St. Patrick’s Day Lite: Hearty Guinness Beef Stew and Irish Soda Bread

03/14/2014 at 12:11 PM ET

Cooking Light Guinness Beef Stew
Jonny Valiant/Cooking Light

We’ve heard of the luck of the Irish, but we usually don’t feel so lucky the day after St. Patrick’s Day — when the extra calories from all the green beer, corned beef and shamrock-shaped cupcakes make our jeans feel extra snug.

With a few smart swaps, though, even the heaviest Irish recipes can be slimmed to a calorie count that’ll have everyone doing a little jig. (Riverdance music: optional.)

In Cooking Light‘s latest cookbook, Global Kitchen: The World’s Most Delicious Foods Made Easy, a lightened-up Guinness stew is made with low-sodium broth and chuck roast trimmed of its fatty parts. Sound bland? It’s anything but. Once the carrots, parsnips, turnip, raisins and caraway seeds (and, of course, stout beer!) simmer low and slow with the beef, this version tastes as rich as the classic. Canola oil adds healthy fat, too.

Oh, and no stew is complete without some bread to sop up every drop — and traditional Irish soda bread is the perfect candidate. Made with steel-cut oats, whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, this recipe packs in an impressive amount of whole grains into every crumbly bite.

Good news: We think we’ve saved you enough calories for an extra pint!

Beef and Guinness Stew
Serves 8

3 tbsp. canola oil, divided
¼ cup flour
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, divided
5 cups chopped onion (about 3 onions)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 bottle (11.2 oz.) Guinness Stout
1 tbsp. raisins
1 tsp. caraway seeds
½ tsp. black pepper
1½ cups diagonally sliced carrots (about ½-inch thick)
1½ cups diagonally sliced parsnips (about ½-inch thick)
1 cup cubed, peeled turnips (½-inch cubes)
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1½ tbsp. oil to pan, swirl to coat.

2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with ½ tsp. salt; dredge beef in flour.

3. Add half of beef to pan and cook 5 minutes, turning beef to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.

4. Add onion to pan and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

5. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return meat to pan, then stir in remaining ½ tsp. salt, raisins, caraway seeds and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

6. Uncover and bring back to a boil. Cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Add carrot, parsnip and turnip. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

In 1 serving (about 1 cup): 365 cal, 19.4 g fat, 454mg sodium, 18.8g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 25.3g protein

Cooking Light Soda Bread
Jonny Valiant/Cooking Light

Brown Soda Bread
Serves 12

Cooking spray
2½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup steel-cut oats
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. wheat germ
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, line pan with parchment paper and coat again with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs. Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Invert breat onto a wire rack and let cool completely before removing parchment paper. Cut into 12 slices.

In 1 slice: 160 cal, 1.8g fat, 286mg sodium, 30.8g carbs, 4g fiber, 7.2g protein

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 3 comments

Fran on

There is a typo in the stew recipe…carrots were listed twice. 🙂
I made this stew last night…it is delicious!

Joan on

Yes – I noticed that too. I think one meant to refer to parsnip as parsnip is referred to further down.

Déva on

I frankly don’t see why this dish is being touted as “light”. It’s quite caloric for a beef/vegetable stew; in fact, there are significantly more calories in this recipe than in any other I looked at, even including a pre-prepared canned stew.

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