Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adventures In Dieting Chapter 2: Eating For Weight Loss With the Slow Cooker


We've had the slow cooker for 2 weeks now and have used it 3 times. I'm already thinking that I should have had one years ago. I am also thinking that this could be a real asset in my effort to Eat For Weight Loss if I use it well.

Along with the crockpot, my lovely Mum gave us the Company's Coming Most Loved Slow Cooker Creations cookbook. Husband was quite keen to use the slow cooker and kept urging me to pick out a recipe. Then when I did pick out a recipe for our first try he vetoed my selection and picked something different. Silly man.

We've tried three recipes so far, and these are my thoughts on each.

Recipe #1: Moroccan Chicken (Thursday, Jan 8)
Husband chose this recipe and we basically had everything on hand to make it, which was a bonus. Though, we did use chicken breasts instead of the chicken thighs that the recipe called for because a)that's what we had, and b)Husband seems to want nothing to do with chicken thighs.

I looked at the recipe the night before, wondering if I should do some prep work up front, but it looked pretty easy and Husband said he would help in the morning so I didn't bother. As it turned out, it was easy, but it still took more time than I really have first thing in the morning. So lesson learned there.

As for how it turned out: At dinner time I made some couscous and steamed some frozen broccoli & cauliflower and we were ready to eat. The chicken was good, but I felt like the flavor could be improved; just seemed like it was missing something. I would probably make it again but play with the seasonings a bit.

Recipe #2: Tex-Mex Taco Soup (Sunday, Jan 11)
This recipe was actually for a larger slow cooker than we have, but the recipe looked like something we would really enjoy so I decided to just scale back the ingredients a bit. Even though I was making this on a weekend, I decided to do all my chopping of veggies the night before so that I would have less to do in the morning.

I like a slow start to my mornings on the weekend, but then I tend to be busy for the rest of the day. Often on Sunday evenings, after I've been rushing around trying to clean the house, do laundry, and catch up on everything else, when dinner time rolls around the though of having to cook and then clean up another mess is very discouraging. Slow cooker to the rescue!

Sunday morning, while I was waiting for oatmeal to cook and coffee to brew, I got my soup going in the crock pot. I had a relaxing morning, then got busy cleaning the house. After cleaning I was just about to exercise when my Mom called, so we chatted for 45 minutes, then I got on with my exercise. Then it was dinner time and all I had to do was go into the kitchen and dish up some soup. It was perfect.

The crock pot was full to the brim, this made enough for two meals for us. I really enjoyed the soup - it was flavorful and perfectly cooked (though it should be noted that the only spices called for by the recipe were dried basil and some fresh parsley at the end; I decided that taco soup should have some taco seasonings, so I added ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes). I will definitely make this again.

Recipe #3: Chicken Cacciatore (Tuesday, Jan 13)
Husband and I prepped the chicken & veggies on Monday night, then after I cleaned up the kitchen I put out everything that we'd need in the morning. In the morning I chopped garlic, opened tomatoes and mixed spices, but other than that everything was done.


After work I chopped some raw veggies, cooked some pasta and we were good to go. The Chicken Cacciatore was another hit - though again, we will probably adjust the seasonings next time to suit our tastes. We had it again for supper tonight and there is enough left for another meal.

The cookbook includes nutritional information for all of the recipes which I love. t just makes things so much easier. All of the recipes that we've made so far have had very friendly calorie counts. Being able to come home to a weight loss friendly and tasty meal should definitely help my Eat For Weight Loss goal. And it should keep Husband happy too!

As to how Husband is reacting to my new plan, as MizFit asked in the comments on my last post...I'll have an update on that tomorrow.

Also by the way, the cats are still enjoying their box.




Anonymous said...

woohoo, slow cookers! Love those things.

And boxes. Boxes are the best part, after all ;)

Anonymous said...
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the Bag Lady said...

Your recipes sound great!

I love my slow cooker - I used it lots when I was working full-time, and still use it when I have lots to do around the house and no time to spend in the kitchen!

As you get more accustomed to using it, the prep work takes less time, too.

Anonymous said...

hot D*MN you are motivated.

I need to yank my slow cooker back out now that it is finally cool here in texas.