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One of the best kitchen inventions in the modern world is the humble crock pot Perfect for those busy weekdays, of school runs and late nights at the office. Being able to throw a bunch of ingredients into the pot, set a timer, and have that food ready for your return takes away the stress of returning home to cook a tasty and healthy dinner for your family.
As a busy parent, even with the assistance of a crock pot, or slow cooker, it can be difficult to think of something new and fun each time to keep everyone happy. To help, we’ve put together some super simple recipe ideas which you can change up and add your own twists to.
Simple Yet Tasty Chicken Dinner
Using your slow cooker, you can turn a very basic chicken dish into something incredibly succulent and delicious for everyone to enjoy. There are many benefits of slow cooker meals, and while you might think that these need to be filled with rich sauces like stews and soups, your slow cooker is perfect for cooking up just about anything.
Throw some chicken breasts into your cooker with some diced potatoes and a choice of veggies such as green beans or broccoli, and then create your own dressing. A good dressing idea would be lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, or any other preferred herb. Coat your chicken and veggies in your chosen dressing and cook for around four hours on high or seven hours on low heat. Then simply plate up and enjoy.
Succulent And Hearty Pot Roast
Slow-cooked meals aren’t just good for making mealtimes that little bit easier. They’re also great for making a meal even tastier than normal, whether it’s a meat dish r a vegetarian one. When it comes to slow-cooking meat, you’re going to be left with a very succulent and rich result after cooking for hours on end.
This is especially good for roast beef. Try a thick cut of beef with plenty of marbled fat and add it to your slow cooker with a selection of hearty root vegetables, some stalks of celery, a cup of beef stock, some olive oil, and some cornstarch. Season your pot roast with some sea salt, peppercorns, garlic, and some great herbs like rosemary and cook on low heat for about nine hours or so, and you’ll be able to enjoy a delectable, succulent pot roast at dinner time.
Rich Chicken Tikka Masala
Curry is fairly easy to make, and one that’s perfect for everyone in the family is going to be the popular chicken tikka masala. Not only can you do the curry itself in a slow cooker, but you could also cook the accompanying rice in one too. Slow cooker rice is so simple and very difficult to get wrong. Rice cooked properly in the slow cooker will avoid burning and sticking to your pan and will cook much more evenly, presenting you with a perfectly fluffy texture.
Cut your chicken into bite-sized chunks for the curry and throw it into a pan with a large, diced onion. Brown off the chicken and onions before adding it to the slow cooker alongside some crushed garlic, and then add some thinly sliced, fresh ginger, some oil, passata, three tablespoons of tikka curry paste, and some curry powder, whether mild, medium, or hot depending on your preference. Mix well and add to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for five to seven hours and serve with cooked rice or naan bread for a fantastic Indian meal.
Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Stew
For a tasty and healthy meal, a hot and delicious garbanzo bean or chickpea stew, packed with onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and lentils and seasoned with chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika is perfect. Simply throw all these ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on medium to high heat for around four hours.
Serve this delicious and simple meal with a side of quinoa or rice steamed with some lime juice or vegetable stock, add your choice of salad as a side, and get ready for a fresh and vitamin-filled dish. If you’re worried about this being too spicy at all, either hold off on the chili powder or serve with a dollop of dairy or plant-based plain yogurt.
Filling Vegan Minestrone Soup
As one of the world’s most famous and popular soups, minestrone is easily one of the best all-rounder dishes to make for you and your family during those busy weeks. While simple, this meal is hearty and filling, especially when complemented with a few slices of fresh bread. You can essentially put whatever you want in this, but we recommend a mixture of onions, carrot, zucchini, mixed beans of your choosing, garlic, tomatoes, a small pasta such as macaroni, orzo, or stelline, and then some dried or fresh herbs to taste and you’re all set.
When it comes to seasoning, you can use everything from marjoram to oregano, whatever takes your fancy. This is a very adaptable dish, and you can add or take out whatever you wish to really make it your own. Cook everything except the pasta on low heat for seven hours or four hours on high heat and cook the pasta separately before serving.