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Everyone's crockpot is busy now! During the fall and winter months, meals that take just a few minutes to throw together, but are healthy, hearty, and comforting, are a must.
All of these recipes are nutrient dense. What does that mean? Nutrient dense foods are those which provide a large amount of the Daily Value of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein in an inverse ratio to the calories. In other words, deep fried potato chips are full of 'empty calories' in that there are few nutrients and a whole lot of calories per serving. ( Darn!) Nutrient dense foods, such as the Beef Stew below, provide more than 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamins A and C, and 45% of your protein needs, all in only about 400 calories.
Many crockpot recipes can be updated to make them healthier. Use low fat meats, trim meats of excess fat, choose lower calorie cheeses, dairy products, and sauces, and increase healthy foods in the recipe. Most crockpot recipes can be significantly changed and they'll still work just fine. For instance, substitute peeled cubed sweet potatoes for regular potatoes and you'll up the Vitamin A content in the recipe by about 200%. Using brown rice instead of white rice will increase the fiber content by about 50%. And here's the easiest way to make sure that the foods you serve are healthy: create a colorful plate. The more colors on your plate, the healthier your diet will be.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
- 1 lb. beef stew meat
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine or beef broth
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 (14 oz.) cans Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 9 oz. pkg. frozen cut green beans, thawed
- 9 oz. pkg. refrigerated fettuccine, cut in half
Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours until beef is tender. Stir in green beans and pasta. Increase heat to high and cover crockpot. Cook 8-12 minutes longer until pasta is tender. 4 servings
If you have a new, hotter cooking crockpot, cook on low for 6-1/2 to 8 hours, then add the pasta and beans.