As I confessed not too long ago, weekly meal planning has fallen by the wayside this summer.
My just-in-time, day-by-day approach, which is a better way to use ingredients already on hand, is working well right now. I spend a few minutes each evening, checking what I have in stock and planning what I’ll make the next day.
If you find weekly meal planning struggle, you might want to try this easier one day at a time approach yourself as an alternative.
Summer continues to sizzle along here in the desert. Because it’s scorching outside, when I cook it’s usually in my crock pot(s). Crock-Pots (aka slow cookers) are great not only because they’re mostly hands-off, but also because they contain their heat well keeping your kitchen relatively cool.
While most of you probably use your crockpots most during the cooler months, I find mine to be a life saver during hot Phoenix summers.
Slow cookers take much less electricity to run than your stove or oven, and they don’t heat up your kitchen the way those other appliances do. You’ll be happier not sweating over a hot stove and your AC will thank you too.
I also love that this style of cooking provides a steady supply of leftovers that can be reheated or repurposed for quick and easy lunches and dinners. Otherwise fattening fast food and take-out can be way too tempting at the end of a long day. I often use my crock pots on the weekends to make light and healthy meals to warm up during the week.
If you’re following Weight Watchers® Freestyle SmartPoints™ Plan or another diet plan for weight loss, it’s hard to beat the crock pot’s ability to provide light, healthy, flavorful low points meals that don’t require hours in the kitchen.
The topic of crock pot cooking seems to come up regularly at the WW meetings I attend. Most leaders and successful members I’ve met are big fans.
Since my first week’s collection of favorite healthy crock pot recipes was such a hit with readers, for the rest of the summer, instead of posting weekly meal plans, I’ll continue to share a collection of favorite healthy crock pot recipes each week.
One way to quickly and easily make your crock pot meals healthier is to add extra vegetables to your old standby recipes.
Making a slow cooker pot roast? Toss in carrots, potatoes and onions.
Chicken? Add some chopped tomatoes and bell peppers or artichoke hearts.
Anytime you have meat in the slow cooker, you can add fresh or frozen vegetables to bulk it up and increase the nutrients.
Favorite Asian Inspired Healthy Crock Pot Recipes
From skinny slow cooker Szechuan Chicken and Broccoli to Slow Cooker Acorn Squash with Mango Chutney here are ten of the Asian inspired healthy crock pot recipes that our readers and I are loving this week:
1) Slow Cooker Szechuan Chicken and Broccoli (*0 Freestyle SmartPoints)
2) Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple (*4 Freestyle SmartPoints)
3) Skinny Slow Cooker 5 Spice Chicken (*3 Freestyle SmartPoints)
3) 5-Ingredient Hawaiian Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs (*6 Freestyle SmartPoints)
4) Slow Cooker Asian Braised Beef (*6 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
5) Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Thighs (*6 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
6) Lightened Up Crock Pot Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps (*9 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
7) Healthy Crock Pot Salmon Fillets with Asian Vegetables (*4 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
8) Crock Pot Pineapple Pork (*4 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
9) Slow Cooker Thai Beef (*9 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
10) Lazy Day Chicken Tikka Masala (*4 Freestyle SmartPoints)
11) Slow Cooker Curried Carrot Soup (*1 WW Freestyle SmartPoint)
12) Easy Chai CrockPot Pumpkin Soup (*4 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
13) Slow Cooker Acorn Squash with Mango Chutney and Coconut (*3 WW Freestyle SmartPoints)
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
More Light & Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Favorite Healthy Crock Pot Recipes of the Week #1
- Our Favorite Healthy Crock Pot Recipes of 2014
- Healthy Crock Pot Recipes for Summer
- 25 Slow Cooker Recipes for Weight Watchers
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