7 Nights of dinner…done!

The month of December is so busy with getting ready for Christmas….sometimes it’s nice to come home to dinner that’s done! I love crock pot recipes that you can easily toss together in the morning.  Here are 7 easy recipes to lighten your cook time in the evening and still enjoy a healthy meal after your day.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast


2 lbs. beef chuck roast
2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
2 jalapeños (tops removed, chopped)
2 medium peppers (tops removed, chopped)
1 medium onion (diced)
4 medium radishes (tops removed, cut in half)
1-2 sweet potatoes (cut into chunks)
1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks
1 14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1/4-cup canola oil
1-tablespoon garlic powder
1-tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Season roast with garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper; brown on both sides. Remove roast from pan; put in slow cooker with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours.
This recipe yields 8 servings

Chicken Cacciatore 


3 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

2 onions, chopped

1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup flour

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Fresh basil to garnish

Hot cooked linguini

Grated cheese, Pecorino Romano or Parmesan


  1. Add chicken to Crock-Pot slow cooker, and then top chicken with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on Low 7 to 9 hours or on High 4 to 5 hours.

  2. Garnish with fresh torn basil, and serve over linguini and pass the cheese.

Serves: 6-8

Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can tomato puree
1 15-ounce can small white beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or kale leaves
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Serves 6
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine vegetable broth, tomato puree, beans, rice, onion, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
3. Just before serving, stir in spinach or kale and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition facts per serving: 150 calories, 9g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

Beef Vegetable Soup

Makes: 4 servings
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup loose-pack frozen peas
Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine beef chuck pieces, sliced carrots, cubed potatoes, and chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt and thyme. Add bay leaf, tomatoes with their juices, and water. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
3. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in peas and garnish with parsley if desired.
Nutrition facts per serving: 269 calories, 28g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 4g fat (1g saturated), 4g fiber

Red Beans Over Spanish Rice

Makes: 6 to 8 servings
2 cups dry red beans or dry kidney beans
5 cups cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cups water
1 6-3/4-ounce package Spanish rice, cooked
Fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
1. Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and the 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Rinse and drain beans.
3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in two batches; drain fat.
4. Coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add beans, pork, onions, garlic, and cumin. Pour in the 4 cups water; stir.
5. Cover; cook on low heat 10 to 11 hours.
6. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans and pork. Serve beans over rice, and spoon liquid over the top. Garnish with sliced jalapeno.
Nutrition facts per serving: 344 calories, 19g protein, 68g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 17g fiber

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Makes: 6 servings
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 6- to 6-1/4-ounce package long-grain and wild-rice mix, such as Uncle Ben’s
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 pound cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp
Hot-pepper sauce (optional)
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, onions, bell pepper, rice mix with seasoning packet, water, garlic, and Cajun seasoning.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
3. Stir shrimp into rice mixture. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer at high-heat setting. Sprinkle with hot-pepper sauce if desired.
Nutrition facts per serving: 223 calories, 21g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 2g fat (0g saturated), 3g fiber

Gingered Beef and Vegetables

Makes: 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup sliced scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons instant beef-bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups loose-pack frozen sugar snap peas, thawed
Cooked rice
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine beef, carrots, scallions, and garlic. In a medium bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups water, soy sauce, ginger, bouillon, and crushed red pepper; pour over mixture in cooker.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
3. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and the 3 tablespoons cold water; stir into meat mixture along with bell pepper. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes more, or until thickened, stirring once. Stir in sugar snap peas. Serve with rice.
Nutrition facts per serving: 350 calories, 29g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 10g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

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