Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes: Real Healthy
Fall weather inevitably triggers thoughts of slow-cooking comfort foods like beef pot roast. But this method of cooking — technically referred to as “braising” and one of the most healthful ways to prepare meats — has a lot more to recommend it than just cosiness. Braising can also save you time in the kitchen and lower your grocery bill.
Braising involves cooking meat or vegetables slowly in a covered dish with a small amount of liquid — water, stock, and perhaps even a splash of wine. It can be done in the oven in a covered casserole, on the stove top in a Dutch oven, or on your counter in a slow-cooker.
Time Saver: Braising requires very little supervision. No basting, stirring, or flipping required. Most recipes involve just a single step: Meat, vegetables, and seasonings are unceremoniously combined, and the meal basically cooks itself while you go about the rest of your day.
Extra Healthful: Cooking meat at high temperatures or over direct heat (such as char-broiling or grilling) increases the formation of harmful compounds, such as acrylamide, HCAs, and PAHs. Experts believe that potential health risks associated with meat consumption can be vastly reduced by choosing healthier cooking methods like braising. (No need to hang up your barbeue tongs entirely, however! See my previous post for tips on making your barbecues healthier.)
Money Saver: The relatively low temperatures and moist heat break down fibers in meat, rendering even inexpensive cuts fork-tender.
Here are some easy, seasonal recipes that will have you singing the praise of the braise:
Louisiana-style pot roast is low in calories and, thanks to colorful sweet peppers, high in antioxidants.
Here’s everything you love about Asian food cooked in a wok — but with a healthier outcome!
Wine-infused sauce imparts deep rich flavor to this bone-in pork shoulder, spiced up with cumin and coriander.
This easy stew literally cooks itself in the oven while you attend to more important matters.
Make comfort food that’s real healthy with these great slow-cooking recipes!