Slow Cooking through the Spring

Wait a moment. Don't put that slow cooker away just yet. The cold winter months may be passing but your busy schedule's likely only getting busier as the season starts to warm up. If you don't already have a slow cooker or haven't inherited one, there are a few reasons why you should think about spending $30 bucks on a decent one. They're inexpensive (call it an investment) and will save you time in the kitchen doing prep work and cooking (call it a little project management). Also, don't forget the two key words here: slow cooker. This means that the temps are generally lower than the stove top, which means less scorching of your evening meals. As we mentioned, your slow cooker can be used year-round, which means--let's face it--we all could use a mid-week short cut from time to time no matter whether the leaves are turning yellow or it's time to take the kids to the pool. Finally, you can choose healthier ingredients for a low-fat dish and, because you won't be using oil or grease to do the cooking, it's a nutritional no-brainer. And with that, here are some healthy slow-cooker recipes to get you started this Spring.

We like this pulled pork recipe because the bbq flavors are a warm up to what's just around the corner: summer! And there's no better way to tease out that smoky flavor than to let it cook in your crock pot all day long. You can serve this easy dish with some sides or slop it between two whole-grain buns. It's the alternative to a sloppy joe that your kids will love.

Yep, you heard that right: mango chicken tinga. We dare any kid to not love the flavors of this surprisingly savory sweet tropical fruit. It's a dish that's perfect for fall-apart-with-a-fork chicken. If it's not a household word yet, you better get used to the tinga.

What keeps you from making lasagna? Is it all the prep work? Waiting for the water to boil? The reputation for its high-calorie, loads o' fat indulgence? This vegetarian noodle recipe will make you think again. You'll be using low-fat ricotta, whole-wheat noodles, and replacing the fatty meat with portabello mushrooms. Just layer the ingredients in the slow-cooker, put the lid on, and go.

So, what are some of your favorite springtime recipes for the slow cooker? Share your favorites below and get cooking!





Tags: Moms, Mothers, cooking, recipes

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