Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

Having never made a tagine before I was intrigued with this recipe. Tagines have their roots in North African or Moroccan cuisine and are slow cooked stews that results in tender meat and vegetables cooked in a cone shaped clay pot. This recipe for Beef Tagine is made without the typical conical shaped clay tagine pot. It’s a simple list of ingredients including tender cubes of beef (Hubby Tom was happy) shallots, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, ground ginger, tomatoes and a little crushed red pepper for some heat. Towards the middle of the cooking time some fresh cubed butternut squash is added in for fabulous flavor and a splash of color! It’s a delightful party in a bowl.

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

I used organic grass fed beef and it was flavorful and tender. The combination of spices was perfect with just a little heat. The garnish of fresh cilantro was a nice addition – well I do love me some cilantro! This is comfort food at it’s best – perfect for warming up your tummy on a cold winter day.

Nutmeg Notebook Salad

Since there were no green vegetables in the tagine I served up a mixed baby greens salad with shredded carrots, red grapes, mandarin orange segments all tossed with a simple Jacque Pepin Vinaigrette. Don’t forget to season the salad with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper it makes such a difference!

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

While the beef was cooking I had to figure out what to serve as a grain or pasta along side the finished product. Brown rice sounded too plain so as my thoughts drifted towards couscous I knew it had to be my favorite Cranberry Couscous recipe.

Cranberry Couscous

This Cranberry Couscous is made with fresh orange juice, pieces of fresh lemon, garlic, onion and fresh cilantro! I used whole wheat couscous from Trader Joes and half fresh orange juice, half fresh Meyers Lemon juice. The slightly sweet citrus flavors were a nice contrast to the pungent flavors of the tagine. It was a lovely combination and I would serve it the same way next time. I’m already thinking about making the Beef Tagine and cranberry couscous again – it’s that good!

 Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

  •  2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth – I used beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Place lid on Dutch oven and put in preheated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. After meat has been in oven for 45 minutes, add squash; cover and let cook the last 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serving Suggestion: Serve along side Cranberry Couscous.

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Estimated Nutritional Information:

Calories: 283, Fat: 9.5g, Saturated fat: 2g, Protein: 25.6g, Carbohydrate: 25.7g, Fiber: 4.8g,Cholesterol: 67mg, WWPP 7

Recipe Adapted From Cooking Light

Nutmeg Notes

This week flew by in record speed! There wasn’t time to post the things I wanted to but eventually I shall get to it all. I guess that  is a good thing because it means I am sitting at the computer less and moving more.

Foot Notes

I saw the surgeon and my foot x-rays look good. The good news is I can start to walk a little bit more. He suggested trying to walk around the block so if my foot starts hurting I won’t have far to walk to get back home. Then I informed him I have a treadmill which he thought was a much better idea! He said to take it slow and let my foot pain and swelling be my guide as it will let me know when enough is enough. Trust me – that has already been figured out!

My big toe is starting to curve slightly to the right again so he made another toe wedge that I have to wear 24/7 between the big and second toe. It makes walking slightly uncomfortable and slows me down a bit and of course it makes shoes a bit tighter as well! It’s a minor set back but it is disappointing since he just gave me permission to move more!

I haven’t tried walking on the treadmill yet as silly as it sounds, driving to go grocery shopping, cleaning house, cooking and laundry seemed to wear me out this week. I actually vacuumed for 45 minutes yesterday (we have a lot of carpet) and that felt like a work out to me. My highest step day according to fitbit this week was 6783 steps! When you consider that I started at about 100 steps a day post surgery this is a milestone. We are enjoying our fitbit ones and tracking our daily steps. It’s motivating to see those numbers go up as the day goes along. I Love it!

