Home-cooked meals are always better for weight loss. You can switch to healthier ingredients as well as monitor your daily caloric intake. If you find yourself pressed for time, simply take out the slow cooker. After prepping the ingredients, you can leave the slow cooker alone, and it will do all the work for you. With that said, here are healthy slow cooker recipes that are great for weight loss.
6 SLOW COOKER RECIPES TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
1. BBQ PULLED PORK
You can still enjoy delicious pulled pork on a diet. Just use healthier ingredients so that you can skip all the calories and fat usually found in a classic pulled pork sandwich. With this recipe, you can simply prepare the ingredients and let the slow cooker do all the work. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 pork loin chops
- 1 (425g) can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- To make the BBQ sauce, place tomato sauce, honey, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, chilli powder and salt in the slow cooker.
- Add the pork chops. Cook for 4-6 hours on low setting. You can also cook for only 2-3 hours on high setting. You will be able to pull apart the meat when pork chops are cooked through.
- Serve with whole-wheat bun, brown rice or healthy coleslaw.
2. QUINOA-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
Quinoa-stuffed bell peppers is one of the healthy slow cooker recipes you should try. The dish is great for weight loss because quinoa is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. The recipe is also very easy to follow. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 6 bell peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups canned tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- red pepper flakes, as needed
- salt and pepper, as needed
- Remove the tops of the peppers. Scrape out the seeds and ribs.
- Place tomatoes, garlic, quinoa, beans, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
- Divide quinoa mixture evenly and put them inside the bell peppers.
- Add 3/4 cup water to the slow cooker. Place bell peppers inside. Cook for 6 hours on low setting or 3 hours on high setting.
- Transfer to plate and serve. Add green onions, sour cream, salsa, guacamole or any topping you like, if preferred.
3. MASHED SWEET POTATOES
Though white potatoes and sweet potatoes have the same amount of carbohydrates, the latter is a much healthier option. It has more fibre and is lower on the glycemic index. This recipe is ideal if you’re looking for a filling side dish. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 900g sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Place sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. Cook for 5-6 hours on low setting or 2-3 hours on high setting.
- Add butter to slow cooker. Cook until butter has melted.
- Add milk, salt and cinnamon. Mash sweet potatoes until texture is smooth. Serve.
4. BARLEY AND CHICKPEA RISOTTO
Barley and chickpea risotto is a dish with a nutty flavour and a chewy texture. Since it uses healthy grains and a lot of vegetables, it’s one of the slow cooker recipes that can aid in weight loss. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 (440g) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, garlic, cauliflower and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Stir occasionally.
- Add in thyme and barley. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Place risotto mixture in the slow cooker. Add beans, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2.5 hours on high setting, or until barley is tender.
- Remove thyme from the risotto. Add lemon juice. Serve with cheese and parsley on top for garnish.
5. CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM CURRY
Chicken and mushroom curry is a simple recipe that doesn’t disappoint. Though the slow cooker will be doing all the work, you’ll be rewarded with a creamy texture and flavour. This healthy slow cooker recipe is pretty easy, too. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 350g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
- 2 (400g) cans low-fat condensed mushroom soup
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp medium curry powder
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- salt and pepper, as needed
- cooking spray
- Heat frying pan with cooking spray. Cook chicken until browned on every side. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker.
- Cook onions in the pan until soft. Place in the slow cooker, on top of the chicken.
- Add soup, mushrooms, curry powder, herbs, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir to mix all the ingredients.
- Cook for 6-8 hours on low setting or until chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. Serve.
6. SHEPHERD’S PIE
This shepherd’s pie requires a little bit more effort than the other healthy slow cooker recipes. The added effort is worth it, though, as the dish is very delicious. It’s good to eat at home or to serve at a party. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 500g lean beef mince
- 420g tomatoes, diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheese, grated (optional)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp gravy mix
- Heat oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat.
- Add carrot, onion and celery to the pan. Cook until ingredients are soft.
- Add beef mince and cook until browned.
- Put beef mixture in the slow cooker. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and gravy. Cook for four hours on high setting. Stir occasionally.
- Put salted water in a medium-sized pot. Boil potatoes until cooked and tender. Add milk and butter. Mash potatoes until texture is smooth.
- Place potato on top of beef mince. Top with cheese if desired.
- Cook shepherd’s pie for another hour, or until cheese has melted. Serve.
Gone are the days when weight loss meant consuming bland and boring meals. Now, even if you don’t have time to cook, it’s still possible to enjoy healthy and delicious dishes — just as long as you have a slow cooker. You can work on other tasks and the handy kitchen appliance will take care of all the cooking.