7 Slow Cooker Suppers
Posted by Keri M. on 10.13.2020
For nearly 20 years, I was blessed to share my home with my mom. We had our roles defined: I took care of the yardwork; she was "chief cook and bottle washer." That suited me fine, as cooking meals never interested me much.
After mom passed a couple of months ago, I was left to figure out how to keep myself alive. For a while, I regressed to my long-ago college routine of ramen noodles, toast, cereal and ice cream on a constant rotation.
Eventually, my high-calorie, low-nutrition lifestyle started to take its toll. Having consumed no vegetable matter, I think I was on the verge of scurvy, and since there will surely come a day when we can all get back to the office, I can't rely on a wardrobe of ever-expanding lounge pants and roomy caftans forever. In short, it was time to start cooking and eating real food again.
That said, I can't muster much enthusiasm for standing at the stove. So when I ran across Mom's 70s-era slow cooker, I figured this might be the least painful way to start. The recipes I tried all make several servings, so I had leftovers to freeze in single-serving portions. (Mom would have advised me to simply cut down the recipes, but that involves math, so … no. Besides, now I'm set with meals on hand for most of the winter. Win!)
I gave mom's trusty crockpot a workout over seven straight days, and it came through with flying colors. If you're looking for ways to make easy, time-saving meals in your slow cooker, here are a week's worth of ideas:
Monday: Apple Berry Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I figured I'd ease in to cooking with a nice, hot sandwich. Turns out this one is the sandwich that eats like a meal, comprising pulled pork flavored with one of my fave new Tastefully Simple products, Spiced Apple Berry Sauce, topped with healthy tri-color coleslaw and crunchy French-fried onions on a bun.
Tuesday: Tex-Mex Chicken & Tortellini. A while back, on an impulse, I picked up a package of frozen tortellini, a pasta I'd discovered on a tour of Italy. Every time I had to rummage around the package to get the ice cream out of the freezer, I'd think to myself. "Ugh. What am I ever going to do with this?" Answer: Tex-Mex Chicken & Tortellini. I loved that everything went into the slow cooker together and came out delicious.
Wednesday: Scrumptious Pot Roast. Simple. Scrumptious. 'Nuff said. This is comfort food at its finest.
Thursday: Easy Sloppy Joes. My mom made the world's best sloppy joes. These are a close second. I paired the joes with a handful of chips on the side for a super-easy meal.
Friday: Slow Cooker Lasagna. This recipe won't get me out of my fat pants, but it's so worth it. Just layer all the yummy in the slow cooker and turn it on. Pair it with garlic toast and a simple side salad.
Saturday: Potato, Ham & Bean Soup. A sudden drop in the temperature made this feel like a soup sort of day. I loaded up the slow cooker in the morning, did my weekly housework, and sat down to a hearty supper at the end of the day. A buttered slice of fresh-baked loaf of Bountiful Beer Bread® completed the meal.
Sunday: Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken. Sunday dinner should be special, don't you think? Mom and I often had a chicken dinner after church, and it made me feel good to continue the tradition with this recipe. It was so easy, and even if my mashed potatoes came in flake form in a box and my gravy was poured out of a can, I felt good about a meal mom would have been proud of.
Are you making the most out of your slow cooker? Dig it out from the back of the cupboard, dust it off and try these or any of the amazing, easy-to-make slow cooker recipes from Tastefully Simple!