You can skip the eggs and breadcrumbs but this helps hold the meatballs together and gives them a little more flavor. You can also substitute ¼-1/2 cup beef broth in place of the water and bullion, I just didn't have any in the house. If your stew becomes too watery after 4 hours you can add about ½ cup of instant tapioca which will thicken it. Ideally, you should let your frozen vegetables thaw but I didn't and added the tapioca to thicken it a little. My frozen vegetables included carrots, celery and potatoes.