Submitted by Dani Renouf, RD, MSc, CDE
If you feel too busy to cook, but would like to try preparing meals at home more often, a slow cooker can be a great help in the kitchen. Here are the top three reasons why:
- Because slow cooking uses lower heat, but longer cooking time, this process can help impart a great deal of flavour while reducing the need to add salt and fat to create a delicious dish.
- Batch cookery is possible when using a slow cooker, which means you put on your dish in the morning, have it ready for dinner, and have plenty of leftovers for those nights where cooking is not possible. Freezing leftovers right away can also be a great time saver during those times when schedules are hectic.
- Using a slow cooker can save money, because you use simple and more common household ingredients to create a delicious, flavourful meal. Specifically, you can purchase less expensive cuts of meat, or canned beans or lentils, to create a protein-containing meal, but at a lower cost than you would if you were making a meal with several side dishes or using an expensive cut of meat.
The most important reason to try cooking with a slow cooker is that you now have the opportunity to experiment with different ingredients, salt free spice mixes, and even try some vegetarian dishes you thought you might not otherwise be making at home.
Speaking of which, why not try this Vegetable Chili Recipe tonight:
- In your slow cooker pot, combine the following ingredients and cook for 4 hours on high heat, or 8 hours on low heat:
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 425 g kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 425 g garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 425 g black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth