I’m the kind of gal that loves preparing home-cooked meals. I don’t even mind doing the dishes; I actually enjoy it. For me, washing dishes helps complete the task of cooking. But, not everyone feels the same way about cooking, and especially, not about a sink piled high with dirty dishes!
For those of you that don’t have the time to cook at home or deal with the cleanup after, you can still enjoy a fabulous home-cooked meal. All it takes is a slow cooker aka a “crockpot.” No, not a crackpot – a crockpot!
If you are working long hours away from home and still desiring fully balanced, delicious, home-cooked meals, I highly recommend purchasing a slow cooker. Your purchase will not go to waste. Slow cookers are designed specifically for people who don’t have the time to cook and babysit their food, or the patience to deal with cleaning up a metallic mountain of pots and pans.
With a slow cooker you can create the ultimate one-pot meal. It’s no muss, no fuss – everything in one pot, set the timer, and go! Cooking doesn’t get easier than that. Slow cookers are safe, affordable, and come in a variety of sizes. I would suggest buying a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker and spending anywhere from $29 to $100 (or more). You are worth it!
In my cookbook, Health is Wealth, is an entire chapter dedicated to these type of one pot meals — The Pot of Gold. There is no reason for folks to miss out on nourishing home-cooked meals, even if they are not home to cook them. See the delicious example below.
Hearty Grass-Fed Beef Stew
- 3 tablespoons whole grain flour
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- 8-10 ounces grass-fed stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into thick wedges
- 4 carrots, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 small red potatoes, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, in ½ inch dice
- 3-4 button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup stringbeans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups beef or chicken stock (can use water)
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- Put flour into a large plastic baggie
- Season with a couple of pinches of sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
- Drop the beef chunks into the baggie and coat evenly with flour
- In a soup pot, heat oil and sauté beef 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned
- Add onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, stringbeans, stock, wine, thyme and ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 45-50 minutes
Slow Cooker Preparation:
- Put all ingredients, except seasoned flour into a slow cooker, using 1½ cups of stock instead of 3
- Cover and cook on low temperature for 9 hours, or high temperature for 4½ hours
- One half hour before cooking finishes, combine seasoned flour with a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) and add to the liquid in the slow cooker
- Cover and finish cooking until the liquid thickens
During the winter months or in colder weather, replace celery with chopped parsnips, and replace stringbeans with one or two turnips or rutabaga, diced