Monday, February 07, 2011

Slow Cookers: A Chronically Ill Person's Best Friend

New to Somebody Heal Me? Subscribe to the Somebody Heal Me feed:
Subscribe in a reader or subscribe by e-mail. Follow me on Twitter @somebodyhealme.

Getting meals together is a constant struggle for us, as I'm sure it is for many of you. It's hard to plan ahead when you don't know how you'll be feeling from day to day. While I love to cook, it zaps my energy. If I plan too many complicated meals and don't feel up to cooking them we're in a world of hurt if we don't have something my husband can throw together. One of the best solutions for us has been the slow cooker.

We've had one for years, but have been bad about remembering to use it. But I recently made a meal that was so good and so easy that I just had to write about it. I bought a two pound beef roast at the grocery store. I prepared it by (1) salting and peppering all sides of the roast, (2) sprinkling a packet of onion soup mix over the meat and (3) pouring a 14.5 ounce can of beef broth into the bottom of the slow cooker. I cooked it on high for five-and-a-half hours. It was perfection. To round out the meal we steamed some frozen broccoli florets, made some mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and a prepared a gravy by whisking a little cornstarch and water together with the drippings from the slow cooker. So easy and so delicious! Since it's just the two of us it leaves us with a nice amount of leftovers, too, which is always nice.

I like to make our Perfect Ground Beef & Sausage Chili in the slower cooker, and I've made some awesome pork and chicken recipes (Easy Pork Carnitas, Slow-Cooked Tex Mex Chicken & Beans) using similar methods. It's an especially great way to prepare pulled meat for tacos or sandwiches. Just some chicken breasts or pork loin and barbecue sauce thrown together in a slow cooker would make a great sandwich for dinner at the end of a busy day.

By the way, those disposable slow cooker liners are a great time and energy saver for those of us with chronic illnesses. I probably would never have tried them, but my mom bought me some and they're pretty darned awesome.

What do you like to make in your slow cooker? Any favorite recipes to share? Does using one make your chronic life a little bit easier?

Subscribe to the Somebody Heal Me feed: Subscribe in a reader or subscribe by e-mail. Follow me on Twitter @somebodyhealme

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Content by Diana E. Lee.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.