Hi!

My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

VEGGIE BEEF STEW: A Healthy Crockpot Comfort Food

VEGGIE BEEF STEW: A Healthy Crockpot Comfort Food

Warning: Adult language

Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.

~~~

Here in the Northeast we have Indian Summers every September. It's always so nice. I love everything about the fall except the cold weather. So when Mother Nature gives us one last jolt of hot weather I make sure that I soak it all in. I relish it because I know in just a few short weeks, I'll be packing away all my summer clothes and getting all of my hoodies out while I whimper and bitch... for the next five months. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who complain about the cold weather. Now I'm not one of those people who complain about the weather for each and every season. I never complain about the heat. I love the heat! The hotter the better. I'm talkin' even those insanely humid days that everyone hates beyond words. I love those days! I know I'm weird. But it can't be too hot or too humid for me. I always joke and say I'm meant to live on the Equator. When everyone else is actually melting into their very own skin puddles, I'm rejoicing! Omg I love it. I know I'm a mental case but I can't help it.

I actually wasn't always like this. It's just been since my weight loss journey. After I lost 120 pounds, I all of a sudden found myself freezing cold all the time. I even went to the doctors for it (yes, it was/is that bad). I thought something was wrong with me. When everyone else around me is wearing shorts and tank tops, I'm still wearing jeans and jackets. The doctors told me it would take about 6-9 months for my hormones to straighten out and my body to adjust to losing such a large amount of weight. I didn't buy this for a second because it took me two years to lose all my weight. It came off very slow and steady so I didn't feel like I shocked my body in any way. Well, it's been over six years since the doctors told me that soooo... I'm pretty sure this is just how I am now. I've come to the acceptance that I'm going to freeze my tits off for the rest of my life... unless I can convince Jay to move to the Equator. I've brought it up a few times. He thinks I'm joking. He also thinks I'm insane. He may actually be onto something with that last one, but shhhh don't tell him. I don't like letting him think he's right too often. Hehe.

My air conditioner in my car broke over two years ago and I refuse to pay the money to get it fixed because I will never turn it on anyway. During the 90-100 degree days all summer, my kids (and everybody else) beg me not to make them ride in my car. My mom flat out refuses. She also hates coming to my house because I never turn on our central AC. It got to the point this summer where we couldn't shut any of our doors inside of our house because the heat and humidity made the door jambs expand. I am not joking one bit. In order to close the front door, you had to back up and then body slam it like you were starring in your very own cop show or some shit. Every time the hubs would go to shut any of the doors, I'd hear him mumble under his breath. I knew it wouldn't be long before I was approached.

Sure enough one day mid-summer Jay sat me down at the dining room table like I was the guest of honor at a friggin intervention. He calmly explained that because of my temperature problem the rest of my family was suffering. He elaborated by explaining that no one feels comfortable visiting our home anymore. Then he reminded me that our children even went to the lengths of making grandma homemade fans so she would come over. He backed up a few feet and then asked me if we could at least start turning the AC on before bedtime. While Jay asked this he was holding his hands out the same way you would towards a dog that was about to attack. I suppose he was preparing to defend himself in case I were to suddenly pounce on him. He explained that he and the girls couldn't sleep at night from having night sweats and being so sticky. Jay backed up a few more feet and asked if I could possibly wear another layer of clothes so that the AC wouldn't make me so cold. I reluctantly agreed to turning on the AC about an hour before bedtime. This would allow the house to cool down enough for him and the girls to fall asleep and stay asleep instead of tossing and turning all night like sweaty sinners in church. So in the dead of summer, I was wearing fleece jammies with fleece socks to bed and had to use TWO fleece blankets. We have an AC vent right above our bed. OMG it is pure torture for my heat-loving bones. I just lay there and shiver.

In addition to having this Temperature Regulation Disorder, I also happen to have a bladder the size of an infant. This causes me to get up during the night to pee. It's usually always around 3:00am. I'm about to tell you a secret. Don't tell my husband. Every time I take my wee hour pee trek to the bathroom, I pass right by the thermostat. Aaaaaand I shut that son of a bitchin' AC off. Shhhh!

Jay gets up at 3:45am every morning for work so by then the house hasn't really warmed up enough for him to notice. Plus he's so tired the last thing he's paying attention to is if the air is on or not. I haven't gotten caught yet. I'll have to keep this article on the DL so I don't out myself.

Okay so what the hell does any of this have to do with Veggie Beef Stew?

Well what I was going to say before I went into this ridiculously long story about my complete and utter body dysfunction was that one of my favorite things about fall is the food. Even though our weather hasn't fully switched over to fall temps yet, I've started craving the cozy comfort foods of the season. Veggie Beef Stew is one of my favorites. Now I must note here that I have about 342 versions of this stew. Believe me, soon enough, you will too. The reason for this is that you can use any combination of veggies. In addition, you can use fresh, frozen, or canned veggies. So basically whatever you have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer is fair game for this dish. Hell, you can even change the meat! Or use no meat at all and make veggie stew instead. This is one of the most versatile meals you can make and it'll become a favorite for all of the colder months to come! You can ransack your kitchen in the morning and throw whatever you have into the crockpot and when you come home, voila! Dinner is served! Of course you can also throw all this stuff in a big pot on your stovetop and cook it that way too, but I'm in love with my crockpot so that's how I always make it.

The recipe I'm giving you today is my favorite version of Veggie Beef Stew, but remember you can play with the ingredients to suit your tastes and make it perfect for your own family's tastes!

I will usually serve this dish with a side of brown rice. My husband absolutely loves it served with buttered Italian bread. Jay and the girls will also sometimes request wide noodles with this stew. I can't do the gluten thing. Gluten makes me sick so the bread and noodles are out for me. The brown rice is what I stick to since it's gluten free. 

Before I go into the recipe, I want to make sure I mention that the adorable pumpkin-shaped carrot slices in my stew were not my idea and I want to give credit where credit is due. I saw this adorable idea on a blog called Little Dairy on the Prairie. I have to say, my daughters are 9 and 12 and they still flipped over the little carrot pumpkins. It was the perfect addition to our very first fall meal. And I'll tell ya something else... after they ate their dinners, they went and picked out more carrot pumpkins out of the stew to eat! It's a good thing I made so much!

The carrot pumpkins are super easy to make! Just cut two parallel lines lengthwise along the top of a carrot. You only need to cut about 1/4" deep.

Then simply cut into slices and make two little cuts on either side of the stem to make your pumpkin shape!

Seriously! How cute are these!

It doesn't take long to make these 'pumpkins' and for how much my girls loved them, they were totally worth the little bit of extra time. My girls love carrots. They've already asked if I could pack these cute little pumpkins in their lunch boxes. Who would've thought something so simple would make my kids want to scarf down veggies all day long?! Thank you, Little Dairy on the Prairie!

Here are some of the pumpkins I cut today. They're going in my daughters' lunch boxes tomorrow. I'll also be packing them some hummus to dip their pumpkins in. Good stuff, man.

{This article contains an affiliate link. See bottom of page for details.}

Okay, are you ready for a cozy fall recipe? It's that time of year again!

HEALTHY VEGGIE BEEF STEW

Printable Recipe

WHATCHU NEED:

  • 2 pounds of Sirloin Beef, cut into small bite-sized pieces (Omit this ingredient if you want to make vegetable stew)
  • 3 cups Bone Broth OR Organic Beef Broth
  • 4 cups Carrots, sliced (fresh, frozen, or canned/drained)
  • 2 cups Green Beans (fresh, frozen, or canned/drained)
  • 2 cups Peas (fresh, frozen, or canned/drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups Corn (fresh, frozen, or canned/drained)
  • 1 cup Celery, diced (2-3 celery ribs)
  • 6 Red Potatoes, diced OR 1-2 large Baking Potatoes
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15oz) Pinto Beans, drained
  • 1 can (8oz) diced Water Chestnuts, drained
  • 1 box (10oz) Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed/drained OR 1 1/2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced OR 1-2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • Himalayan Pink Salt (or sea salt) and pepper to taste *I add these two seasonings after dish is cooked
  • 6 quart Crockpot or larger

 

{Conversion amounts for fresh/frozen/canned are listed after the recipe.}

 

WHATCHU DO:

1. Put broth, meat, and potatoes on the bottom of your crockpot.

I used some of my bone broth from my freezer. It's still in the process of thawing in the pic above. You can certainly buy organic broth in the store and use it in this recipe instead, but I encourage you to make your own bone broth. It is one of the healthiest foods that you can feed your family! Bone broth has dozens of health benefits and it can actually completely heal Leaky Gut Syndrome! Read all about the amazing ways that bone broth can improve your health in my article, "CROCKPOT BONE BROTH: A Healing Elixir"

2. Add all remaining ingredients except spinach,salt, and pepper.

3. Add spinach.

4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours OR on high for 4-5 hours. Stir every few hours if home, but not necessary. 

5. Add salt and pepper to desired taste.

 

