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Beans in your beef stew make it deliciously leaner

Picture this: after a long day at the office (or at the kids’ soccer field or wherever) you turn the key to open your front door and you are greeted by the heady aroma of a steamy meaty stew. You have been richly rewarded for spending mere minutes in the morning assembling dinner in your slow cooker.

Slow cooker short ribs that are worth the trouble

Many people love the idea of a slow cooker because it seems so simple — open the pot, insert ingredients, cover the pot, turn on the heat, then leave it alone. Eight hours later, after a hard day at the office or chasing the kids, you uncover the pot and spoon out a perfectly cooked, and perfectly delicious, dinner. It’s a miracle.

Bundled in a pretty package

A stuffed chicken breast or other meat is an elegant way to change up the dinner menu. And it need not take a great deal of time. Simply prepare a filling, pound the chicken to create more surface area, spread on the filling, roll and secure.

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Farro has regained its legions of admirers

Farro is one of the ancient grains making a big comeback today, and with good reason, as it brings flair, flavor and whole-grain nutrition to the table in an easy, accessible way. It is a type of wheat that resembles grains of barley, but with a nuttier flavor and delightful chewiness. It’s perfect for today’s home cook, because it is simple to prepare — you basically boil it like rice — and it is ready in about 30 minutes. No soaking necessary.

Movie Guide | 9-12-14

Editor’s note: Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one younger than 17 admitted.