Bowl Food! Ground Beef with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
I feel I need to make a serious confession here…
I’m currently going through a bit of a personal crisis: I’ve totally, completely lost my inspiration in the kitchen! I just can’t be bothered to cook much at all. Truth be told, I’ve been practically living off this Ground Beef with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach Bowl Food Thingy for the last couple of months now…
No word of a lie, I must have had it at least 3 to 4 times a week for 2 months straight. Good thing is, I just can’t get enough of it. I can’t believe, however, that after all this time, I still haven’t managed to come up with a decent name for it… but still, since I’ve been eating it so much, I figured I’d at least share the recipe. Decent name or no decent name.
I think I’m a tad confused and don’t really know what I want anymore. My body is badly craving all of those foods that it used to love so much and my mind is fighting it with all its might, resulting in my not knowing how or what to cook anymore. All I seem to be craving lately are pizzas and lasagna and pasta and warm homemade bread. And cheese. All kinds of cheese. Oh, and peanuts! I’ve never, ever craved peanuts so badly in my entire life. Heck, I never really even liked peanuts to start with. But now? I want to eat peanut [butter/chocolate] EVERYTHING!
Hopefully, this’ll pass soon… I’m thinking it’s probably just a bit of a seasonal depression. As soon as that snow goes away, that inspiration of mine will start flowing right back again!
In the meantime, I guess I’ll focus on making quick and easy meals such as this one…
Hey, quick and easy is good, isn’t it?
Start by melting a teaspoon of ghee in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and then throw in some chopped onion; cook until softened, fragrant and slightly colored, about 2 minutes. (I sometimes skip this step, when I’m feeling particularly uninspired… just sayin’, you know!)
Then, crank up the heat and add the ground beef and salt. Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon to help it cook faster and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 or 8 minutes. Throw in the ground pepper, garlic powder, fish sauce and Frank’s Red Hot (if using) and stir.
Note that I used beef this time around, but I’ve made all kinds of different versions of this same dish using ground pork, ground veal and even ground turkey. Any ground meat will do, really. Just feel free to use whichever meat you prefer, or happen to have on hand.
When your meat is fully cooked, transfer it to a bowl or plate and then return the skillet to the heat source. Melt the remaining ghee and add the baked and cooled sweet potatoes to the skillet. Cook until nicely caramelized on each side, about 1 minute per side.
About those baked sweet potatoes, they are something that I ALWAYS keep in the fridge nowadays. Once a week, I’ll wrap 2 or 3 large tubers in aluminium foil and then bake them in a 375ºF oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on size), until they feel soft when I squeeze them lightly with my fingers.
I then let them cool and transfer them to the fridge (I store them straight in the aluminium foil) so I always have ’em handy to use in all kinds of dishes such as this one, or to throw in my morning post workout shakes, or to treat myself to a yummy Chocolate Mug Cake.
Most of the time, though, I’ll simply pan fry them and eat them right alongside a couple of eggs and leftover Roasted Chicken. Yeah, that would be another one of my favorite meals of the late…
Alright, let’s get back to our Bowl Food Thingy dish, shall we?
So as soon as your potatoes are done to your liking (which, in all likelihood, may not be quite as dark as mine!), return the cooked meat to the skillet and then mix lightly to combine with the sweet potatoes.
Now mound the spinach leaves on top of the meat and sweet potatoes. It may look like a lot, but you know how it goes with spinach, right? – Right.
This HUGE pile will soon come down to almost nothing.
Kill the heat and cover your pan with a large heat resistant bowl, preferably stainless steel, but glass or ceramic would also do the trick. If you didn’t have any of that on hand, you could also use a saucepan or another skillet and place it upside down over your spinach.
Let that sit for a few minutes to give your spinach a chance to wilt some.
See? It’s almost all gone already… Now that’s way more manageable! At least, now we’ll be able to stir without sending spinach flying all over the stove top.
Still, you’ll want to proceed and stir that spinach in very delicately, until all the ingredients are well distributed and the spinach is completely wilted.
Serve this dish piping hot with a few teaspoons of Harissa, if you’re a fan. I know I am!
Ooooooooooh… Harissa! That gives me an idea… Now here’s something I could try my hand at! I’ve never made my own Harissa before. That could be a lot of fun!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an inspiration that requires my attention… You go ahead and eat, while I investigate that!
Bowl Food! Ground Beef with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
- 1 tbsp ghee, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1.1 lb lean ground beef, (or veal, pork, or turkey)
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 7-8 splashes Frank's Red Hot
- 1/2 large baked sweet potato*, cooled and cut into large bite size chunks
- 6 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2-3 tsp harissa, to serve
- Melt half the ghee in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and then throw in the chopped onion; cook until softened, fragrant and slightly colored, about 2 minutes.
- Then, crank up the heat and add the ground beef and salt. Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon to help it cook faster and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 or 8 minutes. Throw in the ground pepper, garlic powder, fish sauce and Frank's Red Hot (if using) and stir.
- Transfer the cooked meat to a bowl and return the skillet to the heat source. Melt the remaining ghee and add the sweet potatoes to the skillet. Cook until nicely caramalized on each side, about 1 minute per side.
- Return the meat to the skillet, mix to combine with the sweet potatoes and then mound the spinach leaves on top. Kill the heat and cover with a large heat resistant bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
- When the spinach has wilted enough to allow stirring, mix it in very delicately, until all the ingredients are well distributed.
