Cazuela de vacuno

This cazuela de vacuno recipe is slightly different to normal – using kombucha as the main liquid ingredient and cooked in a slow cooker!

This cazuela de vacuno recipe is slightly different to normal - using kombucha as the main liquid ingredient and cooked in a slow cooker! #peruvianfood #cookathome #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree

Here’s an interesting combination for you all – the Sarah-take on a classic Peruvian dish, adding in our favorite probiotic drink of kombucha as one of the ingredients.  Intrigued?  Read on!

So this recipe was adapted from another of my friend Chef Freyka’s recipes, after I took a cooking class with her all about cooking with kombucha.  Now, you may remember that we make our own kombucha at home, and Grant and I drink it every day to keep my digestive system working as well as it possibly could be.  So I was so excited to take this cooking class, where I learnt a whole pile of new recipes, using kombucha as a sauce, or as a marinade, even in a cake …!

And for those of you who have been following me for a while, you will remember that our family loves Peruvian food – with such classics as aji de gallina, lomo saltado and arroz con leche already on this website for you to make at home with us!

So this recipe combines both of these interests in one very tasty dish.  Originally it was designed to be seco de cordero (or lamb stew), but I changed it a little to call it cazuela de vacuno (beef stew).  Now, normally the cazuela de vacuno has big chunks of beef and vegetables in a thin broth, but even when my family were living in Chile, we always chopped the meat and veggies up into more bite-sized morsels.  So again, I’m changing a classic dish into one my family likes.  Feel free to keep the meat and veggies as bigger chunks if you wish, or you can call it a nice Peruvian beef stew if you’re more pedantic.

Whatever you call it though, I hope you give it a try because the flavors are unlike any Western stew!

Cazuela de vacuno (Peruvian beef stew)

(Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 250 g broccoli chopped
  • 250 g cauliflower chopped
  • 2 lb stew beef cubed
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 2 tsp aji amarillo paste (yellow pepper paste)
  • 2 tbs red salsa
  • 2 tbs chimichurri
  • 2 cups kombucha


  1. Place the onion, garlic, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in the bottom of a slow cooker.

  2. Add the beef, cumin, aji amarillo, salsa and chimichurri and stir until well mixed.

  3. Pour in the kombucha and stir again.

  4. Slow cook for 4 hours, or until beef is tender to the fork.

  5. Serve immediately with rice, salad, or other side dishes.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Chef Freyka Nunez del Prado, Harmons Cooking School

This cazuela de vacuno recipe is slightly different to normal - using kombucha as the main liquid ingredient and cooked in a slow cooker! #peruvianfood #cookathome #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree

This cazuela de vacuno recipe is slightly different to normal - using kombucha as the main liquid ingredient and cooked in a slow cooker! #peruvianfood #cookathome #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree

Lomo saltado

It’s the classic Peruvian dish of steak and fries – but this lomo saltado is actually Whole30 compliant!

It's the classic Peruvian dish of steak and fries - but this lomo saltado is actually Whole30 compliant! #lomosaltado #peruvian #cookathome #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree

As some of you know, we lived in Chile for 2 years.  And found the adage of ‘eat in Peru, drink in Chile’ to be quite accurate.  Because the food in Peru is, to be honest, AMAZING!  There is such a good mix of cultures there, with the Chaufa (combination of Chinese and Peruvian) being especially prevalent.  And you should be aware of our absolute love of aji de gallina – a yellow chicken curry – that is totally different to anything else in the Western world.  But also, our fondness of arroz con leche, or rice pudding.  I’m still working on the arroz con leche to be grain-free and refined sugar free to suit other dietary special snowflakes like myself, so stay tuned for that!

Now when we lived in Chile, we would often go to Peruvian restaurants.  And when we visited Peru, between the four of us in the family, would always order at least one dish of each aji de gallina and lomo saltado to share between us all.  But, one day, after having some lomo saltado, I looked up the recipe, and realized it contained soy sauce.  Which often contains gluten.  No wonder I wasn’t always feeling so good in my tummy after the deliciousness slid down …

Fast forward a number of years, to where I’m acutely aware of how many foods affect me, and how eating the Whole30 way actually makes me feel better on the inside.  Note, I do not eat Whole30 ALL the time, because (a) that’s not what it’s meant for and (b) I am quite fond of my baked goods!  But if I can adapt a recipe to be Whole30 compliant, I know I’m going to enjoy both the taste, and feel good inside after eating it too.

Thanks to my friend, Chef Freyka, I recently attended a cooking class with her, where she showed us how she makes lomo saltado.  Now, she’s Peruvian, so I knew it was going to be authentic.  I came home after that class, and immediately told the family I was cooking lomo saltado that weekend.  With a few modifications.  And the verdict – well, there was none left … and the sighs of delight from all members of the family showed I was on a winner!

So if you’re interested in trying this all-time classic Peruvian meal – check out the recipe below.  And if you do try it, let me know what you think in the comments!

PS – this dish is traditionally served with rice as well as the french fries, but if you’re wanting to stay Whole30 compliant, I’d recommend cauliflower rice!

