I made a beef and barley soup last winter and we really enjoyed it but then for some reason I never thought about it again. I stumbled upon a recipe recently and decided I would make another one as soon as it got cold. This time I filled it with veggies and it was absolutely delicious. It’s not often that I look forward to leftovers but I had this stew for lunch for 3 days!

I served it with the honey yeast rolls and they were perfect together. My husband opened up the rolls and put a little stew in the middle.. said it was amazing!

5 from 1 vote
Beef & Barley Stew
  • 1-1/2 pounds chuck steak cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups broth chicken, beef, or veggie. whatever you have.
  • 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frozen green beans thawed
  • 2 cups frozen corn thawed
  • 3/4 cup medium pearl barley
  1. Place chuck steak, onion, carrots, and potatoes in 5 quart slow cooker. Add water, broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Add beans, corn, and barley. Cover and cook on low for 2 more hours or until barely and veggies are tender.


Ever since being told that I’m severely anemic, I’ve been making a real effort to include more beef in my diet. I don’t really like the taste of beef so I’ve been relying on yummy sauces to cover it up. I had saved this recipe purely because of the picture (as I often do) and then once I actually got into the kitchen and started making it, I realized it was pretty much our favorite wings but beefy.

Of course everyone loved it! My 2 year old who only likes beef if it comes on a bun with a side of fries gobbled it up and went back for seconds and thirds! Our only complaint was that there wasn’t enough for leftovers!

Mongolian Beef
  • 2/3 lb. flank steak sliced across the grain (I used chuck steak which worked fine and was 1/4 of the price of flank steak)
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 3 tsp. canola oil divided
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. heaping red pepper flakes
  1. Pat the steak pieces and make sure they’re dry; then, toss the steak and cornstarch together. Be sure all pieces are fully coated, but shake off excess corn starch. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.
  2. Heat half the oil in a wok at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Once fragrant (30 seconds or so), add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Let the sauce thicken to your liking.

…because sometimes a man just needs man food.

I initially put this patty melt on my meal plan because I thought it would be quick and simple. I mean, how hard is it to grill up a burger and some onions? And it was easy but holy cow, did I spent forever in the kitchen!

First I had to grill the onions. Which by the way, if you don’t have a grill pan, go to your local sporting goods store. I got mine for $8 at Academy! Anyway, then I had to grill the burger. THEN I had to grill the whole sandwich which I did on the George Foreman because I always look for the easy way out.

Anyway, it was well worth it. The look on my husband’s face when he walked through the door and smelled burgers was worth it all by itself. Even my meat-hating child ate half a sandwich. This are definitely becoming a regular in our rotation but next time I want to figure out how to make the Steak n Shake sauce. Mmm!

Patty Melts with Grilled Onions
from Cooking Light
  • 8 1/8-inch-thick slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons creamy mustard blend such as Dijonnaise
  • 8 1-ounce slices rye bread
  • 1 cup 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese
  1. Arrange onion slices on a plate. Drizzle vinegar over onion slices. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm.
  2. 2. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  3. 3. Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over 4 bread slices; layer each slice with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 patty, 2 onion slices, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over remaining bread slices; place, mustard side down, on top of sandwiches.
  4. 4. Heat pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).


Continuing in my quest to find good crockpot meals… we had beer braised beef recently. I threw this together with things I had in the fridge and it turned out really well. Although, I’m not sure you can call it braised since it was made in the crockpot. I’m doing it anyway. So there. ;)

Can I talk about my love of stew meat? I know it’s not the best cut of meat but it’s just so easy. Plus, if you cook it in the crockpot it becomes amazingly tender and pretty much falls apart. Mmm. That’s what I used in this recipe and I can almost guarantee I have some in the freezer at all times. It doesn’t get any simpler than the stew meat.

But like I said, this turned out much better than I expected. I served it over rice and the juice made the rice delicious. I’m so glad that I wrote this down as I was going because I definitely want to make it again sometime.

Beer Braised Beef.
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 bottle 12 ounces beer
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place bacon on a cooling rack and then on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool slightly and crumble.
  2. Place stew meat and crumbled bacon in crockpot. Put onion, garlic, beer, soy sauce, Worchestershire, and thyme on top of meat crockpot. Stir to combine. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve over rice or pasta.