Happy Monday my friends!
This week I want to tackle healthy crock pot/slow cooker recipes. Since I have become healthier, I have started to realize that many slow cooker recipes are not even remotely healthy. Most of them seem to be based on cream of something soup and that just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Pair that with my families food allergies and it really starts to cut down on my options.
I don’t like that.
When school starts back up next month, I want to be prepared. I NEED to rely on my slow cooker – between homework, hitting the gym and of course work, I need to not have to worry about how to get dinner on the table.
Here are 10 recipes that I will be trying over the next few weeks. I figure if I find about 10 that I like, I can mix that into my menu planning along with grilling and be ok with dinners for a few weeks time. I won’t plan more than a week ahead, but it’s nice to have options. Next week, I’ll post my updated master meal list, which by then will organized into categories. Here’s the original list.
The recipes I chose for my initial trial had to be kid and food allergy friendly – which means I need to be able to easily adapt it with non-dairy and non-wheat ingredients. Mixing my own gluten free flour, for example, just isn’t going to happen. They also had to be simple – if I can’t pronounce the cooking method or ingredients, it isn’t on the list. I want simple.
1. Turkey Stroganoff from Skinny Ms. – Beef stroganoff is one of my favorite meals, but it’s pretty high cal. I plan to make this with wild game instead of turkey and plain, unsweetened soy yogurt instead of Greek yogurt. It really tastes good with Tofutti sour cream, but that has a TON of calories.
2. Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore from About.com Busy Cooks – I’ll make this without the cornstarch and the wine. Well, maybe the wine will stay in, just in a glass instead of the crockpot.
3. BBQ Pulled Chicken – My new favorite recipe. Only takes 3 ingredients – 4-6 chicken breasts, garlic powder and 1/2 a container of your favorite BBQ sauce. Leave in the slow cooker all day and about 30 minutes (or more) before serving, shred the chicken with a fork and leave in the sauce. So. Yummy.
4. Crockpot Turkey Meatloaf from About.com Busy Cooks – I like meatloaf, as long as it uses BBQ sauce. This one doesn’t, but that’s ok – I would add it in. I will also use wild game meat and potato flakes instead of bread crumbs.
5. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken from A Year of Slow Cooking – I love this website – great recipes and all are gluten free.
6. Stuffed Peppers – When I make stuffed peppers, I always make too much of the filling. Peppers cook up WONDERFULLY in the crock pot. To make this, I only need to defrost my “stuffing” which includes wild game sausage, zucchini and squash and put into 4 peppers, place them upright in the crockpot, then top with spaghetti sauce, which I also make in bulk. Set on low and enjoy!
7. BBQ Ribs – Not the healthiest meat choices, but if you cook the ribs in the slow cooker, then pour off the grease, then add in the BBQ sauce, then you can make these healthier.
8. Slow cooker Jambalaya from Prevention – I puffy heart love Jambalaya, so the idea of making this in the slow cooker is super exciting. I have to make mine without seafood due to allergies, but that’s ok. I also reduce the amount of rice and make it fresh to cut down on carbs. I’ll probably use chicken sausage (Sunflower Market makes an Andouille Chicken Sausage) as well.
9. Slow Cooker Lasagna from Eating Well – This is a tough one. I LOVE lasagna, but when I have made it dairy free it comes out terrible. In fact, the last time I made it, I totally cheated and ate the regular one, since my dairy free one literally made me gag.
10. Crockpot Enchiladas from The ShredHeads – This one poses another problem – I can’t have flour tortillas and my daughter can’t have corn. She has a tendency to not like mixed foods like enchiladas, so she usually has a quesadilla anyway.
So, there you have it – 10 healthy slow cooker recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share it in the comments!
PS - Remember, for more info about Menu Plan Monday, go here.