General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

What are some simple, relatively healthy crockpot meals?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14620 points ) November 9th, 2012 from iPhone

I recently tried this chicken and rice recipe that sounded delicious, but the taste was horrendous. I’m looking for some easy recipes that I know are good, not just recipes I randomly find online.

I say relatively healthy, but my husband isn’t too big on veggies. I just mean nothing “fried” or overly fattening. Pasta dishes, etc are all fair game.

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19 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

I rarely use my crockpot unless I’ll be feeding a crowd and need a food warmer. However, I love great recipes, and have found Skinny Slow Cooker to have some great offerings.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 The taste is herbs and spices, lack of taste means . . . needs herbs, spices and maybe some salt. Get a cheap crock cook book, you should have gotten one with the pot.

Cupcake's avatar

Crockpot Sweet Potato Basil Soup

2 sweet potatoes or yams, diced
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 (14oz) can of coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
Place all ingredients in the crockpot.
Mix around.
Cook for 3 hours on high.
Use a hand blender, blender, or food processor and puree mixture until smooth. My 9 cup food processor fit it all just perfectly.
Eat up! If you have leftover meat, add it to your soup…obviously.

Brenna_o's avatar

Chili
1lb ground beef
Chili powder
Kidney beans
Pinto beans
Tomato sauce
Black beans
White beans
And minced tomatoes optional

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Brenna_o Cooking time/temperature?

Coloma's avatar

Colomas Cabbage, potato and smoked sausage soup

4–6 cups herbed veggie soup stock
1 lite smoked turkey polish sausage I usually use the Hillshire farms brand
3 med. new potatoes, not peeled, and diced
1 large bucket of chopped cabbage,—okay, replace bucket with 2–3 cups-
1 diced yellow onion
Crushed ( chili rojo hojuelas ) red pepper ( about a ½ teaspoon for slightly zippy, and a whole teaspoon for deliciously zippy.

Cook all ingredients on ‘high’ for about 3 hours, or until potatoes are done.
Serve with corn muffins/bread or french bread and butter/dip.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Tropical_Willie It wasn’t that it lacked taste. It was just a bad taste. And I think it had to do with it starting to burn halfway through the cook time even though I followed the recipe exactly.

I know there are recipe books, but I’m asking here for tried and true recipes. I haven’t had much luck with cookbook recipes.

Coloma's avatar

Edit: I omitted slicing the sausage but….. I figure you guys most likely, won’t just toss the whole thing into the soup. lol
You can also toss in some sliced yellow crookneck squash, yummy!

Buttonstc's avatar

Which brand crockpot are you using? Or is it a slow cooker. There is a difference. I’m assuming the brand name is somewhere prominent on this appliance?

Normally, crockpots should not be burning the food in the normal cooking range of 8–10 hours.

Plus, you really shouldn’t be putting pasta in a crockpot. Usually the pasta is cooked separately and then the meat and sauce is put over it.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Buttonstc It’s a crockpot. And I’m not sure why, but it WAS burning. And no, I don’t put pasta in the crockpot, but the recipe called for the rice to be put in. I put it on low and, four hours later, it started to smell funny. The rice wasn’t done, but the saucy part was sticking to the side and hardening. Nothing has burned in there before, so I don’t think it’s an issue with the crockpot itself. Not sure…

Here’s a thought. Would washing the bowl in the dishwasher deplete some sort of coating that keeps anything from sticking to it? This happened after I stuck it in the dishwasher for the first time.

Brenna_o's avatar

I cook my chili on low for 3–4 hrs and then on high for 30 min to get it super hot. Fresh beans may she longer though. I always use canned beans.

gailcalled's avatar

I am about to give my slow cooker to my niece with three small sons. After the initial enthusiasm, I see I haven’t used it in two years. The old-fashioned way with a dutch oven and low flame works just fine for soups, stews and oatmeal. If I use a serious pot like a Cuisenart and a trivet over a low flame, I can leave something simmering for an hour or two.

Brian1946's avatar

Sorry, but all I know are some mentally unhealthy crackpot meals that I saw in a Glen Beck cookbook. ;-)

Buttonstc's avatar

There isn’t any unusual type of coating which would be harmed by a dishwasher since the inserts are ceramic. Ceramic coffee mugs go through the same firing process when made and they certainly go in a dishwasher far many more times in than crockpot inserts.

The firing process for ceramics and their glaze coating uses incredibly high temperatures far in excess of the water in dishwashers.

The problem is that the temperature of the cooker itself is higher than it should be. I had this happen to me with Spaghetti sauce in a cooker I bought on Craigslist. There was obviously enough liquid in it and i had it on LOW the entire time so the only other thing was that the temperature was running too high.

But it was a Westbend not a Rival ( the originators of the Crockpot and the only company legally permitted to use the term Crockpot)

And after that experience with scorched sauce, that’s the only brand I will ever buy; Rival Crockpot. I’ve never had scorching in any Rival I’ve had over the years on any setting or even with little additional liquid. Theirs have always been calibrated correctly.

So if yours has the Rival name on it, in all likelihood the thermostat is defective. You should call Rival and tell them of your problem. They may replace it for you. They’re a company with a reliable reputation and stand behind their products.

If yours isn’t made by Rival, I don’t know what to say since other brands have such variabilities of temperature range.

I’ve read forum posts by folks with various other brands and this complaint about scorching is not that unusual for OTHER brands.

It matters little how great the recipe nor how faithfully it’s followed if the problem is with the appliance itself running at the wrong temperature.

Response moderated (Spam)
FreshlyBaked's avatar

Curried Lentils

1 stick of butter
1 can of stewed tomatoes with the juice
2 tablespoons of dried, minced onion or 1 medium chopped onion
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
3 to 6 tablespoons to taste of brown curry powder

Add the above ingredients to the crock pot on high, allowing them to heat through, and then add the following:

1 small lean steak, cubed
1 can of beef broth (If not using steak, you can use an extra can of broth and adjust water accordingly.)
1 lb. of uncooked lentils
3 to 6 cups of water

Stir it all together and cook until the lentils are the desired softness and the meat is done.

Stir in a bit of yogurt just before serving, if desired.

Kardamom's avatar

I agree with @Buttonstc There’s nothing wrong with your recipes and you’re following them correctly. What’s not working is the temperature settings on your slowcooker/crockpot. You might need to get them checked and calibrated or purchase a new model.

Some good, relatively healthy recipes are:

Pulled Chicken

Turkey Chili with White Beans

Beef Stew

Tomato Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ravioli with Mushroom Wine Saucecrock-Pot-Recipezaar

Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce over Pasta

Broccoli Beef

Chicken Tacos

Refried Beans

Black Bean Chili

livelaughlove21's avatar

Thanks for the recipes.

I don’t know about that temperature thing, because I cooked a dish for 7 hours yesterday and it didn’t burn at all.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well, that speaks specifically to the point that Kardamom and I are making.

If the temperatures are INCONSISTENT from one time of use to the next, that points to a problem of a faulty thermostat.

I’m not that knowledgeable about electronic things but I can recognize when something is off enough to require an expert to check it out.

If a slow cooker is working properly there should not be scorching ever. There are even some recipes which call for no added liquid and in a properly working appliance, they don’t get burned.

But the vast majority of recipes do call for some type of liquid. And unlike regular cooking where you’re expecting some amount of evaporation and need to keep an eye on liquid levels it to prevent burning, a crockpot is constructed to prevent evaporation.

Therefore, with that variable eliminated, the only other reason for burnt food would be too high a temperature. And that’s controlled by the thermostat.

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