One of the easiest and most efficient ways to get a healthy nutritious winter meal is to use a slow cooker. Cooking low and slow in a sealed chamber, helps to keep the moisture and nutrients in your food and because of the additional moisture they leave meat super tender – win, win!
There are some other great benefits to slow cooking. If you live alone, you can pop extra portions in the freezer and save them for a day when you don’t feel like cooking. Having prepared meals in the freezer also tends to reduce our consumption of fast foods and take away, which translates to reduced fat, calories, and sodium in our diets.
Slow cooking meals also leaves you time to go about your normal life while preparing a meal. This is great for people who don’t really enjoy cooking and hate cleaning. A slow cooked meal will see you use a knife, chopping board and the slow cooker – that’s it!
There are many ways to use a slow cooker, but if you are anything like me, the simpler the better; start by browning off some diced meat in a wee bit of oil (use the sauté setting on your cooker for this). Then turn down the heat to slow cook, throw in some chopped up hardy vegetables like potato or sweet potato, carrot, onion, and a sauce (over the weekend I used a jar of Dani Venn Sri Lankan inspired curry – it was super easy and very delicious).
You can just use liquid stock or a soup. If you like a thicker style dish, you may need to dust your meat before you brown it with flour or corn flour.
Most cookers will take between 4 to 6 hours for the meat to tenderise. And it is important to remember that not all vegetables are created equal. Delicate vegetables should be added in stages throughout the cook. Mid-way through the cooking time, I like to add cauliflower and mushrooms. Then green vegetables towards the later stages (beans, broccoli – whatever you fancy really), just so they retain their colour and texture.
Voila - a delicious dish that can be served all on its own or with rice, naan bread or piece of toast!
Phone Mounties Care if you need some help with nutrition and dietary ideas: (02) 9165 0838