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Mama’s Cozy Beef Stoup

Fall, it’s not officially Fall until September 22nd. However, the kids are back in school, and guess what they are bringing home to mom, and I’m not talking about sweet art work I hang on the fridge. No, I’m talking about the inevitable creepy crud! Oh yea, my kids go back to school and in just a couple of weeks Mom’s down for the count! Some of you may have been wondering where in the heck I was. Well, I was in bed as much as possible, feeling awful with what I thought was just a cold, until it just got worse and included a fever and felt more like some kind of flu. Whatever it is,  you don’t want it.

Now, I may have taken some time off from the blog, but just because Mom’s sick doesn’t mean she gets to call in sick. Honestly, I don’t know what these people would do without me. I guess they’re lucky I survived this one, amirite? No, absolutely no sick days for mom, so I have to get creative and find ways to work, without working. Here’s where I praise my slow cooker. I was caught off guard, and unprepared for being sick, so my freezer isn’t full of prepared meals that only need to be baked. Thankfully because of that slow cooker, and some dump recipes like this Chicken Enchilada Soup from friends Ellen and Aimee over at Like Mother Like Daughter, dinner wasn’t too much of a chore. Dump it in, turn it on, go back to bed. Seriously, when you’re done here, go check out that soup. It’s fabulous!

Now this recipe I have here for you today isn’t exactly a dump and run kinda recipe. This recipe is one I came up with quite awhile ago and after being sick, and having drizzly weather this week, I craved this stoup. You may ask “What the heck is a stoup?!” Well it’s quite simple, it’s half beef stew and half soup. So it’s a stoup, and it’s delicious! Perfect for that chilly weather that’s on it’s way.
It takes just a little bit of prep time. You’re going to want to get your onions, garlic, and celery all chopped up. For the onions and garlic I use a hand powered mini food chopper to make it go quick. Then for my carrots, I use baby cut carrots so I can skip the peeling and slicing. I just cut these little guys in half. Then I toss in my green beans which are just a package of frozen cut green beans, thawed.

For the potatoes I chose red. Any waxy potato you won’t have to peel like the red potatoes or yellow. If you choose Russet or baking potatoes, you’ll want to peel those first and then dice them, or cut them into reasonable chunks like I did. Now all that’s left is to cut up your meat. I bought stew meat already cut up, but even in doing that, those pieces are usually HUGE and I end up having to cut a lot of them in half or in thirds depending. So you’ll want to inspect it, and cut the meat into bite size chunks.

As I chop everything up, I just toss them into the slow cooker. Then I just toss it lightly to combine it all.

Now you dump in your crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Then in a small or medium bowl, combine your two cans of chicken broth and your 1/2 cup flour. Whisk that together until it’s smooth and totally combined. Then dump that into the slow cooker along with your beef consomme. Then give it a good stir to combine everything together. Now cover it, and set it to low for 6-8 hours. Mine took 6 hours, but please keep in mind that all slow cookers are not created equal.  Sometime before you are ready to eat, and the meat is totally cooked through, give your stoup a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you add more thyme or morjoram, let it cook for about 30 minutes to an hour to let the flavors get all happy together. I checked my stoup at 5 1/2 hours and the the meat was cooked and safe to taste. So don’t worry about breaking the stoup. It won’t break if you take the cover off that far into the process I promise. The seasonings as written in this recipe are on the light side because everyone’s tastes are not the same. So please adjust to your liking.

Now you’re ready to ladle your stoup into bowls, serve hot with some crusty bread for dipping, and enjoy!

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Mama's Cozy Beef Stoup Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the slow cooker, add beef, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, green beans and potatoes.
  2. Pour crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce over beef and veggies. Add in bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme and marjoram. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small – medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth and flour until combined and smooth. Pour chicken broth mixture along with beef consomme into the slow cooker and stir once more to combine.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours. About an hour before it's finished, you may wish to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. See note.
  5. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve with crusty bread, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

I use baby cut carrots in this recipe as a time saver, so I don't have to mess with peeling and slicing. However, if you prefer, you can of course peel and slice carrots. I would guess probably about 5-6 medium carrots should do.

I didn't really measure my potatoes, I just cut some up until it looked like enough in proportion to the rest of the veggies. You can use any kind of potato you want. I chose the red because it's what I had on hand, and also, I don't have to peel those. Huge time saver. If you use russet potatoes or baking potatoes, I recommend peeling those. But yellow or red are fine with peelings on.

The measurements for the seasonings in this recipe are on the light side. So be sure to taste test your stew about an hour before it's done, then if you need more seasonings, feel free to add more to your taste, then cover and let it go for the rest of the time. Don't worry, you won't break the stoup. I do this with this recipe often.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice – #SundaySupper

When our wonderful host Em Beitel at Sunday Supper started asking for rice recipes, this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice was the first thing to hit my brain! I absolutely love this dish over rice. I know it’s mostly a chicken dish, but it just wouldn’t be the same without rice in my opinion.  I love rice, and especially in a dish like this. This dish has a delicious sauce, but it’s a thin sauce. It’s not thick like a spaghetti sauce. That’s where the rice is a beautiful thing! It soaks up all that sauce and you don’t miss a single delicious drop.

