Changing for the better, one bite and (deep) breath at a time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crockpot Craziness!

I tasked intern Kayla with compiling simple, real food ingredient-based crockpot recipes from all across the interwebs.  Below are her recommendations.  I hope you find something tasty, enjoyable and fast for your family!



Most crock-pot recipes are loaded with processed ingredients, all for the sake of making simple and labor-free even more so. However, just because you want a “set it and forget it” recipe, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice using fresh ingredients. Here is a list of some hearty recipes utilizing fresh, healthy ingredients in the crock-pot.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

Revised from original recipe from Bon Appétit, revised by The Kitchn

Calories: 337
Fat: 5.7g
Sat Fat 0.9g
Carbs: 58.7g
Fiber: 14 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Protein 6.2g
Sodium: 1248.5 mg

Serves 4-6


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 14.5-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
½ pound dried black beans, rinsed well (soaked overnight for best results)
1 chipotle chili from canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
1 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt + more to taste
1 ½ cups sweet potatoes (2-3 small), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
¼ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained


Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Green onions, chopped
Fresh cilantro


Heat the oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and coriander and stir. Cook together for 1 minute. 

Add to crock pot.

Stir in tomatoes with their juices, beans, chipotle pepper and oregano. Add 5 cups of water and cook on high for about 4 hours.

After about 4 hours, add the sweet potatoes, quinoa and salt. Allow to cook on high for 2-3 more hours until beans are plump and tender, sweet potatoes are soft, and quinoa begins to resemble spaceships (that means it’s done!)Add water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Portion out to serve and top with the desired toppings.

High fiber, Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Grain-free

This recipe utilizes dried beans instead of canned. Canned beans, even if they are low sodium, contain high amounts of added salt for preservation and shelf-stability purposes. Take control of the salt content in your recipes, and keep your wallet plump, by purchasing bulk dried beans instead of the cans. Just keep in mind: dried beans need to be soaked at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, prior to cooking. This, along with rinsing with fresh water after soaking, reduces the cooking time and the after meal flatulence commonly experienced with the musical fruit. Also note, dried beans will take longer to cook than canned, so consider this when adjusting recipes.


Sweet Potato Lentils

Recipe by Pinch of Yum

Calories: 326
Fat: 11.6g
Sat Fat 9.7 g
Carbs: 44.8 g
Fiber: 14.5 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 13.5g
Sodium: 469 mg
Serves 6-8


3 large sweet potatoes, diced (~6 cups)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups uncooked red lentils
1 can full fat coconut milk, or Greek yogurt
1 cup water, if needed


Add sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, and spices to crock-pot. Cook on high for 3 hours, until vegetables are soft.

Add the lentils and stir once. Replace the lid and cook on high for an additional one and half hours.
Stir in the coconut milk (and water, if needed) to reach the desired consistency.

Vegan/Vegetarian, High Fiber, High Protein, Gluten-free

Carrots aren’t the only superstar in the A-league - Vitamin A that is! Enter sweet potatoes. Sweet, yet versatile, this potato powerhouse has its “roots” in all sorts of dishes and dining. Beta carotene is most known for its benefits to eyesight, especially at night time or in dim lighting, when the rods give the cones a rest. But did you know that good Vitamin A status promotes excellent immune health and cellular growth and division. It is also an important playing in the maintenance of major organs like your skin (yes, your skin is an organ!), the heart, the lungs and the kidneys in proper functioning. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it needs, yes needs fat in order for its superpowers to be unleashed. You could say Vitamin A is the super hero, and fat is the sidekick. The sidekick in this recipe is the full fat coconut milk, which will enhance the absorption of the micronutrient.


Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Revised from the original recipe from Cooking Light, adapted by The Kitchn

Calories: 278
Fat: 10.3g
Sat Fat 5.8 g
Carbs: 39.6 g
Fiber: 3.7 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 11.7g
Sodium: 1206.8 mg

Serves 8-10


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 baking potato, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced ¼” thick
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar, succanat or coconut sugar
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 (16 oz) cans, or 4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 green bell pepper, deiced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups baby spinach
1 stalk rainbow swiss chard, chopped
1 cup coconut milk


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in ¼ cup of broth to deglaze pan. Pour mixture into the crock-pot.

