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A recent survey found that 39% of Americans say their patience in the kitchen is at an “all-time low” while nearly 1 in 2 American adults say they’re simply too busy to cook. This week, we highlighted the importance of de-stressing and slowing down during a busy and stressful fall season. These easy slow cooker recipes will help you do exactly that. Not only will you whip up a nourishing, delicious meal that’s good for you and your immune system, but you’ll also be harnessing the power of a slow cooker or pressure cooker. These slow cooker recipes dramatically cut back on time in the kitchen while still letting you enjoy a homemade, hearty meal.

Slow Cooker Recipes: Chicken and Vegetable Ragout

Chicken is a great source of low-fat, lean protein that gives you strength and energy. It also has other nutrients that fight disease, especially when slow-cooked with healthy vegetables in this French-inspired stew.

Immune-boosting veggies in the ragout include carrots, potatoes, garlic, lemon juice and dill. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, falcarinol, calcium, iron, and dietary fiber. “The ingredients provide important nutrients,” reports Northwell Health. “Protein and zinc in the chicken and vitamin A in the carrots help strengthen the immune system and repair the body’s tissues. Garlic and onion have antiviral effects, which means they help your body fight viruses. Ginger helps to block RSV, which is a common respiratory virus.

1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces, or 3 cups baby carrots
1 pound (3-4 medium) yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch-wide wedges
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 14-ounce of organic reduced-sodium chicken or veg broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
3-inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce jar artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered (if large)
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Spread carrots and potatoes over the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top of the vegetables.

Bring broth, garlic, ginger, onions and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once simmering, pour this liquid over the chicken and vegetables.

Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low.

Add artichokes to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for five minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook, whisking two or three times, until slightly thickened and sauce reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Stir in dill and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and serve. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Recipes: Veggie Curry

This vegetarian dish is full of flavor and packed with nutritious ingredients, and the warm spices are perfect for a cold fall evening.

Curry is a term that encompasses a wide variety of dishes and spice blends from different regions and cultures, so the health benefits can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. However, many curries contain spices and ingredients that offer various potential health benefits.

For example, turmeric is a key ingredient in many curry blends and is known for its active compound, curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been associated with potential benefits for reducing inflammation, aiding digestion, and improving skin health. Some studies also suggest curcumin may have potential cancer-fighting properties.

Many additional spices used in curry, such as cumin, coriander, and fenugreek, are known for their potential digestive benefits. They can help alleviate digestive discomfort and promote gut health. Finally, garlic and onions have potential antibacterial and antiviral properties. They can even help boost the immune system.

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk (light or regular)
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste for spiciness)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Cooked brown rice or whole wheat naan for serving

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until they become fragrant and translucent.

Add the curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir the spices into the onion and garlic mixture and cook for another minute to release their flavors.

Transfer the onion and spice mixture to your slow cooker.

Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes (with their juice) to the slow cooker.

Pour in the coconut milk and stir everything together.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that you can adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer red pepper flakes.

Set your slow cooker to cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The vegetables should be tender, and the flavors well combined.

Serve the vegetable and chickpea curry over cooked brown rice or with whole wheat naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a burst of flavor.

This slow cooker vegetable and chickpea curry is a healthy and delicious meal that’s rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Recipes: Protein-Rich Plant-Based Chili

This slow cooker recipe feeds a crowd (literally), and is also one of the easiest shareable meals to prepare. Because the chili is prepped in a slow cooker, most of the heavy lifting in the cooking process is completely hands-off, and the resulting chili is robust in flavor with surprising layers of subtle changes in every spoonful.

One thing you’ll immediately notice is the use of dark cocoa powder. An unconventional ingredient, the cocoa brings this chili to life and also adds extremely potent plant-based polyphenols that may help with everything from inflammation to improved cardiovascular health.

All the other ingredients also impart immune-boosting, health-enhancing benefits, from fiber that enhances your gut health, to tomatoes that are rich in antioxidants like lycopene. This recipe serves 10 to 12 people and can easily be doubled (or even tripled, depending on the capacity of your slow cooker!).

1 Tbsp olive oil (or your favorite plant oil)
2 lbs plant-based ground meat substitute
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
3 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup veggie, chicken or beef broth
2 tbsp chili powder (less or more depending on your spice tolerance)
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
2 15-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can of light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Fry the onion in a frying pan with oil for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another few seconds until fragrant.

Add to your slow cooker.

In the same skillet, saute the beef or plant-based ground “beef” until browned and cooked through.

Add to your slow cooker.

Pour the remaining ingredients (except for the canned beans) into the slow cooker, stir to mix thoroughly, then cook with the lid on for five to six hours on your slow cooker’s lower heat setting.

When it is done, remove the cooker and add the canned beans. Once warmed through, enjoy!

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