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by Andrea Lynn
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Did you know that a vehicle for healthy and easy dinners is already in your home? Lean cuts of meat, like the boneless bottom round beef roast used in this recipe, are best when cooked slowly over a long period of time, a la the slow cooker. The key is to make sure they are cut into small, bite-sized pieces so they can get meltingly soft. Chop the ingredients the evening before so the only thing you do before dashing out of the house in the morning is plug in the slow cooker.
2 pounds boneless bottom round beef roast or top round beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 (8-ounce) containers sliced white button mushrooms
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup beef broth
1 cup no-fat or low-fat sour cream
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
Cooked egg noodles, to serve
Chopped chives or chopped scallions, to serve
In the bowl of a large slow cooker, add beef, onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir together to combine; then, add in beef broth. Cover with lid and cook on high heat for 5 hours or low heat for 10 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, turn the heat on high setting if it’s not. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and cornstarch; then, stir sour cream mixture into the beef to thicken the sauce. Cover again with lid and cook 20 to 30 minutes. (If still not thickened all the way, it’s ok: just combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons sour cream; stir into mixture and let sit 5 minutes.) Serve over egg noodles with chives or scallions to garnish.
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
Using the leaner pork tenderloin instead of the fat-marbled pork shoulder keeps the flavor without the calories. If you have a large slow cooker, consider doubling the recipe and storing extra shredded pork in the freezer to pull out during a hectic week.
¾ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons mild chili powder (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika or smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds pork tenderloin
Flour or corn tortillas, as needed to serve
Taco toppings like cilantro, avocado cubes, lime wedges, low-fat sour cream, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, chopped lettuce, etc.
In the bowl of a slow cooker, add orange juice and tomato paste. Use a whisk to combine. Add onion. In a small bowl, combine all the spices. Rub spice mixture over the pork tenderloin and add the pork into the slow cooker bowl. Cover with a lid and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Transfer the cooked pork to a bowl—using forks, shred the meat. Serve the meat along with taco topping options and let everyone assemble their own tacos.