January 24, 2013 at 9:37 a.m.
The word bleak describes this time of year all too well. The days have been so overcast and so gloomy that the grayness seems to seep in under the doors and windows. These are perfect conditions for “cabin fever” aren’t they. I have an idea. Let’s make some stew, the browing and braising will take your mind off what’s going on outside. Soon your house will be filled with the wonderful aroma of the simmering stew and there’ll be no room left for the gray! One nice feature of most stews is they can be made ahead and are actually better after mellowing for a day or two in the fridge. Of course it’s stew recipes today...
SPICED BEEF AND BEAN STEW 1 c. diced onion 1 lb. each, ground beef & pork sausage (not ground pork) 1 lb. water 2-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained 1-15 oz. cans each, red kidney beans and tomato sauce 2-6 oz. cans tomato paste 2 T. chili powder 1 T. basil leaves 1 t. each, oregano leaves and pepper 1/4 t. salt - optional 2 T. Dijon mustard 8 oz. uncooked, thin spaghetti (4 1/2 c. cooked) In large skillet cook onions, beef and sausage over medium heat until meat is browned (10-12 min.), stirring frequently; pur off fat. Meanwhile in Dutch oven or larger saucepan, combine rest of ingredients except pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add browned meat. Cook, stirring occasionally until stew is thickened (20-30 min.). Meanwhile, cook spaghetti. Serve stew over spaghetti. Makes six servings. Note: You can also serve the stew without the spaghetti for fewer calories.
SOUTHWEST BEEF STEW 2 lbs., lean ground beef 1 1/2 c. diced onions 2-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained 1-16 oz. pkg. frozen corn, thawed 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 c. picante sauce 3/4 c. water 1 t. ground cumin 1/2 t. each, salt, garlic powder & pepper 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese In a dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in rest of ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Garnish with cheese. Makes 8 servings. Nutritional value: 1-1/3 c. per serving equals 345 calories, 5 g. saturated fat, 45 mg chol., 847 mg sodium, 28 g. carbs., 7 g. fiber.
HEARTY SAUSAGE STEW 1/2 lb. Kielbasa (Polish sausage) 1/2 lb. Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2-in. slices 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium green pepper 3 1/2 c. beef broth 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 c. apple juice (can use water, but more flavor with juice) 1 T. minced fresh parsley 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/4 t. each, dried basil and oregano 4 oz. uncooked rotini pasta In a large saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat for 10-12 min. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain, saving 2 T. drippings. In the drippings saute onion and pepper until crisp-tender. Stir in next seven ingredients, along with sausages. Bring to a boil add pasta. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Makes 4 servings. Note: Serve these stews with a salad and some type of bread and you will have a delicious full meal.
Also, were you aware that two of the recipes have pasta in them? My mom called it “stretchers.” Be sure to take in as many of the Celebration of the Lakes activities as you can this weekend. There is a lot of fun to be had indoors and out. I am going to head for the Chimielewski Band at the Community Center on Saturday to see if I can find someone to dance the polka with me! (Bud doesn’t dance). Thought for the Day: Fall seven times, get up eight!
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