Slow-Cooker Hearty Veggie Beef Stew

I love the way my house smells when I come home to a meal that has been simmering all day in the crockpot. This stew does not disappoint! The vegetables and beef come out perfectly tender and mouthwatering and will fill your tummy with warm, home-style comfort. The best part about this freezer meal is it is so quick and easy to prepare. You just toss the raw meat with the sauce right in the freezer bag (no pre-browning), add the chopped vegetables on top, and put it in your freezer. When you are ready to cook it, you just toss the entire frozen contents into your slow-cooker, set it, and a yummy, filling dinner will be ready and waiting for you when you get home.

Prep Time: 30min
Serves 6-8

*    About 2.5 lbs beef stew meat, or a 3 lb beef chuck roast cut into 2" chunks (with fat trimmed)
*    1 3/4 cup beef broth (Kettle & Fire and Bonafide Provisions are Whole30-Compliant)
*    2 TBS tomato paste
*    2 TBS coconut aminos
*    3 cloves garlic, minced
*    1 tsp dried thyme
*    4 oz baby Portobello mushrooms, quartered or 4 oz of Portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1/2"chunks
*    Half a large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
*    2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks
*    2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks
*    1 large onion, diced
*    8 oz frozen chopped winter greens (I used spinach or collard greens), unthawed
*    1 TBS arrowroot powder
*    1 TBS balsamic vinegar
*    Salt and pepper to taste

1.    In a small bowl, mix the coconut aminos, thyme, tomato paste, and garlic.
2.    Place the beef chunks at the bottom of a large gallon-sized freezer bag and pour the coconut aminos mixture over it. Toss to coat. Add all of the vegetables into the freezer bag over the meat. Seal and freeze until ready to cook.
3.    The morning of the day that you want to eat the stew, dump the contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker, along with the frozen greens. Pour the beef broth over it, season it with salt and pepper, and cook the stew on low for about 8-9 hours or until beef is tender. (You may want to stir to incorporate everything after a couple of hours). Add more salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
4.    Put the arrowroot powder in a small heat-proof bowl. Add a few tablespoons of hot broth from the stew to make a "slurry", stirring until the mixture has no lumps. Add the slurry to the slow cooker with the beef stew and stir to combine. Serve.