Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time for a Round-up: Best Slow Cooker Recipes

There is nothing better after a freezing cold, long day of work to come home to a warm, home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, the best of these dishes take time to stew and simmer for best flavors. Your Secret Ingredient (or in this case tool)? A slow-cooker…

Why have you done a good thing?
There is nothing that warms your soul like comfort food. Contrary to popular belief, not all warm and hearty dishes are unhealthy. Comfort food made in a slow-cooker are generally made in low-fat stewing sauces with lots of vegetables and lean meats that get soft and delicious over many hours of cooking. Cooking dinner in your slow-cooker is also a great time saver during the week, leaving you more room to relax, spend time with your family, and maybe even get a workout in! You can leave your slow-cooker plugged all day when you are at work and come home to dinner ready-to-eat. Cook extra large amounts and freeze portions for homemade frozen dinners. Even leave your slow cooker plugged in overnight for a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the morning. The possibilities are endless, super convenient, and healthy!

So here is a round-up of the 10 healthy slow-cooker recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and even special treat dessert):

Click on each recipe idea for a link to the recipe.

1) Soy Ginger Chicken
2) Pot Roast
3) For a Mediterranean Twist, Moroccan Chicken Stew
4) Have a warm hearty breakfast when you wake up in the morning with
a pot of steelcut oatmeal on a slow cook.
5) Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
6) Vegetarian Lasagna
7) Chicken cacciatore
Squash Chickpea Red Lentil Stew
9) Mixed Berry Crumble
10) Your Secret Ingredient Turkey Chili

1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
½ lbs green beans, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 can of black beans
28 oz chopped no salt added tomatoes
¼ tsp cumin (or to taste)
¼ tsp chili powder (or to taste)
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
2 dried bay leaves

In a large saucepan, cook the ground turkey and onion until cooked through and slightly browned. Add cooked turkey, chopped vegetables, tomato sauce, beans, and seasonings into the slow-cooker and simmer on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Check out these tips for great slow-cooking from the Food Network, Cooking Light, and iVillage

So bundle up and relax knowing you are coming home to a warm and hearty, yet healthy, meal tonight!

--Amy Santo, MS RD CDN

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