Why I Love My Slow-Cooker:Food Revolution Fridays

I love my slow-cooker.  I don’t use it as often as I should, but when I do I love that I can go about my day and forget about supper.  I don’t have the panicky feeling around 5 o’clock saying “What should I make for supper? Can I get away with bbq hamburgers again?”  Especially now that our bbq is on its last leg and I can’t count on it, the slow-cooker can be my lifesaver.

There are any number of websites out there that have good slow-cooker recipes and most of them are easy and with few ingredients.  I haven’t been brave enough to try any that use a can of pop, and really the thought of adding carbonated water and syrup to my food doesn’t appeal.  There are quite a few really healthy and easy recipes as well. I thought I would share 2 of my favourites.

Chili:

This can be vegetarian very easily, just take out the meat and there you have it.  It tastes as good without the meat, but I prefer to have some in there.

Ingredients:

1 can diced tomatoes and juice. (The big can, I have no idea how many oz. You can also get the lowest sodium ones as you are adding spices and the salt is unnecessary.)

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed.

1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed.

1 can black beans drained and rinsed.

1-2 cans navy beans drained and rinsed.

1-2 cans baked beans with molasses. (Optional but it gives a lot of flavour.)

1 lb lean ground meat browned and drained.

Spices: I usually add Club House Slow Cooker Chili seasoning, but you can use your own mix of spices like garlic, onion, chili, red pepper etc.

I don’t usually, but you can also add diced veggies like peppers, mushrooms, onions etc.

It turns out a little differently every time because I sometimes add different beans or veggies.

Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker and put on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.  It freezes really well and is a very healthy source of protein.

Amazing Meatloaf: (Adapted from Fix-it and Forget-it 5-Ingredient Favorites)

Ingredients:

1/2 C Ketchup divided

2lbs ground beef (I use extra lean, and sometimes I mix ground pork in.)

2 eggs

2/3 C dry quick oats

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Optional: finely diced mushrooms, onions, grated carrot, some dijon mustard.

Reserve about 2 tbsp of the ketchup.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Shape into a loaf and put in the slow-cooker.  Top  with remaining ketchup or use some bbq sauce.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-4 hours.

Tip:  About halfway through the cooking you can use a turkey baster to suck up the fat that will pool around the meat loaf.  This helps to make the outside a little crisper and gets rid of more of the fat.

With that I guess I know what I should make for dinner, meatloaf. I would make the chili but my boys are not so fond of beans yet. Sigh.  If you want to get some other great recipes check out some more Food Revolution Fridays posts at Notes From the Cookie Jar.

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