Monday Mojo for Caregivers – 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes

Monday Mojo for Caregivers – 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes

1. Slow Cooker Chili

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes

This hearty chili is truly a snap to prepare. After browning the beef and stirring in the spices to give them a slightly toasted flavor, you simply toss everything into a slow cooker and let the mixture simmer all day.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound stew beef, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sour cream, chopped fresh parsley, or chopped red onion for garnish

How to Make It:

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown it for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the chili powder and cumin and let the spices heat for 1 minute, stirring all the while. Stir in the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute more.

2. Transfer the meat mixture to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the garnishes), and stir well. Cover the cooker and let the mixture cook for 6 to 8 hours on the low setting, stirring occasionally. If necessary, thin the chili with a little water or stock as it cooks. Serves 8.

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 22. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: 8 hours

What family doesn’t love tacos, and what mom doesn’t love a good slow cooker recipe? This recipe is the best of both, and as a bonus, calls for less expensive chicken thighs that can withstand hours of slow cooking without losing their texture.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can green chiles, diced
  • 1 jar salsa, (about 12 ounces; mild or spicy to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Taco shells, flour or corn tortillas depending on taste

How to Make It:

1. Place chicken in the bowl of a slow cooker. Top with salsa, diced green chiles, cumin, onion and garlic. Cover and set on low. Cook for 8 hours.

2. Remove chicken from pot, shred, and return to juices.

3. Spoon chicken into taco shells, with whatever toppings your family likes. Or use the meat to make burritos, tostadas or as a filling for enchiladas.

4. Also, you can add black beans and rice on the side!

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 33. Best Beef Stew Ever

There is perhaps no better way to prepare a beef stew than with a long, slow simmer. The low, moist heat slowly breaks down the structure of the muscle tissue, tenderizing the meat. You just can’t get that by rushing things.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced rutabaga (about 1/2 small rutabaga)
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, in bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound beef stew-meat chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste 

How to Make It:

1. Put everything but the flour and the tomato paste in a slow cooker; stir to combine.

2. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5, until the beef is tender and the potatoes are just fork tender.

3. Stir the stew once or twice as it cooks, if possible. About 30 minutes before serving, transfer a ladleful of the broth to a small mixing bowl.

4. Add the flour and tomato paste and whisk until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook for the remaining half hour. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 44. Pork (or Beef) on a Bun

Pulled pork or brisket that’s close to barbecue-joint good. The following recipe is so easy, it seems almost fraudulent to present it here as something original. But it’s just too good to keep secret. If you love pulled pork or brisket that’s been slow-cooked by a genuine barbecue joint, you’ll be amazed at how close you can get with a slow cooker. The final flavor will be determined largely by the brand of barbecue sauce you select, so use a fresh bottle and consider one that has a touch of smoke flavor.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 3- to 4-pound pork-butt roast or beef brisket
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 16-ounce jar barbecue sauce
  • Soft rolls 

How to Make It:

1. Carefully trim the meat of visible fat and season it with salt and pepper. Place the onions in the bottom of the crock, then lay the meat on top of them. (You may have to cut the brisket in half and stack the pieces.)

2. Pour about a half cup of the barbecue sauce over the meat and flip it around to coat it. Cover and let it cook for 9 to 10 hours on low.

3. Carefully remove the cooked meat from the crock and pour out the fat and juices, retaining the onions. For the pork: Using two forks, shred the meat into stringy chunks, discarding any fat.

4. Put the meat back in the crock, mix in the remaining barbecue sauce, and let it cook another half hour or so. (You could eat it now, but it’s better if it soaks awhile.)

For the beef: Slice the brisket across the grain and place it on a platter, discarding any fat. Cover it with sauce and let it sit for 10 minutes or so if you can bear it! Serve on soft rolls, onions on the side. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 55. Slow-Cooker Orange Chicken

With few ingredients and a very short prep time, this recipe is perfect for busy days. Throw everything in the slow cooker and go about your day. Using chicken thighs is a more affordable option than other chicken parts. The use of the slow cooker cuts out any frying, making this a healthier choice as well.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • Flour for dredging

Variations: Boneless and skinless thighs may be used. Do not use thighs with the skin still intact, it will create too much grease in the sauce and chicken may burn.

