23 More Slow Cooker Recipes – All in One Place

Were you receiving my emails in April, when I was doing the big slow cooker series?  We had some great recipes shared!  Well….I’m finally getting around to putting all of the links in one place, so you don’t have to search for them if you are looking for one!  Yay, me!  I really hope this is helpful to you.  I will also add this link to the Freezer to Slow Cooker page for your reference. I hope you’re having a wonderful May!  I can’t believe it’s already almost June!

 

Slow Cooking in April

 

 

  1. Crock Pot Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie
  2. Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe
  3. Authentic Red Beans in the Slow Cooker – Puerto Rican StyleEnchilada Casserole Recipe in the Crockpot
  4. Zesty Kielbasa Soup Recipe for the Slow Cookerzesty kielbasa soup in the slow cooker
  5. Slow Cooker Black Bean, Quinoa & Butternut Stew
  6. Healthy Crock Pot Spaghetti
  7. Bolognese sauce in the Slow Cooker
  8. Slow Cooker Coconut Pork Curry Recipe
  9. Roast Turkey in the Slow Cooker Recipe
  10. Slow Cooker Drunken Honey BBQ ChickenDrunken Honey Chicken in the Slow Cooker
  11. Cheesy Crockpot Sausage & Potatoes Recipe
  12. Hearty Chicken Chili Crockpot Recipe
  13. Crockpot Tomato Cabbage Soup
  14. Super Easy Slow Cooker Lentil Recipe
  15. Beef Topped Bean Enchiladas Recipe for the Slow Cooker  Enchiladas in the SLow Cooker
  16. Brisket in the Slow Cooker
  17. Crockpot Balsamic Pork Loin
  18. Healthy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup
  19. Chicken Enchilada Nachos in the Slow CookerSlow Cooker Chicken Nachos
  20. Gluten Free Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
  21. Healthy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup
  22. Herbed Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

  23. Lamb & Bean Stew Recipe for the Slow Cooker

 


How to Make Meal Times Less Stressful!

Making Meal Time Less Stressful

 

Being the mother of 7 children, I have to think about food A LOT!  My kids can eat and eat and eat.  Everyone has always been impressed with what good little eaters I have.  Now that I have 2, almost 3 teenagers, I am shocked at what that can mean and how many times a person can go back for more food, sometimes long after the rest of the family was finished eating.  If there’s food left in the pot, my son is asking if he can have it!  Cooking isn’t one of the things I really enjoy doing, it’s just a task that has to be done in order to have a functional family, so I have been aiming to streamline my time spent in the kitchen and yet enjoy what we’re eating.  Here are several ways that I have been able to accomplish this.

 

1.  Pick Easy Meals

Think about what you generally cook when you’re in a time crunch.  For me, it’s things like spaghetti, montereys, taco salad, chili, hamburgers, etc.  Meal plan around these easy meals.  If you don’t have a very long list, search for some quick and easy recipes that you can plan around.   You can always throw in your favorite more difficult meal, but spread them out, so they’re not on back to back days.

 

2.  Use Your Slow Cooker 

I decided I wanted to use my slow cooker almost every day.  I just LOVE not having to think about making dinner at 5:00.  You may know me as that Slow Cooker lady by now….and can find many of my slow cooker recipes here:  Crockpot Freezer Meals.

3.  Decide What’s For Dinner the Night Before

The reason this is important is so that you make sure to get anything you need to out of the freezer.  It is so frustrating to decide on making something with ground beef, to remember that the only ground beef you have is frozen in a big 10 pound block that doesn’t fit into the microwave to defrost.  Which brings me to…..

