Cuban picadillo

Cuban picadillo

If you have a nightshade sensitivity and no longer can eat tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, you might need some extra inspiration in the kitchen. Here's a picadillo recipe that might not look like the traditional version, but I assure you, the flavor is spot on. I've recreated the flavors from my Abuela’s kitchen, tricking my palate with nostalgia!

Cuban picadillo

If you have a nightshade sensitivity and no longer can eat tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, you might need some extra inspiration in the kitchen. Here's a picadillo recipe that might not look like the traditional version, but I assure you, the flavor is spot on. I've recreated the flavors from my Abuela’s kitchen, tricking my palate with nostalgia!
USMetric
4 servingservings

Ingredients

Faux-mato sauce
  • ½ cup 125 ml unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup 125 ml unsweetened canned beets, diced
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp white vinegar 5%
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari soy sauce
Picadillo
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1 1 small yellow onionsmall yellow onions
  • ¼ cup 60 ml diced carrotdiced carrots
  • ¼ cup 60 ml diced celery stalkdiced celery stalks
  • ½ cup 125 ml diced radishdiced radishes
  • 6 6 garlic clove, mincedgarlic cloves, minced
  • 2 2 bay leafbay leaves
  • 1 lb 450 g 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp fine salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup 225 ml beef broth
  • ½ cup 125 ml ripe green olives, drained
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp dried unsweetened cranberries (optional)

Instructions

Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

Faux-mato sauce

  1. In your blender combine pumpkin puree, diced beets, vinegar, fish sauce and coconut aminos. Blend until completely smooth.

Picadillo

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When it comes to temperature, drizzle the oil into the skillet. Add in the onion, carrots, celery, radishes, garlic and bay leaves.
  2. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes, or until tender and fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef to the skillet with the salt, pepper and cumin. Mix it up, breaking the meat apart and stirring often until browned.
  4. Add in the faux-mato sauce and bone broth, stir in the olives and cranberries, if using any. Bring to a simmer, stir and lower the heat to medium low.
  5. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. Serve hot and enjoy!

Faux-matoes

When I found out that I could no longer eat nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant) due to the inflammation they cause in my body, I was devastated. All of the dishes from my childhood are made with bell peppers and tomatoes! I thought changing my diet meant losing my cultural identity. Instead, it challenged me to be more creative in the kitchen. If you’re like me and you can’t eat tomatoes, it is very helpful to keep some faux-mato sauce on hand for cooking. Store in a jar in the fridge and use in place of tomato sauce in any dish.

Tip!

If you can have tomatoes and pepper, use tomato sauce in the recipe instead of the faux-mato sauce. Omit the celery and use green or red bell pepper instead.

The dried cranberries are optional, but a nice substitution for the raisins that usually go in this dish. Having the sweet yet tart cranberries is a great compromise for the sugary raisins we omit.

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