The weather just recently has been so unpredictable that I didn’t know whether to post a barbecue recipe, salad or warming casserole for this Bank Holiday weekend. So I asked some of my loyal wls friends via Facebook just what recipes they would like. A chilli was one (and posted 2 days ago); a lamb chop recipe (coming soon); a plum pudding (to appear in my September newsletter next week); and a request for a slow-cooked beef stew with dumplings!
Now there is no ideal way to make a low-fat and low-carb dumpling but the recipe below is a good attempt at making these fluffy morsels as low-fat as possible and with some added fibre in the carbs (by using wholemeal flour, although you can use just white if preferred). I don’t pretend that they are ideal bariatric fare and so they are optional. Nutritional information is given for a serving with and without the dumplings.
I made this in the conventional oven first-time around but then also tried it in the slow cooker. It’s good either way, but if you choose the slow-cooker then halve the amount of stock used.
You could also make a savoury mince recipe…like my shepherd’s pie recipe and put the dumplings on top for a mince and dumplings meal. The ideas are endless…but the dumpling recipe is the same.
OLD-FASHIONED BEEF STEW WITH OPTIONAL DUMPLINGS
low-fat cooking spray
1 kg/generous 2 lbs lean stewing beef/beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, sliced
225 g/8 oz small Chantenay carrots, trimmed
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
350g/12 oz swede/rutabaga, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
2 tbsp Worcesteshire sauce
500 ml/21/4 cups beef stock/bouillon
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g/4 tbsp low-fat spread
175g wholemeal self-raising flour/11/2 cups all-purpose wholemeal flour sifted with 11/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or snipped chives
6 tbsp cold water
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F/gas mark 3.
2. Spray a large flameproof casserole with low-fat cooking spray, heat and cook the beef, in batches, until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips and swede/rutabaga and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
3. Return the beef to the casserole with the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, stock/bouillon, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Cover and cook in the oven for 2-21/2 hours until the meat is really tender.
4. Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, rub the low-fat spread into the flour. Stir in the herbs with a little salt and pepper to taste. Add the water and mix to a soft slightly sticky dough. With floured hands, divide and shape the mixture into 12 walnut-sized balls and drop over the surface of the stew. Cover, return to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes until the dumplings are puffy and cooked through. Serve piping hot with some green vegetables.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
* suitable for freezing
Calories per portion with dumplings/without: 403/278
Image courtesy of Waitrose