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20 Best Summer Crock-Pot Meals

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When summer rolls in with the force of the Sahara, the last thing many of us want to do is cook—especially if you don’t have a good air conditioner or cooling fan. Similarly, your Crock-Pot may not be the first thing that comes to mind for summer eats … but you’re here because you know better. A slow cooker can actually whip up tons of warm-weather recipes like spicy tacos and lemony salmon. (And if you are in the mood for something like a stew or otherwise hot meal, the set-it-and-forget-it nature of a Crock-Pot means you don’t have to hangout around a stuffy kitchen.) To get you started, we’ve rounded up 20 of our favorite healthy Crock-Pot meals to make this time of year. Voilà!

1

Sesame-Garlic Chicken

This is a healthy take on a classic Chinese dish. Over the course of five hours, the chicken marinates and stews in a sesame-soy sauce while absorbing the spices of sliced ginger and garlic. The broccoli and the rice do not cook in the same pot; however, so toward the end of the chicken’s cook time, you’re going to have to prepare that to complete the dish. But if you steam the veggies and pop the rice in your rice cooker, this shouldn’t take much more effort.

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping »

2

Chipotle Beef Tacos with Pico de Gallo

You’re going to want to save this one for your next Taco Tuesday. The beef chuck becomes tender as it is slowly cooked in tomato sauce, adobo, and chipotle. And when it’s ready to eat, you can make the pico de gallo in minutes.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

3

Slow Cooker Salmon

Yes, it’s true: You can make some slammin’ salmon in your slow cooker. This recipe calls for you to cook the fish in a tad bit of lemon and broth for some zest. But feel free to switch it up. White wine and melted butter also make great alternatives. Serve your salmon up with a salad and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Get the recipe from Delish »

4

Caribbean Chicken Thighs

You don’t have to travel far to get a little island flavor in your kitchen. This meal has the perfect combo of sweet, spicy, and tangy to keep your taste buds intrigued. Just pop in your chicken with the sweet potatoes, broth and seasoning and let it cook for about 4 hours on high (8 hours on low). Then top with your mango-avocado mixture and voilà!

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping »

5

Mujadara

Mujadara is a Moroccan dish made up of lentils, rice and flavorful spices. It’s an extremely affordable vegan comfort meal. Top with caramelized onions for zest and—on the side—slice up some fresh seasonal veggies to cool the palate.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home »

6

Zesty Pork and Slaw Sandwiches

If you’re in the mood for some North Carolina-style BBQ, these juicy pork sandwiches will satisfy those tastebuds. The secret is in the sauce: a mix of cider vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper, and salt. Chop up some cabbage and jalapeño for your slaw and you’ve got a refreshing, yet delightfully spicy topping.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

7

Chicken Cacciatore

Watch yourself get fancy with the slow cooker as you master this mouth-watering Italian cuisine. The prep time takes about 10 minutes, and when the chicken is just about done cooking in the tomatoes and spices, all you have to do is cook the linguine.

Get the recipe from Delish »

8

Smokey Shredded Beef Burritos

No, you can’t smoke meat in a slow cooker, but you can give your beef a smoky flavor by seasoning it with chipotle chiles and adobo. According to this recipe, you can also toss beans into the crockpot as the beef gets tender. But feel free to prep and cook whatever ingredients you like to have in your burritos.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

9

Teriyaki Chicken

For a gluten-free, paleo-friendly, Japanese-inspired classic, you might want to try what Eating Bird Food has cooked up. The sauce calls for tamari, honey, olive oil, chili paste, and ketchup. For the latter ingredient you want to make sure you haven a brand that does not use high fructose corn syrup. Serve with rice and cook your favorite veggie to go on the side.

Get the recipe from Eating Bird Food »

10

Mushroom Stroganoff

For a vegetarian recipe with a rich flavor profile that only takes 30 minutes to cook, you’re going to want to give this one a go. The creaminess comes from the sour cream you stir in at the end, however, you can sub in vegan sour cream if you want it to be 100% plant-based.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home »

11

Turkey Chili

If you don’t feel like eating beef, pork, or chicken, turkey is a great lean meat option. Ground turkey specifically tastes amazing in chili. For this dish, you do have to cook the meat in the skillet for two minutes before popping it into the Instant Pot. This recipe makes a whopping eight servings.

Get the recipe from Delish »

12

Honey Mustard Pork with Spinach Rice

Honey mustard and thyme make a delectable combo, particularly when they are used to flavor tender pork. You may need a food processor for this recipe if you don’t want to grate the apple and onion by hand (those are used to make the sauce even tastier). With the processor total prep and cook time is about two hours and 45 minutes.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

13

Crock-Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

For once, you’re not going to have to sweat over a hot pot of boiling water to make this popular comfort food. Most of the prep goes into making the meatballs (which you can skip if you want to go meatless). This recipe makes about six servings so depending on how big your household is, so you may have some tasty leftovers for a couple of days.

