Donna's Minestrone-Style Stew

This is a real comfort food meal with wonderful flavor. It is the kind of meal that everyone loves.

1 tablespoon canola oil 1 1/2 pounds round steak or stew meat, cut in 1" cubes salt and pepper 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 large onion, chopped 3 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups) 1 teaspoon minced garlic 6 cups fat-free beef broth, divided 1 can (28 ounces) Italian seasoned diced tomatoes 2 cups cooked pasta shells 1 pound package frozen mixed vegetables 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil. Add meat and cook in small batches over medium-hot heat until brown on all sides. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add 4 cups broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover pan. Place in oven and bake for 1 - 1 ½ hours or until meat is very tender. Check occasionally and add additional broth or water if it gets too dry. Add mixed vegetables 10 minutes before ready to serve. Boil gently on the stove until vegetables are tender. Add additional broth to thin to desired consistency. Add pasta and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in individual bowl and sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Note: This can also be cooked on the stove top instead of using the oven.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 360 Fat, gm.: 13 Protein, gm.: 41 Carbs, gm.: 29 Cholesterol, mg.: 65 Fiber, gm.: 4.7

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