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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

classics

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.

sweetbites

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.

fiesta

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!

soupsandchilis

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.

trysomethingnew

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.

When Mr. Coffee Latte Met Almond Breeze

Way back in 2012, I participated in a “Coffee Before it was Cool” campaign in which I got to review the then new to the market Mr. Coffee Latte machine.  You can read my full pro/con review of the machine at that link, but to sum it up – the machine is cool.  It makes frothy, warm beverages in a jiffy with very little effort on my part, which as the laziest person in the kitchen makes me incredibly happy.

Since writing the review, my love for the machine seems to have grown.  I know that if our machine were to stop working, I would very likely purchase myself a new one.  I’ve gifted a Mr. Coffee Latte machine as gifts to friends 3 times over the past few years. They typically retail from $60 – $100, but I have found them on sale for as low as $40. [They are currently on sale with free shipping on the Mr. Coffee site for $68.99]

AlmondBreeze1

Recently as part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program, I was gifted some unsweetened Almond Breeze to use at home.  I knew right away I wanted to give my Mr. Coffee Latte machine the opportunity to froth up some delicious warm beverages with the Almond Breeze.

I have been a fan of Almond Breeze for several years now. We use dairy milk in our home, too, but there are some things I prefer to use almond milk for in our kitchen. When I’m buying almond milk I almost always go for Almond Breeze. It’s usually the most reasonably priced and I know and trust that I will enjoy the taste of the product.

I use almond milk most often in baking, blending it into soups, and most definitely in warm beverages.  I love that Almond Breeze can be subbed for the “milk” or “water” with any uber-convenient drink mixes to make a rich, almondy-delicious and bonus! – nutritious! – beverage.  I’ve been enjoying a variety of easy, Almond Breeze pairings on cold nights over the past few weeks with the help of my Mr. Coffee Latte machine, but you could easily heat on the stovetop and whisk your ingredients together, or use a handheld frother like this one to add that frothy element to your beverages: Aerolatte Milk Frother

Here are 2 of the Almond Breeze pairings that we loved the most so far!

almond breeze maple chai

Almond Breeze Maple Chai, served alongside Maple Donuts

16 ounces Unsweeted Almond Breeze
+ 4 Tablespoons David Rio Maple Moose Chai Mix
Heat and froth and pour and enjoy!

Can’t find Maple Chai Mix near you?  Try a regular Chai mix and blend in a bit of maple syrup!

abpeperminthotcoco

Godiva Peppermint Almond Breeze Hot Chocolates, I shared the recipe for this mug of double deliciousness on my Instagram account the night that I made it. 

16 ounces Unsweetened Almond Breeze
+ 1 packet Godiva Hot Cocoa Mix
+ 1 splash peppermint coffee syrup [amount to your liking]
Heat and froth and pour and top with
+ marshmallows
+ crushed candy canes
+ a peppermint stir stick
and enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Easy, Flavorful Beef Fajita Recipe & Gaining Beef Confidence in the Kitchen

open faced fajitas

I’ve mentioned recently that I’ve been working as part of the Beef Expert Bureau funded by the Beef Checkoff.  In our partnership, I get to share with them all I’m learning and experiencing through blogging and social media and they get to share with me all they are learning and experiencing through working with beef.  There is so much interesting research out there and I’ve been really lucky for all which the opportunities working with the Beef Checkoff over the past several years has rewarded me.

One major benefit from getting familiar with the resources that Beef It’s What for Dinner offers is gaining major confidence in the kitchen.  One of my favorite resources from the beef team is the Interactive Beef Counter, which I’ve raved about on this blog and via social media many, many times before.  I use it myself ALL of the time when preparing for trips to the grocery store or meal planning. It comes in handy to decode cuts of beef in recipes I want to make or that show up in sales ads.  Did you know that some types of beef go by different names depending on the region you live in?  The “Also Known As” listing on each cut’s definition is extremely helpful, as is the recommended cooking methods listed for each cut.