About  Recipe Nutritional Information

Earlier in the week while browsing the Weight Watchers recipe message board I saw a post where someone was complaining about nutritional information on a recipe from a well known blog not coming out the same when she plugged the recipe into the WW recipe builder. She was asking if others had noticed that the nutritional information on that blog was wrong. Later she added another post warning people that they shouldn’t trust that blogs nutritional information or WW points values! All of this bashing based on the results of one recipe. I wish this person would have contacted the blogger she spoke of so they could have looked at the recipe together to figure out why there was a difference instead of bashing her in a public forum.

I have no idea if the information on the recipe in question was right or wrong but it did make me think about posting nutritional information for recipes on my blog. For the recipes posted here I figure the nutritional information using a software program called Living Cookbook or using the recipe builder on My Fitness Pal using the brands of products that I use for the recipes. You need to know that brands used can make a big difference in the nutritional information. Sometimes my numbers will differ from the information published for a recipe from another source. These differences can be do to using different software to configure the recipe or due to brands of products used. In my experience sometimes the software programs have incorrect or outdated information for food products. I don’t have time to check every ingredient in the recipe builders against the nutritional information listed on each food label of every product used in a recipe. Therefore the nutritional information should be considered a best estimate.

The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.

I hope you are keeping warm as the cold front sweeping the country drops the temperatures for so many. Break out the Dutch oven or your slow cooker and make some Beef Tagine or a delicious, filling soup or stew and sit by the fireplace.

Happy Weekend!


I’m glad you are here and hope you will take the time to leave a comment.

 Your thoughts about recipe nutritional information?

What are your plans for the weekend?

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  1. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    6783 steps is a lot! I’m glad you are making progress, although you have to deal with the toe wedge now…

    I usually look at the ingredients in a recipe and not so much at the nutritional information. I also rarely follow a recipe exactly, so it would be off anyway.

    We are invited to a BBQ tonight and have a couple parties to go to tomorrow. Busy but fun weekend!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Tami!

    1. Tami says:

      Sounds like a fun weekend Andrea! Have fun. 🙂

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    You’re moving right along in your recovery! It’s great that you’re not rushing things. The push-a-little, check-a-lot method is better for overall progress!

    I always double-check the nutritional info on a recipe, even for a reputable blogger. We’re all human, and mistakes happen. I’m not going to get in a tizzy over it. Except for the Pinterest pin that keeps surfacing that says it’s a 50-calorie muffin when it’s actually about 150-200 calories. It has thousands of repins which irritates me to no end. 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Cammy I liked how you worded it, “Push a little, check a lot” yes indeed that describes it beautifully! Oh, I haven’t come across that muffin on Pinterest – that’s a huge mistake!

      Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

  3. Lori says:

    I am pretty good about being able to judge calories based on ingredients – being a calorie counter LOL! I find a lot of sites are off and I think a lot has to do with the specific ingredients they use. Different brands can have different calories and weight and volume measurements can really change the calorie count. I use those more for averages to see if I want to try a recipe and then I figure out the calories myself.

    1. Tami says:

      Yes, I do the same, usually figure out the calories using the brands of ingredients I use. There are so many variables when it comes to recipes.

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    So happy for more movement for you.. that little setback, not to worry – you are better than before which is a good thing! 🙂 keep up the recovery!

    Ah, the stats…. I trust certain people like you & Lori & others but realize we all use different products at times so…. I usually give a leeway anyway. 🙂

    Hope all get better & better!!!

    1. Tami says:

      I ended up getting a weight work out in today! 🙂 I know that will make you smile!

  5. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    yikes! Well, I hope it wasn’t my blog they got nasty on! I always worry my calculations might not be spot on. I find the WW boards as a whole can be a pretty nasty place to be…which is just stupid, considering it is supposed to be about support. I use an online nutrition calculator, but honestly, it IS an estimate, it’s not an exact science. I’m not a dietician and I do not claim to be. I came to the conclusion, the whole WW thing isn’t an exact science either…and if you start treating it like such, well, then…you’ll drive yourself batty. If something is off by a point or so, so what? Seriously, I think most bloggers who post nutritional information would be more than happy if there was a problem, to go over it again. It’s not like we are taking samples to the lab every time we do calculations! Geesh…this just burns me up!

