Beef Stew

9 03 2008

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of sugar lately, and I’m usually pretty good at making/eating low calorie meals and avoiding too much white flour and sugar.  Needless to say, my body can feel it, and I’ve been a bit more sluggish than usual.  I decided to search for some healthy recipes, because:

1. My body/mind function much better when I eat healthy foods.
2. The Vermont City Marathon is rapidly approaching, and I need to fuel my body appropriately – all the time, but for those long runs especially. 
3. I have parent-teacher conferences all week long, and I need all the energy I can get to get through 39 kindergarten conferences in 4 days.  Eek! 

My friend Niki has been following the Eat Clean diet, and I bought The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno a few weeks ago.  I figured this was the perfect time to dig into some of her recipes, and today I tackled two!  The first?  Stew!

This recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, and mine is packed away until we move into the new house.  I decided to turn this into a slow cooker recipe instead.  It’s still cooking away, but it looks great so far.  I’ll pop this in the fridge when it’s done cooking, and we’ll reheat it this week for a quick weeknight meal. 

This isn’t a great picture, but here’s the stew:

(It looks blurry because of the steam rising.)

And on a fun and RIDICULOUS note, here’s a funny story… As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I HATE chopping onions.  Burning, watery eyes are not fun.  I’ve tried all those tricks that people tell you about, like lighting a vanilla scented candle and splashing water under your eyes. Those helpful tips just don’t work for me. 

Well, today I started to dread chopping up the onion for the stew, and then a brilliant idea occurred to me!  I decided that I needed some eye protection, and I remembered that my ski googles were just steps away from the kitchen.  Yup.  I wore my goggles to chop the onions, and my eyes stayed tear-free and burn-free.  Ha! 

Canadian Stew
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Ingredients:

 1 1/2 lbs. lean beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 leeks, whites and light green only, cut into chunks and well rinsed
3 or 4 medium sized cooking onions, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 10 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 – 10 oz. can small potatoes
Several cloves garlic
4 T. olive oil
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock
1 cup light beer

Directions:

1. Cut meat into 1-inch cubes.  Place whole-wheat flour, salt, ground black pepper, oregano, and basil in a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake the contents so they mix.  Now place the cubed meat in the container and shake until coated. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven heat the oil and saute the garlic and onions until soft.  Add remaining vegetables, except canned potatoes, and cook 5 minutes longer. 

3. Gently remove cubed and seasoned meat from container and add to the cooking vegetables.  Cook until meat is browed.  You will notice the mixture is getting sticky.  This is caused by the flour seasoning on the meat.  When it gets too sticky, add the chicken stock and the light beer.

4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir the stew until the sauce becomes evenly smooth.  Now add canned, drained potatoes.  Cook over low heat for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Nutritional Value Per Serving:

Calories: 315 – Calories from fat: 95 – Protein: 20g – Carbs: 35g – Dietary fiber: 6g – Sugars: 8g – Fat: 10g – Sodium: 314mg

*** I used my slow cooker for this recipe and just threw everything in after I browned the meat first. ***