One of the biggest mistakes our clients make this time of year? Their meal plans. It's tempting to resort to frozen dinners and takeout as everyone heads into back-to-school and back-to-to-work schedules. But those options aren't ideal, thanks to processed ingredients, high sodium, and lots of sugar (just to mention a few undesirable things).
So what's a busy family to do? How do you stay on track without losing your mind?
Two words: slow cooker.
While you can certainly use the slow cooker during the summer months, chances are you probably hid yours away, in favor of grilled foods and tons of salads (and maybe the occasional s'mores, too—we're not judging).
Now is a great time to bring out the crockpot. Throw your ingredients in before work and come home to a house that smells delish. Many of the suggestions below are complete quick, easy meals. Others might require a side, like a salad. Regardless, all will make dinnertime much more enjoyable—and tasty to boot.
The best part? If you're dealing with staggered schedules—the kids have soccer here, football there and someone's working late—everything keeps well in the crockpot. People can serve themselves as they come and go.
- Blissful Butternut Squash Soup. Fall is famous for squashes and gourds. Why not get started a little early? This yummy soup is super easy to make and healthy.
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna. We know what you're thinking: "Lasagna? In a crockpot? And it's somehow healthy?" Yes, yes, and YES! This is a great way to make sure everyone gets their daily veggies. This delish recipe is low cal and low in sugar. But don't worry—your family will simply consider it tasty comfort food on a crisp fall evening.
- Crockpot Kid-Friendly Turkey Chili. Mmm, chili. This one is healthy, tasty, and kid approved. Sold!
- Easy Crockpot Minestrone Soup. Nothing nourishes the body and soul like a bowl of soup. This soup is packed full of veggies and protein. Not a bad way to end the day.
- Fragrant Shredded Beef Stew. Low carb, low cal, low sugars. Any questions?
- Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera. Are you looking to get your family hooked on healthier grains? Well, this slow cooker recipe will probably do the trick. Think classic chicken primavera taste combined with textured quinoa.
- Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup. One can never have too many soup recipes, right? Leftovers make for great lunches the next day.
- Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf. Yes, it is possible to make meatloaf in the crockpot. Swap out beef for lean turkey, and now you got something tasty, healthy, and easy.
- Crockpot Chicken Fajitas. This is a great way to use up the remaining peppers from your garden or local produce stand. Bonus: The recipe includes tips to make this a low-carb meal.
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies. This is one of those complete meals—your protein and vegetables all in one yummy pot. The honey provides the right amount of natural sweetness and the garlic gives it kick (while boosting your immune system—a good thing for this time of year).
Do you have any favorite crockpot recipes? Share in the comments.