February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer among American men and women, accounting for one out of every four deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As such, February may not seem like the best time to enjoy a hot bowl of beef stew, right? Red meat, with its high levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, is one food many heart health-conscious people stay away from. However, there is such thing as a heart-healthy beef stew. This recipe adapted from the Mayo Clinic goes easy on the meat, but it's loaded with vegetables and that hearty flavor you've come to love.
In about 2 cups, this stew only amounts to 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 85 milligrams of cholesterol. Meanwhile, it has no sugar, fewer than 400 calories and a whopping 78 grams of fiber. The 42 grams of protein are sure to keep you full, too. Serve this tasty wintertime favorite on an especially blustery day. You can pop all the ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning so it's done by dinner time, too.
Heart-Healthy Beef Stew
Ingredients1 pound beef round steak
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet potato
1/2 cup diced white potato with skin
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup diced carrot
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped kale
1/4 cup uncooked barley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 cups low-sodium vegetable or beef stock
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
black pepper, to taste
Grill or broil the steak for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
In a large stock pot, saute vegetables in oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Add barley and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pat the steak dry with a paper towel, then dice it into half-inch pieces. Add this to the pot, then add vinegars, stock, herbs and spices. Bring this mixture to a boil and let cook for 1 hour, until the barley is cooked and the stew has a thick consistency.
If you're making this recipe in a slow cooker, combine raw vegetables, grilled beef chunks and liquids and spices in the pot. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.