Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, with cool, crisp days and cozy nights. However, when it comes to healthy eating, fall does present some challenges – the biggest being time. Our days become jam packed and the time change can make motivation at night tough – not to mention the holidays! That is why the “set and forget” slow cooker is my go-to tool for healthy fall cooking.
We all have our own definitions of health so I wanted to share with you my criteria for the recipes below:
I wanted the recipes to have simple ingredients and avoid lots of packet flavoring or processed additions.
When it comes to calories I was looking at lunch/dinners to be around 500 calories, whereas snacks and appetizers are around 200 calories, and breakfast around 300 calories.
Protein and Fiber
Although calories are something to consider, they don’t necessarily indicate if the meal will be satisfying. I wanted each recipe to be high in protein and fiber, which will keep you full longer.
Salt content can really sneak into these one-pot meals. Although these aren’t low-sodium recipes I wanted to make sure each of them gave you the opportunity to cut down on the salt to meet your own health needs.
We are all individuals so hopefully understanding my criteria will allow you to enjoy or adapt the recipes/portions based on your needs. Now let’s get to the good part: The recipes!
Slow Cooker Shrimp & Artichoke Barley Risotto
When we think of the crock-pot we usually think of heavier beef and chili based dishes. This slow cooker risotto breaks the mold with ingredients such as lemon, barley and shrimp. With over 30 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving, you will love the taste, and remain full for hours. One note is the original version is a little high in sodium. However, if you follow Cara’s advice to use low sodium broth you can bring that down.
Find the recipe: www.CarasCravings.com
Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa Tacos
Another recipe that breaks the crock-pot stereotype is this vegan twist on the traditional tacos. At less than 150 calories per taco (including shell) and nothing but nutritious ingredients, this is a great option for Sunday Football. Take note that this uses a smaller 2-quart crock-pot. If you are using a larger crock-pot, follow Kathy’s advice and triple the recipe!
Find the recipe: www.HealthySlowCooking.com
A healthy crock-pot list wouldn’t be complete without a go-to chili. What makes this chili so nutritious is that it is packed with heart healthy beans. It is also spiced perfectly without using high-sodium pre-packaged chili mix.
Find the recipe: www.AmbitiousKitchen.com
Seasoned Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans
The beauty of this recipe is it combines just a few simple ingredients and still packs a ton of flavor. As with the Turkey Chili above, it doesn’t rely on packet seasonings which will dramatically cut down on the sodium.
Find the recipe: www.TheMagicalSlowcooker.com
Peanut Butter Banana Slow Cooker Oatmeal
As amazing as it is to come home to a delicious smelling house and fully cooked dinner, it is equally as wonderful to wake up to a warm healthy breakfast. That is why I love this Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal. At just under 300 calories, 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber it will keep you satisfied for hours. Quick tip: If you want to kick up the protein, switch out the almond milk with 3 cups of water mixed with your favorite vanilla protein powder!
Find the recipe: www.SmileSandwich.com
Do you have any favorite fall crock-pot recipes? Share them in the comment section so I can check them out!