Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew [and my new favorite "pasta"]

First off guys, in case you missed the announcement on my Facebook page, I need to tell you something.

Because I’m so exited, you know. I’ve been wanting this for so long now…

Well, finally, FINALLY, it has happened:


Seriously, I’m so excited, it’s not even funny. I’ve been wanting to get on there for a really, really long time now but couldn’t because I was stuck with a Windows Phone (yeah, I know!) and Instagram is not compatible with that useless piece of junk. But hey, that’s all behind me now.  I am now the proud owner of a Galaxy S4.


Like I said, I don’t have much to show for now, but it’ll come, trust me.

For instance, I intend to share every single meal that I’ll be eating for the remainder of my Whole30®. As well, you’ll probably get sneak peeks on upcoming recipes…

And family snapshots as well as silly pictures of me, from time to time, of course!

Just follow me if you want in on that!

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Alright, on to tonight’s eat…

That too, is pretty exciting!!!

I got the inspiration for this recipe out of Melissa’s Well Fed – Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.

Well, for the actual Beef Stew, anyway.

Had I not read it in Melissa’s cookbook, it would’ve never occurred to me to add cinnamon and orange juice to a beef stew. But as soon as I read the title of the recipe in her book, I knew I had to try it.

Lucky for me (and for you) I did, because the flavor combination is truly FANTASTIC!

Especially when paired with my new favorite pasta.

The long stringy thingies that you are seeing in the pictures, which could easily pass for spaghetti (my own son made that very “mistake”) is in fact spiralized rutabaga.

Out of all the spiralized veggies I’ve had up until now, this one was BY FAR my favorite.

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

It has such a great bite to it, which really reminds me of true “al dente” pasta.

But not only that, the unique flavor of the rutabaga works extremely well with the concept of pasta. At least I find.

Like I said, it did pair amazingly well with the robust flavors of this hearty and comforting beef stew, but I’m sure it would be just as amazing with a good ole, traditional spaghetti sauce.

In fact, I’ll be trying that out very, very soon! I see Spaghetti à la Bolognaise in the very near future for this foodie.

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

That’s if I can resist making this stew again, though.

Because it was really, really that good.

So good in fact, I’m putting this one way high on the list of serious contenders for when company’s coming.

You know, that one fail proof recipe that’s super easy to make but absolutely certain to impress?

Oh yeah. That’s the one.

Only one thing though.

Next time, I’ll be sure to make a double batch!

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew

Yield: Serves 4

NF based on 1 of 4 servings

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew


  • 900g grass-fed beef stew meat (cut into 1" cubes and patted dry)
  • About ½ tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper (to sprinkle the meat)
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, for cooking
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk,diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • the juice and zest of 1 orange (that’s about ½ cup of juice)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 3-4 small rutabagas, spiralized


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large Dutch Oven set over medium-high heat. Add the pieces of meat in a single layer, taking extra care to leave a good amount of space between them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear the pieces of meat until they get nice and golden brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (you might have to work in several batches and add coconut oil as needed to prevent the Dutch oven from drying out)
  3. Once all the pieces of meat have been browned and removed to a plate, add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic to the Dutch oven and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Deglaze well with the orange juice then add zest, balsamic vinegar, water, salt, pepper, cinnamon and Bay leaves.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for about 2 hours to 2½ hours, until the meat is super tender and almost falls apart.
  6. Stir in rosemary, thyme and sage and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  7. While that is happening, place the spiralized rutabaga in a steaming basket, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and steam over boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until “al dente”.
  8. Serve immediately (add a little drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for a yummy boost of healthy fat)


This recipe was inspired by Melissa Joulwan's Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew as published in Well Fed - Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

The meat, all nice and golden brown and ready to go back in the pot… 

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

My new favorite pasta! 

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

As tasty as it is pretty, I would not hesitate to serve this one to very special guests.

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Plate her up… and dig in! 

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I think this happened only once during the entire meal…

I swear, once you have a bite, you’ll have a hard time putting your fork down! 

Orange Cinnamon Beef Stew | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Here, I’ll share ONE bite with you, but that’s it! 

If you want more, you’re gonna have to make your own… 

The Whole30 Program


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  1. says

    Hi, what kind of spiral slicer do you use?? I really want to get one but I want to make sure I get a good one.

    <3 dani

  2. says

    I’ve never ever had rutabaga so I have no idea what it tastes like (I am guessing like a radish? Haha, I have no clue!) but this looks DELICIOUS. It’s way too hot for this recipe right now but definitely see myself making it in the fall.

    • says

      Hmmm… it’s hard to describe what rutabaga tastes like, but it’s definitely not radish. I can’t even think of anything that tastes even remotely close to it. Sorry I’m not helping much here. Guess you’re gonna have to try it for yourself. Bet you won’t regret it!

      And if you find it’s too hot for the oven, you can always do this on the stove top!

