Nothing makes me feel more accomplished as a mom/homemaker than having a home cooked meal prepped and ready at the end of the day, while being able to come home and just chill as a family or workout together.
Enter: the CROCKPOT aka SLOW COOKER.
It's one of my FAVE kitchen tools because you set it, and forget it, that is until you're ready to eat! I am always looking for time efficient processes to create my day, and this is just one of those things that makes life easier. AMEN to easier, because the world is a funny place right now.
Stews and soups are my go-tos when it's winter, because you can pack in lots of veggies and nutrients into one main dish. And while it's a bit harder to know your proportions of macros here, you can always rest assured that if you load it up with lots of veggies, some protein, and go easy on the starchy carbs, that you'll end up with a pretty balanced meal.
Ok, let's get to the good stuff. If you give this recipe a go, let me know your thoughts in the comments below - I'm always looking to fine tune my recipes and make them better and better!
- Crystal xo
Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Stew
Prep time: 20min | Cook time: 7-8hr | Total time: 8hr20min | Servings: 8-10
1lb organic cubed stewing beef, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2lb (8oz) button mushrooms, washed
2 large carrots, peeled and washed
1/2lb Brussels sprouts, washed
4 large stalks organic celery, washed
Sea Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup dried barley
1/4 cup dry red wine
1L beef broth or 4 packets Isagenix Collagen Bone Broth mixed with 1L boiling water
Prepare the veggies in a large bowl: Wash, then remove the stems of the mushrooms and cut into quarters. Cut the ends off the sprouts, then peel the first few dirty leaves off. Cut into halves or quarters (if large).
Chop the onions, and mince the garlic. Move to the side (not in the large bowl)
Next, you’re going to sear the beef cubes. In a large frying pan, add some EVOO over med-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened.
Add the beef cubes, season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Sauté until all sides of the beef are browned, about 10min.
While beef sears, chop the carrots lengthwise, then dice into smaller pieces. Dice the celery small, then add both to the large bowl of veggies*
Once beef is seared, turn the heat off and add to the slow cooker. Next, add the veggies and the bone broth/beef broth.
Add the dried barley and wine, and stir to mix. If there is some room at the top, add a bit of water as the liquid will evaporate as it cooks over time.
Set the slow cooker on high for 5-6hr or on low for 7-8hr.
Serve up a bowl with some crusty bread, and enjoy this hearty, wholesome dish.
*This is the step where I’d have kiddos help by taking all the chopped veggies and placing in a bowl, then transferring into the slow-cooker. It's so great to include kids in the cooking process and teaches them valuable life skills :)
MAKE IT KID-FRIENDLY: Most kiddos won’t be big fans of softened veggies, so you could take a portion of the stew and purée it with a high speed blender or immersion blender. They won’t even know they’re eating tons of veggies and a good dose of protein!
MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Replace barley with equal parts dried quinoa (rinse it well with cold water!), and add an extra bit of protein to the stew as well.
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