Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Incredibly Veggie and Beef Stew

Cooler weather is finally upon us here in East Tennessee. We've been able to have our air shut off and our windows open for 4 whole days and nights now; which may not seem like much to you but I am thrilled!

To celebrate the reprieve from the heat my dinner menus have turned to warmer meals. Tonight's was incredibly veggie beef stew. Yes, I mean "incredibly" instead of "incredible." This is because there is an incredible number of veggies in my stew.

I use:
1 14oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1 30oz can of tomato sauce
1 14oz can of low fat/low sodium beef broth
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 a container of mushrooms, sliced
2 huge cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup of sliced carrots (I use baby carrots cause they're easy to cut & good for snacking)
2 cups fresh green beans, snapped into 1.5" long pieces
5 small red potatoes or 2 regular potatoes, cubed
1 package of beef tips or a large steak cubed

I start with the heartier veggies (carrots, celery, green pepper then onion) sauteeing in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then I add the garlic, peas, corn, mushrooms, green beans, and cans of tomatoes and broth. Season with about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Add potatoes and beef. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour or until all veggies are softened (but not mushy.)

Delicious, low maintenance, low hassle dinner! It keeps in the fridge for several days, tastes wonderful reheated and also freezes well. Pair with some crusty bread and there's your meal!

Variations: Use whatever veggies *your* family likes! Like okra? Add it! Don't like peas, leave 'em out! Want to try it a little spicy? Substitute a can of rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies for the can of diced tomatoes. Don't have any beef tips? Cut up a couple chicken breasts or toss in some sausage! The sky--and your budget--are the limits.

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