One-pot meal of Meatball, Beer and Potato Stew freezes well

From “Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes” by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association.

Fennel-flavored meatballs, apples and beer combine to make this quick casserole/soup. The beer adds an intriguing depth of flavor. This is a simple one-pot meal where all of the ingredients are placed in a large pot and left to cook on their own.

This dinner will freeze well. If you have time, make double and save half for another quick meal.

Helpful hints:

  • Any type of beer can be used. The alcohol burns off in the cooking.
  • When using dried spices, make sure the bottle is no more than 6 months old.
  • Diced fresh onions and green bell pepper can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.
  • Fresh sliced apples can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.


  • Prepare the ingredients.
  • Make stew.

Shopping list:

To buy: 1/2 pound ground beef 95 percent lean, 1 jar fennel seeds, 1 8-ounce can beer, 1 bottle dried thyme, 1 large can sweet potatoes*, 1 container fresh diced onion, 1 container fresh diced green bell pepper, 1 bag fresh sliced granny smith apples and 2 large tomatoes

Staples: Olive oil, fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, salt and black peppercorns

*Look for canned sweet potatoes containing per cup: 212 calories, 1 fat, 50 g carbohydrate, 76 mg sodium.

Meatball, Beer and Potato Stew

1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

1/2 pound ground beef 95 percent lean

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup fresh diced onion

1 cup fresh diced green bell pepper

1 cup fresh sliced apples

3 cups tomatoes, sliced

8 ounces beer

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup rinsed and drained canned sweet potatoes (1/2 pound)*

Mix fennel seeds into ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make into 1 to 2-inch meatballs (about 8 meatballs). Heat olive oil in a large nonstick casserole over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, onion and green pepper and sauté 5 minutes, turning meatballs over several times to brown on all sides. Add the apple, tomatoes, beer, chicken broth and thyme. Bring to simmer, cover with a lid, and simmer gently 5 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer 2 minutes. Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 498 calories (calories from fat, 107), 32.3 g protein, 61.4 g carbohydrate, 11.4 g dietary fiber, 11.9 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 6 g monounsaturated fat, 144 mg cholesterol, 424 mg sodium, 24.3 g sugars

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 vegetable, 1/2 carbohydrate, 4 lean meat, 1 fat