The slow cooker is an essential and practical cooking tool for the non-chef. One of the most important questions asked on the summer Happy-Gut Makeover teleconference call this week was, “What can I make for lunch and dinner which is tasty, healthy, and fast?”
Great question! My mouth began to water while talking about lettuce-wrapped chicken with fresh dill, almond butter on apple slices; and my new favorite, sardines with lemon and wild greens. When I suggested a thermos of home-made chicken soup or creamy split pea, someone laughingly remarked, “Who has time to make foods like that?” My answer: no one–unless they are best friends with a slow cooker.
Even though we often associate the slow cooker (otherwise known as a crock pot) with winter comfort-foods, this tool is fabulous for saving time in the summer when we would rather be playing than cooking. What is the key to enjoying any healthy diet without succumbing to unhealthy snacks because you left home empty-handed? The perfect defense is a great offense–which involves making meal-time prep and production fast and easy. Below are two slow cooker recipes that will please your taste buds and take less than ten minutes to make. I often put all the ingredients in the slow cooker before bed. Then, like magic, we wake up to ready-made lunches and satisfying dinners.
Heavenly Split Pea Soup
- 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and medium dice
- 2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
- 1-2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 fresh parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbs Kosher or Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
Pour rinsed split peas into slow cooker, and layer all other ingredients over them. Cook on “low” for 8-12 hours. Enjoy!
Coconut Cashew Curry Chicken
- 3-4 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 small red potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ½ white or yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or one 14-oz can + ½ cup chicken broth)
- 3 tablespoons red or yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
INSTRUCTIONS: Add chicken pieces, red peppers, potatoes, and onions to the slow cooker. In a medium bowl whisk together chicken broth, curry powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir to coat chicken and veggies. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low 4-6 hours.
Prior (10-15 minutes) to serving, stir in the coconut milk. Stir just before serving and top with cashews and freshly chopped cilantro.
All that is needed to complete the perfect picnic, office lunch or sunset dinner on-the-go are containers of chopped summer veggies: sliced red peppers, zucchini sticks, summer squash, cucumbers and carrots with dips & dressing of hummus, tahini and feta cheese. Yum. Who’s suffering on this cleanse? Not us!
We are already having too much fun in our Summer Happy-Gut Makeover! Join us for this easy and simple cleanse that will lighten your belly, reduce aches and pains and inflammation, and get you feeling and looking your best for summer! Join us this Sunday June 19 whole six week Happy-Gut Makeover Cleanse! Make this the summer that changes your life! Whether you are struggling with a junk food obsession, want to shrink that muffin top, start to eat clean, and just want the support to continue your journey, this group promises to be fun, friendly and a fast-track to a body you love.
I continue recovering from surgery. Also, I would like to let you know I am using natural pain relief and immune support. Consequently, off course, I will share what I learn with you! Additionally, I am super excited to tell you that BOTH my books are now available in audio form. Find them on ITunes and Amazon Audible. Enjoy! After a successful run of the audio version of my first book, Dare to Detoxify! my clients convinced me to record my new book, It Takes Guts To Be Happy! They love listening as well as reading. I hope you do, too!