The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Family togetherness courtesy of a crock pot

Here's a all-too-familiar scenario:

Dad, Mom, and kids have come home from work and school. Everyone is tired and hungry. Mom gets besieged by everyone else asking the same question. "What's for dinner?" Since Mom, worn out from her day, doesn't feel like cooking, the family either orders pizza delivery or piles into the car to hit the nearest fast food restaurant.

Problem: this "quick and easy" food is loaded with unhealthy substances: fats, too many calories, and chemicals! Also, the family doesn't usually spend much time together when they eat these kinds of meals. And everyone knows that "the family that eats together stays together." (Yes, there are many variations on that theme. *smile*)

There is an easier way for Mom to provide healthy meals that she won't have to slave over: by using the marvelous tool called a crock pot. Using this tool, the previous scenario can be changed into the following scenario.

Dad, Mom, and kids have come home from work and school. Everyone is tired and hungry. Mom gets besieged by everyone asking the same question. "What's for dinner?" Mom, smiling, asks the children to set the table while she adds the final touches to the meal that is already prepared and steaming hot in the crock pot. Everyone gathers at the table to enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal; and both bodies and relationships are nourished during the family dinner.

To aid you on your journey to healthy eating and family togetherness, here is one of my family's favorite crock pot recipes: Tex Mex Crock Stew. It comes from a free week's sample of Leanne Ely's Low Carb Menu Mailer as featured on While the recipe is for a stew, I have tweaked it a little bit to change it into Tex Mex Steak Burritos.

Tex Mex Crock Stew/Steak Burritos

1 lb. steak, cut into cubes for stew or strips for burritos
1 Tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (14.5 oz.) can beef broth
3/4 c. salsa
1 medium bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and cut into thin strips
1 small onion, sliced
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Flour tortillas (if using as burritos)

Sour cream
Chopped cilantro

To cook: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef (half at a time) and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Season with salt and transfer to a crock pot. In the same skillet, combine broth, salsa, bell pepper, onion, and cumin. Bring to a boil, scraping up any bits of meat from the bottom of the pan. Add to crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 hours, on high for 6 hours, or until beef is fork tender. If you want a thicker sauce, drain it into a saucepan and simmer until reduced. To use as a stew, just serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a spoonful of cilantro. To use for steak burritos: place a spoonful of meat on the middle of a tortilla; add lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and other toppings. Roll up.


knowhimwell said...

My husband doesn't usually care for crock pot recipes, but I think he might eat this one. I'll have to give it a try.

Revka said...

My husband doesn't care for most crock pot recipes, either, but he does like this one. Another one he likes is Crock Lasagna. I'll either post the recipe or send it to you.

knowhimwell said...

He's not crazy about pasta either.

Well, time for me to get back to posting the carnival.

Revka said...

Oh, never mind then. :) I hope he enjoys this recipe.

Lisa said...

The recipe sounds really good.