    On the bright side, your tagine looks wonderful. What a great warm comfort meal!

    1. Tami says:

      Renee it wasn’t you! I would have sent you an email if it had been so you could have done damage control. I don’t have a relationship with the blogger in question and didn’t want to offend her by sending her an email about it. I debated about doing so but then decided it might not be taken well as she doesn’t know me and wouldn’t have known it was well meant and not a slam against her.

      I agree with your thoughts about calorie counting and nutritional information. I have made some mistakes now and then and readers have informed me of it and I was glad they did so I could make corrections. You are right unless the food is sent to a lab we are just making our best guess.

      Hope you are well! Have a good week. 🙂 Tami

  6. Lexis says:

    This meal looks absolutely fabulous! I am pinning this for use ASAP!

  7. Jane says:

    I’m glad you are doing better! I hurt my knee this weekend, so I was thinking of you as I was hobbling along! Mine was pretty minor though. I agree that calorie counting can be a little tricky — especially depending on ingredients. I use Living Cookbook too! Although, I have never used it for figuring out calories. Also, I think the tangine looks really good and comforting!

    1. Tami says:

      Sorry you have an injury Jane. No fun! Hope you are healing and feeling better.

  8. Helen says:

    I think unless a recipe’s calorie count is off significantly (like by 100 calories per serving or so) then I’m not going to let it bother me that much. I just believe there are lots of variations in the programs used to calculate them and in the ingredients used. People need to stop stressing so much about this kind of thing!

    Glad to hear you’ve gotten permission to move more. I have to admit I’m a bit surprised that the doctor thought your treadmill would be better than walking outside. Only because the treadmill forces the pace with the belt moving. I would think walking naturally would be better for you. I think you’re doing a fabulous job getting movement in, even with your limitations!

    1. Tami says:

      Good thoughts on the calorie counting and people stressing over it Helen!

    2. Arlene says:

      I would like to try this in the crockpot any idea hoe to translate This to crockpot time?

      1. Tami says:

        I would think maybe 3-4 hours on high but I might not add the squash at the very beginning as it might get over cooked. Maybe add it half way through the cooking time. Please let me know how the slow cooker works out on this recipe. Happy Cooking!

  9. Miz says:

    you have such a great great attitude.

    so glad youre moving more and that youre FIRMLY ON THE PATH TO RECOVERY.

  10. Dr. J says:

    Just checking in on your progress, Tami!

    Hopefully soon it will all just be a fading bad memory. Like that song, “Happiness is the orthopedic surgeon in the rear-view mirror!” lol!

    1. Tami says:

      Too funny Dr J! Laughter is good medicine!

  11. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    Hi Tami, sooo glad the healing continues to go well. The couscous and tagine look wonderful too. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Tami says:

      🙂 Thank you Roz!

  12. Kris says:

    Hey Tami – I read a lot of blogs and am curious which blogger it was – I know I should probably recalculate the nutrition information myself, but I work 70+hours a week and honestly, I often don’t have the time. I am trying my hardest to lose the weight, and knowing this information would really help me. If you don’t feel like “outing” the person here, could you email me the name or send me the link to the thread? Thanks!

  13. Amy says:

    Tami, we had the Beef Tagine last week for the first time, and I just had to tell you how wonderful it was. Such an unusual combination of flavors (for us, anyway), and yet it was so delicious. I really appreciated how tender the beef got just from cooking in the oven, too. We’ve tried several of your recipes, and they’ve all been great. You’re now one of my “go-to” websites when I’m looking for something healthy and delicious. Keep up the great work.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Amy!
      That beef tagine is a delicious dish! I am so happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy the recipes posted here. That makes this all worth while! I hope you will come back often and let me what some of your other favorite dishes are.

      Happy Cooking!


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