Recipe of the Week: Crockpot Beef & Barley Stew or Soup

My husband and I coach high school Track & Field. That means starting in February our lives and schedules get a little hairy. We spend our afternoons practicing with our athletes or going to track meets, which sometimes last long hours. Now that we're on this healthy living journey meals on the fly are an extra challenge. I'm looking for fast, nutritious meals that can be prepped ahead of time or take nearly no prep at all. Got suggestions? Leave a comment about your fast faves.

When all else fails, get out the crockpot and start creating. I threw all this stuff in the pot and it was ready to go when we got home from practice. This is a hearty meal served up with a crusty whole wheat french bread.

Barley is the hard-hitter in this meal. Barley is a great grain for the heart and has the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce the formation of blood clots, improve digestion and reduce cancer risk, according to THE DOCTORS BOOK OF FOOD REMEDIES by Selene Yeager. Barley is loaded with beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that forms a gel in the small intestine. Cholesterol binds to this gel and then is excreted from the body. Maybe more than you wanted to know about barley...

Dorina's Crockpot Beef & Barley Stew

1 lb. grass-fed stew beef or sirloin
3/4 cup pearl barley (Available in bulk at Winco or Kristina's Market.)
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced organic tomatoes (I use Trader Joe's brand.)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 (quart) box organic beef or vegetable broth
3 cups water

Serves 4-6

1. Cook meat in crockpot for 1 hour on HIGH.
2. Add other ingredients and cook additional 3 hours (or more) on LOW.
3. Add more liquid as desired, depending on if you want a soup or a stew.


The Growing VM Family said...

I too use the crock pot for meals made in advance. Sometimes I even make dinner the night before, refridgerate it and plug it in in the morning. Some favorites in the dinner rotation are beef stew, Tuscan stew, white chili, pot roast and taco soup.

My other favorite appliance (when it comes to making quick meals) is the freezer. Since it's just 3 of us eating, I regularly make a whole recipe of something, but freeze half of it. For example, in my freezer at this moment are containers of casseroles, your butternut squash soup and a pan of your spinach stuffed shells-- all needing to be just thawed, baked or reheated!

Crystal Kurzen said...

Hey Dorina, I have a subscription to the magazine Everyday Food, and I love it for fast and simple recipes. They have a show on PBS and a pretty well-organized website that features many of their recipes: http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/. You probably already know about this, but I wanted to pass on the info just in case you hadn't heard of it. Enjoy!

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