Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes | Mimi's Fit Foods

So, I’ve thrown regular, ol’ potatoes in the slow cooker, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think about throwing the sweet potatoes in there too.  But, my sweet friend Kristy over at Sweet Treats and More does it all of the time and once the idea entered my mind, there was no leaving it!  Thanks Kristy!

We LOVE sweet potatoes at our house.  They’re such a great choice when it comes to healthy side dishes, but they definitely take some time to cook in the oven.  And, I don’t always think that far ahead.  Besides that, turning on the oven in the summer time for more than an hour sound like WAY too much heat in the kitchen.  Thus . . . the fabulous slow cooker.  While the slow cooker reminds a lot of us of comfort food for the fall and winter months, it is a miracle worker in the summer too.  It avoids extended time of oven heat.  And, that is certainly the case with these sweet potatoes.    

The even greater part about throwing the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker is that they come out soooooo incredibly perfect and fluffy.  We love to put some coconut oil or light butter on them and then sprinkle with cinnamon.  Seriously so yummy!  

Now that summer is here, we’ve been throwing these Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker and then when dinner comes around, we’re throwing meat on the grill to eat alongside them.  It’s pretty perfect really.  It takes little-to-no effort, but our meals have been incredible!

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears|Mimi's Fit Foods

Ok.  Ok.  I know this is not the most glamorous looking dish.  However, it is so darn easy, so darn healthy, and so darn good.  I just have to share!

The balsamic vinegar yields a nice tang, while the pears balance that out with a hint of sweetness.  You’ll also find that by cooking the chicken in the slow cooker you get some natural chicken broth that mixes with the balsamic vinegar and this gives the perfect low-calorie sauce.  We ate this dish with Baked Brown Rice and the sauce poured over the top was deeeeeelish!

Oh, and the slow cooker does all the work?  Awesome!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears
Adapted from Laa Loosh

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 medium sized pears, cored and sliced thick
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and let cook for about 4-6 hours on low, or until chicken falls apart easily.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving – Approx. 4 oz.)
Calories:  146.8
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  11g
Fat:  1.1g (0.0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.4g
Sugars:  8.6g (mostly from pears)

Slow Cooker Thai Soup

Slow Cooker Thai Soup | Mimi's Fit Foods

I think I’ve professed both my love of Thai flavors and my love of the slow cooker.  So, I guess it’s no wonder that I love this recipe!  I mean, we’re talking very little work for a meal full of Thai-infused deliciousness?  Yes, please!

Have you ever had Tom Kha Gai soup?  This soup is kind of like that.  It’s not exactly, but it resembles several of the same flavor notes that you’ll find in Tom Kha Gai.  The good news about this recipe is that I’ve cleaned it up so that it’s not over 400 calories a serving, yet it still contains all those delicious Tahi flavors.  Yay!

I served this with a scoop of Soft & Fluffy Baked Brown Rice.  Again, not a lot of work to get the rice ready for dinner.  I think this meal is going to make the “regular” list around my house!

Recipe Note:  You’ll see that I used PB2 in the recipe.  It’s a powdered peanut butter that has a lot less calories than regular peanut butter.  If you don’t have PB2, you can easily just substitute regular peanut butter (but your calories per serving will increase a little bit).

Slow Cooker Thai Soup
Adapted from Foodie Crush

2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups light coconut milk (2 cans)
2 cups 99% fat free chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons PB2
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (I used orange)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
cilantro for garnish
cooked brown rice

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and brown rice.

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information Without Rice (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup)
Calories:  147
Protein:  17.2
Carbs:  7.7g
Fat:  5.1g (3.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.1g
Sugars:  4.8g

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches - Mimi's Fit Foods

The cold weather and sick season attacked our home this past week.  We’ve been down-and-out.  We’ve been living off of soup and protein smoothies around here.

However, there was one day this week when I actually found the energy to throw this meal in the slow cooker.  I’m so glad I did too!  It was super duper easy and the results were quite tasty!  I love using my slow cooker on days when I feel lazy or tired or busy.  I can basically get my meal made in the morning and there are little-to-no dishes when dinner time rolls around.  (That, to me, is the TRUE bonus of slow cooking!)

