Let's talk portion control for a minute. Even though some of these recipes are lower in fat and calories that other versions, you still need to watch how much you would eat at one sitting. I like to make sure that half of my meal is vegetables. I don't want/need to eat more than 1 cup of a particular veggie at a time, (unless it is a big salad), so that's why I like to cook two or three different ones. And if you cook them with little to no oil, then they are VERY low in calories. Then 1/4 of the plate is meat, 1/4 or less is starch. That's how I maintain portion control with these dishes.
Back to the beef...I started looking for crockpot ideas with london broil, a cut of beef shoulder, since I had one in the freezer. London broil is a very lean cut of meat, so it often has the bad reputation of being tough if not cooked properly. I always had it marinated and grilled growing up, but this is a great alternative for tender meat on a cold, snowy, or rainy day. I came across this recipe idea http://allrecipes.com/recipe/london-broil-for-the-slow-cooker/detail.aspx but it had canned soup and that's not exactly part of the Healthy Home Revolution. So I decided to just cook up something on my own.
It was delicious!!! The beef was falling apart tender, it had great flavor, and the gravy was amazing. Served with lightened up mashed potatoes, peas, roasted asparagus, and roasted brussel sprouts, it made for a meal I will crave again. Total comfort food, with the fat and calories trimmed.
Crockpot Beef with Mushroom Gravy
An original recipe inspired by classic comfort food
2 lbs of London Broil, or beef shoulder steak, all fat trimmed
2 cups of beef broth or beef stock (I have this organic beef base that you mix with water from Whole Foods)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used my garlic press)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, cut in half and them sliced
2 - 8 oz pkgs of sliced portabella mushrooms (16 oz total)
Place the steaks on the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Place the sliced onions and mushrooms on top and pour the beef broth over that.
|Steaks with seasonings|
|after I added the other ingredients|
|After only 3 hours the mushrooms cooked down so much|
|And the final product - lots of yummy broth.|
Cooking note: There are three ways to thicken up the liquid and I consider all to be healthier than store bought canned soup: make a roux, a cornstarch slurry, or use arrow root. Either way, the first two methods are based on a 1 to 1 ratio, either 2 T oil/butter to 2 T flour, or 2 T cornstarch to 2 T water. The only difference is that you make a roux over the heat, then add the liquid (I gave details to that approach above). With a cornstarch slurry, pour the cooking liquid in a pan and bring to a boil. Mix up the slurry, then add the slurry to broth continuing to boil. Continue to cook until thickened. This is traditional used in Asian sauces, but I've seen it used in other sauces and gravies instead. I have absolutely no experience with arrow root, but I've seen Giada use it in a few recipes.
|Our sides: asparagus, brussel sprouts, peas, and mashed potatoes|
|The plate before the mushroom gravy...|
|And with the mushrooms gravy. Yummy!|