My New Love for Slow Cookers!

Last month I wrote briefly about meal prepping. This month I’d like to share another helpful idea for those of you who still think meal prepping is time consuming. I also heard from some readers that they prefer freshly cooked meals. Every now and then, I feel the same way. Again, eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. I actually got this idea about six months ago, but didn’t start trying it out for myself until just a few weeks ago. Over the summer when I was visiting my sister-in-law, she was so excited for me to come over so she could show me her new slow cooker. I thought, what the heck could be so special about this slow cooker? Then she went on to show me that it was Wi-Fi enabled! I was still a bit confused as to the purpose. She continued to tell me how she throws ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning before she leaves for work and turns it on. She leaves it on while she’s at work and at about noon, she goes onto an app on her phone to turn the slow cooker off, or set it on warm. After she showed me the app, a light bulb went off in my head!! I thought to myself, THIS is what I’ve been missing this whole time! Luckily, my sister-in-law gifted me the exact slow cooker she had for Christmas! I was so excited! With my new slow cooker, I have been able to save time on cooking by following the exact method my sister-in-law does. When I get home, I have a freshly cooked meal waiting for me! The steps are simple!

Steps: 1. Pick a recipe. 2. Gather all the ingredients – defrost your protein if you have to. 3. Leave everything ready the night before – measure everything at this time. 4. First thing in the morning, go to the fridge and take out what you need. 5. Throw all your ingredients in the slow cooker, cover it, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you to turn it off depending on the recipe instructions. Skinny Slow Cooker Recipes (from magazine) Cajun- Style Beans & Sausage Prep: 25 min Cook: 6 hours Makes: 8 servings Ingredients: 1 pkg. (12oz) fully cooked spicy chicken sausage links, halved lengthwise and cut into ½ inch slices 2 cans (16oz each) red beans, rinsed and drained 2 cans (14 ½ oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained 3 medium carrots, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1 large green pepper, chopped ½ cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning 1 tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. pepper 5 ½ cups, cooked brown rice Directions: 1. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown sausage. Transfer to a 5 qt. slow cooker. Stir in the red beans, tomatoes, vegetables, garlic and seasonings. 2. Cook, covered, on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Serve with brown rice. Red Bean Vegetable Soup Prep: 15 min Cook: 6 hours Makes: 12 servings (3qts) Ingredients: 3 large sweet red peppers, chopped 3 celery ribs, chopped 2 medium onions, chopped 4 cans (16 oz. each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained 4 cups chicken broth 2 bay leaves ½ to 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ¼ to ½ tsp. hot pepper sauce Directions: In a 5-qt slow cooker, combine, peppers celery, onions and beans. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves before serving. Feel free to email me with questions!

Enjoy!