Get the recipe from Delish »

14

Corned Beef and Cabbage

We know St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have yourself some corned beef in the middle of July. The good news about cooking beef brisket in a Crock-Pot instead of on the stove is that you don’t have to keep checking it every 30 minutes to add more water. Just sit back and relax, add the cabbage in towards the end, and you’ve got an Irish favorite.

Get the recipe from Delish »

15

Thai-Style Pork with Rice Noodles

Thai-take out fans: You can rest your wallet and save some cash with this recipe. It may even be a healthier option if you make sure to grab the peanut butter without extra sugar and use coconut milk that doesn’t have any harmful additives.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

16

Ratatouille

If you’re on a budget, you can make this meal for less than $10 and serve six people. Or if you have a bunch of extra summer veggies (like zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers) lying around, you might not have to spend a cent. If you’re craving something meatier, add meatballs. Cooking up your favorite grain could also make it a fuller dish.

Get the recipe from Frugal Nutrition »

17

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Shells

This one’s for all the cheese-lovers out there. These stuffed shells combine cottage, mozzarella, parmesan and/or Romano cheeses. And compared to most slow cooker cook times, it doesn’t take that long either: around 2 hours. In that time, you can watch an episode of Pose and chop up a nice side salad.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

18

Coconut Curry Chicken and Chickpeas

This recipe combines spicy and sweet in the most delightful way. This is thanks to the blend of cayenne pepper, curry, and coconut milk. One tip: If you buy coconut milk in a can, try to get a brand that doesn’t use preservatives.

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

19

Curried Butternut Squash Stew

This is an excellent dish that can easily be made vegan (just skip the yogurt topping or find a vegan alternative). Over the course of about five hours, the squash, split peas and tomatoes stew together in coconut milk, curry, turmeric, cardamom, and ginger. To finish, can also make a lemon-scallion sauce to drizzle on top. Don’t forget to serve with rice!

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

20

Slow Cooker Vegan Quinoa Chili

This hearty and filling dish is super easy to make. Thanks to the beans and quinoa, it’s packed with protein and fiber. And it doesn’t back down on flavor. It recommends you add in onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper, but you can also add in your favorite herbs and spices as well.

Get the recipe from Simple Vegan »

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Recipes

Quick, Healthy Summer Dinner Recipes Under 500 Calories

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When the weather heats up, whip up a no-cook zucchini “pasta” dish, featuring the flavors of a Caprese salad.

Image Credit: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages

We know the winter weight gain struggle is real, but what about the summertime? While it seems like the summer months are primed for healthy habits — fresh summer fruits and veggies, warm workout weather and so on — there are a few potential pitfalls that can sabotage those efforts.

Less sleep, cold refreshing adult beverages and all of the food-centric activities, such as barbecues, beach days and getaways can do a number on your waistline. Here are five healthy summer dinner recipes — all under 500 calories — to help you manage your weight this summer.

Did you know that keeping a food diaryis one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

This fiber-filled soup will keep you feeling fuller longer.

Image Credit: Livestrong.com/ Jenna Butler

Gazpacho, a cold soup, might be the perfect food for those hot, hot, summer days. Traditional gazpacho is a mash-up of fresh, summer veggies like ripe tomatoes, cucumber and peppers, which makes for a light and refreshing dish. We make this a heartier soup by adding chickpeas, corn and avocado to the mix.

Adding these high-fiber foods to this already fiber-filled soup make it a perfect summer recipe if you’re trying to lose weight. Why? Well, for starters, we know fiber fills us up and helps keep us full. Eating 30 grams of fiber each day resulted in similar weight loss results as more involved diets requiring multiple dietary changes, according to February 2015 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

2. Grilled Farmers’ Market Veggie Tacos

More veggies could mean less weight gain.

Yes, you can have your favorite foods, and still manage your weight. The two are not mutually exclusive. Many people think that weight management means having to start a complicated diet with tons of food restrictions.

The truth is, weight management doesn’t have to be that hard or overwhelming. Making simple changes like adding more veggies in your life could make all the difference, especially in the long run.

Research shows that higher intakes of vegetables reduce the risk of gaining weight —significantly. The more vegetables a person ate, the less likely they were to gain weight over a one-year period, regardless of other foods they consumed, per a December 2015 study published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings are supported by a September 2012 study published in Obesity, which found that over a 10-year period, vegetable consumption was inversely related with weight gain, i.e. the more veggies you eat, the less weight you’ll gain over time.

3. Leafy Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Leafy greens are especially beneficial when it comes to managing your weight.

Speaking of vegetables and weight loss (see the Market Veggie Tacos above), it turns out specific vegetables may be more effective than others. Eating more vegetables should be a goal for everyone (less than 10 percent of adults get enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), but cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens may be especially beneficial for weight loss, according to a September 2015 study published in PLOS Medicine.

Researchers of the study found among all veggies, these two groups had the greatest association with changes in weight. The foundation of this recipe is mesclun greens. Perhaps the best part is using rotisserie chicken as an easy shortcut, making this a no-cooking-required recipe.