Add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell pepper, cauliflower, tomatoes with their juices, pepper and the final teaspoon of salt to the crock-pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high.
Stir in the spinach, Swiss chard and coconut milk. Cover with lid for 1 minute to allow the greens to wilt. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice quinoa or orzo pasta, or let it shine on its own!

Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Paleo

Make sure you use fresh minced ginger in this dish for the full scope of benefits. Full of magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, ginger has been used historically in many cultures for medicinal uses. Ever had a stomach ache and reached for a ginger ale? Ginger is commonly used for digestive relief, linking the common beverage to ginger’s historical applications. Current research suggests cancer patients utilize ginger intake while under chemotherapy to decrease nausea side effects. Ginger is referred to as a carminative, which means it assists in relief of intestinal gas. It also relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract. Ginger is also linked to inflammation relief in conditions such as arthritis or simply joint or muscle pain after an intense workout. Source: World’s Healthiest Foods and Fruits and Veggies More Matters.


Chana Masala

Calories: 298
Fat: 10.5g
Sat Fat 6.3 g
Carbs: 42.9 g
Fiber: 12.1 g
Sugars 10.1 g
Protein 11.7g
Sodium: 24 mg
Serves 4


1 cup dried chickpeas
2 ½ cups water
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece peeled fresh ginger
2 green chilies
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 lemon or lime
¾ cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Place the chickpeas, water, salt, and turmeric in the crock-pot and set to high for 6 hours.
After about 4 hours, add the onions, oil, cumin and coriander. Grind the tomatoes, ginger and green chilies into a puree in a blender and add to crock-pot. Let this cook for the remaining 2 hours.
Once the chickpeas are soft and the sauce is thick, turn off the slow cooker and stir in the garam masala. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Juice the lime (or lemon) into the mixture. Stir in the scallions, saving some for garnish, as well as the cilantro.

Serve and devour!

Very low sodium with lots of flavor, Cholesterol free, High fiber, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Don’t let the pretty color fool you! Turmeric is no sissy ingredient—it packs a serious nutritional punch. Similar to ginger in its benefit profile, turmeric has been studied in uses for IBD and other gastrointestinal discomforts, cancer fighting and palliative care, along with menstrual care for the ladies, and defense against colon cancer for the gents. With a taste as warm and bright as its hue, it’s a great addition to hearty dishes such as this one! Source: World’s Healthiest Foods.


Black Bean Espresso Chili

Revised from the original recipe from Bon Appétit, adapted by The Kitchn

Calories: 612
Fat: 16.2g
Sat Fat 2.3g
Carbs: 95.9 g
Fiber: 21.8 g
Sugars 24.3 g
Protein 29.4g
Sodium: 1229.2 mg

Serves 4


¼ cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1/8 cup instant espresso powder or 1-2 oz dark brewed coffee
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons honey
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dried black beans, pre-soaked and cooked or 3 15-oz cans
1 cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon


Sour cream
Fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Shredded cheese
Sliced jalapenos
Shaved bittersweet chocolate

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for about 8 minutes.

Mix in the espresso powder, 1/8 cup chili powder and cook for 1 minute.

Transfer onion mix into slow cooker. Add tomatoes, honey and garlic. Heat on high for about 1 hour. Add beans, 1 cup water, salt, chipotle chili powder and cinnamon. Cook for another 2 hours, (4 hours if using dried beans), stirring every so often until it is thick.

You’re in for a true adventure with the flavor profile of this dish. We all know from the experience of a café mocha that coffee and chocolate go fantastic with espresso, black beans make the best brownies even better, and cinnamon and chili in an Mexican hot chocolate warms the soul and melts the heart. Why not roll all of these together into a delicious chili to cuddle up with?


