Classic Beef Stew with Baby Potatoes

Baby Potato Beef Stew

A thick and hearty stew swimming with tender cubes of beef, baby new potatoes, carrots, celery and herbs. It’s a classic stew like the one my Moms made my entire life. The very same one I would never eat. The picky eater in me would fish out the potatoes and maybe some of the carrots, depending on my mood, and leave the rest.

I didn’t know back then that it is one of the most comforting things in the world to eat, especially on a cold winter’s day or when you’ve indulged in too many rich foods and desserts and your body is craving a hot, nourishing yet simple meal.

The kind of meal that makes your house smell like a home and warms you from the inside out.

Now I know.

Baby New Potato Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew with Baby Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Classic Beef Stew with Baby Potatoes

A thick and hearty stew swimming with tender cubes of beef, baby new potatoes, carrots, celery and herbs. It's a classic stew like the one my Moms made my entire life.

Ingredients:

olive oil, for sauteing
1 + 1/2 pounds round cubes for stew
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, sliced into coins
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 cups beef broth
1 + 1/2 pounds new red potatoes, sliced in half if large

Instructions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot over medium heat.
  2. Season the meat well with salt and pepper then dredge each piece with flour. Cook, turning to brown on all sides without cooking through to the center.
  3. Add the worcestershire, the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 5 minutes, tossing often.
  4. Add the beef broth and the potatoes. Bring to a simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often, tasting and seasoning as needed. Cook until the meat is tender and the potatoes are soft.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig before serving.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/classic-beef-stew-with-baby-potatoes/

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Slow Cooker Meatballs

I’m blogging for a good cause today! It’s World Diabetes Awareness Day so I made you a diabetic-friendly meal! It’s low-carb and also gluten free.

Tender, flavorful meatballs are slow-cooked in tomato sauce and served with roasted spaghetti squash. I replaced the bread crumbs in the meatballs with Parmesan cheese and swapped out the high-carb spaghetti for spaghetti squash. A one-cup serving of spaghetti has about 43 grams of carbs while 1 cup of spaghetti squash has only 10. Win-win.

If you never had spaghetti squash before then you’re in for a treat. Uncooked it looks like any other winter squash but once cooked a magical transformation takes place. Pull a fork through it and you will suddenly find yourself with a pile of stringy noodles. Nature’s answer to spaghetti.

You can also mix the spaghetti squash with real spaghetti – do a mix of half and half to cut down on the carbs.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Tender, flavorful meatballs are slow-cooked in tomato sauce and served with roasted spaghetti squash.

Ingredients:

Sauce:
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (3 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more), optional
pinch of sugar
Meatballs:
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef/pork/veal mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
for serving:
2 medium spaghetti squash

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes until soft and tender, stirring often.
  2. Mix the tomato paste into the onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add it to the crock-pot with the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, a pinch of sugar plus 1 teaspoon salt and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl using a fork or your hands combine the ground meat, eggs, Parmesan, onion, garlic, parsley and a dash of salt and pepper together. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of the meat and pack it into a ball. Repeat until all the meat is used. Carefully drop them into the crock-pot.
  4. Cook on high 4 - 5 hours or low 6 - 8 hours. Taste and season the sauce as needed during the last hour.
  5. Meanwhile roast the spaghetti squash (you can roast it whole!) until tender on 400 degrees F about 45 minutes depending on their size. Let them cool off until you can handle them comfortably. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Pull a fork through the squash to make the noodles.
  6. If your spaghetti squash seems especially watery you can drain it for a few minutes in a colander.
  7. Mix the spaghetti squash with enough sauce to generously coat and sere with the meatballs and Parmesan cheese.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-meatballs-with-spaghetti-squash/

You can learn more about diabetes over at my friend Swathi’s blog Zesty South Indian Kitchen, who asked me to join her today in bringing Diabetes Awareness Through Food. You can also visit the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes 
 

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Stuffed bell peppers reincarnated in a soup! With ground beef, rice, peppers, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese in a spicy broth.

Is it wrong that I like this soup better than an actual stuffed pepper – the traditional version my Mom tried to feed me growing up?

She made them all the time. They were regulars in our dinner rotation and I loathed them with all my pepper-hating heart. Occasionally I would pick the stuffing out of them, which I loved, but mostly. . . I pretended like they didn’t even exist. If I ignored them maybe they would go away. Back into the ground where they came from. Forever.

Skip forward to today and I find myself cooking with bell peppers all the time! I’m making up for lost time and paying them back with lots of attention. They add unbeatable flavor to my soups and sauces. For the soup I used two of the biggest, fattest peppers I could get my hands on. One red and one green. Christmas colors.

