Category Archives: Crock-pot Meals

Easy and Simple; Ingredients For Better Nutrition

Easy and Simple; Nutrient-rich meals

by donR  Revised April 16, 2018

During our first class 5 years ago, Lisa Samuel ND, one of our instructors  suggested we add foods to our meals that look like they just fell from a tree, picked from a bush or just pulled out of the ground. She called them “Real Foods.” Since that day I have heard them also referred to as “whole foods,” “natural,” “unprocessed,” “unmodified.” and “non GMO'”.

It is also common to see the words “Eat The Rainbow!” which implies that meals include a variety of colorful vegetables in its natural state (as opposed to dyed) or irradiated to kill any harmful bacteria. 

Then, of course, you have the option of choosing “organic,” which assures the buyer that the food was grown without the use of harmful sprays to kill bugs, weeds, set the blossoms and prevent wilt, and fungus.

To complicate the matter of choosing which foods to serve, you need to consider what types of nutrients are present in which variety of plants.   Here we can help you decide which plants are “nutrient-rich” yet low in calories while others are high n calories with low are some examples:

  1. Grow your own leafy green vegetables in a 4′ X 4′ raised garden bed.

    Keep some leafy greens (low in calories yet high in anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals) like kale and Romaine Lettuce in  your fridge.  Swiss Chard, which comes in a rainbow of  colors is a popular choice for salads…. Just rinse, chop and add a simple  dressing for salad or keep leaves whole and wrap one around some meat or veggies to make a roll-up.Throw in a handful of seeds and nuts for a good source of unsaturated fats & micro nutrients,  Keep leaves whole until ready to use in order to prevent bacteria from 

Blackberries are one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants.


2. Deep colored berries like blueberries, black berries and raspberries are full of healthy micro-nutrients that fight inflammation and attack cancer-type cells in your body. The berries can be rinsed and eaten by the handful. Better yet, enjoy a bowl of cooked steel-cut oats with a few berries thrown in. For dessert or snack, warm up the Quesadilla maker and 2 tortillas. Place a tortilla on the press, put a couple of berries in each section, cover with 2nd tortilla, and close lid to cook. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. 

picture of vegetables

Having fruit and vegetables readily available for snacks is healthy and saves money.

3. A variety of colorful root  vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and onions are cut in large chunks of equal size. Coat with a small amount of olive, sesame or peanut oil. Sprinkle with a little seasoning, place in a shallow baking sheet and cook (roast) until tender; about one hour. Root veggies and onions are a good source of vitamins and minerals while olive and nut oils are rich in good fatty acids when eaten in moderationl. 




Pre-schoolers made stuffed baked apples

4. kids can cut a hole to remove the apple core and fill  it with instant oats and brown sugar. Place apples on a shallow baking pan, add a cup of water to keep apples moist. Bake for about an hour to so. .Apples are rich in fiber while whole rolled oats are a natural grain.



Stuffed peppers are easily cooked in your slow cooker

We usually have extra cooked brown rice, salsa, cooked beans, mushrooms, and garlic on hand. A simple meal is made from whole bell peppers. Cut the top off the peppers and fill each cavity with a mixture of moist rice together with the other ingredients. Place a half cup of water in a large slow cooker. Squeeze up to 6 peppers in the slow cooker (1 layer) Cook on high for 2-3 hours until softened

When the above ingredients are added to meals you are offering food that are high in nutrient value and low in calories.  Next week we will include recipes for these ingredients. They can be cooked quickly and in large batches for homeless shelters and camps. stay tuned’

For more about using whole foods in your healthy meal plan read “The End Of Dieting” by Joel Fuhrman MD These foods are from his G-BOMB  list. 

Counter-top Appliances: Our Top 5 Choices

Our top choice for best table-top appliances is the slow-cooker. Can you name four more that made the top five list?

Our top choice for best table-top appliances is the slow-cooker. Can you name four more that made the top five list?

by donR October 27, 2015

Small appliances, whether you love them or hate them, are often given as gifts or purchased on impulse. Then they often end up in thrift stores for various reasons, which we will explain later.