Crock Pot Indian Spiced Lentils

Recipe from The Diva Dish

Calories: 481
Fat: 1.7g

Carbs: 83.5 g
Fiber: 38.8 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 33 g
Sodium: 146 mg

Serves 4


2 ½ cups cooked lentils
1 sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne (can add more for additional heat)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. paprika
1 tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. garam masala
2/3 c. vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together, and throw into the crock pot. Set on high for 3 hours, or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked.

Serving suggestion: Serve with brown rice and naan bread.

High in Fiber, Rich in Manganese, Phosphorus, Thiamin, and Vitamin C. Excellent source of Vitamin B6

Vegan, Gluten-free

Lentils are truly diamonds in the rough. Found in a few different varieties, all colors and sizes of lentils pack a serious healthy punch. High in protein and fiber, low in fat and relatively low in calories, they are an excellent addition to hearty dishes or as a compliment to other menu items. The fiber in lentils clings to bad cholesterol in the body, flushing it down the pipes, and assists in the regulation of homocysteine levels in the blood; an important risk factor for heart disease. Lentils are chocked full of magnesium and folate, which are important in heart health as well. Almost 30% of the lentil is protein, making it a great plant based protein option for herbivores and omnivores alike! It also is considered a complex carbohydrate, promoting regulation of blood sugar and sustained energy.


Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Coconut Chili

Recipe from The Fig Tree

Calories: 299
Fat: 13.4g

Carbs: 40.8 g
Fiber: 9.1 g
Sugars 9.7 g
Protein 9.2g
Sodium: 605 mg

Serves 8


1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (400 ml) light coconut milk
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Serving suggestions:
Cooked basmati rice
Chopped fresh cilantro, parsley or chives (for garnish)
Shredded, unsweetened coconut (for garnish)


Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours. During the last hour, taste the chili and season with salt and pepper. Add more chili powder as desired. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like chili on the spicy side. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, open the lid to allow the chili to thicken. Add broth if too dry.

Serve over rice and garnish with fresh herbs and shredded coconut.

Every food tastes better when it’s in season! Your wallet stays satisfied if you buy produce in season, also! With the fall season among us, there’s no better time to utilize the harvest of fall gourds for more than just decoration and funny faces. Butternut squash can be used in many recipes where sweet potatoes or carrots typically are used. Similar to these aforementioned ingredients, butternut squash is also packed with vitamin A for immune and cell health. A sweet, buttery bite of butternut squash is perfectly complimented with the refreshing crunch of celery and cilantro, slightly sweet and creamy coconut, and the sugary bite of apples and carrots.


Slow Cooker White Chili

Recipe from Whole Foods

Calories: 300
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g

Carbs: 42g
Fiber: 9 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 22 g
Sodium: 600 mg

Serves 10-12


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
16 oz dried cannellini beans
16 oz frozen Sweet White Corn
2 poblano peppers (or 2 green bell peppers), chopped
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sea salt


Arrange chicken at the bottom of slow cooker.

Top with beans, corn, poblanos, cauliflower, onion, broth, cumin and chili powder. Cover and cook on low until beans are very tender and cauliflower has fallen apart, about 10 hours.

Stir in sour cream and salt. Ladle into bowls and serve!

This is the perfect “set it and forget it” recipe. Throw everything in the crock-pot in the morning before work, and move on with your day. When you finally get home from work, soccer practice, ballet recital, piano lessons, grocery shopping… no matter what’s on the list, you’ll have a rich, nutritious dinner waiting for you!


Pumpkin and Coconut Curried Black Beans

Recipe from Get Along Home
Calories: 241
Fat: 1.5g

Carbs: 45.5 g
Fiber: 11.7 g
Sugars 5.7g
Protein 14 g
Sodium: 1174 mg

Serves 4


1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 lb uncooked black beans, soaked and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups chicken stock, low sodium
3 cups water


Sauté green pepper and onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add sautéed vegetables and all other ingredients to slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on high and cook 8 hours.

Check water level occasionally, adding water if necessary to prevent burning.

Garnish with cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt and serve over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice.

