Slow Cooker Beef with Puy lentils.

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beef puy lentils

A basic casserole of some beef, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.

If you wish you can brown the beef prior, add in the ingredients and add some garlic, beef stock and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. I used a tin of pre-soaked Puy lentils for convenience.

Some salt and pepper and I personally like Cayenne Pepper or Paprika added for a kick.

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Slow Cooker Corn Chowder with chicken.

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chicken sweetcorn chowderFor this I used some left-over chicken from a Sunday Roast. I left the chicken out until the final stages.

I popped some sweetcorn, carrots, onion, garlic and finely diced potatoes to some chicken stock and parsley, Thyme, bay leaves and which-ever herbs you prefer and salt and pepper.

Leave to simmer away and then switch off to cool down. Once cooled take a blender and blitz to thicken the soup. Then, switch the slow cooker back on, add in the chicken pieces and a handful of frozen sweetcorn. If too thick simply add some water or stock or if you wish a spoonful of half-at crème fraiche will give a creamier consistency.

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Slow Cooker Chicken, vegetables and dumplings.

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chicken and dumplings

This was another simple, yet delicious slow cooker idea. I put some chicken breasts in with some diced carrot, onion garlic and runner beans.

I added some chicken stock and Herbs de Provence, parsley and some pepper.

In the last 30 minutes before serving I will admit I cheated and used a ready-made dumpling kit. Although it is fairly simple to make them yourself with self-raising flour and suet. Place the dumplings on top of the chicken and veg and once cooked serve and enjoy.

 

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Slow Cooker Pork Pot Roast.

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pork roast

This was so simple. Just get nice cut of pork with some fat on it which can be cut off prior to serving.

I chopped some carrots, potatoes and onions. I added Bay leaves, some fresh Sage from the garden, Thyme and Parsley. I added some vegetable stock and some apple juice to keep it moist. Some salt and pepper on top.

If possible I would recommend turning the pork joint around at some point so it soaks up the juices from the underside.

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Slow cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Quinoa.

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chikcen quinoa

I used some diced chicken, peppers, courgette, aubergine and tomatoes. Chicken stock and a tin of tomatoes were used to keep it moist.

I used a few cloves of garlic and some basil and oregano and parsley and black pepper and some capers.

About ten to fifteen minutes prior to serving put in some quinoa and then serve.

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Slow Cooker Beef with Apricot and Pistachio.

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beef and apricot

For this, I used some diced beef although lamb is just as good a substitute. I added some courgette, onion, cherry tomatoes and a couple of garlic.

I used beef stock, Allspice, Saffron, Cumin, Coriander and some Cinnamon and Parsley.

Finally I added some dried Apricot, seasoned it and left it all to cook for a few hours.

I served with some brown rice although Couscous is an alternative and then finished by sprinkling some crushed Pistachios.

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Apple with beetroot and apple bread

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chicken and apple stewThis was both a warming a sweet dish which my kids especially enjoyed. I put in four chicken breasts, an onion, 2 sticks of celery and a large cooking apple cored and sliced and a diced yellow pepper.

For the stock I used some Apple juice, Chicken stock, a table spoon of honey, some bay leaves and some Nutmeg and Cinnamon and pepper.

It was left to bubble away all day until an hour before serving. I washed, and sliced a couple of Apples and placed them on top of the casserole with a sprinkling of brown sugar. Upon serving I used a cooking blow torch to caramelise the apples although under the grill is more than sufficient J

Once plated up, I served with a slice of apple and beetroot bread to mop up all those lovely juices.

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Slow Cooker Spicy Chipotle chicken with black-eyed beans.

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chipotle

This was very easily done, simply a case of some diced Chicken, some black eyed beans (pre-soaked the night before) and a jar of spicy Chipotle puree. I got mine from a local supermarket.
As it is so spicy I recommend using a tin of tomatoes and adding some chicken stock. Add any vegetables you wish – I used some diced red pepper and carrots.
Add some extra seasoning however the chipotle does have a kick. I added garlic, pepper and left to bubble away all day.
Prior to serving I simply added a dollop of soured cream or you can use half-fat crème fraiche.

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Warming, winter ideas for the slow cooker…

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It’s getting colder outside now and I don’t know about you, but I have dusted off the Slow Cooker and started creating some hearty healthy meal ideas. There is nothing better than returning home from work to a house full of the beautiful smell of a home cooked meal utilising the best of the seasonal produce available.

There are so many meals you can create using a slow cooker; from soups to casseroles, sauces to pot roasts.

The beauty of the slow cooker is that it does not have to be complicated. You just pop all the ingredients in together, plenty of stock or water and pile in the herbs and/or spices.

I would recommend that if you are not able to return home to check on the food in the slow cooker through the day that you a). Cook it overnight and simply reheat when ready to eat or b). Add enough stock to prevent drying out of the food and be generous with the herbs and spices.

 

Here are some of my tried and tested ideas and I promise you they are simple and easy to do and can be left for hours and indeed taste all the better for it…

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