When I was still living in Missouri, a friend gave me all of her family cookbooks. I got the idea for this easy stew from one of these books. Believe it or not, the taco seasoning adds just the right touch. —Kristen Hills, Layton, Utah
I asked for this recipe after a recent trip to South Africa with my church. This stew includes lots of fresh garden vegetables and meat. I've made it for my friends on several occasions, and they thought it was great and enjoyed the interesting combination of flavors. It's traditionally served with brown rice or pumpkin fritters.—Dennis Kuyper, Creston, Iowa
If any dish could taste like a holiday, it’s this one with beef, pears, walnuts and sweet dried apricots. We recommend a leafy salad and rolls to complete the masterpiece. —Amy Dodson, Durango, Colorado
I love to try new recipes fro my husband and myself, and also when we entertain friends and relatives. This stew is a little different from most because of the vermicelli.—Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When I was young, my favorite food to order in a restaurant was beef stew. My mother and I decided to create our own and experimented with different ingredients until we came up with this recipe. Everyone liked this slow cooker version so much that now it's a tradition every time the whole family is together. —Chelsey Larsen, Sparks, Nevada
I like that this is super easy to toss together, and the leftovers reheat well. The healthy beans and veggies taste great, and the stew warms me up on cold, blustery days. —Tacy Fleury, Clinton, South Carolina
"The recipe for this special stew was given to me by a dear friend before she moved to another state," shares Janell Schmidt of Athelstane, Wisconsin. "She served it with dumplings, but my husband prefers noodles."