Category Archives: Others’ Recipes

15 Slow Cooker Recipes Using Lean Beef

15 slow cooker recipes featuring lean beef

I love using the slow cooker in these late summer, early autumn months.  When it remains hot in the mid-day sun, but thanks to early morning chill and late evening breezes starting to arrive we’re starting to look towards warm, comforting dinners more often.  Slow cookers and set-it-and-forget-it recipes are the perfect compromise to complete dinner laziness and working hard in the kitchen.  Tools to help you #make1healthydecision even on the days you’d much rather order in and stay planted in front of the TV.

The recipes below all use lean cuts of beef; Lean beef has 10 essential nutrients and is the #1 food source of protein, vitamin B12 and zinc. Beef is a great source of iron, which plays an important role in transporting oxygen through your body. This infographic does a great job of explaining the benefits of lean beef: Beef’s Big 10

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Crockpot Beef on Weck Slider from Healthy Delicious // This recipe is proof you can reach the ultimate medium-rare pot roast perfection with the help of your crockpot. Paired with a kitchen-hack for the ages: store bought Italian bread dough turned slider rolls. The semi-homemade way to up your party platter game, if you ask me.

Shredded Beef with Red Cabbage Slaw from Food Fash // A thick, flavorful stock reduction takes this shredded beef recipe to the next level. Paired with a beautiful red cabbage slaw for a picture-perfect plate of delicious.

Slow Cooker New England Pot Roast from Andie Mitchell //  A classic Dinner with a capital-D, pot roast dishes like this bring my taste buds back to the days of home cooked, leave the table full, kind of meals. You know those dinner plates – with meat, and apotato, and vegetable, and grain, and a glass of milk, too. Andie uses this as a favorite easy “throw-together” meal, and I can totally see myself making this to use up the root vegetables taking over my fridge come fall.

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Crockpot Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Beef from Cotter Crunch // Say “aloha” to this freezer-friendly crock pot dish full of flavor and nutrition-packed ingredients! Super simple, mixing the deliciousness of pineapple, apple cider vinegar, red pepper, red onion, honey and of course, tasty lean beef. This dish is PALEO friendly, too.

Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket from Real Mom Kitchen // After my 5-year stint in Texas during my twenties, I have an understandable love of BBQ brisket. I can still remember my first real smoke house experience; old picnic tables lending to cafeteria style seating, napkins piled high on each table, all the pickles and white bread you could ask for, and that dreamy, gritty, delicious smoky aroma. I try to grab a plate of BBQ at least once every time I’m in the South, comparing sauces from state to state. This simple slow cooker recipe from Laura reminds me that I can easily make myself a plate at home, too. I think we may need to have a sauce tasting contest to find our favorite for at-home BBQ nights. Any recommendations?

Slow-Cooked Whiskey-Molasses Shredded Beef from Beef It’s What’s for Dinner // A classic cowboy friendly shredded beef recipe tossed with a whiskey-molasses BBQ sauce and paired with a carrot apple slaw. Get inspired to level-up the freggie creativity in your slaw by substituting pears, celery, cabbage or bell peppers.

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Crockpot Shredded Beef Barbacoa from Uproot from Oregon via The Lean Green Bean //  A Chiptole Copy-Cat recipe perfect for your weekend meal prep. Turn a pot full of beef into a week of Bring Your Fiesta to Lunch Break deliciousness with a rotation of burrito bowls, nachos, and taco salads all featuring this Crockpot Shredded Beef.

Slow Cooked Pulled Mexican Beef from Bran Appetit // You can easily transform Brandi’s oven recipe to your favorite crock pot.  Simply brown the roast, onions and garlic as instructed, then transfer to your slow cooker along with the salsa, broth and beer.  Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours and you’ll be met with the same rich, tender beef as Brandi achieved from her oven roasting.