I’ve been looking for the best resources for becoming a better home cook on my own.  I am a regular old kitchen “newbie” turned “practice makes better” who still calls her mother when she doesn’t know where to find something in the grocery store and finds solace in the fact that Google is always just a few clicks away to decode any direction found on cookbook pages and blog recipes.

Through my work with the Beef Checkoff I’ve received hands-on demonstrations on butchering, participated in discussions about shopping smart and keeping beef affordable for my family, studied research behind the nutritional benefits of lean beef, and as the photo below shows, worked my indoor grilling magic with the help of a handful of culinary professionals who I leaned on for guidance and tips along the way.
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Cooking in the Beef Kitchen was one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done, and I totally wasn’t expecting to be so wigged out.  Rationally, I knew there was no reason to be nervous, but boy-oh-boy, I couldn’t shake the “feeling like a fraud” anxiety.  Instructions I would normally read in my home kitchen and jump to starting without hesitation suddenly left me second guessing what my next move was.  I asked Erin, the brilliant lady behind the Mouthful blog, one question after another, after another.  Occasionally I found myself next to Chef Dave, taking in his pointers, learning I’ve been holding a knife wrong my entire adulthood.

In the end, we had created a delicious dish to share with the room: Zesty Moroccan Grilled Beef and Eggplant.  I picked up a bit of knowledge along the way; for instance as your cooked beef sits in the open air over time a redness will return to the center of meat due to change in oxidation. This is why it’s best to serve your dish very soon after slicing.

After my confidence growing experience in Denver with indoor grilling, I started pulling our electric countertop grill out for dinner a couple of times a week.  One of my favorite dishes to make is fajita toppings.  I go a bit crazy with the amount of peppers and onions I cook up, which I find stretches the meal into extra servings.

before

This recipe is a great way to put on-sale steak from the butcher counter to use!  I’m obsessed with this marinade and have been making it every few weeks since first writing it out 3 months ago.

Fajitas1

My Favorite Fajitas

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
2 T Worcestershire
1/4 cup lime juice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet low sodium fajita mix
1 T brown sugar

1 – 1.5 lbs top sirloin or top round steak
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 package button mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 small bell peppers, thinly sliced [I like to aim for the rainbow and tend to use one of each color pepper sold at my market: green, yellow, orange, and red.]
olive oil for pan grilling

Instructions

Place first 6 ingredients in a plastic container with a lid.  Shake to mix.

Set steak in appropriate sized plastic container for refrigerator storage.  Pour half of the combined sauce over the top of the steak.  Flip steak and gently shake uncovered to coat meat in sauce.  Top with a small handful of each sliced onions, mushrooms and peppers, cover and give a gentle toss to lightly coat.

Add remaining sliced mushrooms, onions and peppers to the plastic container containing the remaining half of sauce. Cover and toss to coat.  Place both plastic containers in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to over night.

marinade

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil.  Once heated add veggies, not forgetting those in the steak container, too.  Cook for several minutes, being sure not to move around in the skillet too often, allowing to caramelize.  When you’ve reached your desired level of caramelization, add to dish and cover lightly to keep warm.

Turn the heat on the grill pan up to high and drizzle again.  Cook the meat for 2-3 minutes per side, until medium rare – registering 145 degrees internal temperature. [Here’s a great resource about determining beef doneness if you’re interested] Remove steak from pan and tent with foil, allowing to rest for 5-7 minutes.

Slice immediately before serving on your favorite tortillas, topping with sour cream and salsa of your choice.

Easy Flavorful Beef Fajitas

One of the best things about this recipe is that with one steak, I get several meals.  I usually buy a piece of meat between 1 and 2 pounds, and because a serving of beef is about 3 ounces of cooked meat (which is about 4 ounces of raw) and my including extra onion and peppers, my fajita fillings ends up being 7-10 servings in total.  I use the leftovers for breakfast hash or tacos, in salads with tortilla strips at lunch, on a pizza or simply a second evening of fajitas for an easy weeknight dinner.

fajitas