Comforting, Healthy Slow-Cooker Meals for Chilly Nights

Fall is a wonderful season for so many reasons! Pumpkin carving, sweater wearing, leaf-pile jumping and making all your favorite cozy, comfort foods. Slow-cooker meals are especially delicious at this time of year. These slow-cooker recipes make dinner prep so easy, and will leave your kitchen smelling amazing, too.

Slow-Cooker Red Wine Beef Stew

This dish of tender, rich meat paired with flavorful red wine sauce, complimented with fresh veggies, is ideal comfort food. The rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes enhance the flavor and add a real kick to this hearty meal. 

Ingredients:

3 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2″ pieces

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

1⅔ c. dry red wine

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes

3 carrots, chopped into 1″ pieces

3 celery stalks, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 onions, chopped into quarters

1 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large rosemary sprig

2 c. low-sodium beef broth

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, pat beef dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, working in batches if necessary, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to slow cooker. 

Add butter and scrape pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all browned meat bits. Stir in red wine and tomato paste, simmer for 1 minute, then transfer to slow cooker.

Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, beef broth, and crushed tomatoes to slow cooker. Season with salt and cook on high until meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours. 

Remove stalk of rosemary. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Stew 

Delicious, hearty, and healthy, this dish is packed with sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, tomatoes, beef, and plenty of seasoning!

Ingredients:

3 c. medium-sized sweet potatoes chopped

¼ c. chopped celery

1 small yellow onion

8 oz. bag mini-carrots

1 can (15 oz.) corn, either fire-roasted, frozen sweet corn or cut right off the cob!

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes 

1 lb. beef chuck roast cut into 2-inch chunks 

2 Tbsp. flour

½ tsp. each seasoned salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. paprika

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 c. water

Instructions:

Coat the inside of a slow cooker with non-stick spray.  

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into large chunks. Measure to get a heaping 3 cups and place into the slow cooker.

Add the chopped celery, chopped onion, the bag of carrots, drained can of corn, and undrained can of diced tomatoes.

Toss together the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. Toss the cut meat (cut in 1 in. cubes) into the flour mixture until well-coated.

Place the coated meat in the slow cooker on top of all the vegetables. 

Add the bay leaf, minced garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh chopped parsley. 

Crumble in the bouillon cubes and water.

Stir everything together and submerge the meat below the veggies to keep it as tender as possible. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, high for 5-7 hours or until the sweet potatoes and vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through and tender. 

Stir the ingredients together and slightly mash the tender sweet potatoes in the crockpot. 

Top with fresh parsley.

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So What if You Fall?

by Redeemer School Parent Rachael Morales (thishalfacre.com) “Jesus