Tim does all of the grocery shopping in our house. The reason for this is multi-faceted. First, and most importantly, I HATE grocery shopping. Seriously. I cannot emphasize that enough. I don’t know why, but I just hate it. Maybe it’s all the moms trying to corral their bored, screaming kids or the little kids with those tiny Trader Joe’s shopping carts that get in your way (yea, yea, ok, it’s cute, but I’m on a schedule here). Maybe it’s the spending so much money on stuff that you’re just going to consume and will therefore disappear. Maybe it’s the anxiety about trying to avoid the impulse buys those stores put right in front of you in the checkout aisle on purpose so you will buy them. Whatever the reason, I hate it.
The other reasons Tim does the shopping are because he’s in charge of the finances so he knows how much to spend. He also is totally willing to go to three different stores to get the best deal on something, which I am not willing to do (see above – I am on a schedule here!). Also, I do a great majority of the cooking when I’m not coaching, so it seems like a fair division of labor.
Regardless, sometimes Tim comes home with freezable stuff that was on sale but wasn’t on our list. I think this is because he trusts my cooking ability to be able to turn some random cut of meat into something
amazing edible. Challenge, accepted.
So, a few weeks ago, Tim brought home some beef stew meat. I’m not sure what the exact cut of beef it is, but it’s basically just beef cut into 1-inch chunks. Pretty convenient if you want to make soup, eh? We tossed that stew meat into the freezer and waited for a day when we’d need a slow cooker meal. That day came on Sunday, the day after our regional speech tournament (a 14-hour day of high school speech fun!). We were dead on our feet after that day, and then we went to celebrate my in-law’s February birthdays. Yup – we needed a quick, hearty, easy meal to come home to that night.
Enter: Beef and Vegetable Soup. I used what I had in the fridge and the pantry, so you can adjust the spices and vegetables you use to taste. I also tossed the stew meat in frozen and it cooked up just fine. We did have to break up the meat a little way through so it would cook evenly, but the meat ended up so tender, you could cut through it with your soup spoon. (Note: Cooking frozen meat in your slow cooker is considered safe for those of us with killer immune systems. If you are pregnant, nursing, or if your little kids are going to be eating this stuff, thaw it first!)
(Excuse the awful quality of this photo. As I said, this was a lazy day, and the only picture I could get before the stuff was all gone was when I packed up the leftovers to take to work in our mini-crockpots.)
Paleo Beef and Vegetable Soup
2.5-3 lbs beef cut into chunks (or stew meat, pre-cut)
4 stalks celery, cut
4 carrots, peeled and cut
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
32 oz chicken broth
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Throw all of it into your slow cooker, put it on low for 8 hours, and enjoy!/