Move over pumpkin pie, this gourd’s got spicier shoes to fill! Pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, making this a great option for kicking a cold, or protecting you from the plague erupting in the office at work. The heat from the cumin, curry and cayenne will surely clear up that congestion, shortly before unleashing their digestive assistance further down the GI tract. Thanks to the coconut milk, all the fat soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin A from the pumpkin and vitamin K from the tomato, are easily put to work in the body. 


Hodgepodge Crock Pot Chicken

Recipe From Stacy Makes Cents

Calories: 312
Fat: 11 g

Carbs: 7.4g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars 4.0 g
Protein 43.1g
Sodium: 284 mg

Serves 4-6


1 whole chicken
1 red pepper, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ onion, sliced
¾ cup baby carrots
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
Pepper to taste


Slice and prepare all veggies in a layer at the bottom of the crock pot.

Place chicken on top of veggies and sprinkle seasonings all over.

Add 1 cup filtered water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.

Paleo, Gluten-free

This recipe provides a great source of selenium from the chicken. Selenium is important in antioxidant processes, as well as endocrine and immune health. It has also been shown to prevent cognitive decline. Adequate levels of selenium in the body can assist in protective events whenever duty calls. Selenium can bind to mercury and deactivate its harmful effects. Good selenium status can also play a role in cancer prevention as well.


Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Olives

Recipe from Shrinking Kitchen

Calories: 253
Fat: 7.9g
Sat Fat 0.6g

Carbs: 12.7g
Fiber: 1.7 g
Sugars 6.5g
Protein 32.2g
Sodium: 801 mg

Serves 6


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, whole
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon oregano
Ground black pepper and salt to taste


Pour olive oil into the bottom of the slow cooker.

Place the chicken breasts into the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.

Top each breast with sliced onion, garlic cloves and herbs. Pour in vinegar, tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Cook on high about 4 hours.

Remove chicken breasts, slice on the bias, and place back into the tomato/vinegar sauce.

Add olives and let them warm through for about 10 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat spaghetti, polenta, or other starch of your choice. Sprinkle with grated parmesan or a little crumbled light feta.

Tomatoes are full of lycopene. Lycopene is what gives red tomatoes their signature color, and is a carotenoid studied to lower the risk of some cancers, assist with heat health by lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol), and promote good immune health. But the magic isn’t unleashed until the plump ruby red fruit is cooked. Well, good thing we are doing just that! Source: American Cancer Society


Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew

Recipe by Popular Paleo

Calories: 304
Fat: 9.2g
Sat Fat 3.2g

Carbs: 18.8
Fiber: 6.9 g
Sugars 11.2 g
Protein 37.3g
Sodium: 840 mg

Serves 8


1 ½ cups chopped carrot
2 cups chopped sweet bell peppers (mix of yellow, red and orange—not green!)
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
1 pound ground beef
1 bound beef, cubed (steak, roast, stew meat, etc)
3-4 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
Fat of choice (try ghee, butter, or avocado oil)


Fresh diced tomatoes

Heat large sauté pan to medium-high. Meanwhile, mix spices together in small bowl. Add fat to sauté pan and drop pound of ground beef. Sprinkle half the spice blend over ground beef and cook until nearly done. Dump in the slow cooker.

Keep the pan hot, add more fat, and the other pound of beef that has been cubed. Pour remainder of spices over cubed beef and cook until nearly done.

While the cubed beef cooks up, prep the veggies. Peel the carrots, chop them up along with the peppers, onions, garlic and chipotles. Add the veggies and chipotles directly to the slow cooker to join the ground beef. Add the cubed beef to the slow cooker.

Add all three cans of tomatoes and stock. Mix together in pot, set on low and cook for 5-6 hours.
Garnish and serve!

Paleo, Gluten-free

This stew is the common cold’s worst enemy, and the seasonal sufferer’s dream come true. You will find cold fighting nutrients swarming in this hearty dish, like iron, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A. Bell peppers are one of the best sources for vitamin C. Zinc has been proven to minimize the duration of the common cold by 2-3 days! Vitamin A and vitamin C work together to deactivate toxins. Low iron status may attribute to susceptibility to colds or the flu. The presence of vitamin C gets the iron ready for better absorption and use within the body.


