Meet the Cook: One of the reasons I like quick dinners like this is our two sons, who are 7 and 6. With boys of those ages, I am constantly on the go! Plus, I home-educate our children. With this recipe, if we really get involved in a science experiment or an art project, I can still fix a good meal for my family.
-Cheryl Nagy, Newark, Ohio
“Here’s a speedy and satisfying version of traditional minestrone soup. The fun polka-dot shapes of the couscous, baby carrots and black beans give this stew its name.”
-Teagan O'Toole, Boston, Massachusetts
Meet the Cook: Even before it got cold outside last fall, my husband had asked me to make this stew twice. In fact, here at home, our name for it is "Tom's Favorite Stew".
We're the parents of two children - a 9-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl.
-Linda Schwarz, Bertrand, Nebraska
Meet the Cook: Green chilies are a big favorite here in the Southwest - my family likes anything with them in it.
Now that we are "empty nesters" (two married children and two grandchildren), my husband knows that I'm going to spring at least one new recipe on him each week. He's always brave!
-Pat Henderson, Deer Park, Texas
This delicious stew is nothing but good for you! The chunky mixture, seasoned with chili powder and cumin, is chock-full of hearty beans, lentils and other veggies. Steaming bowls of it make a warm and satisfying supper.
-Vi Toews, Bluffton, Alberta
I made this colorful, robust stew often when our three kids were living at home. Since it calls for lots of canned vegetables, it stirs up in a jiffy. It's versatile, too-you can substitute cubed turkey, chicken, ham or beef for the sausage. Plus, you can replace the beans with other vegetables of your choice.
Meet the Cook: With our busy schedule, I cook lots of stews. This one - handed down to me by my mother-in-law - is nice because you can prepare it on the weekend and reheat it during the week. It's a great full-course meal...put out hard rolls and French bread, and you're set.
My husband and I have a son, 11.
-Jeanne Dahling, Elgin, Minnesota
My family loves stew, and this recipe is perfect for the last few vegetables left in the garden. The best part of this recipe is that you can substitute whatever is available in your garden. It's perfect with freshly baked bread.
I had a delicious stew recipe but rarely prepared it because sausage can be high in fat and sodium, so I substituted low-fat turkey sausage. Now it not only tastes good, it feels good—both hearty and healthy!
—Lisa Zeigler-Day of Forest Park, Illinois