Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

Bowl of soup with fruit and milk

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional: baked tortilla chips, chili flakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, sliced avocado, salsa, light sour cream, shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on high or for 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Remove chicken right before serving. Shred. Stir chicken back into soup.
  3. Serve with choice of optional ingredients.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 4g sugar, 19g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Slow Cooker Black-eyed Pea Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 5

Woman peeling a carrot

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning (basil, dried oregano, rosemary, or sage)

Directions:

  1. Rinse and sort dry black-eyed peas to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutrition information per serving:
200 calories, 1.0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 9g sugar, 12g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker: Your Best Friend for Plant-based Meals

Slow cookers are popular and an easy dinner option. Slow cooking is exactly what it sounds like—a process of cooking slowly. Using a slow cooker can retain some of the nutrients typically lost when frying or boiling.

Plant-based slow cooker meals focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Plant-based meals are a great way to focus on choosing foods from plant sources, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating meat and dairy.

Research has shown plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), depression, and a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.

Here are a few tips to get started with a plant-based slow cooker meal:

  • Add a whole grain with root vegetables, like potatoes and turnips, for soups and stews.
  • Try dry beans for soups and stews.
  • Layer vegetables, starches, and sauces for a casserole-style meal.
  • Use a variety of herbs and spices to add flavor.

Enjoy a nutritious and delicious plant-based recipe perfect for slow cooking at Spend Smart. Eat Smart., go.iastate.edu/FR22GX.

Source: Harvard School of Public Health, go.iastate.edu/OYSCUO

Slow Cooker Pork Chili

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, roast, or shoulder
  • 1 cup bell pepper (any color), diced
  • (1 medium pepper)
  • 1 cup onion, diced (1 medium onion)
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) low sodium pinto beans
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium diced tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Trim the visible fat from the pork. Cut into 2-inch chunks. Place in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the pepper, onion, and salsa.
  3. Cook on a low setting for 6 hours or a high setting for 3 hours.
  4. Pull the meat apart into shreds with a fork. You should have about 4 cups.
  5. Put half (2 cups) of the shredded pork in the refrigerator or freezer. This could be used for the Shredded Pork Sandwich, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu. Freeze pork if it will not be used within 4 days.
  6. Return the rest of the pork to the slow cooker.
  7. Add the pinto beans and diced tomatoes.
  8. Cook another 30 minutes until hot.

Nutrition information per serving:
240 calories, 9g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans-fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 490mg sodium, 21g total carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 6g sugar, 18g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker Lentils

Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Stir all ingredients together in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Use cooked lentils as the filling for lentil tacos, burrito bowls, or taco salads.

Nutrition information per serving:
120 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 8g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional—Baked tortilla chips, chili fakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, chopped avocado, light sour cream, salsa, or shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for 4–6 hours on high heat or 8–10 hours on low.
  2. Remove chicken right before serving. Shred using two forks. Stir shredded chicken into soup.
  3. Serve with choice of optional ingredients.

TIPS: Use Mexican diced tomatoes to add spice.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate, 6g fber, 4g sugar, 19g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooking, Safe Cooking

Pot of vegetable stew

January is National Slow Cooker Month, a perfect time to try out some new recipes or dig out your favorites. But first, here are some safety tips when using your slow cooker:

  • Thaw first. Always thaw meat or poultry, following safe thawing practices, before placing in a slow cooker.
  • Preheat cooker. If possible, preheat the cooker and add hot liquids.
  • Put vegetables on the bottom or sides. Vegetables cook the slowest, so place them near the heat.
  • Don’t cook on warm. Do not use the warm setting to cook food. This setting keeps food warm; it does not cook it.
  • Keep the lid on. Each time you raise the lid, the temperature drops 10–15 degrees and the cooking process slows by 30 minutes.
  • Check the temperature. Before taking a bite, use a food thermometer. Visit Foodsafety.gov for a chart on safe minimum internal cooking temperatures.
  • Cool properly. Do not leave cooked food in the crock to cool. Place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate.
  • Do not reheat food or leftovers in a slow cooker. Instead, reheat on stove top or microwave (165°F or above) and transfer to slow cooker to keep warm (140°F or above).

Source: USDA Slow Cookers and Food Safety, fsis.usda.gov

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