Chicken Stew

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Winter can be an especially brutal time of year. The days are short on sunlight and long on cold. Deep into the cold winter, a beautiful and hearty soup or stew seems to be just what is needed. Plus, a large batch of soup or stew can be made once, frozen and reheated as needed to be enjoyed throughout the rest of the month.

Unlike in summer, there may not be the rich array of fresh, healthy foods easily available. However, that does not mean that one has to serve up a bland or unhealthy dish. In cold winter days, a hearty and healthy chicken stew can be just the thing and can incorporate the flavors of the season.

One such recipe for a chicken stew that is both hearty and healthy and makes 12 servings is:

8 cups cooked chicken breast meat cubed
10 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked barley
3 cups chopped parsnips
6 cups cooked, diced sweet potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking the chicken breasts in your preferred manner. Cook barley according to package instructions. Saute onion in olive oil. Cook and dice the sweet potatoes.

In a large saucepan, combine the vegetable broth, barley, parsnips and celery. Cook at a simmer over a medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until ingredients have reached the desired level of softness.

Add the cubed chicken, barley, onions and sweet potatoes to the mixture. Cook this mixture for an addition 10-15 minutes. Stir in flour to thicken the sauce. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

For a variation on this, replace the cooked barley with cooked brown rice. Instead of vegetable broth, chicken or beef stock may be substituted. Scallions may be substituted for the onion, or they may be used in addition to the onion. You can also puree a few veggies to thicken the stew, such as cauliflower or carrots, or even 1-2 potatoes.

This hearty chicken stew can be dressed up by sprinkling it with a bit of fresh parsley. Alternatively, this dish may be spiced up with the addition of a bit of crushed red pepper or pepper flakes. You can also add frozen veggies, of course.

This healthy and hearty chicken stew may easily be cooked, frozen and reheated for later dinners as needed throughout the month. This is a wonderful stew for cold winter days, and it is something that the entire family can enjoy.


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.


Fall Has Arrived: Let’s Stew! (Hearty Vegetable and Pasta Stew)

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I'm always looking for recipes that make cooking for my family quick and easy. After many unsuccessful searches, I decided to come up with my own. It is a simple stew that features vegetables and pasta. This delicious recipe is inexpensive to make and will appease even the pickiest eater. Believe me, if my kids like it, then it's a winner! (If you prefer meat in your stew, add 1 pound of chuck roast.) I freeze every batch then heat up just enough for individual meals when we're ready. My only warning is one I learned the hard way, give yourself enough time to thaw the stew before dinner. So, try my recipe for yourself and I'm sure your family will love it as much as mine does.

Vegetables and Pasta Stew (Approximately 9 Servings)


2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups of sliced onion
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans
1/2 bag of frozen green peas
1 cup of sliced carrot
1/2 cup of sliced tomatoes
1 can vegetable broth
2 cups uncooked pasta (I prefer using Rigatoni)
1 1/2 Tsp. of garlic
1 1/2 Tsp. of oregano
1 Tsp. of thyme
1 Tsp. of salt
1 Tsp. of pepper

I use a slow cooker for this recipe and I would strongly recommend you do as well.

Begin by adding water, onions, potatoes, black beans, pinto beans, green peas, carrots, tomatoes, broth, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper to a slow cooker. Run on high for approximately 7 hours, then add pasta. This time may vary due to your model of cooker. Allow this mixture to cook on high for around 15 to 20 minutes. Check that the pasta has become loose and soft to ensure the stew is ready.

To Freeze:

Let the mixture cool for 20 to 30 minutes in the slow cooker. Have freezer safe containers on hand. Fill only 3/4 of each container with stew. This will ensure you have pre-measured portion sizes on hand. An average family of 4 should have two servings with this method.

Fall Has Arrived: Let’s Stew! (Beef Stew)

beef, beef stew, fall stew

Fall Beef Stew

When the days grow shorter, the weather colder, and trees begin to change the color of their leaves; once I let go of the feeling that summer was not nearly long enough, I begin to revel in the beauty of the season. I begin to think of winter meals.

The onset of colder weather starts me thinking of hearty recipes that taste so good in winter. I like to prepare pork roasts, lamb or beef stew, chicken soup and other filling, comfort-providing foods.

A hearty pot of beef stew is my favorite dish for weekday winter meals.


2 pounds beef stew meat (chuck roast is a good cut to use),
buy it precut, have the butcher cube it for you or cube it yourself

1½ pounds red potatoes, rinsed, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths depending on size or

1½ pounds of baby Yukon gold potatoes - rinsed and halved

1 pound of baby peeled carrots

2 large cans of whole tomatoes, or
an equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes

2 medium onions cut in half and thinly sliced

2 hand-fulls of fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed

1 clove garlic

Dash of allspice or ground cloves.

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

2 to 3 dried bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe takes a little time. The ingredients need to simmer for some time to become tender and the flavors of the ingredients need to meld.

Coat the meat in a half-cup of flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper (I usually put the flour and seasoning in a clean, new, brown paper bag), add the meat and shake.

Sear the cubed meat in a small amount of cooking oil just until brown.
Add the potatoes, chopped onion clove of garlic, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and 1 cup of water or broth. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the fresh vegetables except the tomatoes and beans and cook for 30 minutes, add the green beans and cook for 30 minutes, add the fresh tomatoes if you are using them and cook an additional 30 minutes. If you are using canned tomatoes, add at the end of the cooking process and allow a few minutes for them to heat through. The stew is ready when the meat and vegetables are fork tender.

Remove the bay leaves and garlic clove before serving.

This stew will stay fresh in your fridge for one week; the taste improves with age, or divide it into family size portions and freeze until needed. Defrost and heat gently.

It is a nutritious meal and tastes wonderful. Serve it with warm bread.