Toddler-Approved Family Stew Recipe

Of all the things that would get my 2-year-old excited about potatoes and carrots, I never expected it to be a 50+ year old stew recipe passed down from my husband’s French grandmother.

My typically picky eater actually made audible mmm sounds while eating the potatoes and thanked me. Zut alors!

Here’s my modified version with shortcuts for busy mamas. (I’ll also include the original handwritten recipe from my mother-in-law because it has that extra special je ne sais quo.)

Warning: this recipe takes 3 hours and has lots of flour, butter and potatoes. Mon dieu!

First, make sure to pick up the following ingredients:

-Pre-cubed stew meat (1.5 lbs)

-Pre-washed baby carrots

-2 potatoes

-4 onions (I had red on and, but any will do)



-Low-sodium beef broth

Wondra All Purpose Quick-Mixing Sauce ‘N Gravy Flour


-Salt & pepper

You’ll need a Dutch oven or large pot, plus a sauté pan:

1. Toss the meat in a bag with a few shakes of flour, salt & pepper

2. Brown the meat in half a cube of butter (yep, you read that right) in the main pot

3. Meanwhile, sauté 1.5 cups diced onion; add it to the main pot

4. Add 10.5 oz beef broth, 1.5 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and a whole clove of garlic to the main pot

5. Sauté the remaining diced onions and add to the main pot

6. Bring back to a simmer

7. Add the baby carrots (about 2 cups’ worth) and simmer until tender; which takes about 45 minutes

8. Peel and quarter the potatoes and add to the pot when the carrots are nearly done

9. Simmer for another 45 minutes or so, until tender

10. Salt & pepper to taste

For additional ingredients, here’s the original recipe:

Next up, we’ll try my family’s stew recipe which is more of an Irish-style dish. In either case, it’s good for Sundays so you have leftovers for 1-2 other weeknights.

Hacking Sun Basket for Leftovers

I recently started ordering the family plan from Sun Basket, which provides enough ingredients to make dinner twice for two adults and two children.

This was helpful for providing bigger portions (we nearly eat it all between the two of us) and only having to cook twice was more realistic for my schedule than three times a week.

Even better, I started ordering two of the same recipe and now only have to cook once! We have plenty of leftovers, saving me from cooking or wracking up dishes on another busy weeknight.

(See below for the 8 servings of fajitas we’ll have for dinner two nights this week, and maybe even lunch.)

Get 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket.

Put an Egg on It: Beg, Borrow & Meal Breakfast

Leftover Mexican food provides a deceivingly complex base for sunny side up eggs!

Simply cook the leftovers (in this case, refried beans and half an enchilada) on low and then crack eggs over the top and cook covered until set. All the flavors of the original dish are enhanced by the runny eggs. Tastes fancy, but it’s fuss-free.

One-Pan Leftover Pasta Revival

While I could eat pasta in any form – cold, warm or otherwise – leftovers can be uninspiring as a dinner option for some. Here’s how chicken apple sausage can give previously cooked pasta a new lease on life by providing ample seasoning and one-pan convenience, along with a jar of roasted red peppers.

Sauté sliced chicken apple sausage in olive oil. Using a fork, lift roasted red peppers from the jar and place in pan with sausage. Slice peppers with spatula while cooking, if desired. When both sausages and peppers are warmed through, add leftover pasta and stir to coat.

Beg, Borrow and Meal: Turkey Meatball and Spinach Scramble

Breakfast was a whole lot heartier this morning, with the addition of leftover turkey and banana meatballs from Thursday night and a 50/50 spinach and lettuce blend. There’s nothing like leftovers and expiration dates to inspire some creativity in the kitchen!


Beg, Borrow and Meal

If this succulent roasted chicken was half eaten at the end of your meal, you’d take it home and cook with it, wouldn’t you? No shame in this game!

Half Roasted Chicken @ Los Gatos Brewing Co

It’s perfect as shredded chicken for salad, tacos, burritos, soup, etc. I made chicken salad with shredded carrots, orange zest and olive oil.

Also on the menu? Couscous cakes using leftover couscous and a recipe from Everyday Food. Basically, you mix the leftover couscous with an egg, any herbs you like, and fry them in oil on each side until crispy. Dipping sauce is a must!

Ghosts of Dinners Past

My go-to dinner and multi-night meal when the going gets tough:

1. Burritos with ground turkey (night 1), taco salad (night 2)

Quick and simple: brown a package of ground turkey, add 1 taco seasoning packet (or diced onions for lighter flavor) and water, simmer. Then heat tortillas with wet paper towels, or taco shells, in microwave until pliable (2 minutes). Fill with favorite toppings: shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, black beans, etc.

On the second night, use the leftover meat to make a delicious taco salad with same ingredients, plus salsa or ranch dressing.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Dinner with David – Feb. 19, 2009

I love to cook, but I don’t have a lot of time to plan out my menus (especially during the week). The purpose of this blog is to recap what I throw together on busy weeknights or lax weekends, so I can inspire others and archive my successes.

My debut dinner recipe: Leftover egg noodles (a well-spent $4 from The Pasta Shop, sold at San Francisco’s Ferry Building Farmer’s Market) with sauteed bell peppers (added Wednesday night!) and ground turkey meatballs (added tonight, see below).

I first learned how to make homemade meatballs from Everyday Food and it’s really pretty simple once you learn the principles (ground turkey or beef, bread crumbs, egg). For tonight, I combined:

1 package Foster Farms Ground Turkey – Lean

1 Thomas English Muffin, crumbled by hand

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Topped with:

2 tablespoons, Capellino Pesto Pine Nut Sauce

After combining the first four ingredients in a bowl by hand, I shaped 1-inch meatballs and put them in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. It took about 10-15 minutes of flipping the meatballs until browned throughout, then I mixed them in with the leftover pasta, plus pesto sauce. The result was delicious!

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine