Is there anything more satisfying on a cold, wintry night than a hot bowl of stew? The weather we've been having lately has definitely set off my stew cravings and thankfully, it is one meal I can still wrap my head around even with a tight budget and long work days. A slow cooker makes all the difference. If you don't have one, get one! You can pick them up at your local thrift store or Craigslist or splurge $30 - $50 on a new one.
Recipes abound on the internet but slow cooker meals are so simple you really don't need a recipe. Cut a couple onions in half and put them flat side down on the bottom of the pot. Set a chicken, or a roast on top of the onions, cut up a bunch of other veggies and toss them in. Add some stock, turn it on and go to work. When you come home, your house will smell delicious and dinner will be ready. Season to taste and enjoy! It's really that simple.
Slow cookers work great for soups too. Take 2 cups of dried split peas, a ham hock, chop up an onion, some celery and garlic. Toss it all in the slow cooker and add 6 cups of broth, turn it on and forget about it all day. When you get home, take the ham hock out, shred the meat from it and toss it back in the pot. Stir it all up and you're done!
You can even make desserts like fruit cobblers
and rice pudding in a slow cooker!
One of the best things about slow cookers is that they really bring out the best in less expensive cuts of meat. Cuts like beef chuck and blade tend to be tough but when cooked slowly, they become tender and are often more flavourful than their more expensive counterparts. A whole chicken will be falling off the bone tender after a day in the slow cooker and there is nothing like a pork shoulder transformed into tender juicy pulled pork in a slow cooker.
Another nice thing is that making a double batch of something is almost as easy as making a single batch so you can make enough to pop half of it in the freezer and have a meal ready for a day when you can't even manage throwing something in the slow cooker.
Cleanup is a breeze with slow cooker meals
since everything cooks in one pot!
Ready to jump on the slow cooker bandwagon? Check out our new "Stew & Roast Beasty Box." Pair it with a "Winter Storage Veggie Box" and you're well on your way to some amazing, affordable & easy meals this winter!
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