Gather the family around the table for a hearty, comforting plate of Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash!
This recipe was created in partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market. Thank you for supporting brands that make The Nutrition Adventure possible!
Family meal time around the table is special which is why I’m excited to share that September is National Family Meals Month™. While going to restaurants can be fun and sometimes necessary, eating meals at home has been proven to benefit the health and wellness of children and adolescents. Enjoying meals at home can also help fight obesity, reduce substance abuse and make families stronger. It’s an opportunity to sit down and connect, without technology, to share stories about the day.
I recently bought my first house (part of the reason I’ve been MIA recently from the blog!) and when my parents visited this past weekend, we made several meals in my kitchen. It was so much fun! It’s been hard to have people over for dinner at places I’ve lived in the past few years so I’m really looking forward to having dinner parties!
Does your family eat around the dinner table during the week?
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This slow cooker dinner will surely gather the family around the table. It’s comforting and hearty, perfect for the cool, fall nights that are upon us. To keep this recipe low in total fat, I used rump round roast, a lean cut of beef.
When cooking a large cut of meat in the slow cooker, I typically include onions for flavor and to provide moisture. I’ve found it works well to cut the onion into wedges and lay them as a base for the meat in the slow cooker.
To keep yourself from drowning in tears while cutting onions, be sure to leave the root end on the onion until the very end. This helps reduce the strong odors from the onion! To cut it into wedges, slice of the end opposite of the root to make a flat surface. Place the onion flat on your cutting board and cut around the onion to make wedges, being sure not to cut through the root. Once the onion has been cut all around, turn it on its side and slice off the root end.
Whenever I’m making tomato sauce or other Italian dishes, I prefer using the San Marzano style tomatoes. The flesh is thicker, the taste stronger, sweeter and less acidic, and they have fewer seeds the other varieties of canned tomatoes. I was happy to see that Sprouts Farmers Market carries this variety!
I couldn’t pass up the fresh thyme and rosemary at Sprouts but you can certainly use dried herbs in this recipe as well. Just be sure to reduce the amount used in the recipe from 1 teaspoon fresh to 1/4 teaspoon each of dried thyme and rosemary.
Searing the meat isn’t totally necessary when cooking it in a slow cooker BUT it’s my preferred method. A good sear on the outside provides a stronger depth of flavor. Plus, the caramelization that happens when searing meat over high heat makes it look even tastier!
Once all of the ingredients are piled into the slow cooker, pop on the lid and let that baby cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. It will become so tender that you can easily pull the meat apart with a fork. Serve over cooked spaghetti squash and top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and basil, and call the family to the dinner table! Smiling faces guaranteed 🙂