Meal Prep Monday: Slow Cooking Magic
If you ask me what my favorite method of cooking is. I would say without a doubt it would absolutely have to be slow cooking. Here are some of my favorite reasons why.
The extended cooking times allow for more flavors in your recipes.
All meats are tenderized through the long cooking process. Leading to fall off the bone quality that just melts in your mouth
The slow cooker frees your oven and stove top for other uses, and it is an awesome choice for your weekly meal prep sessions.
Easy Clean Up. In most cases, you'll only have to wash the slow cooker and maybe a few prep utensils.
Slow cookers use less energy than a standard electric oven.
If that is not enough to convince you, another huge benefit of cooking food on a lower temperature for longer is that cooking this ways lessen the chance of burning or scorching foods. Foods that are overly burnt foods have been shown to increase cancer risk when consumed consistently.
Crock & Instant Pots are two great appliances that make slow cooking so easy. They allow me to easily prep ingredients, throw them in the cookers, and let them work their magic. It is truly a pleasure to have this luxury as a busy trainer, as most mornings I will just prep, and set go train a few clients and come back to some delicious food.
Here are my 3 favorite Chicken, Beef, & Vegetarian Recipes that are easy to prepare, high in protein and ready to be devoured a few hours later.
Pulled BBQ Chicken
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 cups BBQ sauce (I use G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauce)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Coat bottom of slow cooker with Olive Oil, Then layer chicken evenly.
Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper on top of chicken
Pour BBQ Sauce on top of chicken & spices.
Use a spoon to mix and make sure that each breast has been covered with sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. Chicken is done when it is easily shredded with a pair of forks.
Shred chicken with forks and enjoy!
This goes great with some sweet potatoes & veggies such as asparagus or on the top of a salad!
Mongolian Coconut Flank Steak Ingredients
2-3 pounds Flank Steak, Sliced against the grain
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon coconut oil (You can also use Olive or Sesame Oil)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger (or ginger powder)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (Optional)
1/2 cup coconut aminos (Or Low Sodium Soy Sauce)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cut green onions (optional)
Place the flank steak in a bowl with the cornstarch and toss to coat evenly.
Add Coconut Oil & Minced garlic to slow cooker, then add Steak.
Sprinkle ginger, onion powder, black pepper, or any additional spices.
Pour Liquids on top. Stir to coat the meat in the sauce.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.
Stir in the green onions, then serve.
This is great served over Rice with some steamed broccoli on the side!
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes in puree
1 cup whole kernel corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Chop veggies and place in bottom of slow cooker.
Sprinkle chili powder, parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, or any additional spices.
Next throw in cans of black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and corn.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours.
When done sprinkle some all natural shredded cheese on top and enjoy!
Give these great recipes a try next time you are rearing for some high quantity and high quality food to set you up for a successful week!