Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Slow cookers have been a fixture in many kitchens since the early 1970’s when Rival reimagined the slow cooker originally invented by Irving Naxon.  In 1936 Irving invented a bean cooker so his Jewish mother could honor the sabbath by not working.  By using his slow cooker pot, his mother was able to serve a traditional meal of bean stew called cohlent at the end of the sabbath after Saturday services, and still adhere to the tradition of resting on the sabbath. All I have to say is THANK YOU, IRVING NAXON!  The invention of the slow cooker is arguably one of the greatest kitchen appliances of our time!  I know personally, that there were many family dinners that would have never happened had it not been for my trusty slow cooker! 

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables |cookeatbehealthy.com

And yes…it’s a slow cooker, not a crockpot.  Just as all facial tissues are not Kleenex, all cotton swabs are not Q-tips, and all petroleum jelly is not Vaseline.  My personal preference for a slow cooker is the Ninja Cooking System.  It has slow cooker, oven, and stove top cooking settings which make it extremely versatile and user friendly!  

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables that happens to be one of my favorite meals of all time!  I love Indian food, but living in the middle of Iowa, authentic Indian is pretty hard to come by!  I’ve experimented with several different recipes I’ve found on line and come up with my version of an Indian Red Curry that I love, and that my family will happily eat every time I serve it!

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables |cookeatbehealthy.com

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Put the lid on, set the temperature to low, and walk away while dinner cooks itself!

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Your patience is rewarded…dinner is served!

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Like all good slow cooker recipes, the preparation is simple and straightforward.  And to save time, much of the prep work and recipe assembly, save for stirring in the lentils and coconut milk can be completed the evening before actually cooking the dish.  The flavors are spicy from the red curry paste, roasted red chili paste, cayenne, and red pepper flakes, and warm and rich from the addition of more curry powder and turmeric.  Potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper add plenty of flavor and texture.  Even my husband, a certified carnivore, loves this dish!  Served over basmati rice it is filling and satisfying, and it’s one of those meals that I think is even better served leftover the next day!

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables
Serves 10
With minimal preparation, a warm and savory spicy red curry lentil dinner can be yours when you get home from a long day at work!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
330 calories
51 g
0 g
9 g
14 g
7 g
420 g
451 g
8 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
420g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 451mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 51g
17%
Dietary Fiber 16g
64%
Sugars 8g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
65%
Vitamin C
84%
Calcium
9%
Iron
35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  2. 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  3. 2 large carrots, diced
  4. 4 stalks celery, sliced
  5. 4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
  6. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 2 cups dry lentils
  8. 1 28 oz. can tomatoes
  9. 1 can full fat coconut milk
  10. 3 cups vegetable stock
  11. 3 cups tomato juice
  12. 3 tbsp red curry paste
  13. 2 tsp roasted red chili paste
  14. 2-3 tsp curry powder
  15. 1 tsp turmeric
  16. 1/2 tsp cayenne
  17. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  18. Salt to taste
  19. Prepared basmati rice for serving
Instructions
  1. Combine everything except the coconut milk and rice in a large slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until lentils and vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened.
  3. Approximately 30 to 60 minutes before serving, stir in coconut milk and allow to heat through.
  4. Serve with prepared rice.
Notes
  1. Enjoy leftovers for up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. I like to freeze individual portions for a delicious lunch to take to work!
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calories
330
fat
9g
protein
14g
carbs
51g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

 

Polar Vortex Bison Chili

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Is there anything more delicious than a steaming hot spicy bowl of chili?!?  I sure don’t think so!  This past weekend we were in the grips of some of the coldest and nastiest weather of the year so far.  The weather folks call it the Polar Vortex.  I think they just call it that because the FCC frowns on cursing on live television and vortex could, if enunciated properly, almost sound like a curse word!  The wind was howling, snow was falling heavily, and the air temps were plunging to the teens below zero…which meant the windchill factor was around a vortexing negative 40 degrees. There’s really no way to deal with weather like that except to stay inside if possible, watch Netflix, and spend time in the kitchen!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

My daughter is home from college for the holidays and she loves chili!  I like to think that it’s MY chili she especially loves, so even if I’m being delusional I’m going to keep on believing it’s the truth!  Anyway…knowing Anna would be home, and having heard the forecast, I picked up some ground bison and all the other ingredients to make a huge pot of Polar Vortex Bison Chili in the slow cooker.