 

4.  Save Money by buying in bulk or buying off brands. 

Believe it or not, we normally shop for our groceries in a bigger city.  We try to plan to go to the city around the time we need to stock back up.    I like to coupon in the cities when I can, but haven’t become quite that organized to do it regularly yet, nor have I been able to take the time to clip coupons on a regular basis.  We generally go to Aldi and Sams and at least check the other local stores for deals we can score while we’re there.  We can save quite a bit on cheese, lunch meat, bread, canned goods, etc.  At Walmart, I can buy a block of cheese for over $4 a pound.  At Sams, I get it in a 5 pound block for $12.  That’s getting 2 pounds free!  I usually stock up on produce at Aldi.  The in season fruit and vegetables are always much cheaper than our local stores.  The fruit that is in season will sell for around $1.50 – $2 per 3 to 4 pound bag.  Strawberries for a dollar a pound and Pineapples for a dollar each as well.  This isn’t all the time, but these are the prices that I regularly look for.

 

5.  Make Freezer meals

For me, that means, make extremely easy freezer meals.  I decided to line up my recipes for a week and make a list of what I need to do in order to prep them.  I do all of the preparation work at once for the week, including chopping and browning of meat.  I place all of my ingredients in freezer bags and freeze them for the week so that they stay as fresh as possible.

6.  Involve the Children

There is  nothing wrong with your children helping in the kitchen!!  It is wonderful training for their future and sometimes, if the family wants to eat, it’s downright unavoidable!  My 11 year old enjoys knowing that she was able to be a big part of getting everyone fed.  If you don’t have kids that old, they can always be right next to you, helping to put ingredients in bowls or bags or even just “washing dishes” by playing in the dish water.  My younger children always think it is a treat to help mommy!

 

7.  Table Chores

This next tip is more for me than for you…because it is a place we still struggle.  Clean up the dishes and the table right after each meal!  It doesn’t take long and we’re always thankful when we do it.

 

8.  Streamline Breakfast & Lunch

My kids know that there are certain things that they can choose from for breakfast and lunch.  I’m not one who is willing to cook a hot breakfast every day.  That’s usually a special occasion.  I’m a zombie in the morning!!  Their breakfast choices are generally cereal, toast, fruit, boiled eggs or oatmeal (made in the microwave).  Lunches are generally cheese quesadillas, ham sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, bean & cheese burritos, mac & cheese, hot dogs, salads or leftovers.  They’re all super easy to prepare and overall, I don’t care if they choose different things to eat…unless it involves making a pot of something (i.e. mac & cheese)…then I require more than 1 person has to want to eat it.

 

How do you make your meal times less stressful?

 

This post was updated and modified from one that I originally posted in October of 2011.  I have since added a large section of Crockpot Freezer Meals to my site.  Be sure to check them out.  You can have the recipes for free, and if you’d like the opportunity to save time and let me completely plan the meals for you, I have 8 weeks of Crockpot Freezer Meals that come with assembly instructions and grocery list that you can purchase for a low price of $2.99 per week.

How to Make Meal Times Less Stressful!


I Confess, I’m a Yo-Yo Dieter – My 12 Step Program

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12 Steps to Overcome Yo-Yo Dieting

 

OK, you caught me.  I’m a yo-yo dieter.  I seriously have a problem.  I will do really well for two months.  I get all excited.  I believe I can do anything (being the extreme optimist that I am) and then suddenly, my will is not strong enough any more.  I quit eating healthy.  I start drinking a little soda.  I stop exercising as much.  Then I drink even more soda….  I start having a daily treat or two.  And guess what?  I gain back the 10 pounds I just lost.  Yep, that’s me.  Mrs. Yo-Yo herself.  This just happened to me… again.  :(  Can you relate?

 

Honestly, I hope you can’t relate, but I have a feeling a lot of you are right alongside of me in this.  It’s a common problem.  How can we as human beings keep our heads in the game?  After all, in order to lose the weight and keep it off, we’re going to have to make a lifestyle change.  We know this to be true, but for some reason, we think that we need to hurry up and hit our goal and once we’re there we can say…. “phew…. all done”.  But that’s not the case!  We cannot say “Phew, all done!”.  We must say, “that was a good start, let’s keep going”.  We have to embrace the lifestyle change with all of our hearts and minds.  It cannot be a maybe.  It has to be met with determination.  Otherwise, we’ll continue on the yo-yo plan of lose it, gain it.