The flavor of these is definitely Asian-inspired (thus, the recipe name, LOL).  What really makes them taste Asian is the lime, cabbage, and cilantro.  The ginger in the sauce helps too.  The chicken/sauce is very mild and all the toppings bring it to a nice, fresh level.

This is a great weeknight meal.  If I can pull it off while on my sick bed, I’m pretty sure anyone can pull it off!  This is a slow-cooker keeper for sure!

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from Get Crocked

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice, divided
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
fresh cilantro, chopped
6 whole wheat thin buns, for serving

Add chicken to slow cooker.  Combine onion, ginger, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

When chicken is done, remove from sauce, shred, and return to sauce.  Change slow cooker to warm setting.

When ready to serve, place chicken on thin bun and top with cabbage, red onion, fresh cilantro, and a splash of fresh lime juice.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Sandwich)
Calories:  297.8
Protein:  29g
Carbs:  44.3g
Fat:  2.7g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.4g
Sugars:  19.7g

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken - Mimi's Fit Foods

Come on, now.  Who doesn’t love Orange Chicken?  I love this healthier version of it for a few reasons.  1 – It’s not deep fried and is made in the slow cooker.  This is fabulous because now that I’m a mom I’m kind of super tired by the time dinner time comes and goes and I really hate doing the dishes.  Throwing this meal in the slow cooker means I get to do it earlier in the day when I have more energy and when my baby is less fussy.  Plus, I always think it’s so nice to walk into the kitchen at dinner time and have a meal waiting for me.  2 – The orange flavor is awesome!  It really shines through.  The orange is not subtle, but takes a front seat.  3 – The chicken is nice and tender.  There are more reasons I love this dish, but those are my top three.

I made this fabulous Orange Chicken for some friends and one of them said, “I’ve never had Orange Chicken anywhere that tasted this good.”  That was music to my ears.  I was happy my guests loved it.  In the same breath, I was a little sad I didn’t have more leftovers.  I guess I’ll just have to make it again soon.

I served it over Soft and Fluffy Baked Brown Rice and we couldn’t have been happier.  (If you’re closely watching carbs and calories, a half serving of rice would be advisable here.  You’ll get some of your carbs and calories in the orange sauce, so decreasing your rice portion would make sense.)

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Adapted by Team T Adventures

2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breastes, cubed
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
4 large oranges
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha

Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Place chicken in a large shallow bowl.  Sprinkle flour over chicken and toss to coat.  Transfer to cooking pan.  Brown chicken, then remove from heat and place in slow cooker.  Don’t worry about fully cooking chicken (it will finish in the slow cooker).

In a medium bowl, zest 2 oranges, then juice all 4.  Add vinegar, ketchup, honey, and Sriracha.  Whisk together to combine.  Pour sauce over chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving Without Rice)
Calories:  179.7
Protein:  23.7g
Carbs:  17.1g
Fat:  2.3g
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  10.4g

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken-Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s a nice and fresh slow cooker recipe that I certainly appreciate.  While I love slow cooker dishes that resemble comfort, I also love this dish because it tastes light and fresh.  Of course, this is mostly because of the lemon flavor.  I mean, what is ever made with lemon that doesn’t taste fresh?

I first tried this dish on one of my slow cooker nights (I typically have one slow cooker night a week) and I knew I had to make some adjustments to ramp up the flavor.  So, I tried again and I am much happier with the results.  It seems that adding a little lemon zest and fresh parsley right before serving is definitely the trick!  This helped the lemon flavor to shine and took the freshness to an entirely new level.  I also added a little extra lemon juice mixed with cornstarch to thicken the sauce slightly so I could fully appreciate the sauce with every bite.

If you’re looking for something easy, delicious, and fresh . . . try this!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken
Adapted from SparkRecipes

1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley

For Finishing:
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest (zest of  1 lemon)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Mix oregano and lemon pepper and sprinkle evenly over chicken pieces.

