My mother was born and raised in Japan and wasn't familiar with many American dishes when she married my father and moved to the States. This is one of the recipes her mother-in-law handed down to her. —Frances Aldal, Antelope, California
It's especially nice to use this recipe in fall, when the weather gets crisp and Nebraska's apple orchards start selling fresh apple cider. This entree's subtle sweetness is a welcome change from other savory stews. We enjoy it with biscuits and slices of apple and cheddar cheese.
-Joyce Glaesemann, Lincoln, Nebraska
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
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
This stew is perfect for warming up on a wintry day. It is a good dish to make when you're busy, since it's quick to prepare and doesn't need attention while cooking. Instead of noodles, I often serve it with rice.
My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr of Appleton, Wisconsin
The flavors in this stew work so well together that you'll never miss the meat. Cilantro, honey and garlic are an ideal matche for the black beans and fresh vegetables. —Marilyn Waters of Outing, Minnesota
When I was growing up in Ohio, my mother often made this stew for Sunday dinner. She'd put it in the oven before we left for church, and I remember how pleasant it was to come home to such a wonderful aroma! No one ever was late sitting down at the table on those days!
This rich, hearty beef stew has a garden full of flavor with vegetables like cabbage, rutabaga and carrots. Mom knew this main dish is one that would suit us 11 kids. When we were all home, she'd throw in extra vegetables to stretch it.
-Anne Heinonen, Howell, Michigan
Using leftover brats hurries along the preparation of this satisfying stew from Deborah Elliott of Ridge Springs, South Carolina. "When time is short, this flavorful combination is so good and so easy, I usually have all the ingredients handy," she adds.