Nutrient dense, healthy meals include vegetarian proteins, such as soy, legumes, nuts, seeds and other nutrient-rich plant foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. And, healthy meal plans limit sugar and excess salt.
Eat Better by Planning Ahead
Planning ahead enables individuals and families to prepare healthy balanced meals. A 2 1/2 lb. piece of beef chuck yields high quality protein for several meals depending on the size of your family. And, although chuck is not considered a lean cut, a lot of the excess fat seen marbled throughout the beef will dissolve into the cooking liquid and can later be strained out. The reduced fat beef broth can be made into gravy.
Crock-pot slow cooking allows for home cooked meals when you are busy at work or busy at home. Leftover pot roast can be frozen for use in other recipes such as: Black Bean Chili, Cottage Pie, Fajitas, Tacos and roast beef sandwiches.
Look for quality beef that is antibiotic and hormone free.
- A 3-ounce serving of beef provides 26 grams of protein plus essential nutrients, including iron, B vitamins and zinc.
- Evenly distributing daily protein intake at meals and snacks throughout the day (~20 to 30g/meal) helps maintain a healthy body weight and support a healthy metabolism.
2 1/2 lbs. boned Beef Chuck (we cooked USDA Choice*)
fresh ground black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 carrots, cut into thirds
2 celery sticks, cut into thirds
1 hot pepper (we used one thin Thai pepper)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (I used dehydrated)
3 bay leaves (grow your own tree!)
4 sprigs Italian parsley
few thyme sprigs (optional)
3 cups water
few twists fresh grated black pepper
3 cups broth from crock-pot after meat is cooked (strain fat)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
Salt and black pepper
Putting it all together
- Sear the beef to add flavor - brown the outside. If your crock-pot is small like ours, cut the beef in half before searing so it fits. Sear each piece separately. Heat a large cast iron skillet* over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom of skillet. Have a splash guard ready to prevent splatter. Add meat just long enough to brown the outside and not cook the meat. Use a spatula and turn to brown the other side. Remove and place beef directly into crock pot set on low.
- Drain any excess oil from skillet.
- In skillet, brown carrots and onion. Add water, bay leaves, garlic and pepper. Turn off heat and stir to scrap up any brown bits on bottom.
- Remove veggies to crock pot and ladle in liquid and cover.
- Braise the beef by slow cooking until very tender when pierced with a fork - about 8 hours.
- Separate solids from liquid in crock-pot. I use tongs to put meat on a plate; strain the broth into a pot separating the cooked veggies. Pour into a gravy fat separator. Allow to rest while the fat floats to the top.
- In a clean pot, melt butter. Stir in flour. Stir in Worcestershire. Add broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste; stir. Simmer, uncovered about 5-10 minutes.
- Return gravy to crock-pot with beef and carrots; keep warm until ready to slice and serve.
* USDA Beef Grades include Choice and Select.
GardenCuizine Pot Roast Nutrition Data beef only: serving size 3 ounces (85g) - Calories 257; Protein 26g; total fat 16g (25% DV); Saturated fat 6.5g (32% DV); Monounsaturated fat 7g; Sodium 42 mg; Niacin 3.6 mg (18% DV); Vitamin B12 1.9mcg (31% DV); Iron 2 mg (12% DV); Zinc 6 mg (40% DV); Selenium 24 mcg (34% DV)
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