Good & Healthy Slow Food

It’s winter time and time for soups, chilis, and warm comfort food to soothe the soul.  Time to liven up the diet, but stay healthy and looking for easy tasty ideas for using my “crockpot” – Slow cooker…. I polled my friends for their ideas and wanted to have a place to reference these great ideas that they shared!  Thanks everyone!

First off here are my recipes and “go to” slow cooking favorites for the family:

CHILI – SO easy to add the black beans, chopped tomatoes, diced spicy tomatoes, green chilis, jalapeño, hamburger (lots of it for the boys), italian sausage to liven it up, salt, chili powder and black pepper – Cook for 1-2 hours

BARLEY SOUP – Mushrooms, Barley, Garlic, Chicken stock (6 cups), Kale, Spinach, carrots, celery, red pepper, white onions, black pepper, himalayan sea salt and Protein of choice (Chicken or Italian sausage is our favorite)

LENTIL SOUP – Lentils, Chicken Stock, Carrots, Mushrooms, Onions, Celery, Spinach, Garlic and Protein (again we love our chicken or sausage unless you want it vegetarian)

APPLESAUCE: Place apples (Cored with peels on) cook for 4 hours – ADD cinnamon in the last hour and then use the Vitamix to blend together!

Next…. New and Fun ideas from my Friends! 

MEATBALLS:   (from Susan Walker)   Use several sauces, depending upon the meal. Cocktail meatballs – chili sauce and grape or currant jelly; porcupine meatballs, ground beef, onion powder and leftover rice, about 1 lb beef to 1 cup rice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, shape as preferred. Bake at 350 degrees until browned. At this point, I often freeze the meatballs until needed. When ready to cook, place meatballs in crock pot with 2 cans Progresso hearty tomato soup and one larger can Campbell’s tomato soup. Rinse cans with a little good red wine, season a bit more with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and garlic. Season lightly, as flavors strengthen in slow cooking. Cook on low about 7-8 hours depending on your crock pot. I can normally get about 6 hearty servings in that amount of sauce. The last one is similar, using basic meatballs made with bread crumbs, and more of a stroganoff or Swedish sauce. Cream of mushroom, a hint of nutmeg, white wine, some fresh mushrooms added at the end (about one hour left) with sour cream. Same cook time, light salt and pepper seasoning. If I skipped any steps, let me know. Easy peasy!  The cocktail meatballs I often cheat and use good frozen ones. Another good sauce is King Arthur Flour’s boiled cider and cracked pepper added to the crock pot with a little beef broth, cook frozen or homemade meatballs 7-8 hours on low. Those are pretty yummy too.

TACO SOUP: (from Colleen Doyle) Friday Night Bites Taco Soup  My absolute favorite. I make it without chicken, and I don’t use a taco seasoning packet. Will post her recipe for that, too. I do on occasion put either shredded chicken or shrimp in it-after it’s cooked. Freezes great.  TACO SEASONING

CHICKEN STOCK:  (From John Turner) we make all our chicken stock in it, delicious then freeze into 1/2/3 cup bags, chuck a carcass in, veg ends, carrot tops etc., herbs, leave on low overnight and voila, fat will break down too, left with clear, pure stock

MEXICAN CHICKEN: (From Beth Knodler) Easy dinner which is really good and versatile is just 1 lb of boneless chicken breasts. tenders, whatever, with a 16oz container of fresh salsa (the stop and shop or Big y brand – it is in with the lettuce/produce area). poor the salsa on top and cook for 6-8 hours on low. It will mix with the salsa and become shredded meat. We have made tacos, nachos, put over rice with a little cheese on top, put over pasta… you can do so many things with it

Beef Stew, Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs and Oatmeal were also top on the list for amazing and yummy healthy dinners in the slow cooker!  Can’t wait to try some of these out this winter.

What’s your favorite food in the Crock Pot?  Either something you have made yourself or food you have experienced!  Please share!

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment below with your favorite slow cooker food or recipe!

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About NancyE

I'm a top ranked master Marathon Runner, Waterskier, Alpine Skiing Development Coach & PSIA certified instructor, Ski Race Photographer, Proud Mom, & Loving Wife. I love my Community, my Home, my Labrador Retriever, my Trails in the summer & Mountains in the winter. I'm a lymphoma cancer survivor diagnosed July 2010 - passionate about sharing my strength, finding a cure & raising the funds needed for research, working toward the ultimate goal of a cancer free world
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