Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Slow Cooker, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Slowly Cooking This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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I LOVE this slow cooker method for making soup. I usually make this in a large soup pot, sauté the veggies in a little oil right there, add broth and let it simmer. By using a slow cooker, you skip the sautéing part and reduce the oil. I made a soup similar to this last fall, tossing whatever I had — apples, sweet potato, regular potatoes, carrots — into a big soup pot along with butternut squash; this time, I did the same thing in a slow cooker (way more fun). Enjoy as the main course or as a side, the result is a sweet, yet savory Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup that’s hands off minus the minimal prep of the produce in the beginning and puréeing at the end.

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Mexican, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving These Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

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My mom has been raving about this lentil chili she made this past winter that called for smoked paprika. I keep seeing recipes call for this spice, and I came across a recipe for slow cooker burrito bowls, which — ding, ding, ding! — called for smoked paprika. Given that it’s been unseasonable cold here and that I wanted some meal prep for a busy start of the week, I pulled out the crock pot and made Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls. I totally want to make these with chicken next time, but I’ll need a bit more foresight to thaw the chicken from my freezer. Instead, I tossed in sweet potatoes and made these bowls with brown rice and black beans for a yummy dish. These have a risotto-like consistency and I found myself adding more homemade vegetable broth than expected. The smoked paprika pairs so well with the black beans and sweet potato; it gives the bowls a flavor similar to chorizo, but keeps it vegetarian.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Slow Cooker

Slowly Cooked to Perfection Coconut Curry Chicken

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I’m on a slow cooker kick, especially with these one bowl meals. (Well, this isn’t quite a one pot dinner, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t easy.) Mmmmm, delicious Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken. Especially with exams coming up, it’s so easy to let the chicken cook all day and then just whip up the bowls at night. I used frozen cauliflower and peppers for less chopping and to save time. It’s so easy to have frozen veggie on hand! I always have cauliflower stocked in my freezer. Let the rice cook while the coconut curry chicken warms and you can kick back and relax (or in my case study).

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Simply Savory Sesame Chicken

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There’s been two things going on with me: 1). I’ve been trying to meal plan and meal prep lately, especially since we had a busy exam schedule this week; and 2). I’ve been craving some really greasy Chinese foods. Ok, maybe not really greasy, but something sweet, salty and savory with an Asian fusion all wrapped into one. I got this idea for Asian meal prep bowls from Damn Delicious, which I especially like because she includes nutritional facts for each serving. I had ingredients for sesame chicken (since Damn Delicious makes a teriyaki chicken) and used Skinny Taste for the chicken, but swapped ground chicken for chicken breasts. I popped everything in the crock pot while studying on Monday, let it brew while reviewing cardiac nursing and dished it up just in time for dinner. Garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, these Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls are *almost* better than take-out.

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah

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This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

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