I am a firm believer that there is enough time in the day for almost anyone to eat healthy and get in a work out of some form or another. One of the most important things you can do is eat a healthy dinner at the end of the day. I often hear people say that by the time they get home from work, pick up the kids, run all their errands, there is no time for a workout and definitely no time to cook a healthy dinner. This post is for you….
I’m sure most of us grew up on a crockpot meal or two every week, usually the standard fare of a pot roast or chili and it was probably rather bland.
Things have changed my friends. The crockpot of yore has been replaced by some pretty sweet slow cookers. Check out the three I have: one is just standard but pretty, colorful and fun with a locking lid to take it to places without the worry of a spill. The other has a timer on it so you can set it for as long as the recipe calls and then it will switch to warm until you get home. Finally, I have a little dipper slow cooker to make fun dips for parties or game days.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the crockpot at first but there is a plethora of recipes out there for all palates. The best part about using a slow cooker is that you use very little cooking liquid. Unlike when you make something on the stove, there is no evaporation. That means there is little need for extra broths full of sodium or extra oils laden with fat. You can make a delicious meal with just a few wholesome ingredients.
I am in love with the fact that the slow cooker comes with a ceramic insert. So you can put all of your ingredients in the pot the night before and leave it in the refrigerator. In the morning all you do is place the insert in the cooker and turn it on. You will come back to a house full of delicious aromas.
Last night my husband made healthy baked barbecue chicken breasts and complimented them with a spinach and goat cheese corn bread from the slow cooker. It only took an hour and a half to make the bread.
By throwing the ingredients in the pot the night before and turning it on as you leave the house in the morning, you now have an extra 30 minutes in the evening you would have spent making dinner that you can now devote to a quick run or even a short workout while you watch TV.
For the next few days I might throw into my posts a few of my favorite slow cooker meals. Today I want to share a new favorite of mine. It tastes just like the Chinese take out version:
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli:
1 lb. boneless beef roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup sauce from crockpot (once it is done)
Bag of frozen broccoli
Quinoa (I skip the rice for the added protein)
Place beef in bottom of slow cooker. Add all ingredients and give a gentle stir. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Keep an eye on yours because if it cooks too high it will turn into shredded beef! Thirty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the bag of broccoli and draw a 1/4 cup of the juices from the pot. Add the cornstarch to the reserved sauce and stir to make it thicker. Add this back into the slow cooker and give the entire pot a gentle stir. Allow to cook for 30 minutes and then serve.
This recipe is one of my new favorites. I hope you enjoy.
On a side note, it was 44º here yesterday and I felt like a caged animal let loose into the wild. It has been gradually warming here the past few days and my husband and I have been taking advantage of the weather to get in some nice long runs. The only problem is, all the side walks are taking on their own versions of the Great Lakes as the snow from last week melts. I feel like I am doing a mud run every time I go out!
I hope you are having warmer and nicer weather and getting a chance to enjoy some runs. Hopefully like me, you have been able to reintroduce your feet to cement!