Sunday Slow Cooker: Slow Cooker Basics

By Kristen Mccaffrey on
Today let’s get back to basics and real about life/dieting/healthy eating for just a moment. It’s hard sometimes. Really hard sometimes. Things come up and our good intentions sometimes fall to the wayside. The time we thought we would have to prepare meals isn’t always there. It’s easy to put our loved ones/coworkers/friends first and jump in when they suggest an unhealthy choice. And many times if you don’t set yourself up for success it is incredibly easy (much easier than not taking a bite) to just reach for something thinking it will just be this one time, but that one time comes to often. Personally for me, I tend to be an all or nothing type of girl when it comes to dieting. Once I make one bad choice, it’s downhill from there. Mentally I just throw in the towel and figure I already “fell off the wagon,” so why not get it all in and start again tomorrow. And that extra 200-300 calories quickly turns into more calories than I care to think about. And if I am really honest that day usually turns into a whole week where I tell myself I will just start again on Monday, erasing any progress I may have made in the days or weeks previous. And sometimes that week, has turned into weeks where Mondays keep coming, but nothing really changes about the way I am eating or moving. To combat that, I have learned to do a few things that really help, and surprisingly starting on Sunday and using my slow cooker are towards the top of that list. (Meal planning is another huge one, but we’ve talked about that before.) Armed with a few basic slow cooker recipes, like the ones below, you can stock your fridge with a base for salads, lettuce wraps, tacos, stirfrys, rice bowls, or high fiber pasta and make a meal in minutes. Cook up and portion out a few servings of a healthy side like quinoa, brown rice, or cauliflower rice that you can toss in as well. Then just add some light dressing, salsa, marinara, teriyaki or barbecue sauce and you have all kinds of meal options to help you stay on track during the week. With that, here are some basic slow cooker recipes that you can spice up any way you like that can serve as a base for healthy meals all week. 1. Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken: Just add 2 lbs. chicken breast, 3/4 cup chicken broth, and a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt. Sprinkle with pepper and cook for 4 hours. You will have incredibly tender, all purpose shredded chicken that you can use in virtually anything. 2. Slow Cooked Shredded Beef: Just add 2 lbs. lean chuck roast or brisket to the slow cooker with 1 chopped onion, a couple whole garlic cloves, a teaspoon of salt, pepper, and oregano, and 1 cup of water or beef broth. Cook for 6-8 hours on low until it shreds easily. 3. Slow Cooker Shredded Pork: Add a 2 pound boneless pork loin roast to the slow cooker with 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, salt, pepper, and one teaspoon each of a couple of your favorite spices. Cook for 6-8 hours and slice or shred. 4. Slow Cooker Lentils/Beans: Combine two cups of lentils or beans with 4 cups of broth or water and your favorite veggies onions, carrots, celery, dark greens along with some spices. Curry, Italian spice blends, and chili spice blends all work great. Looking for more slow cooker recipes, check out these. What other basic and versatile slow cooker recipes do you use to stock up your fridge for a week of healthy eating?

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