by Gale Compton
A showcase of Mediterranean tastes, this stew is satisfying especially on a chilly day. With a classic combination of traditional Italian herbs and spices, you can fill your tummy while your palate delights. Heart-healthy ingredients come together in this slow cooked dish that’s full of flavor, and easy to make.
TIP: Cut calories and Weight Watcher Points by eating only one meatball. One Meatball per serving = 215 calories, Previous Points 4, Points Plus 7
Yields: 6 servings | Serving size: 1 cup stew with 2 meatballs | Calories: 351 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Previous Points: 7 | Points Plus: 9|Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 46 mg | Sodium: 622 mg | Carbohydrates: 54 g | Dietary fiber: 11 g | Sugars: 6 g | Protein: 21 g
- 1 dozen Italian Meatballs, click here for Italian Meatball recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced
- 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes with liquid
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth, fat free, low sodium
- 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo (optional whole wheat couscous or pre-rinsed quinoa)
Add oil to a large skillet, turn to medium heat and cook meatballs until brown on both sides, about 16 minutes. While meatballs are cooking add remaining ingredients, except orzo, to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add browned meatballs to slow cooker, cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. The last 15 minutes of cooking time, add orzo, turn slow cooker to high and cook 10-15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
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