Slow Cooker Spicy Tex Mex Beef Fajitas from MJ and Hungryman // Another reminder of the deliciousness of Texas!  These spicy fajitas are the perfect fiesta for two, topped with onions, peppers, cheese and of course, GAUCAMOLE!

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Crockpot Taco Chili from Ari’s Menu // A Taco Tuesday approved twist on chili, this creamy pot of yum makes a terrific weeknight dinner. A bowl of this taco chili is warm and comforting while remaining healthy. This is a Food Prep win: make a batch for dinner one night, and gift yourself a few days of leftover lunches.

Scrumptious Slow Cooker Chili from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life // Courtney’s favorite chili recipes raises the bar by using trimmed lean top round in place of commonly used ground beef. This is a hearty slow cooker dish which can be served with your favorite bakery bread or corn muffins.

Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup from Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life // A traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner gets the soup treatment. Start the corned beef in the slow cooker overnight, then add all the veggies and herbs the next morning to meld together all day long. Now that’s serious slow cooking.

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Slow Cooker Korean Shredded Beef with Creamy Asian Broccoli Slaw Quesadilla Style from Heather’s Dish // A tasty Asian-fusion inspired recipe you can whip up in NO time at all. You can use the beef in a bunch of different ways, but Heather’s choice of going quesadilla style is totally up my ally.

Slow Cooker Steak Stuffed Collard Rolls from Amee’s Savory Dish // A Southern classic healthified with a collection of whole foods. Lean beef, greens, tasty tomatoes and whole grains make this quite the well rounded dinner dish.

Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli from Six Sister’s Stuff // Take a stab at DIY Take Out Night with this healthy version of a Chinese take-out staple: Beef and Broccoli. Going the slow cooker route makes it super simple without sacrificing the umami collaborative that this combo of flavors delivers. #Make1HealthyDecision by choosing reduced sodium products [like soy sauce and broth] whenever available.

 

If you are interested in learning more about using beef and raising your kitchen confidence:

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff.

Cool Your Summer Down with DIY Ice Pop Making

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Blue Diamond.  I’ve been choosing Blue Diamond at my local markets for several years now, long before I became part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program.

Last month I was sharing a whole bunch about the new-to-me Blue Diamond deliciousness.  Honestly, I have been really impressed with all the new products and flavors that Blue Diamond has been rolling out over the past several months.  The flavors are bolder and better than I expect before tasting them, the protein content in the nut-thins hit my happy spot, and adding some coconut to the deliciousness of Almond Breeze is a flavor combo I’ll never complain about.

In terms of impressing me, the newest fresh-to-the-shelves product I’ve received to review has been no different: Hint of Honey Vanilla Almond Breeze Almondmilk. It’s rich and creamy with a slight sweetness that rounds out the flavor perfectfully.  I’ve tried it latte-style with the help of my Mr. Coffee Latte, to thin out my post-workout smoothies, and as a substitute for water in my morning oats.  I’ve also used the honey-delicious-AlmondBreeze in an ice pops recipe I share below because I’m all about the cooling-down these days.

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I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in the CDNY it seems that we’ve skipped right over spring and headed straight for early summer.  We have one window unit air conditioner at the apartment, which we keep in the bedroom because sleeping well is a top priority for my overall health.  This means all the other rooms of THS HQ can double as a hot yoga studio, even when the oven remains in the off position. [Let’s not talk about what it feels like when I dare to turn it to the on position, okay?]

All in all, though, it’s not THAT bad.  Maybe it’s the several years spent on the gulf coast of Texas, but even the hottest days here in NY seem incredibly bearable, especially with all the best tools to my disposal.  I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so I can always cool down via hydration.  The back porch is a fantastic spot to spend some time when the air near my computer feels stale.  My go-to at-home summer wardrobe = a running skirt and a tank, hair in messy bun on top of my head, and occasionally a BAMR band.

