Vegetables are healthy to eat and add great flavor to crockpot meals, especially crockpot beef stew. Tomatoes, corn, green beans, potatoes, and onions are common to most of us. Not so common are some unusual vegetables that make nutritious add-ins. Make it easier to get your family to eat the foods resulting in a healthier lifestyle.
Turnips are usually white inside, with rough leaves having a hairy appearance. They grow best in cool weather. Turnips have been a popular root vegetable for thousands of years, because they are easy to grow nearly anywhere. The leaves have more nutritional value than the turnip itself. Both the leaves and the root are good to use in soups, stews, and salads.
A hybrid of the turnip is the rutabaga, generally yellow on the inside, with smooth leaves, almost like a cabbage. It is also a cool-weather grown vegetable, and takes longer to maturity than the turnip. It holds texture better than the turnip when cooked, and is more nutritious. Although it is a staple crop in northern Europe, it has never caught on as a popular vegetable in North America. It is grown in North America in low quantities and sold in produce markets and sections.
Parsnips are a root vegetable related to carrots and celery. Sweeter than the carrot, parsnips have a carrot appearance, but are closer to a creamy white color than orange. They can be eaten cooked or raw. Some people mash them, like potatoes, or roast them. They are another cool weather plant. When allowed to stay in the ground until late fall when it turns cold, the starches turn to sugars. Select parsnips as you would carrots, buying them crispy and firm. Limp parsnips are like limp carrots: they are not the best choice. Large parsnips are overgrown, so choose small and medium. When peeled, parsnips turn dark as they are exposed to air, just like potatoes. They are good in salads, soups, and stews.
Swiss Chard is a root vegetable primarily grown for the shiny green leaves. The stalks are slightly bitter at maturity, but lose the bitterness as cooked. Young leaves are great when used raw in salads. It looks quite a bit like spinach, and indeed cooks down like spinach. It is a member of the beet family. Chard is one of the Slow Foods. The nutritional value is incredibly high.
Beef and vegetables go together, with the flavors blending dramatically to make a fragrant, tasty main dish. Start this in the crockpot before you leave for work and enjoy a delicious meal when you arrive home. Fall is the perfect time to brush up on your stew-making skills and crockpots makes that easier than ever.
- 1 pound stew meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in small pieces
- 1 package stew seasoning
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- Celery leaves from stalks, rinsed and cut
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pound carrots washed and sliced. Peeling is optional
- 1 can tomato soup
Mix the water and stew seasoning together. Put the meat in the bottom of the dish, and add the vegetables.
Mix the soup with the seasoned water, blending well. Pour it over the vegetables and beef. Cook on low heat for 10 hours. Add water if needed.
A lot of favorite recipes are suitable for slow cooking and if you enjoy a ready meal when you get home, you might like to see more easy crockpot beef stew recipes which combine fresh produce and other quality ingredients for amazing results.