Winter Stew to Warm Your Toes

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As the cold weather is upon us and winter lethargy has set in, crock pots seem to be the best invention ever made. With hardly any effort you can whip up a meal that's packed with flavor and requires hardly any time. Warm up this winter with a healthy, yet delicious favorite:  beef stew. This healthier version of beef stew is equipped with lean beef, reduced sodium broth, and tons of veggies including sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms and more. Keeping warm this winter will be easy with this old-time favorite. Loaded with the best veggies of the season, this dish is hearty and filling, and best of all - simple!


1 1/4 pounds lean beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium white onion, diced
4 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound small cremini mushrooms
1 - 14 1/2 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 - 14 ounce can lower sodium, fat free beef broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare meat and veggies (cut and dice appropriately)
In a 4-quart slow cooker combine meat, sweet potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes
Add entire can of beef broth
Stir in garlic, thyme and salt and pepper
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours

And serve. Really, it's as simple as that! By using a lean cut of beef you lower the fat content of traditional beef stew tremendously. By incorporating the tasty veggies of the season you add nutrients, and not to mention beautiful color to this mouth-watering meal. Of course you can adjust to include your favorite vegetables, or what you have on hand. For a little extra flair, dice up some green onions to sprinkle on top. Add some crusty bread for dipping, and of course to scrape the bowl - you are definitely going to want to get every last bit! Extra tip:  beef stew tends to taste even better the longer it sits. If you have leftovers (unlikely), be sure to save them for a potentially even more delicious meal the next day.


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