But they do have a place in the home kitchen as well as in  restaurants. Are there any homes that are without a Microwave oven, coffee maker or toaster? These are so popular that we will not discuss them here, However there are at least five small appliances that deserve mention  Read more about these time and energy-savers: Continue reading

Sr Center Slow Cooker Raffle

Slow Cooker

Conair Corporation makes quality small appliances and helps our projects.

Our expanded Senior Wellness & Nutrition Program is entering into it’s 4th month. In the beginning, we gave drawing tickets away at each class and last week we celebrated our success with a drawing for  a Cuisinart slow cooker with digital controls.

The back-story:  Fred came to our first class saying  ‘I really don’t like to cook!” Later he said “I can’t cook,” and just two minutes after that he said “I don’t know how to cook.” Well, the first class was all about crock-pot soup and Fred has been experimenting with fred awardcrock-pot soup every week.

So guess whose name was drawn for the 3.5 qt electronic Cuisinart slow cooker? You’re right and Fred will use it often because he discovered how easy it is to use slow cookers.He also said he can cook a big batch and freeze some for later Here are some other reasons to use slow cookers:

  • Some cuts of meat become tender after the long cooking process.
  • You can load it with food, set it and forget it until your return.
  • Slow cookers save energy, yours and electrical.
  • Easy cleanup
  • Cook without fat and oil for healthy options

Pork Shoulder: Economical, Delicious and Healthy

Gabriel Claycamp itroduced us toIntroduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions. These 3 1/2 to 5 pound are roasts cost $1.90 per pound at Cash and Carry in Bellingham when purchased in 12 to 15 pound packages.

Gabriel Claycamp introduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions

Pork shoulder cushions were the centerpiece for December’s Cook-In. Several people commented that they would start using more pork in their meal plan because these boneless roasts cost just $1.90 per pound at Cash & Carry in Bellingham when purchased in bags of four roasts. Pork, the other white meat not only fit their budget, they found it to be versatile and delicious. But in order to be tasty and tender, it needs to be cooked properly. Read more about two simple ways to prepare pork shoulder cushions. Continue reading

Senior Slow Cook-In; Spicy Sausage Chili

 This veggie and sausage chili was made from ingredients found in my pantry. I'm calling it chili simply because there's lots of chili pepper added to the mixture.

This veggie and sausage chili was made from ingredients found in my pantry. I’m calling it chili simply because there’s lots of chili pepper added to the mixture.

Our third slow cooking class with seniors showcased just how flexible crock-pot meals can be. To assemble affordable meals, families living on a limited budget often use just what’s in their pantry rather than buy special ingredients required by recipes. Continue reading

Cook-In #2: Learning From each Other

During the cook-in we bagged pulled turkey meat so everyone could take some home for other meals.

During the cook-in we bagged pulled turkey meat so everyone could take some home for other meals.

Fifteen participants joined us for our second Cook-In. We spent the evening assembling a meal together, boxing food to take home, sitting down to enjoy the meal together and sharing ideas. The focal point of the meal was to cook turkeys but when it came to sharing ideas everyone had lots of things to say.

Planning, Preparing and Sharing are the cornerstone of the Family Meals Project and this cook-In allowed for lots of sharing. It was both fun and enlightening to take part in the discussions. Continue reading

Crock Pot Meals For Seniors: 5 Do’s

picture of roast beef

Chuck roasts can be marinated and slow cooked to improve tenderness.

The Crock Pot, AKA slow cooker, is an appliance that some senior ladies use all the time but most of them use the range for cooking, The senior men  preferred microwaves for cooking or warming up leftovers. My research statistics came from 1 visit to a Senior Center and is not very scientific, but it got my attention. Seniors who prefer not to cook, rely upon the microwave and those who cook, like the range. So, why would we want to introduce slow cooking?  Continue reading