Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chef Hubs Strikes Again

It's a little disingenuous that I'm writing this post, because the self-dubbed Chef Hubs did most of the heavy lifting tonight. Why, you might ask? Well, allow me to explain.
1. Chef Hubs is a teacher and is now on break.
2. I am not a teacher and am not on break.
3. Chef Hubs wanted to eat earlier than normal because he wanted to take the kid to a basketball game.
4. I'm always down for eating early and catching up on my Housewives whilst he and the kid do the sports thing.

To his credit, Chef Hubs was going to write this post upon his return home tonight, but I don't feel like waiting up to deal with it (i.e., the likelihood of me staying up much past 9p is slim to none), so you are stuck with me.

To make life easier for everyone - even before this basketball-hubs-break plan was set into motion - I decided to crock pot it tonight. However, one big issue I seem to have with many crock pot recipes is finding the healthy ones that spell out specific portion sizes, etc. So obvs the recipe gods were smiling down on me when I happened across a new little cookbook - Diabetic Slow Cooker recipes! Let's all give a woot woot!

Now, I am not diabetic, nor is anyone in my family (although there is a history), however, I knew these recipes would be healthy, and that portions would be specifically spelled out. Plus, you know I love a new resource.

The other new item for tonight is polenta. I know I included it in a meal at some point over the past few years, but my memory is pretty mushy, so I don't remember. Polenta is also mushy - cornmeal mush in fact - although I believe you can bake it for a more solid consistency. We went with the mush tonight.

Polenta with Ground Beef Ragout
Source: Diabetic Slow Cooker, from the editors of Diabetic Living

  • 1 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 14.5 oz can no-salt added stewed tomatoes, undrained (used diced - couldn't find no-salt added stewed)
  • 3 carrots cut into chunks
  • 2 onions sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (used pre-minced)
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, cut into pieces
  • 1 med zucchini, cut into slices
  • 1 16-oz tube polenta
  • 1/4 c. purchased pesto (skip)
  • In a large skillet cook ground beef. Drain fat and transfer into slow cooker.
  • Stir in tomatoes, carrots, onions, water, seasoning and garlic.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for 3.5-4.5 hours.
  • If using a low setting, with about 30 mins left to go, turn to high. Stir in pepper and zucchini and cook until crisp-tender.
  • Prepare polenta. Serve meat mixture over polenta and top with pesto.
Yield: 6 servings (1 c. beef mixture, 1 slice of polenta, 2 tsp pesto)
Per serving: 285 cals; 9g fat (3g sat); 50mg chol; 488mg sodium; 30g carb; 6g fiber; 21g protein

The kid was not a fan of the polenta. He complained about it from the moment he saw it in the tube, assumed it was a tube of cheese (?) and rolled it around on the counter. That was thrilling for me. Chef Hubs thought there were too many veggies, per usual. Of course, I am the one who added the veggies at the end, so my guess is if it was up to him, he might have "forgotten" that step. I liked it all - I liked all of the veggies, and the polenta was a funsies change-up.

Two Forks - more based on kid and hubs than me.

Look at the juxtaposition. I'm so artsy.

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