Slow Cooker Love: Perfect for Cold Weather


I’d like to start off by saying my thoughts are with those in Indiana and Illinois affected by the storms yesterday. My family farm is in Central Indiana, and they were lucky with no damage, but communities just minutes away were not as lucky. Here in Kentucky, we just had a lot of rain (luckily).

Lately I’ve been in love with my CrockPot. I’ve always known it’s perfect for meals to be cooked all day. I mean, how awesome is it to come home from working all day and dinner already be done? But I don’t really take advantage of it until the weather turns cold…and I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat.

The past couple of weeks I’ve made some pretty tasty meals in the CrockPot that I found on Pinterest, so I thought I’d share them with you. (Unfortunately I failed on the photo taking department with the meals, so you’ll have to bear with me.)

CrockPot Pineapple Chicken

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com. However, I changed it up a bit and used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut the amount of brown sugar used (I figured the pineapple would be pretty sweet already). Using the boneless chicken breasts allowed me to be able to shred the chicken after it cooked for 3 hours (on high), which I really liked better.

photo-36

We served this on brown rice that I quickly whipped up before we ate. It was even better the next day!

*Make sure you use canned pineapple that’s only in pineapple juice, not syrup, for less sugar.

CrockPot Lasagna Soup

This was a recipe I originally found on Pinterest, but it’s listed on SparkPeople. This was another easy recipe that was pretty low fat and low in calories. I browned the ground turkey before putting in the CrockPot (some say you can put raw ground turkey in there, but it makes me wary). I did change up the recipe to go with what we had in the cabinets and refrigerator.

Here’s what I did:

1 pound ground turkey
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 14.5 oz can of Italian diced tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
Diced onion
Diced green pepper
2 cups whole wheat noodles (I used up 2 boxes–elbows and swirls)

Next time I’d love to use some zucchini, as suggested, but my CrockPot was full with all of this! Topped with some mozzarella cheese in the bowl, and it was delicious! Perfect after a cold run that night.

Chili

And who could forget the always-dependable chili in the CrockPot? This meal can be what you make of it–simple or complex. I don’t have any real set recipes for chili (but the hubby has one tried-and-true that he loves), so it’s hard to share.

One thing I discovered one time making chili might sound odd to you, but I actually really liked it. One night I really wanted chili, but we didn’t have much in the cabinets. I looked up different recipes and saw something about using celery in the chili. I had a can of black eyed peas I wanted to use, and my mom said that was ok. So I created a black eyed pea chili, with ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and diced celery. Seriously…try the diced celery. It adds a little crunchy and crispness to the chili. M wasn’t too sure about the meal when he saw the black eyed peas and when I told him there was celery, but he actually liked it.

I encourage you to play around with your slow cooker this winter, and share a favorite recipe! I’m going to try to do a new slow cooker recipe once a week–you never know what you might discover you love!

Your turn: What’s your favorite, go-to slow cooker recipe?

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3 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Love: Perfect for Cold Weather

  1. Paula Deen (love her or hate her, you can’t deny her recipes are tasty) has the best taco soup recipe that I put in the crock pot. I will definitely be trying your lasagna soup! I love that you basically just have to open cans. Also, is that a corgi I see in your title photo?! Totally just made my day.

      • Brown some hamburger then put it in the slow cooker with a can of kidney beans, corn, jalapenos, 2 cans diced tomatoes, a packet of ranch mix, and a packet of taco seasoning and you are golden! I have a corgi mix. Seriously the best dogs ever!

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