With your family's jam-packed work and school schedules getting even more loaded with the upcoming holidays, let the slow cooker become your best kitchen friend. Put your favorite lean proteins and vegetables in the "crock" in the morning and you'll have a hearty, balanced meal when you come home for dinner. You can even slow cook a dessert to satisfy your kids' (and your stress-induced) sweet tooth cravings. Here are three sumptuous slow cooker recipes for fall.
Slow cooker venison veggie stew
Living in Montana, game meat is aplenty and it is abounding with richly-flavored lean protein. Partner venison with a bounty of vegetables and you've got a balanced slow cooker meal that will keep your family well-fed on the busiest days of the season. If you don't have venison on hand, simply substitute two pounds of stew beef.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds cubed venison
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brown venison (adding more oil if necessary). Transfer venison and juices in skillet to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and broth to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
Remove bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in sour cream and parsley. Serve hot.
Slow cooker curry chicken
Curry isn't just a warming wonderful spice. It is also a super spice that may reduce your risk of heart disease. Lean chicken breasts, broccoli, peppers, coconut oil and coconut milk give this slow cooker meal a scrumptious healthy appeal.
1 large red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
2 green onions, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and chicken and cook, stirring often, until chicken is browned. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
To the slow cooker, add lime zest and juice, onion, broccoli, bell pepper, spices and chicken broth, stirring to combine.
Cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours or on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Stir in coconut milk and heat through.
Serve garnished generously with green onions and cilantro.
Freezing those sweet, ripe summer berries is going to pay off for you with this slow cooker dessert recipe. Blackberries are my preferred fruit, but you can substitute any berry you have on hand.
6 cups frozen blackberries, thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cups cornmeal
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds, crushed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
In a large bowl, combine blackberries, sugar and lemon zest and juice.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Stir in almonds.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then beat in almond extract.
Transfer berry mixture to a greased 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Top with cornmeal batter.
Place a clean kitchen towel over slow cooker then top securely with the lid (the towel will absorb moisture).
Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until topping is set and lightly browned. Spoon out and serve hot.
Watch: Slow cooked pumpkin oatmeal
Learn how to make pumpkin oatmeal in a crock pot with this video.