Friday, December 28, 2012

One Pot Wonder Beef Stew

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Do you know what the one good thing about cold wintery day is?  Warm soup/stew.  When the weather keeps you inside (and when your house is as cold as the frozen tundra), there is no better way to warm up than making a big batch of fresh stew.  Plus it makes the house smell wonderful! 
I choose to make the beef stew out of the Comfort Foods Fix cookbook my aunt and uncle gave me for Christmas.  All the recipes in the book were already healthified versions of America's favorite comfort foods, but of course I had to add my own special touch to make this stew even better for you!  I don't even know how you could make this even healthier than it already is.  It is full of a variety of vegetables, is decently low in sodium for a stew, has high quality/local meat in it, has a good amount of my two favorite things (fiber and protein), can be make all in one pot leaving you limited dishes, and it doesn't even taste "healthy".   How much better can it get?!
The only thing better than sitting down to a big bowl of this stew on a cold day is doing so with your friends and family.  Sadly, my family is 4 hours away and most of my friends are home for winter break.  Luckily, one of my roommates is here taking a class over break, so I thought I would surprise her when she got home after a long day of class.  I even got all fancy and set the table with the new napkins and table runner my grandma cross-stitched for me.  :)  What a perfect dinner. 

1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Paprika
1 lb Venison, cubed
2 medium Onions, chopped
1 medium Rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 large Carrot, peeled and cut into coins
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp Tomato paste
4 cups Natural beef broth*
2 cups Green peas, frozen
 *Broths can contain a lot of scary ingredients so make sure you find a good one! Or you can always make your own if you are feeling ambitious.
1. In a pot large enough to hold about 10 cups, brown the venison with the salt, pepper, and paprika.  Cook over medium heat until all sides of the cubes are brown.
2. Meanwhile get all the vegetables cut up and set aside.
3. Once the meat is cooked scoop it out and set aside in a bowl leaving the juices in the pot.
4. Saute the onions in the same pot with the venison juices until tender and slightly golden.
5. Add the rutabaga and carrot to the pot and mix then in with the onions.  Add about a 1/4 cup of water to help create steam to cook the vegetables.  Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are starting to get tender.  Don't cook them all the way yet! 
6. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes.
7. Before adding the broth, stir in the tomato paste to coat the vegetables.
8. Pour in the broth and stir everything together.
9. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 60-80 minutes stirring occasionally.
10.  Add the frozen peas and cook for another 5 minutes until peas are tender.
11. Grab a spoon and enjoy on a cold wintery day! 
Makes about 7 cups.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 159
Total Fat: 2 g
     Sat. Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Sodium: 416 mg
Total Carbs: 16 g
     Dietary Fiber: 4 g
     Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 19 g
Vitamin A:8%
Vitamin C: 40%
Iron: 17%
Calcium: 5%

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