Thanksgiving is over. We’ve all eaten our weight in tryptophan and consumed enough sweets to keep us in permanent sweatpants mode. To give your taste buds a break from all the leftovers and to help usher in a winter menu, we gathered three of our favorite slow-cooker recipes. They’re easy to make, packed with flavor, and of course, chock full of all the good stuff our bodies crave.
ATTENTION: Crock pot required!
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 c. quinoa, rinsed
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, sliced into rounds
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and quartered
2 c. peas, frozen or canned
In a slow-cooker, combine chicken, quinoa, 2 cups chicken broth, garlic, and carrots. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook on high 4 hours, until chicken is easily shreddable. Shred chicken, then add asparagus and peas to slow-cooker and cook until tender, 30 minutes more. Pour over remaining chicken broth and stir until creamy.
Butternut Squash Pulled Pork Tacos
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 canned chipotle chilis packed in adobo, coarsely chopped* (add more for more heat)
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the canned chilis
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Pompeian Jalapeño Red Wine Vinegar (or substitute regular red wine vinegar or additional orange juice)
Corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and feta cheese or queso fresco (for serving)
- Arrange the squash around the edges of a 4-quart or similar slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Season the pork with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, cinnamon, olive oil, chipotle chilis, and adobo sauce to form a paste. Rub all over the pork. Place the pork in the center of the slow cooker (it may overlap slightly with the squash). Top with the onion and garlic. Pour the orange juice and red wine vinegar over the top.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours (the actual cook time may vary based on your slow cooker). Once the meat is tender and cooked through, remove from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate to cool slightly.
- Shred the pork, then transfer to a large bowl, along with any of the rub that may have come off during shredding. With a slotted spoon, remove the squash and onions from the slow cooker and place in the bowl with the pork. Toss to combine.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
3⁄4 lbs extra-lean ground turkey
1 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1⁄2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups sweet potato, diced
1 can (19 oz/ 540 ml) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup chicken broth
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1⁄2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped green onions for garnishing
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, then add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.
- Add extra-lean ground turkey and cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Pour browned ground turkey into slow cooker.
- Add celery, carrots, sweet potato, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ½ cup chicken broth, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.
- Add red kidney beans and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.
- Top with green onions to serve.