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Mexican-Style Picadillo

Picadillo.  So many versions exist.  Every country makes it differently, but at its core it is a dish of ground beef, tomatoes or tomato sauce and raisins.   The Mexican version includes potatoes and can be served inside tacos, on tostadas, or as a filing for gorditas.  It is a versatile dish that is quick to make and easy to alter (you want more heat — go for it; you want to switch up the veggies – done deal; can’t stand raisins – get rid of them).  I like mine in a bowl, piled with cabbage and slices of avocado, but there really is no wrong way to eat it. 

This recipe includes a little kick in the form of El Pato sauce (for those not familiar with it, El Pato is a canned tomato sauce that includes chilies and garlic).  It is bulked up with mushrooms and carrots; and cauli subs in for the potatoes.  I add green chilies for a briny, acidic kick and top it with olives for extra yummy fats. Traditional? Probably not.  Filling? YES.  Delicious? Of course.

Then that’s all that matters.


1-2 tbsp coconut oil: the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil are used immediately for energy;

½ onion, diced: help boosts the immune system;

1 lb. ground turkey or beef: turkey is full of tryptophan which aids in relaxation (bye-bye stress);

½ tsp smoked paprika: has capsaicin which helps reduce inflammation;

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped: anti-inflammatory powerhouse;

4-5 crimini mushrooms, diced: high concentration of B vitamins for energy;

1 large carrot, diced: rich in vitamin A to support a healthy immune system;

2-3 cups cauliflower rice: great source of fiber useful for regulating blood sugar and aiding in digestion;

½ tsp cumin: may increase digestive enzymes, needed to properly absorb nutrients and digest food;

1 4 oz. can of diced green chilies: good source of vitamin C, which helps absorb iron (and helps with collagen renewal)

1 14-15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained: another great source of vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant that may help ward off cancer and heart disease;

1 can El Pato tomato sauce

5-6 green olives (optional): good source of vitamin E to support heart health and boost immune function

1 avocado (optional): wonderful source of potassium, vitamin C, E, and K;

Shredded cabbage (optional): high in vitamin K and C;

Natural Salt: rich in various minerals


Heat coconut oil in a sauté pan or skillet on medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften.

Add meat, breaking it up into chunks. Season with salt and smoked paprika. Sauté for five minutes.

Add garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and cauliflower and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink and vegetables have softened.

Add cumin, tomatoes, chilies, and tomato sauce to pan.

Stir to combine and add salt if needed. Picadillo should be saucy but not soupy.

Top with olives, avocado, and cabbage. Dig in.

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