Getting back into the swing of things and finding ourselves with not much time, means it’s time to bust out the crock pot and get some quick but healthy meals going. Check out this recipe for Mediterranean Beef with Pasta

1 1/2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium yellow sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup lower-sodium beef broth
1 1/4 cups zucchini and/or yellow summer squash halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (1 medium)
6 ounces dried whole grain penne pasta
1 recipe Basil Gremolata

1. In a large skillet cook meat, half at a time, in hot oil over medium-high heat until brown. Drain off fat. Transfer meat to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add carrots, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Pour tomatoes and broth over mixture in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.
3. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in zucchini and/or yellow squash. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
4. Serve meat mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with Basil Gremolata.

Basil Gremolata

Yield: about 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. In a small bowl stir together cheese, basil, and garlic.

nutrition facts
Servings Per Recipe 6, cal. (kcal) 371, Fat, total (g) 13, chol. (mg) 64, sat. fat (g) 5, carb. (g) 31, Monosaturated fat (g) 6, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 5, sugar (g) 6, pro. (g) 32, vit. A (IU) 54, vit. C (mg) 1, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 6, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1, Folate (µg) 97, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 4, sodium (mg) 403, Potassium (mg) 889, calcium (mg) 81, iron (mg) 4, Mark as Free Exchange () 0, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet