Festive, Fix-It-Fast Slow Cooker Recipes

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The slow cooker is one of my favorite appliances. I like that I can leave it on while I’m out of the house, and if I’m an hour late getting home, it’s no big deal. There is a wonderful sense of comfort in knowing your dinner is cooking at home. And if there’s a delay and you need to keep things warm for another hour, you can just keep the slow cooker on “Low” for another hour. It’s that simple!

At this time of year, it can especially come in handy to have dinner simmering in the slow cooker while you run holiday errands or take part in fun holiday activities.

And, in keeping with the holiday spirit, why not use your slow cooker to prepare some festive favorites? Some holiday flavors and colors that come to mind are:

  • Orange and cranberry
  • Apples and spices
  • Green and red
  • Meat, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

The four recipes below feature each of these combinations. With these fix-it-fast dishes, you can enjoy festive, homemade meals this holiday season while spending very little time in your kitchen. Gotta love that!

Orange Cranberry Chicken

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 serving lean meat and moderate-fat meat with 1 tsp. fat maximum.

This dish goes great with steamed brown rice.

1 tablespoon less-fat margarine
1/3 cup reduced-sugar orange marmalade
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground skin, cut into 1-inch pieces and microwaved until just tender)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons prepared pesto (I like a brand found in the frozen pasta section)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

  1. Start heating a large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat the outside of the chicken breasts with olive oil and add to the hot frying pan. Sprinkle Mrs. Dash seasoning over the chicken. When the bottom is nicely brown (about 2 minutes), flip chicken breasts over to brown other side (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add lightly cooked potato pieces to bottom of slow cooker. Pour in low-sodium chicken broth. Spread pesto evenly over the top, and sprinkle chopped red pepper over the top. Gently toss mixture. Lay browned chicken breasts over the top of the potato mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours or LOW for about 6 hours.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 390 calories, 32 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 10.5 g fat, 2.1 g saturated fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 287 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 24%.