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Slow Cook Your Way To Slim

Slow Cook Your Way To Slim

Slow cookers are cheap, easy to use and can transform lean ingredients into something special by dinnertime. Here are six protein-packed dishes you'll want to make again and again.

It's 4 p.m. and chances are you're wondering what's for dinner?again. If you started a slow cooker meal this morning, you'd have an answer. "The best thing about slow cookers is that you fix a meal, walk away, and it's ready when you want it," says Kitty Broihier, M.S., R.D., and co-author of Everyday Gluten-Free Slow Cooking.

After a long day or a tough workout, it's hard to muster the motivation to make a nourishing meal. Most of our slow cooker dishes are meals in themselves, and they require little fuss to prepare. Even better: Slow cookers simplify cleanup?a big plus for busy women.

1
Moroccan Spiced Salmon

Didn't plan ahead? Fish cooks quickly, so it can be ready for lunch or dinner even when you don't get a head start. Salmon is brimming with omega-3 fats, the kind that tamp down inflammation, which plays a role in joint and muscle pain. Omega-3s also get kudos for helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

This zesty, no-carb dish gets its zip from cumin, coriander, and turmeric?spices with antioxidant properties that protect your cells from everyday damage. No salmon? Halibut and cod fillets work just fine. Marinate the fish the night before or in the a.m.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Put the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag, then place the fish in the bag, making sure that the marinade coats both sides of the fish. Refrigerate for four to six hours.
  2. Add 2 tbsp water to the slow cooker crock. Cover and cook 1½-2 hours on low. When done, let the fish sit, uncovered, for five minutes before serving.
  3. Use a spatula to remove the fish from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Gently remove any bones from the fish.
  4. To serve, divide the fish between plates, serve it on top of couscous or rice, and garnish each portion with cilantro.

Adapted with permission from Everyday Gluten-Free Slow Cooking by Kimberly Mayone and Kitty Broihier, M.S., R.D. (Sterling, 2012)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Makes 4 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 412
Total Fat28g
Saturated Fat5g
Total Carbs0g
Protein38g
Fiber0g
Cholesterol107mg
Sodium540mg

Moroccan-Spiced Salmon PDF (15 KB)

2
Easy Pulled Pork

Pork tenderloin has no bone and very little fat to trim. It's also a zinc powerhouse, and one serving provides 20 percent of the suggested daily intake for zinc, which regulates blood sugar levels. Pork contains thiamin, too, which insures your muscles and nervous system work properly.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Place onion in a slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Rub the mixture on the meat, coating evenly. Place the pork in the slow cooker.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, and cayenne pepper, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  6. Remove the meat. Using two forks, shred the meat and onions coarsely and discard the fat.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Makes 8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 200
Total Fat4g
Saturated Fat1g
Total Carbs7g
Protein33g
Fiber0g
Cholesterol100mg
Sodium397mg

Easy Pulled Pork PDF (13.8 KB)

3
Beef With Root Vegetables

Lower-cost cuts of beef are well suited to slow cookers, since they require longer cooking times at low temperatures, which also allows the flavors to blend better. As for nutrition, root vegetables contain beta carotene and other carotenoids, which are the nutrients that give orange produce its bright hue and serve as the raw materials for the body's production of vitamin A (if you're watching your carbs, you can omit the veggies).

And there's no shortage of iron here, with nearly 60 percent of your daily target in one serving. Iron is crucial for active women, since a shortage of it can lead to fatigue, and it helps form the part of the red blood cell that ferries oxygen around the body.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium Turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3-lb bottom Round Roast, trimmed
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 15-oz can no-salt-added Tomato Sauce
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder Sprigs, roughly chopped
Directions
  1. Arrange onion, potatoes, carrots, and turnips in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Season beef with salt and black pepper. Rub flour on the beef. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and mustard powder, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the beef.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours or on high for 8 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Makes 6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 266
Total Fat12g
Saturated Fat1g
Total Carbs24g
Protein18g
Fiber4g
Cholesterol8mg
Sodium340mg

Beef with Root Vegetables PDF (55.2 KB)

4
Thai Peanut Chicken

Peanut butter fanatics will love this delicious slow cooker dish. Peanut butter lends creaminess and great taste, along with heart-healthy unsaturated fat, niacin, and vitamin E. It's also the primary reason this entrée supplies nearly 20 percent of your daily requirements for vitamin E, necessary for guarding against cell damage and supporting your immune system, and nearly half of your daily requirement for niacin, necessary to convert the protein, fat, and carbohydrates you consume into fuel your cells can use.

Chicken contains choline, an essential nutrient that supports your heart, liver, and brain, and helps prevent neural tube defects in early pregnancy; a serving of Thai Peanut Chicken supplies nearly 25 percent of your daily needs. You can substitute boneless chicken breast as well.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Season chicken with fresh ground black pepper and place in slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and place on serving platter. Pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Makes 4 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 302
Total Fat20g
Saturated Fat4g
Total Carbs10g
Protein25g
Fiber3g
Cholesterol68mg
Sodium643mg

Thai Peanut Chicken PDF (54.4 KB)

5
Quinoa And Bean Chili

This cholesterol-free vegetarian chili is high in fiber and low in saturated fat, a dynamic duo that keeps your blood flowing to your muscles and organs. Plus, one serving packs about one-third of your daily potassium need, which keeps blood pressure in check and your heart and muscles in working order.

