This week in the Texas Beef Council’s Healthy Meals to Fuel the Family campaign, we’re sharing tried and true recipes from our own kitchens! I’m excited to share this one with you. It’s one of my favorites!
Family mealtime often gets lost in the shuffle of busy days jam-packed with activities. An important step to fueling the family with nutritious foods, studies show children who dine with the family are healthier, happier and better students. Make mealtime a priority by planning ahead and focusing on simple and healthy recipes.
Make the most of family mealtime with these five easy tips:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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!
My recipe this week definitely fits the bill for an easy family dinner. I threw all the ingredients together on Sunday morning before church, put it in the crockpot and it was ready to go by the time we got home. It was AWESOME! And the good news is that most of the cuts you use in the slow cooker are LEAN, that’s why they need to be slow cooked, they are so lean that they aren’t tender at all!
We had family visiting, so there were 10 adults in our house. I tripod the recipe and every single bit of it was gone by that afternoon.
The nice thing about these Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos is that you can customize the toppings however you’d like! The experts at the Texas Beef Council recommend fresh toppings that are packed with nutrients, like avocado, lime, cilantro, onions and other veggies instead of sour cream and cheese!
And we used whole wheat tortillas instead of flour for a healthier option.
Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
Adapted From: Gimme Some Oven
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs trimmed beef brisket
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 c beef stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Whole wheat tortillas
Favorite taco toppings, like cilantro, sliced avocado and pico de gallo
Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Then, rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly.
Once the oil is hot, place the beef in the skillet and brown evenly on each side.
Remove the beef from the pan and place it in the bottom of a slow cooker.
Leave the pan on the heat, and pour in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste and chipotle powder and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Place the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker. Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic and beef. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.
Serve the shredded beef in the whole wheat tortillas, topped with fresh toppings like sliced avocados, guacamole, pico de gallo or cilantro and onions.
Disclosure: I am participating in a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council and am being compensated. All opinions and photos are my own. Recipes are courtesy the Texas Beef Council.