A slow cooker can be a busy person’s best friend, whether you’re looking to prep lots of healthy food in advance or just want something warm and satisfying waiting for you at the end of the day. “Slow cookers are my saving grace,” notes Elizabeth Eichhorn, owner of Mary Lee Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. “I can put something up before I leave the house and have a healthy meal ready by the time I get back home at night.” And while the slow cooker is perhaps best known for soups and stews, you don’t have to stop there: These protein-packed recipes, designed by Eichhorn, feature plenty of flavorful ingredients for a main meal that’s both clean and satisfying. “I suffer from food allergies and like a lot of people with dietary restrictions, I have a hard time finding recipes that taste good and are simple to make while meeting the needs of my diet.” The slow-cooker meals here do all that and more. If you’re refueling after a hard workout, add in a starch like brown rice or quinoa; if you’re trying to cut fat, serve with some steamed veggies and a side salad.
Food styling by Dana Bonagura
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Cranberry Beef Stew
What You’ll Need
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups red potatoes peeled (optional) and cut into cubes
2 cups beef broth
1 cup collardngreens (de-ribbed and cut into thin strips)
1 tsp seasalt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
1⁄2 cup whole cranberries
Combine all ingredients except greens into crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
Turn off the heat and remove bay leaf. Stir in washed and chopped greens. Put the lid back on the crockpot and let the stew rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
1 large piece of foil (enough to fully cover all ingredients)
Wash asparagus and trim woody ends. Zest the outside of one of the lemons, then cut all lemons in round slices.
Place salmon, asparagus, coconut oil, spices, lemon zest on the foil; layer with lemon slices. Close and secure the foil and place in the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on medium. 3. Serve with cauliflower rice, white kidney beans, or steamed veggies.