4. Cranberry Chicken Salad Sliders

Don’t cut lean protein if you’re trying to lose weight.

Make rotisserie chicken, which is used in these chicken salad sliders, your lean protein go-to for summer. You won’t have to turn on your oven but you’ll still get the health and weight loss benefits.

When trying to lose weight, we often focus on what we have to cut from our diets, but this could backfire when it comes to protein. In fact, if you want to lose weight, it behooves you to eat more protein, according to December 2019 study published in Advances in Nutrition. Protein helps to maintain and build lean muscle mass, which is crucial for weight loss.

5. Raw Zucchini Caprese ‘Pasta’

Olive oil for the weight-loss win!

Another cook-free recipe for the win! Better yet, this one calls for zucchini pasta, rather than regular pasta, which significantly reduces the calories and carbohydrates you’d typically find in a dish like this.

Another weight-loss-friendly food? Olive oil. Yeah, it’s a fat and calorie-dense, but olive oil is more effective than soybean oil when it comes to weight loss, per an October 2018 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition. In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (aka, the gold standard), olive oil led to more fat loss (80 percent more!) and reduced blood pressure, compared to soybean oil, over the course of 9 weeks.

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A Covid-19 survivor’s recipe for an immunity-boosting kadha that helped her

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By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: July 6, 2020 2:23:29 pm


kadha recipe, immunity boosting recipes, ayurveda drinks, indianexpress.com, covid immunity, how to build immunity, anahita dhondy, indianexpress, Here’s a simple recipe for building your immunity. (Source: Anahita Dhondy/Instagram; designed by Gargi Singh)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating the use of traditional Ayurvedic herbs and spices for building immunity to fight the current health crisis. He has often stressed on the importance home remedies to ward off not just seasonal niggles like cold, cough and flu, but the coronavirus. Which is why, many people have been consuming immunity boosters regularly. While there are numerous ways in which a kadha or ayurvedic herbal drink can be prepared, here is a simple one that we came across on social media.

What’s special about this one, you ask? The recipe is from a Covid survivor and “warrior” who drank the kadha twice a day, shared chef Anahita Dhondy, while demonstrating how to make it. Take a look at the post below:

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Sharing a family recipe or well an Indian recipe of a home remedy for cough, colds and flu! This one is by @arshitabkapoor a Covid survivor and warrior and this is what she has to say “This kadha is really a life savour. Helped me get through covid, and also build immunity. Drink this twice a day, precautionary and you will surely feel stronger! I like my kadha to be tasty also, so I always added extra cinnamon and gur!” So while it’s got all these spices which are anti inflammatory, what really caught my eye was the addition of black pepper. Did you know? While black pepper may seem like an odd addition to the mix, its presence plays a substantial role. The addition of black pepper with turmeric increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000 percent when used in a 1:10 ratio of pepper to turmeric. Pretty amazing, right? Black pepper aids in combating respiratory conditions and rejuvenating the lungs. So with the monsoons upon us, and the situation with Covid, this drink can be made and had an home. It’s soothing and delicious and well most importantly really good for you. Have it hot or warm, twice a day! Fresh turmeric and basil from @krishicress Hope you enjoy this easy recipe from our home, #TogetherAtHome we’ll keep cooking (and drinking) everyday! #HappyCooking #Happydrinking #stayhome #staysafe #quarantinecooking #kadha #ayurvedic #ayurvedicdrink #immunitybooster #homeremedies #homecooking #chefanahita #chefathome #easypeasy #stepbystep #recipevideo #homerecipe #cookingwithchefanahita #eatwell #homemade #stayhomestaysafe

A post shared by Anahita Dhondy Bhandari (@anahitadhondy) on

Here’s what the survivor Arshita B Kapoor had to say about the kadha, informed Dhondy: “This kadha is really a life-savour. Helped me get through covid, and also build immunity. Drink this twice a day, and you will surely feel stronger! I like my kadha to be tasty also, so I always added extra cinnamon and gur (jaggery)!”

ALSO READ | This immunity-boosting chutney is good for constipation and blood sugar

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients 

Moti elaichi
Fresh turmeric
Cloves
Black peppercorns
Tulsi
Cinnamon
Ginger
Munakka
Honey or jaggery

Health benefits 

Cinnamon

Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.

Cardamom

Helps relieve sour throat and helps keep the body cool.

Cloves

Boosts the body’s immune system.

Black peppercorns

High in antioxidants, and helps the body absorb turmeric.

Tulsi

Rich in antioxidants.

Method

*Peel fresh turmeric and fresh ginger. Crush both using a mortar and pestle.
*In a pot, boil water and add turmeric and ginger.
*Add all other spices.
*Boil it for 20-30 minutes. Add jaggery or honey for sweetness.

How to have it?

Heat it and keep having it throughout the day.

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Recipe roundup: Summer soup, sweet and savory side salads, and a new take on banana bread

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What’s for dinner? Here’s a quick roundup of easy recipes to get you through the week.

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