Just a few days ago, I shared an easy Individual Baked Ziti recipe that is full of flavor yet low in fat. Well guess what folks? So is this Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice. Just look at all those pretty veggies! This dish is full of bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Lots of tomato going on in there, and lots of seasoning. Great thing about cooking at home, you get to control how much seasoning. Want less salt? Use less salt. Super easy and fast for busy families. Prep  your veggies the night before and store in the fridge. In the morning, put it all in the slow cooker, turn it on low and let it cook while you’re at work, or running errands or otherwise busy. Or  heck… take a nap!

These are a few reasons why I love my slow cooker so much. In the market? This is the slow cooker I  have, and absolutely adore it! Some recipes, usually soups and stews, will say to stir occasionally, but to do that you have to open the lid, and that’s taboo when slow cooking. You’re not supposed to open the lid. Plus, the entire idea behind a slow cooker is to dump dinner in it and forget about it. You can’t do that if you have to stir every now and again. So…this slow cooker, has an auto stir system. Problem solved!

End result, you are left with a beautiful dish of deliciousness. No one would ever guess that this dish, is healthy, and since I’m a Weight Watchers girl, I calculated this recipe at only 3 SmartPoints per serving. SmartPoints aside, even if you just want to add more healthy meals to your rotation, you’re going to love this.

Of course, in my house, there’s usually a salad involved. This recipe pairs very well with a nice crisp Caesar salad. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe as much as we did, and it brings your family together around the table too!

Simple Rice Recipes for Dinner #SundaySupper

What’s for dinner?

Rice is for dinner!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over Rice Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker (5-6 qt), add crushed tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, salt and black pepper. Whisk together to thoroughly combine. Add chicken thighs, onion, garlic, mushrooms & bell peppers.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Mine took 4 hours.
  3. Serve over hot cooked rice, and garnish with black olives.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this over anything you like, mashed potatoes, noodles, whatever you prefer. I chose rice because the sauce is thin, and the rice soaks up all that deliciousness.

Per Serving: (1 thigh and about 3/4 cup vegetables): 3 SmartPoints. (Does not include rice)

Adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook

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Individual Baked Ziti

We’ve probably all had baked ziti at least once in our lives, or any kind of baked pasta with a tomato sauce, and usually those dishes are quite heavy. If you’re trying to lose weight, or watch your waistline and keep it trim, pasta is probably the last thing you’re going to want to fix. Well, folks, I have a secret. What I have here, is a delicious, healthy, filling, and not so heavy pasta dish you CAN have and eat with pride if you are like me and are watching those calories. Or, in my case, watching points. Yea, I’m one of those Weight Watchers girls. In any case, these cute little Individual Baked Zitis lack no flavor.

Another big plus, the family will love it too. They’d never know they were eating something healthy and low in fat. My kids just LOVE individual, personal sized foods, they’re fun! For me though, I love this because it’s already portioned out. I don’t have to think about it. Just scoop it right out of the pan, and you got yourself a serving!

To make these cute little things, you’re going to need a couple of jumbo muffin pans (6 oz cups) or you can use cute little 6 oz ramekins.

Don’t eat it alone though, you don’t want to forget your veggies! For us, I decided on a simple tossed salad with low-fat Ranch dressing. Steamed broccoli would be another great choice to serve alongside these cute little ziti muffins.

However you decide to serve it up, you’ll be happy to know, if you’re a weight watcher, that this recipe is only 4 SmartPoints per serving. That number was calculated by using Barilla ProteinPlus Penne pasta. I know the recipe is Ziti, but you can use Penne. Keep in mind, depending on the brand of your ingredients, that SmartPoints number can go up or down, but not usually by very much.  I hope you and your family enjoy, as much as my family and I did!

Print Recipe
Individual Baked Ziti Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, coat twelve jumbo (6 oz) muffin cups with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano in bottom of each and tilt ramekins or muffin pan to evenly cover bottoms.
  4. After draining pasta, return to pot. While Pasta is still warm, immediately stir in 3/4 cup of mozzarella and the ricotta. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together egg white and water until smooth. Add egg mixture to the pasta and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  6. Evenly divide pasta mixture into prepared muffin cups. Press down lightly with spoon to pack it. Sprinkle each with about 1 tbsp remaining mozzarella.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and noodles begin to brown at edges. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, perfect time to toss together a salad!
  8. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan over the top. Remove each ziti from the pan using a spoon; sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan over top. Remove each ziti from muffin pan with a spoon. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
  9. Yields 1 ziti per serving.
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook.

1 serving = 4 SmartPoints

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