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Slow Cooker Fast Dinner

November 27, 2012 by Joanna Drake, Registered Dietitian

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In terms of my overall performance as a parent, I feel like I peak on Sunday night and the rest of the week is a slippery slope toward adequacy. On Sunday night, the laundry is done, the house is tidy, the grocery shopping is done and lunches are made for the next day. By Friday night, the laundry baskets are full, the house is a mess, we have very little fresh produce in the fridge and my hair starts falling out in clumps. OK, my hair doesn’t fall out, but the rest is alarmingly accurate.

By Friday night, there is absolutely no way that I want to go home and then figure out what to make for dinner while the kids stand at my feet. Take-out restaurants are just waiting for me to arrive, desperate and wanting. But I just drive by. I’ve got my slow cooker waiting for me at home and I don’t want to keep him waiting. 

Walking into my house to the aroma of an almost ready to eat meal is like having a chef come to my home to make me dinner, but leaving before I’ve even arrived. There are no dirty pots, pans, cutting boards or utensils to clean. It’s just my slow cooker, sitting on my kitchen counter, with love inside.

What’s more, using a slow cooker is a great way to turn less expensive cuts of meat into tender pieces of deliciousness. Beans and lentils also do up beautifully for an even more budget conscious vegetarian protein option. From there, it’s as simple as choosing a recipe that appeals to your taste and preferences: a chili or a curry, broth-based or tomato-based, mild or spicy… The options are almost limitless. If you choose a recipe that is rich in colourful veggies, your only job left is to put on some rice or grab a loaf of bread and you’ve got a complete meal (and probably some leftovers that you can freeze for next week’s lunches).

Any night of the week, you’re not going to do much better than that. Here’s my new favorite slow cooker recipe . Do you have a favourite slow cooker recipe to share?

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