Whether we like it or not, winter is almost here. This means chunky sweaters, Hunter boots (for those of you in rainy weather) and hearty meals. Hearty meals usually take a ridiculously long amount of time (not to mention a lot of effort) to make, especially after a long day at work when you want to just sit back and relax, not prep food.
According to Wikipedia, the slow cooker was invented in the 1970’s by Naxon Utilities Corporation in Chicago (windy city and hearty foods- makes sense, eh?). The slow cooker or Crock Pot, if you want to name names, has changed the game and it has become a favourite appliance of many, including myself. I don’t pull it out often enough though, and I keep meaning to…but there are only so many times you can make chili from a Crock Pot.
Hopefully these five easy slow cooker recipes will help you invigorate your love for the slow cooker by giving you some easy ideas. Why is the slow cooker is so excellent? All you need to do to cook your home cooked hearty meal is just cut up your foods, pop them in, turn the slow cooker on, and when you come home after the grueling day of work or running errands, your food is ready for you. That waft of delicious home cooked food ready and waiting for you is always welcome by you and your family.
Slow cookers are great for the pocket book as they only cost pennies to operate. Depending on if you run your stove with electricity or gas (if the former, you’ll save money using a slow cooker, if the latter it might be equal), it can be cheaper to use your slow cooker. Depending on where you live, it could cost only $0.10 to run a slow cooker for an entire 8 hours. Talk about a frugal meal!
• Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Chicken by Canadian Living. Although there are a number of ingredients, mild curry is really good for you because it contains a lot of anti-oxidants. The spice also helps you warm up since it causes your blood vessels to dilate .
• This Slow Cooker Lasagne courtesy of Kraft only takes a total of 15 minutes to prepare (yes please!) and a total of 4 to 6 hours to cook in the slow cooker. It contains three different cheeses, Ricotta, Italiano (well I guess there are a number of different cheeses in here), and Parmesan.
• Another one from Kraft Canada (gotta love Kraft for the simple and easy recipes) is Pot Roast. This recipe takes a whopping 10 minutes to prepare. You can utilize the pre-washed and already de-skinned baby carrots to save even more time.
• Stephanie O’Dea from Crockpot 365 (yes you guessed right, she made a year of Crock Pot dishes) has a delicious looking recipe for Coq Au Vin. Your leftover cheap red wine will taste so good marinated with chicken. Some of her other recipes (she does have 364 others) also look really good.
• Eating Well, a magazine focusing on living and eating healthily, has a great page of Crock Pot ideas (they are so healthy looking but yet so delicious looking). For example, the recipe for squash, chickpea, and red lentil stew looks so delicious. It is North African inspired. The only thing you’re missing is the tagine.
These recipes are so delicious looking and are so easy to make. Pulling out the Crock Pot is a great way to save time, save money, and reduce effort cooking, so you or the cook in your house will have more time in the evening to spend on what matters. Besides, most of these meals are freezable too (and you can store them for a later date when you need a hearty meal quick) and make delicious leftovers for lunch. So, Naxon Utilities Corporation of 1970, thank you for inventing the slow cooker.
Bargainmoosers, do you have some favourite hearty slow cooker recipes that you don’t mind sharing with fellow Bargainmoose readers?
Photo Credit: (Joelk75)