I feel like I have completely dropped out here. I have been trying to string together a bunch of recipes to post together, and have stressed myself out instead of just posting one recipe, or something! It’s hard to string together a week of new meals that turn out good (and that you remember to take a picture of so you can share it).

But my big plans did get me to try some new recipes, and I’d like to share one of my favorites. This one comes from the 21 Day Fix Extreme. I haven’t started this program yet, but I bought it awhile ago in anticipation! It’s been fun to look through the Eating Plan for ideas.

The original recipe is for the stovetop, not the crockpot. I just love the convenience of the crockpot; dinnertime can be busy and I am happy to be able to do things other than cook at that time. The recipe also called for more vegetables- onion and red and green bell peppers. I omitted these and it was delicious. But next time I will include the peppers.

Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

(in a Crockpot)

(adapted from 21 Day Fix Extreme Eating Plan)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash

Preparation:

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat. Remove the meat. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan; scrape around pan and pour everything into crockpot. Add seasoning, broth, and vegetables. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

And that’s it! Dinner is done. You don’t need to add any side dishes. Maybe a nice loaf of bread to dip at the end. I did have salad with this stew, but if you add more vegetables I don’t think you’d need to.

You know I’m lazy with my cooking, but if you wanted to be really lazy (or were really rushed in the morning) I think you could skip the browning the meat part and just throw everything in the crockpot. Browning definitely makes the meat more tender and adds to the taste, but I have had some delicious stews that skipped this step.

Speaking of lazy, I found the butternut squash already cubed at BJs, and have since seen it in the frozen section at ShopRite. I had never used butternut squash before, so I was happy I didn’t have to figure out which squash to buy and what to do with it once I got it home:)

We are finally getting out of the chilly weather, but I think this stew would still be a nice weeknight dinner. It’s not too heavy, but is very satisfying. Can’t wait to make it again!

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