- Serve piping hot with a few teaspoons of Harissa.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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29 Comments on “Bowl Food! Ground Beef with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach”
It’s minus 4 billion outside–of course you want carbs! This is a good reminder that sweet potatoes are a good way to get those.
I don’t see the actual recipe? Do we just wing it? It sounds great and I LOVE sweet potatoes and always have a cooked one around to go with my hard boiled egg! I freeze them in slices after they are cooked.
EEEEEEEESH! Looks like I had managed to delete THAT very important line of code, which made my entire recipe vanish into thin air! Thankfully, I managed to track it back, so the recipe is now right where it should’ve been the whole time.
Thanks for pointing that out, Trish! I greatly appreciate it! 🙂
Do i bake the poteto first?
Yes, per the instructions in the recipe.
Sonia, as a fellow food blogger I wanted to give you some encouragement. Ohio winters are not anywhere near what you must experience in Canada. I too have been wanting those forbidden foods and I’m also a paleo. Allow yourself to enjoy them as long as they are not negatively affecting your health and DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT. It is winter afterall. Continue to eat paleo when you want to. I have found that having some paleo items made and ready helps me stay on track most of the time but lately I have “allowed” myself to stray without judgement.
Do not worry about your lack of inspiration it will return. You are a natural and it is not gone, it is simply hibernating. I went through a similar thing a few months ago and I didn’t worry. Now it’s back full force. y new focus is desserts which before I stayed away from but they are all pretty amazing. I have only posted one so far but the others are on the way.
At any rate, take comfort (literally) and enjoy your time of “hibernation”. Spring and new life is around the corner.
Beth, you’re a real gem, an angel, a pound of pure gold, truly! Thank you so much for caring, and thank you so much for your kind words; know that I take great comfort in them! I hope you’re right and that my inspiration will return to me, sooner than later. In the meantime, I’ll try and focus on the things that DO inspire me, rather than try and force inspiration onto me. And if all isn’t perfectly paleo in a perfect paleo world, well then so be it, I guess. I ain’t no saint, after all! 🙂
Thanks again. You’re simply awesome. 🙂
No problem Sonia, I know I haven’t been visiting much lately. I have a couple of new projects. I just wanted to let you know that I care and you are not alone. 😀
I gotta tell ya Sonia. I rarely comment on internet things but this is a great recipe. I didn’t have harissa so used gochujang. Outstanding.
That’s awesome, Dan! I’m super flattered that you took the time to let me know, too!
Thanks a bunch, you rock! 🙂
Mmm, I love “bowl food”! This sounds like a great easy recipe using a bunch of stuff I often have on hand!
Bowl food is my jam! I want to try this with the fish sauce, but quite frankly…I’m scared. I’m a grown woman and I’m scared of fish sauce. Pathetic. I’ve had it before and it completely ruined the recipe I was making (IMO). What do u feel it gives to this recipe?
Fish sauce is umami, Nikki. It doesn’t taste fishy at all, yet it adds TONS of flavor. The thing is you really mustn’t add too much… I say you should totally leave it in, maybe add a little less than what the recipe calls for, if you’re a bit scared…
This podcast is awesome! thank for sharing I’m just really in search for combination of beef with potatoes then I found our article from http://www.healthline.com/health/best-weight-loss-blogs-of-the-year
really gonna make a try.
Tasty dish. My husband and I enjoyed it here in Ecuador!
Happy to hear, Laura! Thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
your presentation is really good,
I just want to try this(:
This is my second comment ever for recipes I found on Pinterest. The first was this morning after making your recipe for Pork Tenderloin.
This morning my daughter requested a dinner high in iron because she is giving blood tomorrow. I was so impressed with last night’s recipe that I browsed your website for ideas. We LOVED this extremely simple and delicious recipe. I have Harissa, but used a leftover reduction of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to drizzle. Delicious! I had to make myself stop eating. Needless to say, I will be trying more of your recipes!
Awwwwww, now you just made my day, Amy! Got me smiling ear to ear. I am totally honored that you felt compelled to comment on my recipes and I’m sincerely hoping that you will love every recipe you try in the future just as much. 🙂
My sweet potatoes came out really soft. Are they suppose to? They crumbling up in pan when trying to caramelize them. What am I doing wrong? Thanks
Had you potatoes been completely cooled before you added them to the pan? Perhaps they’d been a little bit over-baked to start with?
Sonia, thanks for the recipe. Delicious!
so I’m REALLY digging this recipe buttttttttttttt I’m trying to stick wth what’s currently in my fridge…..and that’s……half a huge kabocha squash!
Do you think it would work in this recipe swapping out the sweet potato? I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with is kabocha other than a dessert. Thanks in advance!
I really wouldn’t see why not! I personally swap butternut squash and sweet potatoes all the time!
I loveee this recipe!! I’m practically living off of it right now.
Haha! Real happy to hear, Kara! 🙂
Outstanding! I could eat this every day 😋
Awesome! Real happy to hear, Monica, and thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
Omg this is an amazing dish…and so up my alley in simplicity, flavor and healthiness! I diced the uncooked potatoes and threw them in my toaster oven for about 15 min to skip the baking part. I used lots of fresh garlic, instead of dried and added Jamaican Jerk Seasoning to the dry ingredients. I subbed ground turkey for the beef and an arugula/spinach mix for the spinach. Quarentining for covid, I’m working with what I have at home and this turned out SO TASTY! Thank you Sonia for sharing this with us!!