As soon as it starts to get even remotely cool here in sunny Brisbane, I bust out my slow-cooker and get it working.
When I sit down to write out my meal plan during the Winter months, I always factor in at least one slow-cooker meal - usually on our busiest days.
I know people can have some polarising opinions on the old slow-cooker, but this Nutritionist truly loves hers.
Here's the top 5 reasons why:
1. You just chuck everything in and turn it on. There's no fuss, no fancy ingredients and no special skills required (I'm a firm believer that nutrition doesn't need to be complicated).
2. My children love almost anything I cook in it! Mr 6 doesn't like the texture of some meat, but he does like the soft slow-cooked meat.
3. You can add lots of vegetables. What's better than a lovely vegetable soup, a veggie curry or an old-style chicken casserole with lots of veg. Anything that's cooked in it is accompanied by all the veggies I can fit in there, and usually some lentils or beans too.
4. Did someone say soup? I love soup and the slow-cooker is the easiest and tastiest way to make it.
5. It makes the evenings less stressful. Instead of running around the kitchen cutting and preparing in the early evening, I can take things a bit easier. The hard work was done earlier in the day and all that's left to do is serve up.
So now that you know why I love my slow-cooker, here's a few of my favourite things to make in it:
Minestrone - Soup is my all-time favourite thing to make in the slow-cooker and a good, hearty minestrone is a family favourite. This recipe here will get you started.
Slow cooker beef and red wine casserole - This one is a surprising hit with the children who just love the tender beef. I add in as many veggies as I can. Try this recipe here.
Whole chicken - I only recently discovered you could roast a whole chicken in the slow-cooker. You can finish it off in the oven if you want a nice crispy finish too. Check out this recipe here.
Now that I've (hopefully) convinced you that slow-cooker meals are delicious and nutritious, maybe it's time to bust out yours too.
Send me a pic of your slow-cooking adventures - I'd love to see what's bubbling away at your place.