Another cool-down tool I’m swearing by these days are treats coming from the freezer.  I’ve been making smoothies more regularly than ever before in my life and recently realized that I could easily turn all my favorite smoothies into ice pops with the help of my dollar store plastic mold.  The steps are SO EASY and the outcome is well worth the [very little] effort.

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Destination Beach Vacation Ice Pops
I love island-flavor freezer pops for closing my eyes and imagining the heat I’m feeling is because I’m enjoying a moment of R&R on a beach vacation. 

Ingredients:

The steps are simple:

  • Fill a single serve [16 ounce] smoothie cup with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and coconut.  Slowly add Almond Breeze to fill line on cup.
  • Blend into smoothie-like consistency.
  • Pour or spoon into mold and add sticks or plastic holders.
  • Freeze for several hours until firm.

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Frozen Pops Recipes to Cool Down with This Summer
With the addition of honey in many of these recipes, I feel especially kitchen-confident subbing in the Hint of Honey Almond Breeze Almond Milk for my own freezer creations! 

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Lime Pina Colada Popsicles from Back to Her Roots. Another tropical vacation straight from my apartment freezer? Yes, please!

Vanilla Peach Pops from Love and Lemons. Who would turn down a classic flavor combo like peaches & cream?

Key Lime Pie Ice Pops from Freutcake. Pie turned pop?  I can get down with that.  I love the gram cracker outer crust on these beauties.

Papaya Coconut Popsicles from Floating Kitchen. I love the look of a layered freezer treat – so gorgeous!  And papaya and coconut are another imagine-yourself-watching-the-waves flavor combination to embrace this summer.

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Bumbleberry Chia Pops from The Healthy Everythingtarian. This advice from my girl Holly in this post pretty much sums up life for me: “Wherever you are at, be there. Push forward. Eat popsicles.”

Blueberry Lemon Popsicles from Try Anything Once Culinary. High School Heather fell for berry flavored lemonade at chain restaurants and I’ve never stopped being a fan of the partnership sweet berries and sour citrus.  These pops make me dream of another favorite summertime treat, Lemon Ice from Culver’s.  Yummmmmmmmmmmm.

Summertime Dessert Banana Berry Acai Popsicles from Lauren Lives Healthy. I totally agree with Lauren that the best way to beat the heat come summertime are frozen treats. These antioxidant boosted treats will totally do the job in my book.

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Green Smoothie Protein Pops from Eating Bird Food. These seem like a great post-workout cool down treat if you ask me!

Almond Coconut Fudgesicles from Bliss N Balance.  Almond + coconut + fudge = my favorite mini-candy bar treat – an Almond Joy!  I’m digging this flavor combo!

Pineapple Mint Popsicles from Fitnessista. Pineapple Mojitos are one of my favorite hot weather cocktails, and these ice pops fall right in-line with those flavors.

Watermelon Whole Fruit Popsicles from Nutrition by Angelique. These freezer treats are made with 100% fruit, using puree, slices and chunks.  What a great way to amp up your fruit servings during the hot summer months!

Get Your Dip On [with Blue Diamond Nut Thins]

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

Did you listen to the 2nd episode of our #ProteinPartners #ProteinChallenge series of the Sound Bites Podcast?  Melissa and I were chatting about the goal to get 25-30 grams of protein at each meal and that one strategy I have been using to get there is adding up the little things.

I’m a snacker, a muncher, a fill-your-plate-with-two-bites-of-everything-er, and it’s not uncommon for me to play the snack game when it comes to meal time.

For example, my favorite office snack plate lunch might get a boost in the protein department thanks to adding a serving of almonds and some cheese and/or deli meat to my lunch pack. But what I really think helps me get to the “goal zone” protein wise is being choosey on the items in my lunch that doesn’t always add protein in the meal.  I’ve been seeking out the types of these foods that do have a few grams of protein in a serving; being picking with my crackers, veggies, spreads and dips.

