Puerto Rican Beef

I was raised by a health nut, foodie mother who was as adventurous in life as she was in the kitchen.  My mom spent several summers in Mexico learning to speak Spanish, and coincidentally helped to fuel my love for the flavors!  Years later, I marry John – who’s father comes from Spanish decent and who’s mother’s heritage is from the Philippines and you can only imagine the whole other world of foods I was introduced to.

I have found that by combining just the right spices, which are the true underpinning to so many ethnic foods, we can eat paleo with the added benefit of so many unique flavors!  My other passion is to keep things simple, and still tasty, and I would love to share with you a quick post-workout lunch that I came up with yesterday, using a few of the staple spices found in Puerto Rican Adobo seasoning. The meal was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again.  As you can see from the pics, little Rowan was really into it as well…

Puerto Rican Beef

1 lb grass fed ground beef

1 bunch kale chopped

1 white onion sliced

1/2 of a green, red, and yellow bell pepper sliced

1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 sweet potatoes

1 ripe avocado

In a large skillet brown the ground beef.  Add the bell peppers, onions, and olive oil and saute until the onions and peppers are tender.  Add all of the spices and mix well.  Add the kale and green olives, continue cooking stirring often until the kale is tender (about 4-5 minutes.  Serve over mashed sweet potatoes with a side of sliced avocado.  To quickly prepare the sweet potatoes, peel and quarter the potatoes and cook in a pressure cooker for 12 -14 minutes.


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  1. says

    I have only made your dinner recipes which are outstanding. I have found the serving sizes to be perfect for a family of four (two adults and two teens). How do you lunch recipes compare in portion sizes? Should I double this for dinner for four?

  2. says

    Hi Cathy,
    My lunch serving sizes are often smaller because I am only cooking for myself, my husband, and the 2 year old, so doubling would be smart if making for dinner, and if anything else, you’ll have leftovers for the next day!!

  3. Meghan says

    When you guys say “toss with coconut oil” do you heat it up first? My oil is pretty thick (and I LOVE the flavor it gives foods!!).

    • Sarah says

      Hey Meghan, either heat it up a little first or of you are putting it right on warm food, it will melt into it. It’s so so yummy!!

  4. Leigh says

    love this site, thank you for all the work you do for the rest of us. tried this recipe out, and i found it tasted somewhat bitter. perhaps the kale i bought is just off. i am trying to avoid the temptation to temper the bitterness with some sugar (honey, agave). perhaps the sweet potatoes offset that?? thought maybe you would have suggestions/solutions…

    • Sarah says

      Hi Leigh! Hmmm, the only thing I can think is, are you sure you used kale and not chard or another green? I know that chard, mustard greens, and collards tend to be more bitter then kale, and sometimes those darn greens are hard to tell apart – that and just check to make sure you measured the seasonings correctly?? I hope that helps, I’m sorry I’m not more sure about why the dish turned out bitter! The sweet potatoes do add a nice touch of sweetness along with the savory but the beef shouldn’t have a bitter flavor per-say. Oh, and you are so welcome, I love working on the blog and I’m so glad it’s helpful!! : )

  5. Thea says

    I made this recipe over the weekend with ground venison and it was awesome. I have used many of your recipes and they are great!!! Thank you for taking the time to do this website!!


  6. April says

    This was really good…I doubled the recipe for dinner it and found it a little too greasy for my taste. I think next time I will double everything but the olive oil. Also, it might have been the grassfed beef I found- which was 15% fat instead of 10 or 7%.

  7. KLNobles says

    Looks like picadillo! Especially with the green olives. I love this version. I used to eat a lot of this…but no more rice under it!!

  8. Laura says

    I made this tonight minus the olives because I don’t like them and the peppers because I have an autoimmune disease and it rocked!! I made it for my friend Susan and her dad who are die hard grain consumers and it went over very well. I served it with Cauliflower Rice and they really like that too. I don’t know that susan’s anymore willing to do paleo than before, but she did enjoy the meal!!

  9. Annie Vaughn says

    We make this dish every week ~ religiously ~ and just LOVE it (that’s including a 5 and 3 year old too)! It makes me want to vacation in Puerto Rico! For anyone who is a little apprehensive, just give it a try. So easy and so very delicious. Thanks Sarah!