I feel like chili is one of those recipes that is very personal, and everybody already has their favorite version, but I always like to tweak mine just a little here or there so we don’t get bored with the same old-same old chili!  To this pot I chose to use ground bison instead of beef because I really just prefer the bison for it’s flavor and healthfulness.  I used a large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a minced jalapeño, a couple chopped up chipotles in adobo, spicy V8 juice, and chili powder for different levels and intensities of spiciness.  Aside from those ingredients, I also included a large diced onion, a big ‘ol can of chili beans, a little extra cumin to enhance the smokiness of the chipotles and chili powder, and a generous portion of chopped garlic!  Throw in a little salt and pepper to taste, simmer it slow and low all day long, and 8 hours later…your patience is  rewarded with the best bowl of  chili you’ve ever tasted!  

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

I suggest serving the chili with some kind of bread – I made cornbread muffins shaped like mini bundt cakes.  That little depression in the center is perfect for corralling the honey I drizzle on mine.  Biscuits are another family favorite to accompany chili!  Toppings for the chili might include shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapeños, crackers or tortilla chips ~ this is completely a personal preference!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Next time you make a pot of chili try mixing it up a little with a few different ingredients – starting with this recipe and taking it from there!  Go ahead…make your family the best vortexing pot of chili to ever come from your kitchen! 😉

Polar Vortex Bison Chili
Serves 8
Take your chili game to the next level with this recipe for Polar Vortex Bison Chili!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
352 calories
26 g
78 g
15 g
30 g
6 g
449 g
1354 g
9 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
449g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 352
Calories from Fat 136
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
24%
Saturated Fat 6g
29%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 78mg
26%
Sodium 1354mg
56%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 8g
33%
Sugars 9g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
55%
Vitamin C
109%
Calcium
13%
Iron
45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 pounds ground bison
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  4. 1 30 oz. can chili beans
  5. 1 46 oz. bottle of low sodium Spicy Hot V8 juice
  6. 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  7. 1 large onion, chopped
  8. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 jalapeño, diced
  10. 3 tbsp chili powder
  11. 1 tsp cumin
  12. 1 tsp salt
  13. 1/2 tsp pepper
  14. Additional salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground bison and chopped onions, seasoned with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, in large skillet drizzled with olive oil.
  2. Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer on low 6-8 hours, until soup has thickened and flavors are developed. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding additional salt as desired.
Notes
  1. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy reheated within 3-5 days.
  2. Freezes well.
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calories
352
fat
15g
protein
30g
carbs
26g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal | cookeatbehealthy.com

Raise your hand if you’re busy, stressed out, running out of patience, and burning the candle at both ends!  I can almost feel the breeze from all those hands waving in the air!  😉  This time of year is without a doubt the most joyous for many of us, but it can also be the most stressful!  There’s so much to do…year-end work projects, shopping, cooking, baking, holiday parties, school music concerts, church youth programs, house guests, decorating, secret-keeping, gift wrapping…the list goes on and on!  But no matter how busy life gets, we’re better able to cope with the craziness if we’ve fueled up properly before heading out the door!  To that end, let me introduce you to my Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal | cookeatbehealthy.com

This oatmeal comes together in a few minutes in the slow cooker, simmers for a couple hours, and makes enough to feed 8 people once, 2 people 4 times, 4 people twice….you get the idea!  Make it on Sunday, refrigerator single serve portions, and heat them up in the morning when your rushing to get ready for work or to get the kids out the door for school!  It’s deliciously satisfying and will keep you going all morning.  There’s also something about a warm breakfast on a cold winter morning that just seems to set a more positive tone for the day!  And as a mom I always felt better about sending my kids to the bus stop on a belly full of homemade oatmeal, though I rarely had time to make it for them.  This recipe solves that issue!  

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal | cookeatbehealthy.com

Another time this recipe would be a perfect addition to your breakfast recipe arsenal is when you’ve got a house full of guests.  Maybe family is in town for the holidays.  Maybe your college age kids are home for the weekend with a couple friends in tow.  Maybe your 10 year old hosted a sleep over and you’ve got a hungry bunch of kids to feed.  No matter the scenario – whether you’re making a pot full for yourself to have for breakfast all week, or to feed a crowd, this oatmeal is fantastic – and it’s a recipe you’ll be sure to turn to over and over again!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal | cookeatbehealthy.com

One of the things I like most about oatmeal is that it’s like a blank canvas that can be painted with variety of flavors and toppings!  This recipe itself is simple – unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, old fashioned oats, real maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and a smidgen of almond extract combine to make the basic oatmeal.  What you do to your own bowl of oatmeal is completely up to you!  I suggest serving fresh berries, nuts, bananas, extra syrup for those who like it sweeter, and more almond milk for those who prefer it thinner. You might also serve it with applesauce like this homemade version, toasted coconut, dried fruits, or even chocolate chips for the kiddos!  My favorite bowl is topped with blueberries, sliced bananas, and walnuts!  There are no rules when it comes to personalizing your oatmeal!!!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal | cookeatbehealthy.com

Let this Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal simplify the breakfast frenzy for you and your family!  You’ll be happy they ate a healthy breakfast, and they’ll be fueled up and full until lunchtime!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Oatmeal
Serves 8
This will be your go-to recipe for a hearty and hot breakfast to feed your hungry crew, and keep them fueled up until lunch!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
292 calories
52 g
0 g
5 g
10 g
1 g
259 g
155 g
12 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
259g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 155mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 52g
17%
Dietary Fiber 6g
26%
Sugars 12g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
22%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 3 cups old fashioned oats
  4. 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. Fresh or dried fruit, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, extra maple syrup and almond milk, or other toppings as desired
Instructions
  1. In a slow cooker combine almond milk, water, oats, maple syrup, salt, almond extract, and vanilla.
  2. Stir well, replace lid, and cook on low for approximately 2 hours.
  3. Stir oatmeal after 90 minutes cooking time, adding more liquid if needed, and adjusting cooking time to reach desired consistency of finished oatmeal.
  4. Serve warm with desired toppings.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers in individual serving size containers to quickly reheat for a fast, healthy nutritious, and delicious breakfast!
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calories
292
fat
5g
protein
10g
carbs
52g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Slow-Cooker Bison Stew

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Baby it’s cold outside!  Cliche, I know, but still true!  The polar vortex is racing south from the North Pole and bringing single digit daytime high temperatures, double digit below-zero nighttime lows, and several inches of snow this weekend. Ugh…I really hate winter.  I’ve lived my whole life in the Midwest and still I’ve yet to learn to appreciate winter.  I fully acknowledge how beautiful it can be, but honestly, it has taken me 50 years to even get to the point where I could say that! 😉  I hate the cold, the wind, the cold, the atrocious driving conditions, the cold, the cancelled plans because of bad weather, the cold, the fact that it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, and the cold!

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

But – being of hearty Midwest stock, I’ve learned to cope with all the aforementioned hatefulness that is winter by avoiding going outside as much as possible, owning a car with heated seats (BEST INVENTION EVER) and a remote starter (2nd BEST INVENTION EVER) for when I do have to leave the house, and by cooking foods that warm us from the inside out.  Nothing can make me appreciate a blizzardy weekend more than a bowl of steaming hot stew!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Slow-Cooker Bison Stew!  I love to use Bison whenever it’s available because health-wise it’s incredibly nutritious, and the flavor is similar to beef – only deeper and more intense!  However, Bison is not always easy to come by, so please substitute beef if you can’t get Bison! I promise you won’t be disappointed!  

