For those of you who don’t already know, I am expecting my first child in January.  My husband and I are very excited!  With my growing belly bump, I am finding that I long for less time standing in the kitchen these days.  I am sure many of you have experienced this feeling!  One way that I make things a little easier for myself lately is by using the crock pot.  It is easy to prep a meal in less than 15-20 minutes and get it into the pot for all day cooking.  While I am at work, the crock pot does the work for me;  when I come home, it is ready to eat (and the house smells wonderful).  My crock pot is quite large, so when I make one of these recipes, it usually makes at least 6 servings. This leads to lots of leftovers in our house, some of which I have been storing in the freezer for after the baby arrives.

This is a lamb and vegetable crock pot stew.  It is fairly simple in its ingredients and preparation.  Many people make stews like this using beef, but I am not a huge fan of it, so this is my favorite alternative.  Lamb is rich in vitamin B12 and zinc, among other nutrients such as Omega -3’s and Niacin. I always look for grass-fed lamb since it has lower fat content and reports say it is better for you for a variety of reasons. You should look for lamb cuts such as ‘shoulder’ or ‘stew meat’ when making this particular recipe. It should have a rich pinkish-red color and have a vibrancy to it. This means you don’t want your lamb to look dull. That is a sign that it may not be fresh. You will want to buy the lamb close to when you’re going to cook it and use it by the ‘use by’ or expiration date on the package. The butcher department at whole foods always cuts some lamb shoulder up for me if there are not any ‘stew meat’ packages ready to go in the cooler section. I highly recommend asking for it if you don’t see it; it is a huge time saver if the meat is already cubed and the tough fat has been removed.

This concept of a stew works really well with all different types of meat and various vegetable combinations.  I will try to post my chicken and vegetable crock pot stew soon.  It is a good recipe for winter weather, which sadly may be here at any moment!  Hope this stew brings you warmth and a happy belly.

[yumprint-recipe id=’39’]

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