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Which explains while I was uber-stocked when I looked at the back of the box of Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins I received as part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program and saw that a serving of these crackers brings in 3 grams of protein.  These are delicious, with a slightly nutty taste adding a depth of flavor regular ole crackers just don’t offer. I’ve been eating them smeared with peanut butter and preserves, served with salsa and shredded cheese – nacho style!, and as a device of getting spinach artichoke dip into my mouth on the double. SO TASTY!!

Blue Diamond Nut Thins come in a slew of flavors to boot! I’ve already started the hunt for some of the Artisan, cheese and honey thins in my local markets.

16 Dips to Share this Summer

I’ve also been on the hunt for dishes to share with friends on our deck this summer and dips and spreads are topping the list.  Here are a bunch of recipes I’m itching to make [and eat!] at THS HQ.

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Caprese Dip from Amee’s Savory Dish. My pal Amee calls this stuff crack dip and I can’t blame her!  There is a local Italian place, Johnny’s that has the most DELICIOUS caprese salad with made fresh daily mozzarella that is simply amazing and reading through this recipe has my mouth watering in the same way as that local favorite.  I need to get some basil plants for the porch STAT to help make this dip a regular thing in my life.

Honey Goat Cheese Spread from Ari’s Menu. There was a point in time that I “wanted a goat” as a pet for the pure intention of more goat cheese in my life. Thus, this speaks to me.

Easy Layered Dip with Sweet Potatoes from MJ and Hungryman. I am CRAZY about sweet potatoes and try to use them in my meal plan every week.  The sweet potato spin on a classic like layer dip is something I can totally get behind.

Pesto White Bean Dip from Koko’s Kitchen.  Pesto lovers unite! Loving this dip for the protein power packed in the white kidney beans, too.

The Best Vegan Buffalo Dip (not pictured) from Zeelemons. I’ve been fortunate to taste this dish made by Jona and she’s not lying – it’s DELICIOUS. I’m a fan of the non-vegan buffalo dips, too [this one is my go-to: Iowa Girl Eat’s Buffalo Chicken Dip] which made the yum-tastic level of this dish even more impressive, in my opinion.

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Corn Guacamole with a Zing from Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.  I love recipes from Amanda because she keeps it simple but never skimps on flavor.  I’ll take a bowl of this with a margarita, please!

Single Serving 5-Minute Taco Dip from More Than Just Dessert. Taco dip is a Midwestern MUST for any party, and I love that Emily made it nice and simple for me to make for myself any darn time I want. WIN!

Creamy Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Dip from The Wannabe Chef.  I’ve never met an Evan recipe I didn’t like and since feta does, in my honest opinion, make everything “betta,” I’m all about this one for my next party platter. I love a dip that works well with both veggies and crackers, don’t you?

Healthy Caramelized Onion Dill Dip from Chicago Jogger. Is there an ingredient more wonderful than the caramelized onion? It’s definitely one of the most favorites in the THS Kitchen and pairing it with dill makes this dip hit the very top of my “To Make ASAP” list.

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Spicy Avocado Dip from Alma’s Days. This dip looks delicious in the photo and I love Denise’s idea of pairing it with cocktail shrimp to compliment the Old Bay flavoring in the dip.

Zesty Carrot Dip from A Fit & Spicy Life. A nutrient packed veggie dip that hits the vegan, gluten free and paleo check boxes makes this dish super party-with-your-health-pals friendly.

Chocolate Party Dip from The Wannabe Foodie.  I’ve made this dip before and think it would be especially delicious with the Pecan Nut Thins that I’ve been hunting for at the market ever since I saw them on the Blue Diamond website.

Garlic Greek Olive Hummus.  I haven’t made hummus in FOREVER and this needs to change immediately.

Clean and Simple Black Bean Dip (not pictured) from Treble in the Kitchen. This dip would pair perfectly with the Spicy Avocado Dip above. Let’s have a fiesta!

 

What is your favorite dip or spread to share with friends?