 

So how can we as people who need to make healthy habit changes do it and stay motivated to keep going?  Why do we keep giving in?  For me, one of the main reasons I give up is that I get tired of having to think about it all the time.  I much prefer to indulge myself in all the food and drink decisions than have to carefully calculate what it is that I need to be eating.  Also, I find it difficult to quit my unhealthy choices, because I find them fun.  My mind associates soda with getting to relax and enjoy myself.  It’s the same with sweets.  If I take them away, I feel like life isn’t nearly as fun.  I know that it is just a mind training thing that I have to get through.

 

I decided that I have to more carefully plan if I’m going to be successful.  The problem is, I’ve known this for a while, but I’m still failing to make my plan.  You know what they say…. Failing to plan is planning to fail.  That’s not good.  I don’t want to keep failing!  So….here’s my 12 step plan.  In it, I’m saying “you”, but I’m talking to myself.  You may not need my 12 steps….but maybe you do, too….read on to see.

 

1.  You must find a replacement for drinking soda.  It can still be carbonated, but it can’t be diet and it can’t be full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  You may have to mix your own soda to make it into something healthier, but it will be worth it.  Soda is the main reason I am so plump.

2.  You must make a meal plan, including breakfast, lunch and snacks to keep you on track.  That doesn’t mean only make one meal plan ever.  That means, every week, make a meal plan.  Or, you can repeat the prior week’s meal plan if that helps, but it has to be planned.

3.  You must make a motivation Smash Book.  (If you haven’t seen these, check out my Pinterest board here).  This will help you when you’re down by giving you motivational quotes, before and after pictures, and things to think about while losing weight.  You can include quotes like this:

 

Why Climb the Same Hill Twice

 

4.  You must decide why you really want to be thin.  Not the politically correct answer but deep down, why do you want it?  Is it enough to make you get it done?  If not, can you find a new reason?

5.  You must have a plan on what to do when you’re eating out.  Make a list of allowed foods while eating at fast food restaurants.

6.  In addition to the Smash book, you must make a travel smash book.  One that you can keep in your purse to help you while you’re out and about.  A few motivational quotes, your fast food list, etc.  Anything that will help you to stay on plan when you’re out with your husband at lunch.

7.  You must find replacements for Emotional eating.  I know you like to eat when you’re tired, sad, happy and frustrated, but you’re going to have to find something else you can do when you’re feeling these emotions.  Emotions are normal.  Eating to celebrate them or to make them go away, just complicates life and doesn’t make anything go away.

8.  You must set goals.  Not just weight loss goals, but exercise goals, maybe even a bucket list!

9.  You must stay hydrated.  You need at least 64 ounces a day, but since you are overweight 100 ounces would be even better.  Strive to get 100 oz of water in a day.  Remember how your wrinkles around your eyes tend to go away when you’re drinking enough?  You’ll look better for it!

10.  You must exercise daily!  I realize you have 7 children, but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to exercise.  You can always fit 15 minutes in at a time.  You can always go outside and jump on the trampoline with the kids.  You can take them on a bike ride  or a walk.  You don’t have to exercise alone.

11.    You must eat more vegetables.  Your body needs the vegetables to grow stronger and leaner.  Your skin looks better with more vegetables, too.

12.  You must refer back to this list often, so you don’t forget about all of your plans.  You know how forgetful you are!

 

While I may not have all of these goals accomplished immediately, or even in the next month, this is what I know I have to do in order to finally reach my healthy weight.  I’ve debated about even talking about this on my blog any more, as I always just seem to fail and hate to keep talking about my failures, lol, but…I’ve decided to do it as it helps me.  If it helps me, it may help someone else as well.

 

Oh and speaking of eating your vegetables, if you’re interested in growing your own vegetables (or already are!), be sure to check out today’s sponsor, Born to Grow and their free gardening webinar:

 

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What about you?  What would you add to this list?

12 Steps to Overcome Yo-Yo Dieting