An expert chef, I am not. I do believe I’m getting better at putting meals together from scratch and making them taste, not just edible, but good. I want myself and my family to be healthy, so I try to incorporate healthy ingredients and avoid processed foods when cooking.
My beef, lentil, and veggie soup recipe makes about 4 servings, but you can easily double or triple it. Soup tastes great as leftovers and freezes well. Also, the ingredients are easy to tweak, add, or delete.
I also have an obsession with my Crock-pot and like to break it out for meals at least twice a week!
- 6 oz beef (roast or steak)
- 14.5 oz can beef broth
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup kidney beans
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 large onion bulbs
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup kale
- 1 tsp chili sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Soak kidney beans overnight or for at least 3-4 hours. Add soaked and rinsed beans to slow cooker.
Step 2: Brown the beef in a pan on the stove top. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over top. Once browned, add beef to slow cooker. I added the juices from the pan, but to be healthier, just leave it out.
Step 3: Chop your carrot, onions, and celery into bite-size pieces and add to slow-cooker.
Step 4: Crush or chop your garlic cloves and add to pot.
Step 5: Add broth, water, chili sauce, fish sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
Step 6: Set slow-cooker on High for 3 hours.
Step 7: At about 2 1/2 hours, rinse lentils and kale and add both to cooker for the last 30 minutes.
Step 8: When the veggies, beans, and lentils are soft or al dente (depending on your preference), add salt and pepper to taste.
Do you have a slow-cooker? What’s your favorite meal to make?
If you’ve been following my cooking posts, you know that I try to break my Crock-Pot out at least twice a week. I’m always looking for new recipes for one-pot meals. It’s been years since I had Shepherd’s Pie, so I can’t say that this recipe is authentic, but I found it quite tasty and will be making it again.
The Shepherd’s Pie recipe takes a little more work than my usual slow-cooker meals, but wasn’t too bad at all. I’d say the most time-consuming part was peeling and mashing the potatoes.
I tweaked the recipe slightly, cause that’s what I do. 🙂 Seriously though, I do like to use what I have on hand.
- 4 potatoes
- 1/3 cup cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 small bag frozen mixed vegetables
To begin, I pierced each potato several times with a fork before I popped them in the microwave. I turned the potatoes over after about 8 minutes and cooked them for 15 minutes total.
In the meantime, I chopped the onion up and sautéed them in olive oil in a frying pan on the stove top. After they became translucent, I added the garlic and let them cook for about 30 more seconds.
Next, I added the ground beef and chopped it up as it cooked and browned. When the meat is cooked through, stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and about 1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper.
Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch in a cup of water, then add to the pan. Keep stirring and let the mixture thicken a little. Then remove from heat.
In the meantime, my potatoes had cooled, so I peeled them and mashed them with the cream and butter. Next, I added salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the meat/sauce mixture into the bottom of the slow cooker. Then layer the frozen veggies on top. The original recipe only called for 1 cup of frozen veggies, but this didn’t seem enough to me. If I’m making a one-pot meal, I want there to be plenty of veggies to make it healthier. I added an entire small bag.
Finally, layer the mashed potatoes on top.
My Crock-Pot gets to a high temperature very quickly, so I set mine for about 2.5 hours on low.
The first time I made this, I followed the original recipe and set my Crock-Pot on low for three hours. When I turned the cooker off, the potatoes were getting crusty on the edges and sticking to the pot. Another way to solve this possibly would be to spray the inside of the cooker with Pam or another non-stick spray, before adding the food. (Or smearing butter…butter’s always tasty.)
It was simple and inexpensive! It could be made even healthier too, by using skim milk instead of cream and leaner ground beef. It was a hit with hubby, so I’ll be making this again. You can view the original recipe here.