Tender pork, green chilies and hominy have roots in Southwestern cuisine but help bring the heat to the Midwest for those long winter nights. An easily adaptable stew, it's ready in 4 hours if cooked on high in a slow cooker, or in 8 hours if cooked low and slow. —Paul Sedillo, Plainfield, Illinois
Romping in the national forest amid tall ponderosa pines around our home gives my husband and our two little boys big appetites. They like this savory stew. Because I'm a busy firefighter, I often make it ahead and serve it when I need a meal in a hurry.
-Linda Russell, Forest Lakes, Arizona
I adapted a pork and squash stew recipe, using tomatoes and Southwestern-style seasonings. My husband and sons loved it, and the leftovers were even better the next day! Try it with fresh corn muffins. —Molly Newman, Portland, Oregon
With just 15-minutes of prep, you'll be out of the kitchen in no time. This deliciously low-fat dish gets even better served with reduced-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro. Brandi Castillo - Santa Maria, California
For a stick-to-your ribs meal, try this hearty combination of beans and sausage. Because it calls for several canned items, it's easy to prepare and let cook for the afternoon. It's also inexpensive to serve. —Judy Sumner, Riverton, Utah
Add your family's favorite picante sauce to ground beef, black beans and corn, then watch how quickly they empty their bowls. This mixture freezes well, so I keep a batch on hand for quick nutritious meals.
—Janet Brannan of Sidney, Montana
"I often whip up this easy stew on days when I am juggling a lot of the kids' sports schedules," Juline Goelzer of Arroyo Grande, California says of this healthy and hearty entree. "Add a green salad and some corn bread or homemade rolls for a perfect meal."
Ground beef, beans and pasta thickens this hearty stew that's perfect for brisk autumn days. The zippy sauce, made with canned vegetable juice, gives the chunky mixture a western flair —Mrs. J.W. West of Alvord, Texas