As a busy lady, when it comes to making meals I generally aim for simple , healthy and fuss free dishes. Although I enjoy cooking, I rarely get enough time in the kitchen without Ellie running around under my feet, therefore I need to be quick, or I need to be able to throw a heap of ingredients into my ‘God send’ of a Slow Cooker and walk away to return a few hours later with a meal ready to serve.
I’ve decided to share a few really quick and simple dishes that are favourites in our house. They are mainly veggie and fish based (as I am pescetarian ) however feel free to improvise with adding whatever meat or different seasonings you like. I tend to cook ‘as I go’ and throw in random ingredients based on what I have in the fridge and presses – so feel free to mix them up .
Before I go any further, a common mistake I hear about using a Slow Cooker is adding water to the pot. DO NOT add water to any of these recipes unless I say specifically state otherwise – capisce? Lol!
Spicey & Hearty Lentil , Chickpea, and Veg Mix
- One cup of red split lentils
- A tin of tomatoes
- Diced onion (I get the frozen diced bag in Lidl – great time and tear saver!)
- Peppers (again diced frozen)
- Frozen mixed veg – use whatever takes your fancy, I throw in a heap veg medley (a mix of peas, sweet corn, string beans, and carrot)
- Half a tin of chickpeas
- Any other veg that takes your fancy I find sugar snap peas/ courgett/ broccoli are all nice with this
- One tablespoon tomato purée
- A DRIBBLE of water
- Seasonings of your choice, I personally use a generous amount of garlic granules, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, mixed herbs, and a cajun seasoning mix from Aldi – again I throw in a heap of random ones depending on how spicey/ mild I want to make it
- Throw the lentils in first with maybe a quarter cup of water (it won’t look like much but the moisture builds from the stewing down of the frozen veg and tomatoes etc)
- Add in the everything else on top
- Mix everything together and leave on Auto/High (Approx 3 hours)
- Give a stir half way through if you are there, if not, no panic!
- Serve with a side of rice/ salad/ or pop into a pitta bread with a little sprinkle of cheese.
* I often add a fish mix into this, or chicken if I am making for Ben if I want to bulk it up further. Although it is very filling as is. Adjust cooking times to allow for thorough cooking of same. I tend to just keep an eye on it and base my times from there.
It is also a lovely dish to pop into the oven and cover with mash potato to make it more of cottage pie, great for a winter warmer!
Cajun Salmon with Rice and Veg
- Salmon Darnes
- Onion, peppers and any other other of your choice
- Tin of tomatoes
- Cajun seasoning, garlic , squeeze of lemon
- Rice (I cheat on this and add a bag of micro wholegrain rice)
- Place the salmon into the slow cooker on the bottom
- Cover the Salmon with the rest of the ingredients and seasoning
- Leave on auto for up for 5-6 hours.
Chilli Con Carne
- Minced beef /Quorn mince/ cup of lentils
- Onion, garlic, chilli con carne seasoning mix
- Tin of tomato
- Two tablespoons of tomato purée
- Kidney beans (up to you for how much to add , I usually do half a tin)
- Pack of micro rice
- Place the meat/ Quorn/ or lentils with a cup of water into to the bottom of the dish
- Sprinkle some chilli seasoning mix
- Layer your tomatoes and tomato purée with your veg and continue to disperse the chilli con carne mix as you keep adding ingredients.
- Add your rice to the top as it’s already par boiled.
- Leave on auto for approx 6 hours.
- One bag of fresh soup mix
- One diced butternut squash (you can buy them pre diced in most chilled veg depts)
- One medium white potato
- One medium sweet potato
- A tin of tomatoes
- Veg stock made up as per instructions (I add approx 700mls-900mls)
- Seasonings of choice, I add garlic, mixed herbs, tumeric, cumin, and loads of chilli (if Ellie is having it I only add this after I separate her portion)
- Add all of the above and leave on auto all day (or until the potatoes are soft)
- Once cooked, blend until smooth.
Such a lovely winter warmer that is really filling and nutritious, If you prefer to have a bit of ‘bite’ to a soup you can add some chickpeas after it is blended.
Carrot and Coriander Soup
- 6 large carrots
- Diced onion (optional)
- Ground Coriander (half a teaspoon to a teaspoon depending on your preference)
- 1-1.2l of vegetable stock
- One white potato (optional if you want it thicker/creamier) You can also add milk/cream if you prefer a creamier taste.
- Fresh coriander to garnish
- (you can also add in chickpeas once the soup is cooked to add a bit of bite and make it more filling)
* I have added half a tin of tomatoes and garlic to this recipe also to mix it up
- Wash, peel and dice your carrots (you can butcher them into whatever chunks you like, they will end up blended, but smaller the size the quicker they cook)
- Make up your stock as directed on packet
- Peel and dice onion (half will do)
- If using potato, peel and chop like the carrots
- Add everything into the slow cooker, add in your ground coriander
- Leave on high for 6-7 hours
- Once all veg is soft, blend until smooth
- If adding chickpeas, add once smooth.
- Garnish with coriander
I hope some of these recipes may be of use by some you, let me know what you think if you do! I’ll also try to update this post with new ideas I try out!