Watching your salt intake? This satisfying stew has almost 2/3 less sodium than many off-the-shelf “beef stew cup” products. To lower the sodium even further, replace the diced tomatoes with no-salt-added diced tomatoes. —Coleen Balch, Clay, New York
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
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
If you like German potato salad, you'll love this sweet-and-sour stew. Caraway seeds, smoky kielbasa, tender potatoes and shredded cabbage make it a filling change of pace at dinner. —Valerie Burrows of Shelby, Michigan
I heat up cold nights by serving this thick and zesty stew with corn bread. I also like to spoon leftovers into corn tortillas with a little salsa and reduced-fat sour cream for a satisfying snack.
—Mickey Terry of Del Valle, Texas
"This hearty stew is oh-so-tasty, with a good variety of vegetables and spicy seasoning blend," writes Betty Jean Howard of Prineville, Oregon. "My husband and I enjoy if often. It's the perfect way to warm up a cool evening. Sometimes, I add a can of chopped green chilies for a little more heat."
From Waupaca, Wisconsin, Barbara Lane shares the recipe for a hearty barley stew that's sure to take the edge off cool-weather days. "Sometime I substitute millet for the barley," she suggests. "I pre-toast it in a skillet over medium heat, just until it starts to pop. It adds a nice nutty flavor.
Everyone, especially kids, will be thrilled with this hearty stew, chock-full of hot dog bites and baked beans with a dash of liquid smoke. Dorothy Erickson of Blue Eye, Missouri shares this dish that's great at a summer cookout or on a cool fall evening.
"This bean stew is a staple for my co-workers and me once the weather turns cool," says Debbie Matthews of Bluefield, West Virginia. "Although this is a low-fat dish, it definitely doesn't taste like it!"
My husband and I host a soup luncheon at his office every Christmas. When trying out new recipes for it. I modified one to make this hearty stew. It combines my favorite sausage with fennel and garlic.
—Jeannette Jones of Muncie, Indiana