Fall is here and that means it’s time for me to pull out the slow cooker! I don’t know about you, but I love the convenience of using the slow cooker. You do all of the prep in the morning and dinner is ready when you get home. One of my “go to” slow cooker recipes is beef stew. This is a simple and easy recipe made with healthy ingredients and it is full of flavor. This recipe makes enough to serve a family of 4 and there is usually enough left over to eat the next day!
-4 to 5 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
-1 one pound bag of carrots peeled and cut
-1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed (you can also buy the precut butternut that comes packaged to save time)
-1 large yellow onion diced
-1.5 pounds of lean stew meat, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 32 oz container of low sodium natural beef broth (I use Swanson’s)
-Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all of the vegetables as indicated above and place in the slow cooker. Add the olive oil to the frying pan and warm over medium-high heat. Add the stew meat and brown the meat on all sides. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and add desired amount of salt and pepper. Pour the beef broth over the meat and vegetables and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
-If you will be home, try to leave the sweet potatoes out until the food has been cooking for 2 hours. They tend to cook quickly and fall apart if they are in the slow cooker the entire time. For example, if I start the slow cooker at 10 a.m. I add the sweet potatoes at noon. If you are unable to add them later, just cut them into larger pieces
-Feel free to add additional spices (garlic, thyme, bay leaves, etc…). My family likes their food plain so I don’t add any spices.
-You may also use 4-5 white potatoes in place of butternut. I prefer butternut because of the health benefits associated with it. Butternut is a good source of Vitamin A, B6, C, Potassium, Omega 3 fatty acids, Calcium, and fiber. It is also lower in calories
I hope you enjoy this easy slow cooker stew as much as my family does!