In a large non-stick skillet, using medium heat, brown chicken evenly on both sides in olive oil.  Place chicken in slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except for the finishing ingredients) and pour over chicken.  Cover, and cook on low for 6 hours (or on high for 3 hours).

For Finishing:
Remove chicken from the slow cooker and pour juice/sauce into a medium microwave-safe bowl (I used a large liquid measuring cup).  In a separate bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and cornstarch and whisk to combine.  Add to the slow cooker juice/sauce along with the chopped parsley.  Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute to allow sauce to thicken slightly.

Divide chicken amongst 6 plates and evenly distribute the sauce over each plate.  (I love to serve this over Baked Brown Rice.  It’s only 110 extra calories for 1/2 cup and it makes for a perfect, light meal.)

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving of Chicken & Sauce)
Calories:  132.7
Protein:  23.3g
Carbs:  3.1g
Fat:  3.4g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.3g
Sugars:  0.3g

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili-Mimi's Fit Foods

Here is a unique and spectacular spin on chili.  One of my sisters was quick to tell me that I had to try it, and she was RIGHT (thanks Becca for the tip-off)!  As soon as I looked up the recipe it was bookmarked for the future for various reasons.  1 – It’s a slow cooker meal and I love using my slow cooker on days when I know I’m not going to have time to make dinner.  2 – It’s got black beans and sweet potatoes in it.  A beautiful pair.  3 – It has interesting ingredients in it that caught my curiosity, but I could also visualize how they would all come together and work.  Pumpkin puree, cocoa powder, and cinnamon . . . in chili?  Yep!  And, it works!

Now, I’m not going to lead you astray here!  It took me a little extra time than planned to get this in my slow cooker.  I usually look at my slow cooker as a time saver, but it didn’t really play that role here.  In this case, the slow cooker played the fantastic role of taking extra time to really help all these flavors meld together.  I still had to cut up all the veggies, sauté the veggies, and then brown the meat . . . all before throwing it in the slow cooker.  Here’s the thing.  All those steps TOTALLY help to elevate the flavor, so don’t skip them.  And, the extra steps made this chili SUPER awesome.  All I’m saying is don’t get in the mind set that this is a meal that takes you all of five minutes to throw in the slow cooker and then dinner is ready in 6 hours.  It’s going to take you a little bit to get it in the slow cooker (it took me about 35-40ish minutes), but then the slow cooker works its magic and you’ll be SO glad you made it.

It makes A LOT.  It freezes great, so I make the entire recipe and freeze half of it for later.  You can also half the recipe and cook it in a smaller slow cooker.  Or, you can invite friends/family over for dinner.  You choose!

That all being said, it’s really hard to EXACTLY describe the flavors.  You just HAVE to make it.  I will tell you this.  I’m totally making it for the next chili cook-off and I’m pretty sure it’s a shoe-in for the blue ribbon.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (any color)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used red)
1-2 jalapenos, minced (I used 2)
20 ounces ground turkey breast
8 ounces mushrooms, minced (about 2 heaping cups)
2 teaspoons cumin
2  teaspoons kosher salt
1/2  teaspoons pepper
1  teaspoon oregano
1  teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2  teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (orange), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
32 ounces beef broth (one box/carton)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

optional:  light sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro or green onion, and fresh lime juice for serving

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add  1 teaspoon olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant.  Add to slow cooker.

In same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine.  Sprinkle in cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika.  (note: the meat will taste very seasoned when done.  Keep in mind these seasonings are not to flavor just the meat, they will season the entire pot of chili, so they are intentionally strong!)  Add turkey mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir til combine.  Place lid on pot and cook for  4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.   Slow-cookers vary greatly in temperature and cooking times, but you’ll know it’s ready when the sweet potatoes are tender.

When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Season with additional salt to taste before serving.  If desired, serve with sour cream, sliced avocados, and a small squirt of fresh lime juice, and any other toppings desired.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (per serving = 1 1/2 cup plain chili)
Calories: 256
Protein: 22.4g
Carbs: 40g
Fat 2.4 g