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healthy crock pot meals?
« on: August 29, 2007, 09:54:11 PM »
I am braving the culinary unknown (for me!).  What the heck do I put in this crock pot?!

I am looking for some easy, fresh things to throw in there.  We got some of the frozen bags (one's a beef stew and the other is chicken and dumplings) but the pre-prepared stuff tends to be high in sodium and lower in nutrition...

The healthier the suggestion, the better!  Thanks in advance!

Paper Roses

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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 10:10:35 PM »
If you like beef stew, it's ridiculously easy in the crock pot.  You can find stew beef at the supermarket, and just add whatever you like to it.  I use one or two big onions (cut into quarters, or eights if they're really big), a bag of baby carrots, some mushrooms, and a can of those small potatoes (I know they're not fresh, but my kids like the way they taste in stew), and a can of peas and/or green beans (you can use frozen instead if you prefer).

I also add a can of beef broth and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (I believe both are available in low sodium and low fat versions) and some fresh ground pepper, and whatever spices I happen to have in the cabinet at the time.  Ones a particularly like are oregano and basil, or thyme, or rosemary. 

I used to use powdered onion soup mix, but one time I forgot it and reallized I couldn't tell the difference.  Besides, it adds to the sodium content.

Good luck, and enjoy your new crock pot!
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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 10:14:49 PM »
I use a slowcooker stew packet with onions, baby carrots and potatoes.  After reading the previous post, though, I'm throwing some mushrooms in next time!  :)


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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 10:20:44 AM »
i used to use the crock pot a lot. i don't so much anymore, mainly bec I pretty much stopped eating meat/chicken/turkey. the problem is that most vegetables just disintegrate in the CP so you are left mainly with the meat/chicken. OTOH - its good bec you can make a roast or turkey breast or meat loaf, slice and freeze and this way you always have soemthing ready to eat.

there was a recipe roaming around the 'net called 'crockpot sticky chicken' or something. it's easy and most people (but not everyone) love it. i used to make it with  a lemon in the cavity instead of the onion. sometimes i would put small whole potatoes on the bottom of the crock, and then put the chicken on top of that. yum. so here is the sticky chicken recipe:

This was shared by Faith on AOL, from a recipe by Lynne Heller I believe.

Crockpot Roast Sticky Chicken

4 tsp salt (I only use 2 tsp)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large roasting chicken
1 cup chopped onion

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove giblets from chicken, clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a resealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook chicken put it in the crockpot and do not add any liquid. As the cooking process goes on it will produce it's own juices. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours and it will be falling off the bone tender.

Note: When you put the chicken in the crockpot, be sure to put it on a rack, trivet, balled aluminum foil, or a layer of carrot and celery sticks, anything to lift it out of it's own juices. If you allow it to sit in the juices it generates, which is quite a bit, you'll have some highly seasoned chicken with a boiled soup texture! Lifting out the juices also helps.

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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 10:28:58 AM »
Cicero, does this get brown at all?  I'm still learning about crock pot cooking, never really used one except for stew.  It's just so HOT now, I hate to turn on the oven.


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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 11:03:34 AM »
no, it doesn't get brown but it does get cooked - what i mean is, it looks fine and juicy and everything, but it doesn't look like oven bar-b-cued chicken. honestly - CP cooking is something you have to get used to. it's easy, and convenient but the food can be different. as i said - i used to use it a LOT, especially in the winter, but i rarely eat meat any more so i don't.

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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 12:49:43 PM »
I don't know if this one is healthier, but it's GOOD.

4 chicken breasts or boneless pork chops
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 soup can of water
1/4 soup can of milk.

Put half of soup mixture in the botton of the CP, put meat in and pour the rest of the soup mixture over the top.  Cook 6-8 hours on the low setting.

We usually make mashed potatoes and carrots to go with this. (This is DD and BF's FAVORITE cp meal)

Also, if you've ever seen the 'oven bags', they are GREAT for cooking in crockpots.


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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 09:56:19 AM »

I don't eat meat but my family really likes this one.  Sometimes I make it with a small pork roast instead of the chops.  It is fine to skip the browning step - I'm not sure I've ever done it!

Crockpot Pork

           4 (1 inch thick) boneless pork chops
   2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
   1 medium onion, sliced
   2 apples - peeled, cored and sliced
   1 tablespoon brown sugar
   1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
   1/4 teaspoon salt
   freshly ground black pepper to taste
   1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Quickly brown the pork chops on each side. Set aside.
Arrange sweet potato slices in the bottom of a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker. Cover with the onion slices, then the apple slices. Sprinkle brown sugar, nutmeg and salt over the apples, and grind a little pepper. Place the pork chops on top of the pile, and cover with sauerkraut. Cover, and cook on Low for about 5 hours. It can go an extra hour without drying out though.
Serve pork and vegetables with juice from the slow cooker spooned over them.


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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 09:58:03 AM »
Veggie Chili

2 cans S&W chipotle beans
1 can black beans, drained
1 can Red Gold chili-ready tomatoes
1/2 can Red Gold tomatoes w/chiles
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium green pepper (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 anaheim or other mild pepper (chopped)
1 package McCormick Tex-Mex chili mix
1 Tbsp cocoa
3 oz red wine (optional)
5 oz water

Put beans and tomatoes into sprayed crockpot.  Saute peppers and onion in olive oil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.  When just beginning to wilt and brown, add chili mix and stir well.  Continue cooking for one minute then add to crockpot.  Mix cocoa into beans and peppers and stir very well.  Add wine and water and stir well.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Makes 8 servings.


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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 05:05:05 PM »

1/2 lb diced beef, 1/2 lb diced pork, 1lb potatoes, 1 1/2 lb mixed vegetables (carrots, celeriac, leeks, white cabbage, onion) 1 pint stock, salt, pepper, marjoram, caraway seeds and chopped parsley

Cut meat and potatoes into large dice (about 2cm or 1). Slice vegetables roughly. Put a layer of meat into the pot, followed by one of vegetables and one of potatoes. Season each layer with the herbs and spices. Continue until the casserole is filled, ensuring that you end with a layer of potatoes. Pour over the stock, cover , and cook. Do not stir it. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

It doesn't really matter what vegetables you put in, but you do need the cabbage and potatoes. Otherwise just use whatever is in season at the time.
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Re: healthy crock pot meals?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 05:40:31 PM »
BittyB - these are my two favorites - and it really cannot be any easier.  Basically - you throw a chicken in the crock pot.

1 whole chicken
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter/margerine, etc.

Wash chicken, remove giblets.  Dry chicken & rub with butter.  sprinkle w/salt & pepper (make sure to get some inside.

put in crock pot - low - about 8-9 hrs. later - dinner!!

Remove from pot with spatula to keep from falling apart.  You'll have about 2 cups of chicken broth in pot.  Use for gravy over rice or mix w/stuffing.

The chicken falls off the bone.  You'll have lots of left overs for sandwiches, potpies next night, etc.

I've also thrown in herbs with it.

The first time I made this, I rushed home at lunchtime thinking - no liquid?  I'll be burning my house down.  Nope - lots of liquid, and house smelled great!

Second recipe - same steps, except pour 1 can of cream of mushroom soup over chicken before cooking on low for 6-8 hours.