Can we all take a minute to thank whoever invented the slow-cooker?!?  I feel like a slow cooker is a busy mom’s best friend in the kitchen!  I use a Ninja Cooking System which allows me to switch between slow cooking, stovetop, oven, and steaming.  I love it because it allows me to brown the meat for the stew using the stovetop setting, then switch it to slow-cooking once all the other ingredients are added to the pot!  Optionally, the meat can be browned on a conventional stovetop, then transferred to the slow cooker to continue cooking. The stew could also be slow baked in the oven in a Dutch oven after browning the meat on the stovetop.  And finally, if you prefer not to brown the meat…that works too!  Homemade stew is one of the easiest and most forgiving recipes there is!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

For this pot of stew I used a Bison roast that I cubed into bite sized pieces.  I tossed the meat in flour, salt and pepper, and seared it in a little olive oil.  Truthfully, that’s the hardest part – and remember – you can totally skip that part if you’re short on time!  Once the meat is browned, simply throw everything else in the pot, cover it, turn the heat setting to low, and walk away!  8 – 10 hours later you will be rewarded with a thick, aromatic, flavorful, piping hot stew! And best of all, your family will love you for making it for them!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

I tend to keep the vegetables simple – and cut into large pieces so they hold up to a full day of slow cooking. Potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and celery compliment the Bison perfectly.  Seasonings are simple as well…salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, and finally a bottle of beer!  The alcohol cooks away, but the stew is left with a little something special that’ll have everyone guessing what your secret to perfect stew is!  Bonus…the beer helps tenderize the meat if it’s a little tough!

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

Finally – pair the finished stew with some crusty bread, a slice of cornbread, or a handful of crackers if you prefer.  I’m confident you’ll find this meal so hearty and satisfying that even serving it unaccompanied will have your family ooohing and aaahing and asking for seconds!  

Slowcooker Bison Stew | cookeatbehealthy.com

So the next time the polar vortex comes knocking on your door, chase the cold away and warm your family’s hearts and bellies with a big bowl full of this satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs, Bison Stew!  It’s not even officially winter yet, and I’m already counting down the days until spring – which happens to be 97 more days…ya know…just in case you’re counting too!!!

Slow-Cooker Bison Stew
Serves 8
This hearty stick-to-your-ribs Slow-Cooker Bison Stew is perfect for chasing away the polar vortex!
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
413 calories
31 g
126 g
10 g
47 g
3 g
581 g
667 g
8 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
581g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413
Calories from Fat 93
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 126mg
42%
Sodium 667mg
28%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 8g
Protein 47g
Vitamin A
195%
Vitamin C
23%
Calcium
7%
Iron
42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. Bison Roast, cut into bite sized pieces ~ or beef stew meat
  2. 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  3. 1 tsp each salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
  6. 1 lb. potatoes, cut into large chunks
  7. 1 large onion, cut into large pieces
  8. 4 stalks celery, chopped into 1" pieces
  9. 2 lbs. baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced
  10. 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  11. 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  12. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  15. 4 cups beef stock
  16. 1 12 oz bottle beer
Instructions
  1. In a bowl or large zip-top storage bag, toss bison with flour and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil to medium high, add flour coated meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned on all sides.
  3. Transfer to slow-cooker.
  4. Set slow-cooker temperature to low, add vegetables, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
  5. Pour in beer and beef stock. Stir well.
  6. Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours. Stir and check for seasoning - adding more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve piping hot.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes 8 very generous servings.
  2. Like many stews, the flavor intensifies as the leftovers chill in the refrigerator.
  3. When reheating add a little more stock or water to slightly thin the broth.
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calories
413
fat
10g
protein
47g
carbs
31g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

This is the one meal I make that absolutely everyone in my family loves!  That means from my granddaughter to my mother, and even the in-laws ~ everyone agrees I make a mean Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!  In today’s recipe I cranked up the flavor by making my own herbed noodles.  Seriously – this was a game changer!  I have always used frozen noodles in the past, but by making my own I was able to add even more flavor and texture to our all-time favorite soup!

