In our meal preparation post, we talked about how utilizing your slow cooker or Instant pot can be an extremely time-friendly way to prepare food for your week. It’s also true that if you’ve never used a slow cooker (crock pot – whatever you want to call it) before, you may not have any idea what to cook in it. Here are three crock pot meals you can prepare for any meal of the day, even breakfast.
Crock Pot Meals: Jerk Pork
Normally in the USA we think of jerk being made with chicken, in Jamaica they cook jerk pork and jerk chicken equally (and I actually prefer jerk pork).
While traditional jerk pork is cooked on pimento wood suspended above a slow burning fire, you can imitate the flavors using a few ingredients and your slow cooker in the comfort of your home kitchen. No wood chopping required.
Serve this along with some rice, plantains, and green beans, and you have a delicious dinner any night of the week which will transport you straight to the wonderful island of Jamaica.
jerk pork ingredients:
- 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (also called Boston butt)
- 3 T Jerk spice rub (find one without any added sugar, or make your own)
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1/4 C soy sauce
Jerk pork steps:
- Cut the pork shoulder in half so it will cook quicker, and comfortably fit in your slow cooker. Rub both sides with the jerk spice rub. If you like your meals spicy, feel free to add more jerk mix. Add the pork to the slow cooker.
- Pour the chicken broth and soy sauce into the crock pot. Turn to high, and cook for 5-7 hours, or until the pork is fall-apart tender.
- Serve with rice, plantains, and vegetables of your choice.
Crock Pot Meals: Steel Cut Oatmeal
Breakfast can be hectic. You’re tired from the night before, and rushing to get the kids and yourself out of the door on time. The last thing you need to be thinking about is breakfast, right? Well, no, because we know fueling up for the day appropriately can help you be your most effective self. So, how do we solve this challenge? By letting your slow cooker prepare your breakfast while you sleep.
Steel cut oatmeal has a ton of satiating fiber, and also is a decent source of protein if you lead a plant-based lifestyle. Top with your favorite, all-natural nut butter to make it a complete protein and buff up the meal.
steel cut oatmeal Ingredients:
- 1 C steel cut oats
- 1 medium apple
- 3 1/2 C water
- 1/2 T cinnamon + 1 dash salt
steel cut oatmeal steps:
- The night before you want to eat, combine the oats, spices, and water in your crock pot.
- Chop the apple into bite size pieces, and add to the slow cooker.
- Stir everything to combine, and turn the slow cooker to low. Cook overnight, and serve topped with a dollop of your favorite nut butter.
Crock Pot Meals: Chili
Chili is normally a somewhat labor-intensive cooking process. Brown the vegetables, brown the meat, add the spices, tomatoes, and beans. Don’t run away from it or the bottom will burn. The list goes on and on. Chili is also one of the most delicious things to enjoy on a cold day – so let’s solve this challenge.
This recipe is simple to make, and all you need to do is combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, and then shred the beef after it is done. Simple, delicious, and low maintenance eating at its finest.
Slow cooker chili ingredients:
- 2 pounds beef roast, cut into medium chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 T chili powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
slow cooker chili steps:
- Add all the vegetables to the slow cooker, including the diced tomatoes, and stir to combine.
- Mix in 1/2 of the spices to the vegetable mix.
- Add pinto beans, and stir again. Top with the beef, and add the rest of the spices.
- Pour in the chicken broth, and turn the slow cooker to high.
- Cook for 4 hours, then shred the beef using two forks. Serve with toppings such as fresh jalapeños, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and shredded cheese.