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Posts Tagged ‘comfort food’

When I read this recipe I was totally weirded out by the use of tapioca. I have never purchased tapioca in any form, but it does a great job of thickening this slow-cooker stew. After I made a few modifications to the seasoning, I really liked this stew. Its easy to put together, no pre-browning of the beef required, and pre-sliced mushrooms are a big time saver. If you aren’t a fan of onions, decrease the amount or use sweet onions, because they stay rather powerful even after 6 or 8 hours in the crock-pot. Doesn’t crock-pot sound terribly old hat? The other great thing is that this stew is low calorie, only 345 calories and 11 grams of fat per 1 3/4 cup serving according to Cooking Light.

Slow-Cooker Beef Vegetable Stew
2 tablespoons uncooked granulated tapioca
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
15 ounces tomato juice (approx.)
4 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped celery
2 1/2 cups (1/4 inch thick) sliced carrots
2 (8 ounce) packages pre-sliced mushrooms
2 pounds beef stew meat

Place first 5 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Combine onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and beef in an electric slow cooker, add juice mixture. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or low 8 to 10 hours until beef is tender.

Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Stew

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Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods.  Its is rich and cheesy and delicious.  It does take some time to prepare, but the preparation is relatively simple and well worth the time.  Served with a green salad or other vegetable it makes a complete meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded colby-jack or mozzarella cheese
  • Paprika (optional)

Cook macaroni according to package directions (be sure to add salt to water).  Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven over low heat: add flour, stirring until smooth.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  This can take about 10 minutes.  Stir in salt and cheeses, stirring until cheese melts.

Stir cooked macaroni into sauce and pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.  Bake uncovered at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe can be halved and baked in a 2-quart or 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

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