These noodles were super simple to make, and I’m including a link here.  But if you’re pressed for time, or prefer to use store bought – by all means – do what you need to do in order to make this belly pleasing, soul warming, cold virus fighting, nutrient packed, incredibly delicious soup!  I actually made this in my Ninja Cooking System – which I love and never ever want to be without….EVER!  However, any crockpot will work.  The advantage of the Ninja is that I can switch from slow cooker to the stovetop setting with a simple turn of the dial.  This helps cook the noodles faster, but it’s not necessary, as they will cook just fine in a regular crockpot – it’ll just take a little longer!

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

The basic recipe is dump everything except the noodles in the pot, cook it all day, shred the chicken, add the noodles, cook a little longer, serve and enjoy!  Anybody can make this!  It’s a perfect recipe for the timid beginner cook, or for the experienced cook who loves a healing bowl of homemade soup!  I pack the broth with all the flavors of the vegetables, along with rosemary, thyme, and sage to give it a richer and more interesting flavor profile.  The heavy dose of garlic not only deepens the flavor of the homemade soup, but also helps ramp up the medicinal value of  the broth!  Garlic has been proven to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of cold symptoms.  It’s also helpful in reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Garlic also contains antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Tip: Serve this hearty and healing soup with a piece of Rustic Overnight Roasted Garlic Rosemary Bread for a complete meal guaranteed to keep you warm on even the coldest days!

We love this Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup so much that I always try to keep at least a couple bowls in the freezer for those inevitable sick days we all experience every winter.  Instead of “Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning”, I say eat a bowl of Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup and maybe you won’t need to call the doctor at all!

Homemade Chicken & Herbed Noodle Soup
Serves 8
Made in the crockpot, this is the only Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe you'll ever need!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 30 min
188 calories
23 g
25 g
4 g
15 g
1 g
375 g
864 g
8 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
375g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 25mg
8%
Sodium 864mg
36%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 8g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
184%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 8 cups chicken stock - I prefer Kitchen Basics brand
  3. 1 recipe Herbed Noodles ~ link in blog ~ or 12 ozs. frozen noodles
  4. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 large onion, chopped
  6. 6 stalks celery, sliced
  7. 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  8. 1 1/2 tsp salt - more or less to taste
  9. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  10. 1 tsp dried rosemary
  11. 1 tsp dried thyme
  12. 1 tsp dried sage
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (frozen chicken breasts need not be thawed) except noodles in crockpot, and cook on low, approximately 6-7 hours.
  2. 90 minutes before serving, turn temperature to high.
  3. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return to crockpot.
  4. 30-40 minutes before serving add noodles to bubbling hot soup, stirring occasionally, and cooking until noodles are al dente.
  5. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread for a perfect fall or winter evening meal!
Notes
  1. I highly recommend keeping a few bowls in the freezer for those days when you need a little "medicine" in a bowl to make you feel better!
  2. I also suggest next time you buy a crockpot to invest in a Ninja Cooking System. It's the most versatile appliance in my kitchen - and also one of the most frequently used! No affiliation - just a super happy owner!
beta
calories
188
fat
4g
protein
15g
carbs
23g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Thanksgiving Dinner must-haves for me include the usual suspects…turkey, potatoes, stuffing, Apple Wheat Berry Salad, Green Bean Casserole CEBH Style, some kind of bread, a delicious dessert like the one coming up in my next post, and cranberry sauce.  Unfortunately, in my immediate family I’m the only cranberry sauce aficionado…but that has never stopped me from making it just for myself!  So today I’m sharing my recipe for a simple Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce that you can make days ahead and check at least one item off your to-do meal preparation list!

