As we all know, life can be hectic. Between work and family responsibilities, it can be overwhelming for some people to find time to cook meals. The result is eating out, whether that be in the form of fast food, takeout, or dining in a restaurant. Believe it or not, I've been guilty of this as well. While eating out can be enjoyable, sometimes it's not the healthiest choice, and there is nothing like a home-cooked meal. My favorite solution to a busy life is crockpot cooking.
I incorporate meals using my crockpot weekly. It just takes a little bit of planning, but it's not very time-consuming. The hardest part is going to the store to get the ingredients. Can you make a healthy meal using the crockpot? Of course, you can.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years, so it was easier to prepare meals. However, in the past few years, when I went back to college for graduate school, I had less time for meal prep. Yes, even during a pandemic when everyone was stuck at home together. Graduate school was like a full-time job for me, so it was a struggle to determine what we would have for dinner. Now that the pandemic is over, I am working, and my husband is busy with work, school, soccer, and karate, crockpot meals are a lifesaver for us.
During my time in graduate school, I decided to try some new recipes using our crockpot. My favorite one is a slow cooker whole chicken recipe. It has minimal prep time. Rub various spices on a whole chicken and put it in the crockpot, and it's finished in 3-4 hours. It's delicious and reminds me of the rotisserie chickens that the grocery stores sell in the deli. The only problem with this is if someone works outside the home in combination with the short amount of time it takes to cook, it would be hard to keep an eye on it.
If you are working away from home, I highly recommend soups in the crockpot. The night before a workday, place dry ingredients and your crockpot on your kitchen counter. Before heading out to work in the morning, place all ingredients in the crockpot, cook on low, and when you get home, dinner is ready. A few of our favorites are chicken noodle soup, chili, and vegetable beef soup. Of course, on Taco Tuesday, we love slow cooker cilantro lime chicken.
On a side note, I love crockpot cooking so much that my two oldest sons are getting one for Christmas (shhh, don't tell). It is my hope they will use them at college as they will be living in an apartment next year. I will also give them a variety of recipes to remind them of their home. Will they use them? That is to be determined.
I'm attaching a few of my favorite crockpot recipes for your enjoyment.
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