Slow Cooker Chili Verde

Recipe from A Girl Worth Saving

Calories: 334
Fat: 12.2g
Sat Fat 2.4 g

Carbs: 32.2g
Fiber: 12.6 g
Sugars 18.2 g
Protein 28.3
Sodium: 860 mg

Serves 8


2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¾ pound Anaheim chilies, seeds removed and finely diced
2 jalapenos, remove seeds and dice
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin, diced


Add the broth, olive oil and spices to the slow cooker and mix. Then add the rest of the ingredients and set your slow cooker on high to cook for 6 hours.

The best chili verde can draw crowds. My uncle actually made a business from his chili verde recipe! It’s high in protein, low in fat and sodium (relative to most chili verde recipes), and moderately low calories, all utilizing whole food ingredients. Pair with warm corn tortillas and top with fresh cilantro. Muy bien!


Slow Cooker Pork Shanks

Recipe from Meatified

Calories: 589
Fat: 37.8g
Sat Fat 14.5g

Carbs: 11.9g
Fiber: 3.2 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 48.5g
Sodium: 424 mg


1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil divided
3 pounds bone in pork shanks (about 9)
3 cups onion, diced
2 cups carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, minced
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
1 tsp salt
2 lemons, zest and juice, divided
14 oz chopped tomatoes
¾ cup chicken or pork stock (unsalted)

Pat the pork shanks dry with paper towel. Add ½ tablespoon coconut oil to large skillet over medium heat. Brown half the pork shanks until golden brown (about 8 minutes on each side). Set aside.

Repeat with other ½ tablespoon and remaining pork shanks. Set aside with other pork shanks.

If required, add the last ½ tablespoon coconut oil, then add the onion, carrot, and garlic to the pan and soften, about 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the bottom of a large slow cooker. Nestle the pork shanks on top.

Return the skillet to the stove over a low heat and use the juice of one lemon to deglaze the pan. Add the pan drippings to the slow cooker.

Add the mushrooms, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and lemon zest to the slow cooker.

Pour over both the chopped tomatoes and stock. Cook on High for 4 hours.

Remove pork shanks and set them aside, covered to keep them warm. 

Remove all the cooking liquid and half the vegetables, adding them to a blender. Add the juice of the remaining lemon and puree until smooth. Check your seasoning to see if any extra salt is necessary.

Return the vegetable puree to the slow cooker, stirring the remaining vegetables through the sauce. Add the pork shanks and cook further for 30 minutes to an hour on low.

Gluten-Free, Paleo, High Protein

This recipe requires a little bit more preparation than your average crock pot recipe, but the result is surely crowd pleasing. You can turn to these pork shanks for a brain power dinner during a night of studying, or as a perfect leftover lunch before a 3-hour work meeting. Thiamin, rich in pork, assists in the conversion of carbohydrates to energy, particularly to be used by the brain and nervous system. Source: Medline Plus


White Acorn Squash Soup

Recipe from PaleoPot

Calories: 318
Fat: 16.5g
Sat Fat 5.2 g

Carbs: 15.1g
Fiber: 2.3 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 32.9g
Sodium: 889 mg

Serves 4-6


1 pound of ground turkey or chicken
1 tablespoon of coconut oil or grass fed butter
1 white acorn squash, peeled and diced into cubes
4 cups of chicken stock
4-6 cups of water
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste


Add your cooking fat of choice to stock pot on the stove and set to Medium. Add your ground meat, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and stir.

 Cook meat until browned yet not fully cooked, then add your squash. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pot and stir well.

Transfer contents to slow cooker. Add the rest of the chicken stock and water to slow cooker.

 Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Not to be confused by squirrel’s nut of choice, acorn squash is a highly understated gourd. Buy it during its prime season, winter, for optimal quality. What could be better than scuffling in from a white flurry, welcomed by the scent of this soup? Imagine it calling for you to ladle a portion from its wintery white pool of edible comfort! Though this scene would be a true winter miracle here in Arizona, a hopeless romantic can dream!