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

When I was growing up my mom made what she called cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.  In reality what she made was actually a cranberry relish since it wasn’t cooked.  I remember her clamping the old fashioned grinder onto the end of the counter, then cranking the handle like crazy to grind a bag of frozen cranberries and a couple oranges into the bowl which I was tasked with holding.  It was a big responsibility for me to make sure I held that bowl still and didn’t let any of the juices dribble onto the floor!  Then she added sugar – what seemed like mounds of sugar – to sweeten that tart relish.  After that, she’d pop it into the fridge to chill and macerate for a day or two before our Thanksgiving feast.  

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

This recipe borrows the basics ~ cranberries and oranges ~ from mom’s cranberry relish, but omits the sugar, and instead, sweetens the sauce with maple syrup and honey.  Then I spiced things up just a little bit with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  And finally to add a little depth of flavor I splash in some vanilla.  The ingredients simmer in a crockpot over low heat for just a couple hours, until the berries are softened.  About 90 minutes into the cooking process I mash the berries with the back of a spoon until they’re somewhat crushed, but still have plenty of texture.  I let it continue to cook about 30 minutes more, transfer the sauce to a storage container, and pop it in the fridge until ready to serve.  The sauce will thicken as it cools and be the perfect texture to accompany your expertly roasted turkey, to top a luscious dessert (subscribe so you don’t miss the next post for just such a dessert), or as a condiment on your leftover turkey sandwiches!

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Whats your favorite food related Thanksgiving memory?  Tell me about it in the comments…I really do love to read them all!!! 

Crockpot Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce
Serves 24
Here's the easiest, most delicious, make-ahead Cranberry Sauce recipe you've been looking for to round out your Thanksgiving menu!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
60 calories
15 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
61 g
2 g
12 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
61g
Servings
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 60
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
20%
Calcium
2%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 8 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained
  2. 2-3 oranges, zested and juiced for about 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. Scant 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  5. Scant 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  8. 1/4 cup honey
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in crockpot, stir to combine and replace lid.
  2. Set heat to low and simmer for a total of about 2 hours.
  3. After 90 minutes cooking time has elapsed, stir sauce.
  4. Using the back of large stirring spoon, mash the berries until there's a good mixture of textures - including a few whole berries as well.
  5. Replace lid and cook another 30 minutes, then stir again.
  6. Mash the berries more if desired.
  7. Transfer to a covered dish and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Notes
  1. The sauce thickens and the flavors meld as it chills in the fridge. This is one more reason to make it a couple days in advance.
  2. Use as an accompaniment to turkey, as a sandwich condiment, or in desserts as desired
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calories
60
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
15g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Sugar-Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

As I was thinking about what to write for this particular post it occurred to me that apples, for as much as we might take them for granted, are a very important part of our diet!  From the very beginning we feed applesauce to our children as they progress toward eating solids foods, we give them apple juice in their sippy cups, and once they have teeth, we feed them sliced apples.  As we get older we start to enjoy other delicious foods made with apples…pies, cakes, muffins, crisps, cobblers, breads, tarts, popovers, turnovers, cereals, butter, cider, vinegar, and of course – applesauce!  We also can’t forget about the savory dishes that pair apples with things like pork chops or pork loin, stuffing, and salads.

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

As for cultural influences of the apple…how about the first one we all learn…”A is for Apple”!  Or, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  We all relate to “As American as Apple Pie”.  Remember The Osmonds singing “One Bad Apple”?  How about the depiction from the Bible of Eve eating from the Tree Of The Knowledge of Good And Evil?  In those pictures she’s always pictured eating an apple!  And I can’t leave out Apple computers, iPads, iPods, and iPhones!  I’d be lost without my iPhone and my iPad Pro!

Anyway, my point is that apples are such an integral part of our lives that we sometimes don’t appreciate them for the nutritional powerhouses that they are!  They’re high in fiber and vitamin C, low in calories, contain only a trace of sodium, and have no fat or cholesterol.  