Lomo saltado

(Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb flank steak sliced into stir-fry strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion cut into wedges
  • 1/2 red onion cut into wedges
  • 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar divided
  • 1 tbs aji amarillo paste
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs coconut aminos


  1. Preheat a large frying pan and add cooking oil of choice.  

  2. Add the beef, allowing room for the pieces to not overlap each other. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and paprika. Allow to sit on the pan for about a minute, then toss the meat until the color caramelizes with a little red remaining.  Remove from the pan and set aside, keeping warm.

  3. Add some more oil to the frying pan, then add the onions with a pinch of salt.  Saute the onions until they display a golden color.  

  4. Stir in the garlic powder, aji amarillo paste and vinegar and allow to braise until most of the vinegar has evaporated.

  5. Add the tomato paste, coconut aminos, tomato wedges and 1/2 tbs vinegar.  Cook the vinegar off.  Add a little water if needed to keep the mixture moist.

  6. Return the beef to the frying pan, mix well and turn the heat off.

  7. Serve over french fries (either homemade or bought) and with optional rice (whole-grain or cauliflower).  Garnish with parsley and add some of the cooking juices as a sauce.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Chef Freyka Nunez del Prado

It's the classic Peruvian dish of steak and fries - but this lomo saltado is actually Whole30 compliant! #lomosaltado #peruvian #cookathome #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree

How to stay Whole30 compliant while camping

You’ve decided to do a Whole30, and then you realize that you had plans to go camping during that 30 days.  What do you do?  Normally camping is a time where diets and healthy food choices fly out the window because eating outdoors just tastes so good!  And you excuse yourself by saying you’ve been walking around more than normal so this marshmallow, or chocolate, or packet of chips isn’t really going to hurt you.  And you know what?  You’re right!  A weekend of indulgence isn’t going to hurt you.

But, if you’ve committed to doing 30 days of Whole30 eating, and you decide to eat typical camping food … well, that usually means you would need to start your Whole30 again.  Never fear, I’m here to help!  I’ve just gone on a camping trip with the family, and I’m in the middle of my third Whole30.  And I stayed compliant for every meal, while the rest of the family had the indulgent pleasures described above.  How did I do it?  And end up looking as happy as in the photo below?

How to stay Whole30 compliant while camping

Plan ahead

While our camping trip was kind of spontaneous – Grant and I looked at each other one Sunday and said we wanted to go camping the following weekend – that still gave me plenty of time to think of what meals I could have that were compliant, and yet satisfy the family of picky eaters.  Fortunately we had gone camping previously just before my second Whole30 so I had a few meal ideas already in my head.  You can’t really go wrong with meat and veggies …

Cook ahead

Instead of getting to a campsite, often when it’s dark or late afternoon, and realizing you’ve got to set up the tent, find all the cooking utensils and the food, we’ve found it’s much easier to simply cook the meal ahead, put it in a ziplock bag and all you have to do is reheat it.  Now this works wonders with soup, tacos, satays, casseroles, you name it.  And all you need is a frying pan and a burner.  Couldn’t be easier!

Bring compliant snacks

You know the feeling – the rest of the family is roasting marshmallows, to dunk in their pudding cups (or maybe that’s just our family!), or they are snacking on crackers and dip, or chocolate, while you know very well that none of those foods are Whole30 compliant.  Well, you have a few options:

  • Sit by yourself feeling very sorry for yourself,
  • Sit next to them and lord it over them that you’re much healthier than they are (let’s see how long the family camaraderie lasts with that one!)
  • Sit with them and eat some Whole30 compliant snacks, such as fruit, nuts, meat bars (I love Epic Bars and Wild Zora Bars) etc and join in the fun

Sounds easy … right?  But what do you actually eat?  Here’s some ideas for you:

Whole30 compliant camping meal ideas


This shouldn’t be too difficult – eggs and sugar-free bacon would win every day for me, with a side of snack veggies or fruit.  Fills you up and keeps you full much longer than any sugar-filled cereal or toast and jam (although they are both yummy in their own right at times!)

Lunch away from camp

Now, if you’re out all day and you need something to take with you, while the rest of the family has snacks … try one of those meat bars I mentioned above with some snack veggies such as snow peas, baby carrots, celery sticks, and a piece of fruit.  And make your own trail mix to snack on if you need an added energy boost while hiking or whatever you’re doing.

Lunch at camp and dinner 

These can be interchangeable – as you are aware, food shouldn’t really be classified as breakfast, lunch or dinner foods – just food that can be eaten.  Here’s where you can let your imagination go wild.  Give these a go with options for those non-Whole30 family members

  • Taco meat with salad (family can have corn chips to make Nacho Taco Dippos, or wraps or tortilla shells for tacos or burritos)
  • Satay chicken with salad or cauliflower rice (family can also have rice, or wraps)
  • Soup, such as this, this or this (family can add bread rolls for dipping)
  • Casserole, such as this, this or this (family additions as for the soup)
  • Or something just as simple as steak and salad

There we go – hope this has helped you.  If you would like any suggestions, or would like to make some suggestions for me to try for our next camping trip (because there will definitely be more of them!), please comment below!

So it’s still cooking at home, but eating outside.  Best of both worlds if you ask me!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home!