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Slow cooker recipes

3 delicious slow cooker recipes

It's the perfect time of year to nestle up on the couch and enjoy a warm cup of goodness. Beci Falkenberg, a chef at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, shares three of her favorite slow cooker recipes. 

Slow cooker chai recipe

Chai, which means tea in India, is a health-promoting beverage and a tonic for the whole body, says Falkenberg. Her delicious spiced chai recipe is a blend of black tea, black peppercorns, cinnamon, ginger and aromatic spices, heated in a slow cooker with water for an easy, no-fuss preparation. Add milk and sweetener to the chai when you're ready to serve it.

Yield: 2 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons whole cardamom pods
  • 8 ginger slices (1/4" thick, no need to peel)
  • 1 teaspoon black tea leaves (or 3 tea bags)
  • Milk of your choice and sweetener, to taste
  • Optional spices: whole allspice and star anise

Directions:

Place all but black tea, milk and honey/sweetener in a slow cooker. Simmer on high setting for three hours or on low overnight.  Turn off slow cooker and add black tea; allow to steep until mixture has cooled. Strain tea mixture.

To Serve:

  • Hot chai: Use one part chai, heat, add milk and sweetener.
  • Chai latte: Use one part chai to two parts hot or cold milk (add ice for cold); add milk and sweetener. Adjust ratio and sweetener to taste.
  • Double the recipe for a crowd.

Note: Refrigerate unused chai for up to a week or freeze into cubes.

Slow cooker cabbage lentil soup

This “fix it and forget it” slow cooker soup is healthy, hearty and delicious! Use the recipe as a guide and vary the vegetables according to your taste and what you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 can reduced-sodium white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or mix of dried basil, thyme, parsley, oregano)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped, or bag of cabbage slaw
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon Penzeys pork chop seasoning (vegetarian)
  • Optional meat: Add ½ pound cooked ground turkey meat or uncured, nitrite-free turkey sausage

Directions:

Chop all vegetables; add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to combine and let simmer on low for five to seven hours, until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Southwest chicken soup with slow cooker stock

This hearty, flavorful soup recipe comes together quickly with minimal ingredients. Try making your own easy slow cooker chicken stock and no-cook salsa verde. Tomatillos, which are green husk tomatoes, add a slightly sour and tangy flavor to Mexican and Spanish foods. Nutritionally, they contain a small dose of potassium, plus vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber and iron.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed 
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • Optional toppings: Nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat shredded Monterrey Jack, avocado, green onion, cilantro or baked tortilla chips

Directions:

  • Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook for two minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, broth, and cumin.
  • Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  
  • Serve with optional toppings, if desired.

Slow cooker chicken stock                                          

This is a good basic chicken stock that can be used as the base for any chicken soup recipe or to flavor rice, grains and casseroles. Minimal seasonings make the stock versatile for use in other recipes.

Yields about 3 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3-pound) rotisserie chicken carcass (meat removed and saved)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for eight to 10 hours or high for four to five hours.
  • Strain and cool stock; skim fat or refrigerate to chill before skimming.                                      

Freezing ideas:  Freeze cooled stock in quart-size freezer bags laid flat for easier defrosting or freeze in ice cube trays, then later remove to store in freezer bags.

Salsa Verde

Yields about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (5 to 6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stems removed), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Roughly chop the tomatillos and the chiles.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chiles, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to a coarse puree; scrape into a serving dish.
  • Rinse the chopped onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, to taste.

For additional healthy recipes, click here

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