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Interesting Apple Facts:

  • They come in all shades of red, yellow, and green.
  • There are over 2500 varieties grown in the United States, with apples grown in all 50 states.
  • The world’s top apple producers are China, the United States,Turkey, Poland, and Italy.
  • In 2005 the average U.S. Consumer ate an estimated 16.9 pounds of fresh market apples.
  • A peck of apples weighs 10.5 lbs.
  • It takes 36 apples to create one gallon of cider.
  • The apple is the state fruit of Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Vermont,Washington, and West Virginia.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.  
  • Apples have 5 seed pockets, or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds with the health and vigor of the plant determining the number of seeds per carpel.

Interesting….right?  I love learning new things about the foods that I eat and feed my family.  I find it especially interesting when I learn cool new things about a food like apples that I, for one, tend to take for granted sometimes!  Having said that – this recipe for Sugar-Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce is so good!  Fall is probably my favorite time of year, and if you’ve read some of my recent posts you’ve learned I’m not a huge pumpkin fan…don’t judge…I just prefer other flavors more!  So to me fall is epitomized by butternut squash and apples!  I love visiting apple orchards, I love eating apples out of hand, and I love, lovE, loVE, lOVE, LOVE, cooking with apples! There’s something extremely comforting about the scent of warm spices mingling with the scent of the apples themselves.  Sweet, warm, spicy…the feeling it conjures for me is cozy…and who among us couldn’t do with a little more coziness in our lives?!? 

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

I’ve been making this Sugar-Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce for as long as I can remember.  When my kids were young I used a little less spice, because they preferred it plainer – and certainly adjust the spices to your own personal preference!  Now that I’m cooking for just my husband and I, I prefer to add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to our applesauce!  It makes the house smell absolutely heavenly.  And I would certainly rather have my home scented naturally by the foods I prepare than by a candle any day!  But I haven’t outgrown all my childish ways…my favorite way to eat this applesauce is with a piece of toast slathered in nut butter…preferably homemade cashew butter!

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookestbehealthy.com

And thanks to the modern marvel that is the crockpot, this applesauce could not be easier!  I wash the apples, cut them up, toss them in the crockpot with the spices and a little water, turn it to high for a couple hours….and voila…applesauce!  Well – cooked apples anyway!  You’ll have to mash the apples a little to actually make the sauce.  How much you smoosh is up to you!  We like ours a little chunky, so I just use the back of a spoon to mash the cooked apples.  A potato masher works wonderfully as well, and if you want perfectly smooth applesauce, I’d opt for using an immersion blender.

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Stay tuned…coming up in a few weeks I’ll have another recipe that incorporates some of this applesauce…any reason to make another crockpot full works for me!

Sugar-Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce
Serves 12
Incredibly easy and unbelievably delicious homemade applesauce that far surpasses anything you could buy at the store!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
72 calories
19 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
145 g
2 g
14 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
145g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 72
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 4g
14%
Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 6 to 8 large Gala apples (or any naturally sweet apple good for cooking)
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  7. 1/3 cup water
Instructions
  1. Core and slice apples, then place in crockpot.
  2. Add lemon juice, spices, and water.
  3. Stir well to evenly coat apples.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, stirring halfway through, until apples are soft.
  5. Mash cooked apples with spoon or potato masher until desired consistency is reached.
Notes
  1. Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.
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calories
72
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
19g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso “Gravy”

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso "Gravy" | cookeatbehealthy.com

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Beauty is only skin deep.  All good things to remember when reading today’s post.  This is not the prettiest meal I’ve ever prepared, but it most certainly one of the tastiest.  If you are a fan of the classic beef roast served with carrots and potatoes, then this is the meal for you!  If you grew up in the Midwest then this is a delicious and healthy version of the quintessential Sunday dinner we all remember!  If you are, or you know, a meat and potatoes kinda guy, then this will be a recipe to put into regular rotation.  The Bison Roast is tender and juicy.  The vegetables are roasted to perfection.  The “gravy” is such an incredibly wonderfully copycat of a rich and creamy beef gravy that no one…and I mean no one will be able to tell the difference.  

