It is a bittersweet week for me!  It is the last week of my Fuel Up the Family posts about how to use beef to make healthy, nutritious meals for my family with the Texas Beef Council!  I have loved reading my fellow Beef Loving Bloggers posts and seeing all of the amazing photos on Pinterest!

But, I am excited because this week I get to share with you one of our family favorites and show you how to “health it up”!

You may not know this but I have an unhealthy love for my crock pot.  I make everything in it from Bread Pudding to Hot Cocoa to 67.976% of the dinners we have in this house.  A) It is easy, B) It makes the house smell sooo good and c) Almost everything I pull out of it is a maz ing!

So, now that you have some background on me and my therapy needing self, it should surprise you not that I consulted a Texas Beef Council nutritionist on how to “make healthier” my family husband’s favorite meal that is made slowly cooked to absolute perfection – in a crock pot!  The tips were easy and the flavor suffered not one iota!

Spicy Italian Beef {in the crock pot – in case you did not read about my affliction}

1 boneless beef chuck roast
1 jar (12 ounce) pepperoncini {little green peppers}
1 can (14.5 punces) low sodium beef broth
1 bottle (12 ounce) of light beer
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 loaf of of whole wheat/ whole grain french toast – or baggettes
10 slices provolone cheese – optional

Trim fat from the beef.  Cut beef in large chunks.  Drain pepperoncini and remove the tops.  Add pepperoncini, broth, beer, onions and Italian seasoning to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.  

When done, remove beef, shred with fork and return to crock pot.  Dish out onto the rolls/ slices of bread, top with cheese.  Use liquid in the pot as a dip or pour it on top.

Is your mouth watering?  Mine is saying, “midnight snack!”.

My tips:  I don’t have any.  This recipe is perfect!  AND not near as ‘spicy’ as you would think!  I paired it with some cool, fresh vegetables to health it up a little more!

I love, love, love the changes that were made and could not tell the difference at all in the taste!  The meat came out so tender that it shredded itself as I pulled it out with the tongs.  And my husband was a very happy man!

Check out these additional tips for Fantastic Family Meals (courtesy of June Cleaver Nirvana)

Nutrition Tips

Fantastic Family Meals

Make the most of family mealtime with these five easy tips:

  1. Enjoy one more family mealtime every week!  Take a quick inventory of how many times you usually eat together as a family and look for easy ways to add one more family meal to your weekly schedule.  If evenings are too hectic for a family dinner, set aside time for a weekend breakfast or lunch.  After a month or two of this new pattern, you can then add another family meal each week until you are enjoying mealtime together most days of the week.
  2. Enjoy tasty menus for family meals!  If you think putting a meal together had to be complicated or time-consuming, think again!  The best meals are simple, delicious and planned together.  Let everyone choose a favorite menu.  Even small children can pick a main dish (like tacos or pasta), a vegetable (green salad or cooked carrots), and fruit for dessert (sliced apples or a fruit salad).
  3. Set an appealing table for family meals! Food is just one important part of mealtime.  There are really easy ways to set the mood for a relaxed time around the table.  A little extra attention to the actual table setting can add a lot to mealtime atmosphere.  Go for a theme night like taco salad and Mexican fiesta décor using leftover souvenirs from your trip to Cancun or have one of the children make a centerpiece by folding colored construction paper.
  4. Enjoy conversation at the table! The conversations families have while eating together offer many benefits.  Children learn new words from adults and adults are able to share the values with the next generation.  Choose topics that are positive and allow everyone to talk.  Even toddlers like to discuss topics like “what is your favorite color” or “what made you laugh today”.
  5. Enjoy distraction-free meals TVs, DVDs, multiple phone calls and text messaging can distract anyone making it difficult to eat or carry on a conversation.  The solution is simple: Declare mealtime an electronics-free zone (except for an emergency, of course).  Imagine that you are dining at a nice restaurant and play some soothing background music at low volume.  It will be much more relaxing for everyone to be unplugged, especially you!
And check out these GREAT tips and helpful ideas for cooking with kids – just click and print!

These last four weeks have been a blast and I extend my great gratitude to the Texas Beef Council and for organizing it and teaching me a little more about healthy beef recipes along the way!

Check out my other four posts here: Beef, Arugula and Spinach Lasagna, Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, and Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry.

**I am a compensated blogger for a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council.  All opinions, writings and photos are mine.  Recipes have been provided by the Texas Beef Council.**