How to Make It:

1. Remove visible fat from chicken thighs and roll each in flour until well coated. Set chicken thighs in the bottom of a slow cooker.

2. Combine orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a small bowl. Stir until well blended.

3. Pour sauce over chicken thighs and lid the cooker. Cook on LOW setting for 4 hours.

4. Remove thighs from slow cooker and stir sauce well. Top thighs with extra sauce.

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 66. Slow-Cooker Lasagna with Tomato Cream Sauce

Don’t mess up your oven or heat up your kitchen. This slow cooker lasagna will become a family favorite with everyone. Who doesn’t LOVE lasagna? It’s a family favorite around anytime of the year. During the summer or even on a winter’s day, this slow cooker lasagna hits the spot every time. No messing up your oven or heating up your kitchen. This is easy to make and yummy to eat! We add a salad and garlic bread.  You’ll love the rich taste from the mixture of marinara and alfredo sauces. I’ve heard this type of blend can be called pink sauce, or tomato cream sauce.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 jar (25 oz) pasta sauce (marinara)
  • 1/2 jar pasta sauce (alfredo)
  • 10 lasagna pasta noodles (approx)
  • 1 tub (15 oz.) cottage cheese
  • 1 pound sliced porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup water

Variations: You can use one full jar of either sauce if you’d rather not mix.

How to Make It:

1. Use a 6- quart slow cooker. Brown the ground turkey and sausage in a skillet, adding the garlic and oregano. When the meat is browned, add pasta sauce. Save the jar, you’re going to need it later.

2. Spoon some of the meat mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker. cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Smear some of the cottage cheese on the noodles, and add some mushrooms, a handful of cheese. Starting with the meat sauce, repeat the layers until your slow cooker is full.

3. Put the water into the empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the contents over your assembled ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Check about an hour before serving, and push down the top noodles into the liquid. When the cheeses are completely melted on the top and begun to brown on the edges, your meal is ready!

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 87. Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Delicious and comforting homemade beef stroganoff made effortlessly in a slow-cooker. A slow-cooker meal is a relief to come home to and realize dinner is one step away from being on the table. Put down the “can of this” and “can of that” for this delicious homemade beef stroganoff. So creamy and comforting you will think that your grandma slaved away in the kitchen all day.

Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or dill, chopped
  • cooked egg noodles, 1 cup per serving

Helpful Tip: 1.5 pounds Round Steak Stew Meat can be substituted for a beef chuck roast.

How to Make It: 

1. With a sharp knife, cut beef diagonally across the grain in thin 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch slices. Place beef, mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker.

2. In a bowl, whisk to combine beef broth, flour, and mustard. Pour over beef and mushrooms and stir to combine. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

3. Once cooked and the meat is tender, add sour cream and parsley or dill. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

4. To serve, place noodles on a plate and spoon beef stroganoff over the noodles. Serves 6.

Monday Mojo for Caregivers - 7 Easy Slow-Cooker Meals & Recipes 7Bonus Dessert – Chocolate Mud Cake

Why bake in a slow cooker? It’s a fun novelty, and kids love the whole idea, but the real proof is in the tasting. It’s like getting to lick the batter from a whole cake.

Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 2 hours

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup sugar (2/3 cup & 1/3 cup, added separately)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Whipped cream or ice cream 

How to Make It:

1. Coat the inside of a 2 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. (Note: the cake’s cooking time and final appearance will vary depending on your crock’s size.)

2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water and mix well.

3. Whisk in the 2/3 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cocoa, vanilla extract, salt, milk, and egg yolk. Add the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.

4. Pour the batter into the slow cooker and spread it evenly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar (white and brown), cocoa, and hot water until the sugar is dissolved.

5. Pour the mixture over the batter in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the crock pot.

6. Even when done, the cake will be very moist and floating on a layer of molten chocolate, but you’ll know it’s ready when nearly all of the cake is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pot. (As you check, try not to let the condensed steam from the lid drip onto the cake.)

7. When it’s done, turn off the power and remove the lid. Let it cool for 25 minutes, then serve it in bowls topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.