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso "Gravy" | cookeatbehealthy.com

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Cashew Cream "Gravy" | cookeatbehealthy.com

One of the best things about this meal is that once it’s assembled in the slow cooker, you get to walk away and not even think about it for the next 6 to 8 hours.  Unless you’re home – then you’re going to be thinking about it constantly after about 2 hours cooking time because it smells so incredibly good!  But first things first…you need to prepare the Bourbon Espresso Cashew Cream.  I made mine the day before, so that really simplified things the day I served this meal.  I also seared my roast – this is a 100% optional step, and truthfully, if it weren’t for the fact that I have a Ninja 4-in-1, I probably would skip it.  Mostly because I don’t like dirtying extra pans, but with my Ninja I can sear the meat on the stovetop setting, and then switch it to the slow cooker setting.  Honestly it kind of feels like cheating because it’s just so easy.  But then I’m kind of lazy, so….😉  Once the potatoes are cleaned, and halved if they’re large, the carrots are peeled and cut into approximately 4″ pieces, and the onions and mushrooms are sliced, it’s just a matter of layering everything, putting the lid on, and walking away.  Then when it’s time to serve dinner just sit back and let the compliments roll in.  Because I promise you – your family will LOVE this meal!  

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

The cashew cream is a little different than others we’ve made so far in this recipe series.  I didn’t use our basic recipe and then adapt it to this meal – I made it differently from the start!  The one constant though, is that you need to soak your cashews at least 2-3 hours before making the sauce.  By combining a few unusual – yet fabulous – ingredients, this sauce is going to make a rich and creamy gravy that is spoon-lickin’ good!  As usual, drain the water from the soaked cashews, place them in the blender, add the instant espresso powder, salt, pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, water, and bourbon…then blend it all up to a smooth and creamy consistency.  I’m telling you – it’s like magic happens when this sauce combines with that flavorful and juicy bison roast!  Check the roast about an hour before serving and if you find the “gravy” is too thick, simply add a little water to thin it out.

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

An optional step: searing the meat…

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Layer in the potatoes…

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Then the carrots and onions…

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Next the mushrooms…

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Finally the sauce.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or high 4 to 6.

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Give it all a stir about an hour before serving.  Add more water at this time if the gravy is too thick.

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Not exactly a beauty queen – more of an ugly duckling – but flavor is in the tastebuds of the devourers!  Once you dig in – nobody will care how plain this meal looks.  They’ll only care how marvelous it tastes!  

Slow Cooker Bison Roast with Bourbon Espresso Gravy
Serves 6
If you are a meat and potatoes kind of person - or you love someone who is - then this is the recipe for you!
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 40 min
704 calories
60 g
116 g
24 g
53 g
6 g
707 g
602 g
16 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
707g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 704
Calories from Fat 210
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
37%
Saturated Fat 6g
30%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 116mg
39%
Sodium 602mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 60g
20%
Dietary Fiber 9g
35%
Sugars 16g
Protein 53g
Vitamin A
507%
Vitamin C
40%
Calcium
12%
Iron
41%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 pound bone-in bison arm roast (or beef roast if bison is unavailable)
  2. 2 pounds potatoes, halved if large
  3. 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into about 4" pieces
  4. 2 large vidalia onions, sliced
  5. 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  6. 4 tsp olive oil to sear the roast ~ optional
  7. Salt and pepper to season the meat
  8. 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 2-3 hours, then drained
  9. 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  10. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes ~ optional
  13. 1/2 cup bourbon
  14. 1 cup water
For the "Gravy"
  1. In a blender combine cashews, espresso, 1 tsp each salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, Bourbon, and water.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Set aside, or refrigerate (if not using immediately) until ready to use.
For the Roast
  1. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the meat if desired, then transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Layer potatoes, carrots, onions, and mushrooms around and over the roast.
  4. Pour sauce over all, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. About 1 hour before serving, stir the gravy and vegetables together, adding more water as needed.
Notes
  1. Leftovers of this meal are just as delicious as the first serving!
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calories
704
fat
24g
protein
53g
carbs
60g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/