This recipe comes from an old family friend and has been a favorite in our family for years. Plus, who doesn’t love a crock-pot meal? I love that you can literally throw all of the ingredients in a crock-pot and come back a few hours later, and it is cooked to perfection. This recipe also freezes well so you can make a big batch and store the leftovers in the freezer for another night.
1 ~2lb Eye of round beef roast
1 can beef consommé broth
1 packet Au Jus mix
1 packet Italian dressing mix
2 cups water
1 small French baguette (per sandwich)
1 slice provolone or pepper jack cheese (per sandwich)
Directions: Place roast in a crockpot. Mix beef broth, Au Jus, Italian dressing, and water, and pour over roast. Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once cooked, pour out the sauce and use for dipping. Shred meat. Slice baguette in half. Top with 2oz of meat and cheese slice. Preheat your oven to broil. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes to melt cheese. Dip in the sauce. Great for freezing and reheating for leftovers.
The heart of this recipe is the beef. I always use an eye of round roast, which is considered to be an extra lean cut of beef. This means that there is less than 5gm of total fat and 2gm of saturated fat per 3.5oz serving. Other extra lean cuts of beef include
- sirloin tip,
- top round roast,
- bottom round roast, and
- top sirloin steak.
Beef is an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc, all of which you need more of during pregnancy. Iron deficiency, or anemia, is especially common during pregnancy. Beef is a great way to increase your iron intake. If you pair beef (or other foods high in iron) with a food that is high in vitamin C, you can increase your iron absorption even more. For example, I usually pair my French dip sandwich with a salad including tomatoes which are a great source of vitamin C.
No French dip sandwich is complete without a melty layer of cheese. Although neither provolone nor pepper jack cheese is considered a “health” food, all foods fit in moderation, and cheese does still has plenty of important nutrients. The biggest benefit is the calcium content of cheese. 1oz provolone cheese has ~210mg of calcium. Your total daily requirement while pregnant is 1000mg so 1 ounce provides more than 20% of your daily needs. There have been multiple studies linking low calcium intake during pregnancy with an increased risk of premature delivery and pre-eclampsia—making cheese an excellent choice during pregnancy.