By Melissa Powell
Fall is the perfect time to rekindle a relationship with your slow cooker—or crock-pot if you’re on that side of the debate!
The weather is cooling down, students are returning to busy schedules and football season is kicking off.
My slow cooker was a wedding gift eight years ago, and I’m always finding new recipes to add to my collection of go-to menus for our family.
It frees me from the kitchen and allows me to spend the cooler days hiking with my family or playing dominoes on the screen porch and watching the leaves turn.
This year, I’m going to try baking bread in my slow cooker!
If you’re interested in mixing up your weekly menu, try some of my favorite recipes. They’re easy and healthy, too!
Sunday Slow-Cooker Roasted Chicken
Adopted from Eden Thistle and 100 Days of Real Food
1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds)
3-6 tablespoons Alchemy’s Mediterranean, Italian spice blend or another favorite brand or blend
Place chopped onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub spice blend all over the chicken. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions, and cook on high for 4-5 hours—or until meat is falling off the bone. There is no need to add any liquid.
Serve with your favorite frozen, steam-in-a-bag vegetable(s) for an easy Sunday lunch. Leftovers make great quesadillas!
Adopted from Chowhound Food Community
1 pork shoulder (3-5 pounds)
1 cup chicken broth/stock, low sodium
4 garlic cloves
3-6 tablespoons Alchemy’s Fat Elvis Memphis Dry Rub or another favorite dry rub
Place chopped onion and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub spice blend all over pork shoulder. Put prepared meat on bed of onion and garlic. Pour broth over meat. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (high 4-6 hours) or until meat is falling off the bone.
Serve on slider buns with your favorite barbecue sauce and a side of slaw. This recipe also can double as barbecue nachos—another game-day favorite.
Meatless Monday: Vegetable Curry
Adopted from Cookin Canuck
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup curry paste (or 2 tablespoons curry powder)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup lite coconut milk
Toppings: cashews, fresh cilantro (optional)
Place onion, ginger, garlic, curry paste, sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes and vegetable broth in slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in coconut milk, and cook for another 15-30 minutes or until warm.
Serve over basmati or white rice. Top with cashews and chopped fresh cilantro.
Melissa Powell Contact
Melissa is a registered dietitian and dietetics lecturer in the Health and Human Performance Department at UT Chattanooga. She and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of a playful son, Craig. She enjoys time with her church family, taming her lab mutts–Mabel and Moses—wine with neighbors and traveling south for a beach vacation or visit with her nieces. Her favorite subjects are faith, food, farming, family, friends and football. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Samford University and a master’s degree in health education from UT Chattanooga.