A slow cooker really is a must-have for any busy cook. Few things are better than returning home after a long day to the delightful aromas of the evening's meal, ready to be served. Lately, however, I've realized I really only have a few Crock-Pot staples that I seem to turn to time and again.
In my quest for healthy and delicious slow-cooker recipes, I discovered these five winners from around the web. Bon appétit.
From: A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures Blog
Why you should try it: Balsamic vinegar makes everything better and adds a big punch of flavor. Keeping things simple, this recipe calls for frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts -- no need to defrost.
From: Eating Well
Why you should try it: Even the steak and potatoes folks won't miss the meat in this hardy vegetarian dish, reminiscent of ratatouille. The protein-rich chickpeas will leave you satisfied long after dinner.
From: Fitness Magazine
Why you should try it: This spicy medley has only 223 calories and a whopping 21 grams of protein per serving. Throwing the shrimp in the slow cooker for the final 15 minutes of cooking ensures they will be juicy and tender.
From: Real Simple
Why you should try it: After seven to eight hours in the slow cooker, the lamb shoulder will be melt-in-your-mouth tender. The dried apricots, cinnamon and ginger bring a slight sweet flavor to the dish.
From: 365 Days of Slow Cooking Blog
Why you should try it: A great way to use up leftover turkey, this recipe is perfect for a cold, rainy day. When topped with sour cream (or swap for healthier Greek yogurt), fresh cilantro, sliced avocados and grated cheese, this simple soup will make for a satisfying meal.
What's in your Crock-Pot? Share your recipes and tips for easy slow cooking in the comments section below.