Wednesday, October 26, 2016

3 healthy slow-cooker recipes for the busy mama

3 healthy slow cooker crockpot recipes
Look, I get it, cooking dinner every night is not high on my list and not because I don't want to but lets face it, we are all busy these days. 

I love and cherish my crockpot. (Am I showing my age by using that word instead of slow-cooker?) Lol because up until last winter, I had my moms original crockpot from the 70s with the old original plug. The only reason I ditched it was because I didn't want to come home to a burnt down house smelling like pot roast haha jk it actually burnt out after almost 40 years. Which let me tell you, coming home and smelling that wonderful aroma, not only makes your mouth water but will have your hubs drooling over the fact that he will think you slaved away all day prepping the family dinner...


Mornings are typically rushed for us here, so I try to get everything prepped the night before (it is usually 10-15 mins max!!) so that all I have to do is toss it all in and fire up that slow-cooker baby and walk away for the day.

Now, if you are a nervous nelly and prefer to not leave it plugged in all day (which I have never heard of my neighbors or friends homes burning down because of the slow-cooker making dinner but anywho #remindertoself), you could cook that baby at night on low while you sleep.

Here are 3 mouth-watering recipes that I have collected from my pinterest and am excited to share with you all. 
slow cooker chicken dish for busy mamas
(image via pinterest & simplystacie.net)

Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Chili
[serves 6]

ingredients:
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 15 oz can white beans (cannelloni or great northern), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Tapatio or something similar)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • mozzarella cheese and avocado for garnish, optional
directions:
  1. In your slow cooker, add chicken breasts, corn, beans, salsa, onion, garlic, jalapeno, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and cilantro; lightly stir to combine spices.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours, or high for 6-7 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from chili; shred using 2 forks. Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker; stir to combine.
  4. Serve topped with additional cilantro, mozzarella cheese, and avocado as desired.
  5. I like to top mine with a little Greek Yogurt


slow cooker turkey meatballs recipe

Crockpot Turkey Meatballs
[yields 25 med meatballs]

ingredients: 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound 97-98% lean ground turkey
  • 1 pound 92-93% lean ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup (40g) Panko
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (22g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion sweet onion, sliced
  • two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • chopped fresh basil for serving, optional
directions: 
  1. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground turkey, Panko, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix everything up just so the ingredients are combined - avoid over mixing. Roll into desired size balls - mine were slightly larger than a golfball. Place all rolled meatballs on a large baking sheet.
  2. Place onion slices in the bottom of the crockpot, topped with 1 can of crushed tomatoes.
  3. Coat a large skillet with remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Lightly brown the meatballs (only 6-8 meatballs at a time) for about 1 minute on each side. Do not skip this step - read above for why. Layer the meatballs into the crockpot as you're browning each batch. Once all browned meatballs have been added to the crockpot, pour remaining can of tomatoes on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-6.5 hours. Serve with pasta, as meatball subs, plain, etc. No matter how I serve them, I always top with a little chopped fresh basil. Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Make ahead tip/freezing: Prepare meatballs through the browning step; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze up to 2 months. Add to crockpot and cook as directed. OR you may fully prepare 1 day in advance, refrigerate, then cook in the crockpot on low for 45 minutes or until warmed. Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce for up to 2 months. Defrost before reheating as desired.
slow cooker chunky stew with potatoes
(image via pinterestskinny ms.)

Slow-Cooker Chunky Beef and Potato Stew
[serves 10]
ingredients:
  • 2 pounds lean chuck or other beef stew meat, cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice (BPA-free cans)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
directions:
1. Whisk flour, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. 
2. Dredge the beef cubes in the flour mixture.
3. Place half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place half of beef cubes into the skillet and cook on all sides, for about 30 seconds per side, or until golden. Do not cook the meat through, just brown the outside. Remove and set aside. Add the rest of the oil and the remaining beef cubes and repeat.
4. Add meat pieces to the slow cooker. Add onions, potatoes, worcestershire sauce, and can of diced tomatoes with juice.
5. Stir balsamic vinegar along with broth, garlic, oregano, paprika, and bay leaf, and add in. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir well.
Here are some amazing slow-cookers to suit any budget and a fun cook book with more recipe ideas!

Thanks for reading... xxB

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