  3. says

    Ok, I WANT that tool that makes spaghetti out of every possible veggie. How do you call it? A spiralizer? My GF keeps telling me that it’s called a julienne peeler but I don’t trust her…
    Anyway, back to your beef stew. I WANT some, it looks too good to pass up.
    So please grab one of those plastic food container you keep in your cupboard. Fill it with beef stew and send it with overnight delivery. Yes, because I want to eat it tomorrow for lunch. Are we cool? ;)

  4. says

    I would never have thought of rutabaga pasta but it makes so much sense now! This dish looks amazing – I love orange and beef combined! BTW you should put a badge somewhere for instagram to make it easier to follow you! I just created an IBIH account and need to do that too! Clicking the link now, looking forward to seeing inside the life of Sonia The Healthy Foodie! ;)

    • says

      Yeah, I’m wanting to add a badge, big time! I’ve asked someone to do it for me, but I haven’t heard back from them yet. I really wish I were able to do these things myself…

      Do you have anyone you could recommend?

      And I’m sure you will fall in love with the rutabaga pasta! :)

  5. says

    That looks fantastic. So fantastic in fact, that I will be making this tonight as we have some beefstew meat leftover from a photoshoot.. ;) And I haven’t started on the Whole30 yet so I will cheat a little and use actual spaghetti instead (need to clear out the cupboards anyway… ) Looks lovely!

    • says

      Ah, but the rutabaga adds so much to the dish! But, like you said, gotta clear the cupboards! You’ll definitely want to remove everything that’s not compliant from in there. It helps avoid potential mistakes and unnecessary cravings.

      Doesn’t mean you should eat all of it before you start, though! ;)

      I look forward to hearing all about your experience!

  6. says

    I am completely confused by this pasta and spiralizer thing. Going to look into that some more! :)

    And this sounds SO amazing. Orange and cinnamon?! Yummy. Wish we had some good beef around here!

    • says

      You don’t have access to grass fed beef there? It’s kind of hard to find here in Québec also, but it’s not entirely impossible to get your hands on good meat. It does require quite a bit of research, though. Not quite as easy as going to the grocery store… which is kind of sad, in a way.

      You definitely should look into that spiralizer thing. Maybe it would make you appreciate veggies a little bit more! :)

  7. says

    Loved the beef recipe Sonia! Ofcourse we had it prior to starting the whole30 so we had mashed potatoes to go with it, but will keep the rutabaga in mind for next time. One question though; mine turned out a bit too thin, so I thickened it with corn flour which ofcourse I cannot use from next week. Do you use almond flour to thicken sauces if needed? Or could I use the almond pulp ( since I just made my own almond milk yesterday and have a load of pulp leftover)

    • says

      So glad you liked the recipe, Simone! And to answer your question, arrowroot powder will be your new best friend when it comes to thickening sauces and stuff. Almond meal doesn’t really do a good job at making stuff thick, I find. Arrowroot behaves pretty much exactly like corn starch, so you’ll want to keep some handy. And it is Whole30 compliant, too! :)

  8. says

    Omg, that rutabaga looks EXACTLY like pasta!!! I admit i’ve never had it before, but after seeing this, I’ll be getting some this week. Oh, and I NEED that spiralizer. It’s been on my amazon wishlist forever! I use a julienne peeler but it just doesn’t make noodle like strands :( Maybe it’s time to click on that buy it now button :)

    Glad to hear you’re now on IG! Finally! Adding you NOW!

  9. Staci says

    Going to make this soon, any experience with subbing dried spices? (I’m vaguely thinking of cutting them in half, but if you have actual experience and numbers, that’d be great.)

    • says

      I don’t have actual experience with that, unfortunately, but I would steer in the same direction: use about one third to half the quantity. Maybe start with one third and if your find it needs more, add a little bit. It’s always easier to add than to remove! ;) Oh and hey, tell me how it turns out, will you?

    • says

      No, covered would in fact be correct! Remember… this cooks for two and a half hours! Plus, you do want there to be a little bit of liquid left when it’s done cooking, so you have some sort of a sauce for the “pasta”.

      • staci says

        …a little? in a sealed container, where would it go? did I miss some sort of water-absorbing/thickening ingredient? In fact I threw it in the crockpot overnight and it’s STILL pretty watery, debating what I can add to thicken it up, because I love the flavor-profile but it’s very thin. :(

      • says

        Oh, so you made this in a slow-cooker. I’ve never used one of those my entire life, so I’m afraid I can’t be of much help. However, if thickening up the sauce is what you,re after, arrowroot powder or tapioca flour do work wonderfully. Just dilute a few tablespoons in water and add that to the sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for one or two minutes, to make sure it comes to its full thickening power and has a chance to cook completely. If you find it’s still not thick enough, you can always repeat the process! Hope this helps!

      • staci says

        (there’s no Reply link on the latest comment so I’ll have to do this here)
        I just asked my friends yesterday, we agreed, slowcooker=electric dutch oven that can’t go on the stove, so you brown everything on the stove and then dump in. Pretty much same thing, but my roommate gets cranky about my cooking so I use crockpot a lot (pretty sure she’d have a fit if I ran the oven for 3 hours, she’d want me IN THE KITCHEN the whole time).

        I don’t have arrowroot powder, but I might have tapioca flour! I’ll dig through my cabinets and see, thanks!

  10. Felicia says

    Do you think this would be good with spaghetti squash. I don’t have a sprializer yet and I want to make this tonight.

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