Getting Special with your Slow Cooker

Healthy recipes for slow-cooked comfort food

By Emma

Do you know slow cooking is really healthy? There’s little added fat, and if you use fresh, organic fruits and veggies, skip the sweet packet sauce mixes, and make your own stock, you’re getting comfort food that’s good for you, and sustainable!

Lamb shanks with spicy plum sauce and garlic mash

Lamb shanks with spicy plum sauce and garlic mash

Winter is the perfect time to get out your slow cooker and put it through its paces. You can pop everything in the cooker in the morning and leave it until dinner-time, or alternatively, let it cook overnight, refrigerate the next day (so the flavours fuse together and are further enhanced) and warm it up for dinner. Even better, pop on your favourite pastry top and you’ve got the perfect winter pie!

The following recipes are super tasty, super healthy, super easy, and all have something a little different to make them super special! Check out our terrific comfort food slow cooking and enjoy!

 Lamb and Rhubarb Casserole (serves 4)

Lamb and rhubarb casserole

Lamb and rhubarb casserole

What you need

4 lamb steaks each cut in half

1 medium onion sliced

1 clove garlic crushed or thinly sliced

3 large vine-ripened tomatoes pulped or very finely chopped*

2 cups chopped rhubarb stalks

¼ cup raisins

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup chicken stock*

Pinch salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper

What you do

Place the chopped onion, tomatoes and rhubarb on the base of your slow cooker and arrange the lamb steaks on top. Put the cup of chicken stock in a large jug and add the garlic, cumin, ginger, salt and peppers and mix well. Pour the stock over the lamb and sprinkle the raisins on top. Slow cook for 6 – 8 hours. This is a terrific warming winter dinner with a hint of spice. Serve with couscous, quinoa, or brown rice.

Chicken, Olive and Potato Hot-Pot (serves 4)

Chicken, olive, and potato hot-pot

Chicken, olive, and potato hot-pot

What you need

2 whole (or 4 half) chicken breasts skin off

4 medium potatoes cut into chunks (substitute sweet potato if you’re Paleo or nightshade free)

1 medium onion sliced

½ cup pitted olives

¼ cup white wine

½ cup chicken stock*

Pinch salt and pepper

What you do

Place the potatoes on the base of your slow cooker, top with the chicken pieces and sprinkle the olives on top. Combine the white wine with the chicken stock and add a pinch of salt and pepper; mix well and pour over the chicken. Slow cook for 6 hours. This is not as heavy as some winter casseroles and is ideal served with roast veggies such as carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potato—or potato if you’ve switched them around in the dish.

Beef, Mushroom and Pear Casserole (serves 4)

Beef, mushroom, and pear casserole

Beef, mushroom, and pear casserole

What you need

As this recipe is slow cooked you can use cheaper cuts of meat such as blade or chuck steak, brisket, flank, or rump.

4 medium steaks cut in half

1 medium onion sliced

3 large mushrooms cut into quarters

1 large firm green Bartlett or Packham pear cut into quarters

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 bay leaf torn into pieces

2 gloves garlic crushed or thinly sliced

½ cup red wine

½ cup chicken stock*

Pinch salt and pepper

What you do

Place the onion and mushrooms on the base of the slow cooker, and arrange the beef and pear on top. Combine the red wine, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and pour over the steak. Slow cook for 6 – 8 hours.

Lamb Shanks in Plum Sauce (serves 2)

Lamb shanks with spicy plum sauce and garlic mash

Lamb shanks with spicy plum sauce and garlic mash

What you need

2 lamb shanks (1 per person)

1 small – medium onion sliced

½ cup light (unsalted) beef stock

½ red wine

2 tablespoons plum sauce

1 clove garlic crushed or thinly sliced

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger (don’t overdo this)

What you do

Place the sliced onion on the base of the slow cooker and the lamb shanks on top. In a jug combine the rest of the ingredients; stock, red wine, plum sauce, garlic, ginger, and honey and mix well. Pour over the lamb and slow cook for 6 – 8 hours. Serve with garlic potato mash for the best comfort food you’ll eat this winter!

*Make your own chicken stock or use a salt-free chicken base from your health food shop or supermarket. If you don’t have a food processor to pulp your tomatoes you can substitute a can of Macro Organic low-salt tomatoes from your health food shop or supermarket. And, don’t forget you can get the best and freshest fruit and veggies from Capital Region Farmer’s Market (Saturday at EPIC) or Choku Bai Jo in Lyneham or Curtin.

Share your favourite comfort food with us!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s