Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Whole Wheat Tuscan Bread Food Find

We are having some cooler wet and rainy weather that is perfect weather for Beef Stew! I was in the mood for puttering in the kitchen yesterday. As soon as I got my cleaning chores done I spent the rest of the day in my favorite room of the house – my kitchen! I had some hits and some misses. There was a recipe on the Whole Foods web site for some date bars with oatmeal that I had to try. They were so bland and boring – hubby tried one again this morning and sitting over night didn’t help -they are headed for the trash! I hate wasting ingredients but sometimes you have a flop!

Of course the stew was a big hit. There was a recipe for a pumpkin custard that I had been meaning to try so I gave it a go last night as well. The verdict -totally amazing! It is so wonderful I can’t even begin to describe to you how fabulous it was. Look for a post about it very soon!

This is my go to slow cooker/crock pot stew recipe. Don’t let the list of simple ingredients fool you into thinking this is boring as it is anything but that! It seems to be the perfect balance of stew meat, potatoes, onions, baby carrots, canned tomatoes a little red wine (you can sub beef broth) and some dried thyme. Simply mixed together and slow cooked so the meat and the vegetables become tender and the juices create a well balanced broth that is enhanced at the end with the addition of a little balsamic vinegar that brings it all together. Here it is ready to slow cook!

I also like to add just a sprinkle more of dried thyme at the end as it does lose a little of it’s affect after a long simmer.

Serve the stew with some good crusty bread to soak up the broth! We like this whole wheat Artisan bread from Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s check out the bakery in your grocery store most of them now have some Artisan breads available. The nice thing about them is they have no added fat, the crust is crunchy and the bread is hearty making it perfect for sopping up the juices.

No preservatives, whole grain flour, salt and yeast. Simple natural ingredients! You can also make this very easily with the Artisan bread in 5 minute recipes. I have not made any in a long time, it has been just too easy to go buy it! Perhaps I should mix up a batch and post about it. I also like to toast this bread and top it with my home made pumpkin butter!


Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • 1 -1/2 pounds boneless beef bottom round, cubed or lean stew meat
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 pound small new potatoes, quartered ( I have used red or Yukon Gold)
  • 1 16 ounce bag baby carrots
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine 0r sub beef broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Mix the beef and flour in a large plastic bag, seal the top of the bag and shake to coat. I like to season the flour with a little Cavender’s Greek seasoning or you can use a little salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

2. Mix the flour coated beef, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, wine, onion, garlic and thyme in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until the beef is tender about 4-5 hours.  Now in my crock pot it is done in 4 hours on high!

3. When vegetables and beef cubes are tender and cooked through stir in the vinegar, salt and black pepper and I also like to add about another 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme.  Ladle into shallow soup bowls and serve with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful juices.

Servings: 8  if you are serving people with petite appetites. If you are serving hungry men I would say more like 4-6 servings! Even if you make this into larger servings it is still very calorie friendly!

Yield: 8 servings:

Nutritional Information

Per Serving; 213 calories, 4 g fat,137 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 18 g protein, 2 g fiber

Old WWP 4 / New WWPP 5

Adapted from “Weight Watchers Cook It Quick” cook book


I have a half turkey breast to do something with for tonights dinner. It will give us some welcome left overs for the next couple of days.  Enjoy your weekend!



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  1. Karen says:

    Tomorrow for dinner we are making what we affectionately refer to as “Whiskey Beef” since one of the marinade ingredients is… whiskey:) With asparagus and salad and for everyone else – rolls and rice.

    1. Tami says:

      Oh yum Karen that sounds so good. You should post the recipe!

  2. Helen says:

    I’m cooking Braised Short Ribs today. It’s just that time of year and even though I don’t love the cooler weather, I do love how “homey” the food makes the house smell!

    1. Tami says:

      I have never made short ribs! So many recipes – so little time! I love homey foods too!

  3. Tish says:

    Hey, I have that book–thanks for highlighting it for me. It’s definitely getting to be the crockpot/stew time of year.

    1. Tami says:

      Tish that little cookbook is my favorite WW cook book. I don’t usually care for their recipes but for some reason the ones in that book have all been winners for me!

  4. Carol says:

    Nice looking recipe!! Love crockpot meals!!

    I have to admit that I do very little cooking over the weekend. The guys get big meals all week so the weekend is my break from the kitchen.

    How do you cook the turkey breast? when I have tried cooking it, it ends up dry!I want to stay away from processed lunch meats so this would be nice to have.

    1. Tami says:

      Carol I seem to be doing less cooking on the weekends as a rule. Having said that, this weekend I actually made a few things!

      I ended up not fixing the turkey breast after all. I might make it Monday night. The last time I made it the results were tender and moist. I will have to look up what recipe I used. I may have posted it here already.

  5. Lynn P. says:

    Tami, I have been reading your blog for some time now but don’t believe I have ever commented. I love the recipes that you post. Trader Joe’s has some of the best products and at such a fair price. I made some great Lentil Soup yesterday. I agree with the comment above, love the savory warm dishes this time of year but not necessarily the colder Winter weather.

    Thank you for all that you do and share!

  6. Tami says:

    Lynn thank you for the sweet note! It means a lot to me to know that people are enjoying the blog and recipes. Blogging takes up a great deal of time butis a labor of love!

    Since we live in Northern CA and don’t have terrible winter weather,just lots of rain,I shouldn’t complain about the winter, but I still do! I do miss the sunshine after a few rainy days in a row. How spoiled does that sound?

    I too always look forward to the change of seasons and thus the change in the foods we eat.

    I hope you will comment again! Part of the fun of the blog is getting to know new people. I am making friends with people through the blog whom I would otherwise never cross paths with. It expands my world and hopefully theirs and yours as well.

  7. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    We had pizza last night and chicken ‘n dumplings tonight. It was a good weekend of healthy eating.

  8. Sunshine Mama says:

    That stew looks so good! I may have to expand my soup recipes to include beef stew as well. I love how those potatoes look in there!

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