Quinoa, a gluten-free, easily digested grain with all of the essential amino acids you need to make muscle and other lean tissue, is also a source of fiber. Kidney beans supply protein and fiber, too, and they're loaded with manganese, a mineral your body requires to produce energy, make collagen, and help defend against cell damage.

No worries about leftovers, as this chili freezes well.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low (or 4-5 hours on high).
  3. Remove bay leaf and stir well before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Makes 6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 315
Total Fat7g
Saturated Fat1g
Total Carbs54g
Protein13g
Fiber12g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium490mg

Quinoa and Bean Chili PDF (28.4 KB)

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Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 30 Comments

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Holly444

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Holly444

yummy!

Nov 28, 2012 5:41pm | report
 
dwest62

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dwest62

Never thought about slow cooking sweet potatoes before. Sounds delicious though.

Nov 28, 2012 5:45pm | report
 
SIBB85

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SIBB85

I like to cut up sweet potatoes into fries and throw them in the oven. How thick you cut them kinda makes them softer or crispier. I hate sweet potatoes cooked most ways, but I can eat pounds and pounds of them that way.

Nov 29, 2012 10:39am | report
srgess

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srgess

Taste the same as steam cook, so delicious !

Nov 29, 2012 4:40am | report
 
Pendicott62

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Pendicott62

I've cooked those kind of food before. My favorite was roast beef with vegetables mixed with roasted potatoes. It was by god delicious! :)

Nov 29, 2012 6:01am | report
 
chiefgreybeard

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chiefgreybeard

Slow cooking works great when you have a busy life. I slow cook about 1/2 of my evening meals. I cook about twice as much as I will eat and put the rest in 1&1/2 pint freezer containers and bada bang.. all of my lunches !

Nov 29, 2012 9:10am | report
 
jpoole78

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jpoole78

Looks good I will have to try some of these!

Nov 29, 2012 9:48am | report
 
cgenebrewer

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cgenebrewer

I just tried the roast and it was great, only thing is that it was wayyy overcooked. I measured the internal temp coming out at 180, and I only cooked it for 4 hours! If you are cooking it, make sure to keep checking the meat for your perfect temp.

Nov 29, 2012 8:40pm | report
 
Alpha Wolf

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Alpha Wolf

Great recipes!!!

Nov 30, 2012 5:47pm | report
 
tudominicano

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tudominicano

sweet, can't wait to try them.

Article Rated:
Dec 4, 2012 4:55pm | report
 
joannewojo

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joannewojo

Looks delicious!

Dec 4, 2012 9:08pm | report
 
IsaacManri

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IsaacManri

ohh wow that looks very good :D

Dec 21, 2012 6:24am | report
 
dogetta

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dogetta

Start it before work and dinners ready when you get home.mine has a keep warm setting for when I don't go straight home it starts by its self.

Dec 23, 2012 5:45pm | report
 
Jbird34

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Jbird34

Those sound great, gonna try the chili and thai chicken sometime this week!

Dec 23, 2012 7:09pm | report
 
ProtoSupaman

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ProtoSupaman

Definitely cooking that roast this week!

Dec 23, 2012 10:24pm | report
 
Kitalcock

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Kitalcock

The slow cooker, best investment ever for busy people. When I lost weight before I used two, one for me and one for my son who is a veggie.
Nothing like coming home from working all day then the gym and opening the door to the smell of dinner.
Can't wait for tomorrow when my fitness program and healthy eating starts, beautiful body here I come.

Jan 1, 2013 7:27pm | report
 
JoshuaMartin18

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JoshuaMartin18

I wonder if you could cook the chili another way, i have a girl coming over next week and she would like to cook together, just wondered if i could perhaps do this in a pot or something?

Jan 2, 2013 9:19pm | report
 
marcy1987

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marcy1987

WOW =)

Jan 7, 2013 3:52am | report
 
xjesix

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xjesix

I have slow cooker stuffed in the back of my cupboard which I think I've used about twice. After reading this, defo gonna dig it out and try some stuff. I'm always in a rush to cook something before the gym so thiswould help me right out!

Jan 7, 2013 2:49pm | report
 
kevvykev71

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kevvykev71

Roast was awesome. Just finished it off for lunch today. Delicious!

Jan 9, 2013 11:09am | report
HungryTuna

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HungryTuna

These recipes sound great! Can't wait to try some!

Jan 9, 2013 12:24pm | report
 
Karma777

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Karma777

How exactly do you figure the nutritional value of the meal?
I have a concoction that I LOVE- will be making it tomorrow actually (crockpot chicken) - but no clue if what I 'think' is good for me is actually stacking up.... any suggestions? Thanks :)

Jan 12, 2013 9:29pm | report
 
NLacy03

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NLacy03

Buying my food for this in a sec and sooo can not wait to try it

-Who U Wit

Article Rated:
Feb 3, 2013 7:50am | report
 
robinkez

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robinkez

I just got a crock pot! Does anyone have any good links of all crock pot/bodybuilding recipes. PM me if you do thanks!

Feb 23, 2013 11:40am | report
 
indigo0086

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indigo0086

I did the chili just last night. IT was delicious. I used the 8 hour method. Only suggestion I have is maybe using a bit less water, it was hearty but runny (which is fine). That or maybe leave it open for the last hour or so towards the end to let some moisture out. It was good though, with brown rice it will definitely bulk up the texture.

Another suggestion even is to cook the Quinoa separate from the chili, that way you can have control over the consistency. If you like a bit more runny chili which is still fine, then it's okay.

Mar 3, 2013 3:35am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 30 Comments

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