Monday, January 14, 2013

A Beefy Stew kind of Monday

Beef stew is definitely a winter food. It is warm, hearty, and helps to melt the soul from the cold hard winter. Living in California is not so cold, the winters are very mild (I'm not complaining!), but I still feel the need to pile up on winter foods. Having lived on the East Coast, Virginia area, for the last 16 or so years (on and off) I get into the winter mentality. The mentality that I need to eat hearty warm foods, drink lots of hot chocolate, walk around the house bundled in a blanket, watch lots of movies, you know- a hibernation of sorts.

So being in California where the days are 50-60 degrees and the nights only about 40 degrees, I have some adjusting to do. The first week here I bundled up every time I went outside. I quickly regretted the hat, scarf, and large coat. Over a few days I learned to ditch those items and just wear a warm sweater. Now I am a much less sweaty person when I go out.

The winter foods are not as easy to ditch though. I love hot soups and cocoa in the evenings. I must say though, eating these things while the palm trees wave outside my window is interesting. It messes with my head only slightly.

Despite the warmer temperatures and palm trees I am still going to eat my winter favorites. Beef stew is one of them. And when I say beef STEW, I mean a brothy one. I am a huge fan of brothy soups over creamy ones.

After looking at a variety of beef stew recipes and realizing how many calories were in them (yes, I am cutting calories, read about it here) I decided to make my own recipe with some healthier options and less calories.

Beef Stew (about 10 servings)

-3 pounds beef chuck (cubed)
-2 onions
-5 carrots
-5 stalks celery
-2 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large)
-1 Tablespoon worchestershire sauce
-2 teaspoons paprika
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon garlic salt (add more to taste)
-3 cups broth (I used chicken broth to keep it healthier, you can also use beef)

Chop and measure everything and throw it into a slow cooker. Fill the rest of the slow cooker with water. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 10-12 hours. If you don't have a slow cooker you can always just simmer it in a large pot. So easy!

I looked up the calories and each serving (a moderate bowl full) is about 300 calories, with 34 grams of protein per serving.

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