  10. says

    This recipe is the best! It ranks in my top three and I will surely have this on my menu when the in-laws come soon. You have such a gift for creating paleo food, thanks for sharing it with us! Counting down the days until my Everyday Paleo book arrives!

  11. Stephanie says

    I just made this recipe two nights ago and a added a Habanero pepper to it, it was so delicious!

  12. Elizabeth says

    I made this for dinner last night, it was great! I wasn’t sure how I should prepare the mashed sweet potatoes, as I’m doing the whole30 and didn’t want to use cream or butter as I normally would. I mashed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and a tiny dash of nutmeg–yum.

  13. Suzanne says

    Made this last night and I loved it! I didn’t have sweet potatoes so I used a butternut squash that I roasted (which my husband said he thinks he would prefer anyway)and I didn’t have the olives so I just went without.I also added a clove of garlic and a habanero pepper as we like things spicy! I think it will definitely be something we make on a fairly regular basis.Thanks Sarah! :)

  14. Joellyn says

    This recipe has become my #1 “go-to” when I need a huge batch of something-in-the-fridge to grab in the morning. I never get tired of the taste combination and it holds me for hours. Huge kudos and thanks for this one!

  15. says

    I first made this recipe when I saw it in your book. Now, I make it at least once a week. This is such a good mix of flavors and I love that this dish is filled with so many healthy veggies.

  16. Stephanie says

    Just made this recipe for the first time and I loved it! And I even forgot to add salt and pepper, which would probably bring out the flavors even more. Also, the strong seasonings helps cover up the flavor of the 3 oz of mashed liver I added to the meat. I used spinach instead of kale cuz that’s what I had and black olives instead of green and it was yummy!!!!

  17. riddlewellness says

    Just made this last night and it was delicious! Doing a strict paleo challenge next week so I think the next time I will serve it over squash instead of the sweet potatoes. Thank you!!

  18. Angela says

    What a flexible recipe! You can do so much with this. I found another use for the pre-cubed butternut squash – I added it in instead of bell peppers because that’s what I had. In fact, this is a great “clean out the fridge” recipe. Thanks so much! (passed the husband test :D)

  19. Lisa says

    Sarah once again a wonderful recipe. Made this for the first time tonight. Don’t know why it took me so long. Thanks for making the paleo journey for my family so easy.

  20. Tom Pyeatt says

    Made this recipe for the first time last night & must say that it was nothing short of INCREDIBLE!!
    Quick question: When you say ‘1 bunch’ of Kale, do you mean the whole head of kale? That seems like a lot. I only used 1/4 of the head. I want to make sure I’m get the right ratio.
    Thank you & can’t wait for your new family book. Already per-ordered!

  21. Brittany says

    Made this tonight and the whole family enjoyed it so much! My 1 1/2 year old son kept saying “mmm” with every bite. This will definitely become a staple in our house and it’ll be a dish I make to impress guests. :) Thank you!

  22. says

    I made this tonight and LOVED IT! So good – I added the olives as a garnish, since my husband won’t eat them, but holy delicious dinner! Of course, my kids picked out 3 bites of meat each and decided the rest was EEW, but tacos have never been a big seller around here.

    I’m new to paleo eating, and I’m loving it! Hoping to find many more ideas here.

  23. Sara Carpien says

    Thank you for opening my eyes to different cuisines! I had no idea how this was going to taste and decided to take a gamble. It is amazing! Who would have thunk?! P.S. I love Chico! Went to school there. Give it a big hug for me, as I now live on the east coast in 30 degree weather. :)

  24. Lisse says

    I made this for lunch today for my husband who is from PR. The only thing I added was garlic, and lots of it. Food from PR always has lots and lots of garlic. He had his with Yuca fries and I had the sweet potato. I love how it keeps me filled up for hours, so much that the time flies away from me, and I almost forget to eat my next meal! We both really enjoyed it, and he said I should put it on the food calendar. Thank you so much!

  25. Eric says

    i really want to try this. What do you think about the spices used in traditional Piccadillo (i.e. Sonfrita, sazon knorr, adobo Goya, olives w/ pimiento, etc.). I love the flavor but am not sure how healthy it is.

    • says

      Well I know for sure that the sazon knorr has MSG and the adobo goya has additives to prevent “caking” so this is why I tried to come up with a healthier version. I hope you like my recipe! Enjoy!

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