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healthy eating – beef stew with red wine and dried plums

For some  reason I love beef stew, I suppose because it is the American version of Boeuf Bourguignon, which happens to be one of  my favorite French dishes (yes I said French again).  The wonderful thing about beef stew is that you can actually make it a day in advance and in a large quantity for a fun meal, for the entire family or while entertaining friends during the winter months.

Now, although I enjoy traditional beef stew with potatoes and carrots, on occasion I am always looking for “out of the norm” recipes to make the meal exciting and yet weight watcher friendly and thankfully I was able to do just that with the beef stew recipe that I found here. It has no potatoes or carrots, instead it’s made with dried plums and celery celeriac. I actually made this version minus the vanilla bean and it was pretty good and I didn’t feel guilty about watching what I ate.  I paired it with a  *robust Cabernet and sliced, *rustic French (yes I said French) bread from Trader Joe’s.

*Wine and bread suggestions are based on what is available in your part of the world.

So enjoy and let me know what you thought of the recipe.


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  pounds  lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 2  cups  dry red wine
  • 2  (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
  • 2  thyme sprigs
  • 1/2  vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 4  cups  (3/4-inch) cubed peeled celeriac (celery root; about 1 pound)
  • 16  pitted dried plums


Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl.

Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to onion mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Add beef mixture, broth, thyme, and vanilla bean half, if desired. Bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour or until beef is just tender.

Discard thyme sprigs and vanilla bean half. Stir in celeriac and dried plums. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information

Calories:297 (30% from fat)
Fat: 9.9g (sat 3.3g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 25.1g
Carbohydrate: 27.2g
Fiber: 3.4g
Cholesterol: 71mg
Iron: 3.8mg
Sodium: 608mg
Calcium: 65mg

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