Category

Slow Cooker

Beef And Squash Stew

By | Beef, Casserole, Easy Dinners, Healthy + Diet, Kid Friendly Dinners, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Slow Cooker, Uncategorized, Vegetables | One Comment

Beef and squash stew in the slow cooker is just what you need for the winter weekend. This healthful, low-fat and veggie-packed dinner is also great for detoxing after the holidays.

I wanted a stew loaded with vegetables. I often feel like with just beef stew you have to make a separate salad or vegetable side to make a complete meal. This beautiful and tasty dish is basically a one pan meal! Also, did I just say a slow cooker recipe was beautiful?? HA! It totally is!
Beef And Squash Stew
I used thin slices of butternut squash for the top of the stew. To thinly slice the squash for the top use a mandolin or slicer. The slices don’t have to be perfect. Just arranged in an overlapping pattern they braise to be tender and act as a beautiful “crust”.
101652458The fennel and squash add a slight sweetness to this dish, but also makes it healthy and hearty. I added tomatoes for richness and a little tangy acidity with the tender beef and sweet veggies. This dinner is family friendly but also diet friendly!

Beef And Squash Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Calories per serving: 165

Fat per serving: 4 g

Beef And Squash Stew

Layers of healthy butternut squash on top make this dish extra good.

Ingredients

  • 2¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ lbs lean boneless beef chuck or round roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • ¾ lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine thyme, salt and pepper; reserve 1 tsp of the mixture and stir cornstarch into the remainder. Toss the beef, fennel and potato in the cornstarch mixture and place in a 6-qt slow cooker, fitting the ingredients tightly; add tomatoes
  2. Toss squash with oil and 1 tsp of the thyme mixture. Arrange the smaller pieces of squash on top of stew in a circular patter, then repeat with the larger rounds to create a second layer; cover and cook 4½ hr on high or 8 hr on low.
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Recipe by Tara Bench and Khalil Hymore
Photographer: Peter Ardito
Food Stylist: Susan Ottaviano
Prop Stylist: Michelle Wong
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal February 2011

Low-Fat Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

By | Easy Dinners, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, One Dish Meals, Pork, Slow Cooker | 2 Comments

I’m not one to diet. I typically just get really mad at myself when my pants don’t fit and try to eat less, until they do, and then go back to eating like a food editor.

Eating like a food editor isn’t so bad. The health factor evens out. Khalil and I worked together as editors at Ladies’ Home Journal, and one day we’d be baking and eat nothing but sugar, and another day we would be cooking up healthy food. His recipe for Low-fat Carnitas Tacos was a favorite. Even better than this dinner being delicious and healthy, it’s made in the slow cooker. What a way to make EVERYONE happy!

Low-Fat Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos
As my 3-year old nephew Sawyer would point out: that is healthy food. I’ll deserve a treat for eating it!

Low-Fat Carnitas Tacos

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Calories per serving: 265

Fat per serving: 9 g

Low-Fat Carnitas Tacos

Pork loin is a lean, healthy cut; I pair it with high-fiber beans and veggies for a delicious Mexican meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless pork loin
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 15.5-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon and cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Trim excess fat from pork and cut roast in half crosswise. Combine remaining ingredients, except cilantro, in a 6-qt slow cooker and add pork; cover and cook 5 hr on high or 8 hr on low.
  2. Shred pork with two forks and stir in the cilantro. Serve in corn tortillas with crumbled queso fresco, red onion and lime wedges on the side.
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Low-Fat Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Recipe by Khalil Hymore
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal Feb 2011
Photography Peter Ardito
Food Stylist Susan Ottaviano
Prop Stylist Michelle Wong