~~~

CONVERSION AMOUNTS

4 cups of fresh sliced carrots = 2 (10oz) frozen bags = 2 (16oz) cans

2 cups of fresh trimmed/cut green beans = 1 (10oz) frozen bag = 1 (16oz) can 

2 cups of fresh peas = 1 (10oz) frozen bag = 1 (16oz) can

4 ears of fresh corn = 1 1/2 cups kernels = 1 (10oz) frozen bag = 1 (15.5oz) can

1 1/2 cups of fresh chopped spinach = 1 (10oz) box of frozen chopped spinach

2-3 celery ribs = 1 cup diced

1 small onion = 1/2 cup chopped

1 garlic clove = 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

 

~~~

*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Please Note: The affiliate link provided in this article is for a product that I purchased and use regularly. I did not receive this product free nor was I asked to do a product review.

*Affiliate Disclaimer: Half of Gabby has recently become an Amazon Affiliate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all affiliates to put a disclaimer on their website/blog. Most disclaimers are so filled with confusing lingo that you don’t even understand what they're saying. I’m going to break it down for you the way I'd want it to be broken down for me. I’m not a fan of complicated and unclear regulation jargon. So here’s the dealio. Half of Gabby takes up a tremendous amount of my time. But because I love it so much, I really want to continue dedicating my time to it. For six years now, I have been providing product links to products that I use and love and in turn recommend them to my readers. These products have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or improve my family life. I have helped sell countless products for six years and have never received any commissions… Until now. As of September 15, 2016, I will be providing links just as I've always done, but now will receive a very small commission if you purchase an item through the affiliate link that I provide. An affiliate link is simply a link that brings you to a place where you can buy that product. I will not earn a commission by you simply clicking on the link, you must actually purchase the item(s) within 24 hours of putting it in your Amazon cart. Prices are exactly the same for you if you purchase through an affiliate link on Half of Gabby. You will NOT pay more by clicking through the link. My promise to you is that I will never recommend a product that I don’t fully 100% believe in and/or use myself and recommend to close friends and family. This will allow me to continue working hard on Half of Gabby without it using up time that I need to otherwise dedicate to contributing to my household. I'm happy to be able to continue my blog and to continue talking with, meeting, and helping people all over the world with their health journeys!

AVOCADO & GRAPE CHICKEN SALAD: I Can't Be Stopped!

AVOCADO & GRAPE CHICKEN SALAD: I Can't Be Stopped!

The Shittiest Monday Morning Ever

The Shittiest Monday Morning Ever