Meal Planning Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to pre-cook a main dish on Sunday!
Sometimes we like to pre-cook one or two meals entirely on Sunday for the week, this not only makes meal planning easier but there is little to no clean up required! One of my favourites (taking my toddler a bit longer to warm up) is homemade stew. I used to dread stew as a kid, I preferred soup, and now I am not even sure why I disliked it — delicious, creamy broth, fresh veggies and most often, homemade dumplings! (The dumplings must be made fresh and cooked in the stew before serving.)
There is no way that I could have prepared this delicious stew the moment I walk in the door from a regular work day!
Here is a quick and easy stew recipe!
Ingredients: (Prep 30 mins, Cooking Time 1 1/2 hours)
- Chicken breast (try cooking a whole chicken and use the fresh broth in your stew, relish!) or beef stew meat
- Spanish onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 yellow pepper and 1/2 orange pepper
- 1/2 cup of corn or peas (really your preference)
- 1-2 parsnips
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1/2 cup of squash
- 3 new potatoes (try sweet potatoes (1)! adds a delicious flavour to a filling stew)
- 1 organic tetra of chicken broth (add this to your fresh broth if required)
- 1 tbsp of white flour (or corn starch)
- Seasonings: 1 tsp of parsley, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, 1/2 tsp of sage
1. Saute your onions and garlic, as they start to become translucent add in your chicken or stew meat to brown. The goal is to cook the meat, but not to over cook it. Remember it will also cook in the juices of the veggies and broth.
2. Once the meat is cooked mix about 1/2 tbsp of flour in and just stir the meat and onions to coat. Begin to add the veggies, in no particular order. (5-6 mins)
3. Sometimes, I like to add in the seasonings (really feel to add or remove as you prefer, I try to always use fresh herbs and for the stew try not to allow them to over power the weekly farm fresh veggies that we receive from a local farmer) to with the vegetables so that the cook a little bit before adding the broth. (1-2 mins)
4. Now add your homemade broth, and stir. Allow the stew to reach a boil and then turn temperature down (approximately, between the lowest and medium setting). Allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
So for this step, it was super easy! Stew prepared on Sunday, and all I had to do tonight was complete step 5.
5. Once the stew is cooked (In my case, reheat the stew once hot), add homemade doughboys (comment below if you want the recipe!) to cook in the broth. 10 minutes uncovered and then place the cover on to cook for another 10 minutes. Talk about moist, delicious stew.
NOTE: Depending on where this dish falls into our plans we may just leave it in the refrigerator or freeze it so it can easily be thawed during the day. Also, while I have not tried it with this recipe it may be worth trying it in your slow cooker for the day, once the meat and onions are browned.