The week of Christmas is often very hectic and last minute shopping does not leave much time for cooking. Slow cooker meals require a few minutes in the morning and dinner is ready when you arrive home. You could double some of the recipes if you are expecting guests.
Meal 1: Slow Cooker Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Soup served with Crackers and Fruit
You can use the 3 minute boil on the peas as a head start if you forget to soak overnight. Use turkey sausage instead of kielbasa or andouille to decrease the fat content. Omit the sausage for a vegetarian version.
Meal 2: Slow Cooker Pot Roast served with Mashed Potatoes and Salad
I usually add extra carrots to the pot roast. Mashed potatoes work well with the sauce. Pick up prepared mashed potatoes to cut down on last minute cooking time.
Meal 3: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches , Celery and Carrot Sticks
A great recipe to double! Use whatever raw veggies you have on hand and serve with Ranch dressing.
Meal 4: Slow Cooker Jambalaya served with Brown Rice and Salad
Use turkey sausage instead of andouillle to decrease the fat content. The recipe calls for cooked shrimp but uncooked shrimp works fine as well.
Meal 5: Slow Cooker Chicken served with Steamed Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes
I usually buy rotisserie chickens but this slow cooker chicken recipe is very easy. For more flavor, add poultry seasoning, garlic powder and/or Mrs. Dash to the chicken.
|Leafy greens for salads||Olive oil|
|Onions||Chicken broth, reduced sodium|
|Celery||Beef broth, reduced sodium|
|Bell peppers||Tomatoes, no salt added, diced, 28-oz|
|Sweet potatoes||Black-eyed peas, dried, 1 lb|
|Potatoes||Dry ranch salad dressing mix|
|Broccoli||Buffalo wing sauce|
|Garlic||Whole grain crackers|
|Fruit||Cajun spices or spice essence|
|Smoked turkey sausage, 2 lb||Butter|
|Chuck roast, boneless, 2.5 lbs|
|Chicken breasts, boneless, 2-3 lbs|
|Frozen cooked shrimp, without tails, 1 lb|
Jackie Warren is a registered dietitian and Director of Operations for Corporate Health Partners. She develops weekly dinner meal plans that are kid-friendly to take the guesswork out of healthy eating.