Slow Cooker Chipotle Pork with Pineapple Coleslaw

Recipe from Primally Inspired

Calories: 744
Fat: 32.1g
Sat Fat 11.5g

Carbs: 19.7 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 88.7g
Sodium: 775 mg

Serves 4-6


4 pounds pork roast
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon all natural liquid smoke

Avocado, cilantro, barbeque sauce

Pineapple Coleslaw (combine and stir!):

4 cups coleslaw (1/2 head green cabbage, ½ head red cabbage, 2 carrots: shredded)
½ cup mayonnaise, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups fresh pineapple
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Combine the spices for the pork in a small bowl. Rub the entire pork with the spices. Place in the slow cooker.

Add the stock, balsamic, and liquid smoke. Stir and cover the crockpot to cook for 8 hours on low.

When it is finished cooking, take the pork out of the slow cooker to shred it. Add ¼-1/2 cup of juice from slow cooker if desired to the pork.

Serve with pineapple coleslaw and any additional toppings.

High Protein, Paleo, Gluten-Free

Enjoying cabbage in its slightly steamed or raw state, such as in the pineapple coleslaw of this recipe, is the optimal way to benefit from its cancer-fighting characteristics. It contains a great amount of polyphenols and vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants. Green cabbage has a milder, more refreshing taste, while red cabbage has a much deeper flavor. Both contain their benefits, but red cabbage is nearly 2-4 times more nutritionally dense than its green sibling.


Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole

Recipe From Stupid Easy Paleo

Calories: 489
Fat: 24.8g
Sat Fat 6.3 g

Carbs: 17.1 g
Fiber: 2.9 g
Sugars 11.1 g
Protein 48.2g
Sodium: 636 mg

Serves 4-6


2 pounds chicken pieces, bone in, skins removed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6-7 whole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 dried New Mexico chili peppers, rehydrated and chopped
¼ cup almond butter
2-1/2 ounces dark chocolate (70% or above)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon guajillo chili powder




Generously salt and pepper chicken. Place a pan over medium heat and add oil. Once the oil has warmed add the chicken and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Move chicken to slow cooker.

Add onion to same pan and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Transfer onion and garlic to slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, almond butter, dark chocolate, salt and spices to slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is tender and pulls apart easily. If you are home when making the dish, lift the lid once to stir to make sure ingredients are well combined.

Remove chicken bones (reserve to make stock later!)

Top with mole, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno before serving.

Gluten-Free, Paleo

No need to feel guilty enjoying chocolate for dinner; or any time of the day for that matter (in moderation of course!). Flavanoids in dark chocolate and cocoa defend the heart by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Chocolate has even been been linked to increased insulin sensitivity; good news for diabetics! The flavanoids are also responsible for protection of the skin from UV damage from the sun. Feeling cranky? There’s a reason you’re craving chocolate! Chocolate consumption releases feel-good endorphins, putting you in a better mood upon consumption. Source: Huffington Post  


Slow Cooker Chicken Breast with Figs and Squash

Recipy by Diana Keuilian

Calories: 389
Fat: 7g

Carbs: 27g
Fiber: 2g
Protein 48 g
Sodium: 400 mg


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
12 dried figs, chopped
1 cup butternut squash, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet, browning each side for about 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to your slow cooker and top with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Talk about a hidden gem: figs are fantastic snacks and superb in desserts. But what about an application in a savory dish? The answer is YES! Fresh figs are hard to come by, especially if they aren’t in season (which is Summer to early Fall). But dried figs are usually pretty easily attainable, so it’s great this recipe allows for the adversity of an out of season craving! Starting with dried also allows for the flavors to slowly combine and the figs to plump up, impregnated with the rest of the ingredients’ flavors. Figs are rich in potassium, which is a major component of sodium control. High potassium foods are recommended for treatment and prevention of heart disease, as in the DASH diet, which is often recommended to CVD patients.