A slow-cooker can be a life-saver on busy days, allowing you to have a home-cooked hot meal ready when suppertime rolls around. I find that it saves me the stress of trying to figure out what to feed my family at the last minute, which is worth the bit of planning that it takes to prepare a slow-cooked meal.
Because it’s getting cooler outside, and we’re all craving warm comfort foods (and because school and work are both in full-swing), meals in the slow-cooker are ideal for us right now. If you haven’t invested in a slow-cooker, do it and do it now. You won’t regret it. They range from about $25-$100+ and come in different shapes and sizes. I picked mine up from Superstore and love it (it was on the cheaper side). Make sure you buy one that has a “warm” setting, so that when the cooking time is up, it automatically turns to “warm” instead of off. Some people feel a bit weird leaving food cooking all day without being home to monitor it. It only takes trying it once to ease your worry- it will be fine. The great thing about the slow-cooker is that you don’t have to worry–it takes care of itself!
I try to get everything ready the night before, put everything into the slow-cooker dish and stick it in the fridge (if there’s frozen meat in it, it will defrost overnight which is perfect). That way, I just have to transfer the slow-cooker dish into the cooking shell in the morning and turn it on.
Here are my top five slow-cooker recipes that you and your family will love:
Let this one cook overnight so that you wake up to the delicious aroma of comforting apples and cinnamon. Leftovers chill and freeze well!
This is one of my favourite soups to cook in the slow-cooker. If you load it full of veggies (I add more than what it calls for), it’s a meal-in-one. Your kids will love it too!
This is one of our all-time favourite chicken dishes. It’s so easy and makes tonnes of leftovers. I usually use a combination of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts.
I often refer to Julie Van Rosendaal’s “Dinner With Julie” blog for recipes. They are all delicious, and most are nutritious and easy to make. We’ve made this butter chicken recipe a few times and all love it (including the kids!). We serve with coconut rice and steamed steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
This soup is so flavourful and comforting, and it makes great leftovers. Lentils are nutrition power-houses, loaded with protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals. They are also really inexpensive! If you’ve wanted to experiment with lentils for a while, try making this soup–you’ll learn to love them!
And please feel free to pop over to my Facebook Page where I post daily nutrition tips and resources for parents and kids.