef stew for under 450 calories! Now mind, this is a lengthy dish. I would suggest making this on the weekend. It also is a bit fancy for me, but sometimes you need to eat something out of your comfort zone to change things up a bit.