For the broth I use a mix of beef and chicken – use what you have on hand or like best. I serve it with brown rice that I cook separately and rather than mixing it all into the soup at once I spoon a small pile into a bowl and ladle the soup over it. This way it doesn’t have a chance to soak up all the broth and turn my soup into a stew.

This totally turned me into a die-hard fan of the stuffed pepper.

Success.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Stuffed bell peppers reincarnated in a soup! With ground beef, rice, peppers, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese in a spicy broth.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 big bell peppers, diced (I used one green and one red)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 + 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
3 cans (14.5 ounces) low-sodium beef or chicken broth or a mix (I used 2 beef + 1 chicken)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 + 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
about 1 + 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet and add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and Italian seasoning. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until tender about 10 minutes. Remove to crock-pot.
  2. In the same pan brown the ground beef over medium heat, breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain off the grease and add the meat to the crock-pot.
  3. Mix in the tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, about 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 - 8.
  4. During the last hour skim off any grease that rises to the top. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste and re-season as needed. Mix in the cheese.
  5. To serve spoon some rice into a bowl, ladle the soup over it and mix together, garnish with a little cheese. Alternately you can mix the cooked rice right into the soup - it may soak up some of the broth so I like to keep it separate.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-stuffed-bell-pepper-soup/

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Slow-cooker Tex-Mex soup with ground beef, corn, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers swimming in a taco-seasoned, cheddar cheese, tomato broth with my secret ingredient – refried beans. They’re great for thickening the soup while at the same adding a ton of flavor. Plus I love them on my tacos so I had to sneak them in.

Just say the word taco and I start jumping up and down like an excited puppy dog. I love them in all their different flavors, shapes and forms but my favorite will always be the traditional American taco of ground beef, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and tomato {a little avocado and a spoonful of refried beans never hurt either}.

This tastes just like one! Only more comforting because that’s how soup rolls. When you pile on the toppings like sour cream and tortilla chips you really bring on the taco experience. In a whole new way.

Get out your soup spoons.

And your slow-cookers.

Taco Soup

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

Slow-cooker Tex-Mex soup with ground beef, corn, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers swimming in a taco-seasoned, cheddar cheese, tomato broth with my secret ingredient - refried beans.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large green or red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 + 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cans {14 ounces each) beef broth
2 packets msg-free taco seasoning or 4 tablespoons homemade
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes with juices
1 + 1/2 cups corn
1 can (16 ounce) refried beans
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Your choice of garnishes:
sour cream
tortilla chips
diced avocado or guacamole
shredded lettuce
diced fresh tomatoes
chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, stirring often, turn heat down slightly if it starts to brown too quickly.
  2. Remove the vegetables to the slow-cooker and add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, breaking it apart as it cooks, until browned. While the meat is browning you can add the broth, taco seasoning, oregano, tomatoes, corn and refried beans to the slow-cooker. Mix well.
  3. Once the meat is cooked add to the slow-cooker and mix well. Add about 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook on high 3 - 4 hours or low 5 - 6. About a half hour before serving skim off any grease that rises to the top, taste and re-season if needed then mix in the cheddar cheese.
  4. Serve with your choice of garnishes.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-taco-soup/

Southwestern Cheddar Chili Mac

Southwestern Chili Mac

Chili meets pasta in this hearty skillet meal with ground beef, cheddar cheese, green chiles and tomatoes. It’s seasoned with all my favorite Tex-mex spices including chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika and Mexican oregano. Aside from boiling the pasta it’s made entirely in one skillet making it a contender for a fast weeknight meal…. 

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Homemade Gorditas

Homemade Gorditas

Homemade gorditas stuffed with seasoned taco meat and topped with cheddar cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.

What’s a gordita. . . you might be asking yourself? A soft flatbread taco. Taco Bell made them famous but I’d be the biggest liar in the world if I said I ever had one of theirs.

One of my steadfast life rules is if I want fast food I have to make it myself.… 

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Chopped Taco Salad

Taco Chopped Salad

There’s only one thing in the world that can abate my craving for a taco besides an actual taco and that ‘thing’ is a taco salad.

All the very same things tacos are loved for tossed together to make the most delicious hot mess of a salad. Iceberg lettuce, taco meat, cheddar cheese, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and tortilla chips plus whatever else you want to toss in. … 

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Cowboy Chili

Cowboy Chili

Mouth-watering chili with ground beef, pork and beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, beef broth and beer plus lots of spices including two types of chile powder, paprika, cumin and Worcestershire. The chili is slow-cooked giving it a rich flavor and making it thick and hearty. The liquid cooks off leaving behind a ton of concentrated flavor…. 

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