Planning ahead to use the slow cooker for meals
The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and the routines of fall are settling in. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like we have enough time. Which means, it’s a great time to break out the slow cooker to assist with meal prep and planning. Beyond just cooking supper, try these ideas for using the slow cooker to free up some extra time.
- Baked apples (or pears) Core apples, and add some of your favourite spices and topping ideas (such as granola, or a ginger/cinnamon/brown sugar combination, diced nuts, or dried fruit). Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter, and pour a half-cup of water around the apples, and cook on low for 2.5 – 4 hours. This makes an amazing dessert, or save to put on your morning oatmeal.
- Spaghetti sauce – make a large batch of spaghetti sauce in your slow cooker, and let it simmer all day, then portion into smaller containers for freezing. You can also add all sorts of diced/shredded vegetables to this to use up some of those great late season vegetables such as zucchini, carrots and more.
- Soups – make your favourite slow cooker based soup, and pre-portion into smaller containers to transport for work or school lunches.
- Shredded chicken or pork – place chicken breasts topped with salsa (or a plain pork shoulder roast) in the slow cooker. Cook chicken or pork and until fully done, and shred. Add BBQ sauce to the pulled pork. Use the chicken for lunch salads, or to add to a quick casserole or for taco night.