Crock Pot Beef and Barley Stew

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Oh no… I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into once this glorious dish was done. The smell filled my house and the last hour of cooking before it was done was something close to torture. It was amazing.

The barley serves as a natural thickener for this stew. It turns the stew into this beefy, flavorful, and wonderful thing. You’ll be going back for seconds and can have leftovers for lunch.

The best part is that it’s worth the prep. If you don’t like chopping vegetables, this one will be one that’s worth it in the end.

I chose to put this on high for 4 to 5 hours because I didn’t decide until lunchtime to make this but if you have more time you could choose the longer option. The beef was still tender and melted in my mouth.

Please let me know if you make this soup! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 4-5 hours or 8-9 hours

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 Cup of Celery, chopped
  • 3/4 Cup of Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped and diced
  • 1 1/2 Pounds of Potatoes, chopped (I used Yukon Gold.)
  • 1 1/2 Pounds of Stewed Beef Chunks, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3/4 Cup of Pearl Barley (Follow prep instructions on the package before using.)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Cups of Beef Broth

The How-To:

  1. Begin by putting the beef chunks into a large pan and cooking until browned on each side.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients, including the beef chunks, into the Crock Pot. Set on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
  3. Remove bay leaves.
  4. Serve and Dobrou Chut’!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Yo, did you read that? Spinach and artichoke dip? Need I say more? Yes, Please!

I’ve made this dip for parties and work potlucks and it’s one of the recipes people ask me for. When someone asks me for a recipe, it’s like winning the cooking lottery because it’s like you’ve done something right! *Insert dancing celebration*

What makes this dip stand out is that I always add more shredded cheese than what a typical recipe says. Always, always, always. Considering this added cheese, it’s important to have enough moisture so the dip isn’t one huge cheese cube in a crockpot. But, now that I’ve thought about that.. a large, warm cheese cube wouldn’t be too bad after a couple of drinks.

Let’s venture into dipping apparatuses. I would suggest crackers, pita chips, tortilla chips, or toasted baguettes. This is a hearty dip which means that your apparatus will have to be sturdy to scoop the dip adequately. Once scooped, the apparatus will have to maintain strength to make into the mouth. This is important to think about when deciding what to use.

If you enjoy this recipe, please give it a like down below! If you make this recipe, share it and follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours

What You Will Need:

  • 8 ounces of Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup of Sour Cream
  • 9 cups of Fresh Spinach
  • 14 ounce can of Artichokes
  • 3 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 3-4 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper

The How-To

  1. Wilt spinach in a pan. If you have a non-stick pan and don’t need to use water to wilt you spinach to avoid burning, then you can skip the next step.
  2. Use cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel to remove excess liquid from spinach.
  3. Chop artichokes into smaller pieces and cube the cream cheese. Place into crockpot.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in the crockpot.
  5. Set Crockpot on low for 2 hours. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes or so to combine all the cheeses.
  6. Serve and Dobrou Chut’!

Turkey Chili (Panera Bread Copycat)

It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this post, it’s because you’ve experienced the comfort and delightfulness of a Panera Bread Soup and you want to mimic that same feeling at home. This will do the trick!

My go-to Panera order is a soup, usually the chicken and wild rice or turkey chili, in a sourdough bread bowl. My mouth is watering just thinking about the savory goodness. My closest Panera is about 25 minutes away so, for me, this is an easier and more affordable way to have Panera at home.

So, here’s why I love this chili. There is a complex amount of beans and legumes in this recipe make it much more interesting than your typical chili. Especially the edamame, because it never completely softens even after refrigerating the leftovers so it allows for some texture and it doesn’t seem like you’re eating a big bowl of mush.

I love the flavor profile of this chili. The seasonings in this chili are what MAKES the chili. Even if you think you won’t like cumin, I highly suggest you just try it. I promise it will not make it too spicy.

Furthermore, this recipe is completely adjustable to your flavor palette and dietary preferences. If you’re vegetarian, substitute the turkey for a can of black beans or cannellini beans to keep the heartiness. If you don’t like edamame, eliminate it and pretend it’s not there. We’ve all avoided things and/or people at some point in time.

Don’t let this long list of ingredients intimidate your avid laziness. It’ll be worth it in the end and then you won’t have to make dinner for another two nights because you’ll be surviving off of leftovers.

Let me know if you make this recipe! I would love to see them!

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes

What you will need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 medium White Onion, diced
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 28 ounce can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 16 ounce can of Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 ounce can of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of Corn (I recommend frozen)
  • 1 cup of Edamame
  • 3 to 4 cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Basil
  • 1 teaspoon of Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper

**Adjust ingredients according to desired taste**

The How-To:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add chopped onion, celery, green pepper, and carrots. Cook until softened.
  2. Add ground turkey and brown. Be sure to break apart.
  3. Combine ground pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, basil, parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes and garlic to the mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans.
  5. Bring chili to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Then add corn and edamame and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve and Dobrou Chut’!