It's 2014: Why isn't my food ready the instant I want it? As a busy working parent, I wish I could just snap my fingers at mealtime and thereby summon a magic genie to whip up something healthy and delicious. I can't rely on my wife—she's as slammed as I am!
I don't want a repeat of my earlier years, when I lived off canned tuna and boiled eggs for months at a time. During one bout of contest prep, I ate the same thing every damn day: a head of lettuce, a pound of chicken, a dozen boiled eggs, and veggies all mixed into one big bowl with salsa. That was it … for 12 … straight … weeks.
When I got married, some kind soul bought us a Crock-Pot. What a revelation! This gadget works quick and easy: All you do is throw all the ingredients into the pot and let it do its thing. You're a lousy cook? Ha! You couldn't screw this up if you tried, especially because cooking times have a ton of leeway. Most meals might be ruined if you cooked them for an hour too long, but your only penalty in a Crock-Pot is that your meat becomes more tender.
Sold? Ready to get pot-trained? Try these five Crock-Pot recipes for massive muscle.
I love a hearty breakfast, but half the time I just make a protein shake and head out the door unsatisfied. That's why a Crock-Pot omelet is freaking magical. I can prepare the meal right before I go to bed and awaken to a killer breakfast that's ready to go, even if I'm not. Now if I could only get that automatic coffee-maker working!
- Dice or chop all of the meats and vegetables. (Here's the neat trick; use a food processor and all of this chopping can be done in less than a minute.
- Dump meats and vegetables into the Crock-Pot.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix eggs and spices and pour that into the bowl too.
- Turn the Crock-Pot to low heat and leave it on while you go to sleep. You can thank me in the morning. (That's what she said. Right?)
- Top with cheese a few minutes prior to serving.
Prepare to have your mind blown. My brothers at Lift Big Eat Big posted this the other day, and it has changed the course of history. Unlike our College Boy (see below), this meal requires a little bit of prep work, but it is more than worth it. It is a great way to start your day toward packing on the beef, and will give you a genuine mouth-gasm.
- Cook the beef and onions prior to loading them in your Crock-Pot.
- Add cooked beef and onions to Crock-Pot; add rice, gravy mix, and water to the pot.
- Press the rice down firmly to stop the eggs from running through. Now crack the eggs on top of the rice one at a time.
- Cook on low all night or on high for half the night. Set a timer so the pot turns off when it is done.
The Make-It-Bacon Paleo Chicken Classic
Our prehistoric kin probably never ate anything like this, but there is a reason they gave up hunting and gathering—pigs and chickens are delish! This in-the-pot recipe will leave you licking the bottom for scraps. I throw this together a few hours before dinner.
- Place uncooked bacon pieces in the Crock-Pot. Stir bacon in among cubed chicken, onion, and seasonings.
- If you like, give it a light olive oil glaze. It will taste good and help keep your chicken from sticking to the pot.
- Cook your bird on high for 3-4 hours.
- Top with your chipotle sauce upon serving.
The College Boy
I call this the "College Boy" because of its simple preparation. No chopping, dicing, slicing, or any real work is needed. You need only be able to use a can opener and get the top off the jar, and several hours later you will end up with some high-quality belly stuffing.
- Place chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot. They can still be frozen if that is your style.
- Drain cans of black beans and corn and add them into the cauldron.
- Top it with your salsa, stir it up, and let it go!
- Slow cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high.
- Save cream cheese until the food is nearly done; let it melt on top prior to serving.
Serving Size 4 Servings
Everyone should be able to make a good roast. It is a great classic that should be familiar to every dinner table.
- Chop carrots, onion, and potatoes and put them in the pot.
- Mix the garlic, pepper, and salt together into a small bowl. Rub this mixture onto both sides of your roast.
- Combine the vegetable oil, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bouillon into a bowl. Pour this onto your roast, and add water (or low-sodium beef broth) until the roast is covered.
- Cook on high for four hours, or roast on low for eight. Either way, it will be delicious.