I love using my crock pot this time of year. There is something so wonderful about walking in the door after a long day at work and smelling a delicious hot meal that is all ready to eat... and there is only one pot to wash up afterward! I personally use mine 2-3 times per week because it is just THAT awesome.
These days you can make almost anything in a crock pot, from lasagna and chicken pot pie, to brownies and bread pudding... amazing right!? I try to steer most of my crock pot meals in a protein-rich and veggie-heavy direction; below are some of my favorite staple meals. Even more convenient is that they have 5 ingredients or less, and have healthy, store-bought options if you don't have the time to make all the components from scratch... of course that is always an option too!
*Full of protein, fiber, folic acid and vitamins!
- 1 package pre-cooked lentils (available at Trader Joes)
- 1 container fresh bruchetta (also available at Trader Joes)
- 1 package cooked carnitas (optional if not a vegetarian... available at Trader Joes)
- combine on all ingredients in crock pot
- cook on low for 3 hours and BAM.. you've got a great dinner ready to go.
- I like to serve it over a bed of arugula for an extra pop of color and antioxidants!
Verde Pork Carnitas
*Full of protein, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids.
- 1 pork butt round
- 1 chopped white onion
- 8 oz chopped cremini mushrooms
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa (I like to use a mild Green Salsa Verde from Trader Joes... can you tell I like to shop there? haha)
- combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 5 hours
- shred the pork using two forks, and stir up all the ingredients a bit more to congeal together
- serve over brown rice or quinoa, or make into tacos or taco salad.
- optional to top with avocado, cheese, extra salsa, or any of your other favorites.
Balsamic Rosemary Chicken & Chunk Veggies
*Full of protein, potassium, vitamins & minerals.
- This recipe serves two people, so scale up if you need to feed more.
- 2 chicken breasts (tenderize with a meat pounder or fork)
- 1 small-medium red onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 large red potatoes, quartered
- 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
- drizzle of dark balsamic vinegar (a great way to add flavor, without adding unhealthy fats or calories)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)
- sprinkle of rosemary
- *side note: I do realize on this final recipe that if you use all the ingredient options listed it adds up to over 5 things, but it's worth the extra couple seconds that it will take!
- combine chicken, garlic and veggies in your crock pot and drizzle with a healthy amount of balsamic, and a sprinkle of rosemary.
- cook on low 3-4 hours
- optional to add a cup of cheery tomatoes for the last hour- they burst partly open and give your dish some more color. (I love eating food that is as vibrant and pretty as it is delicious!)
- option to shred chicken or leave it as is.
I hope these simple, yet healthy, recipes make your life easier and more delicious!
Health is Wealth!