Smoky Slow-Cooker Black Beans with Collard Greens
Cooking black beans in a slow cooker with a ham hock gives them a wonderful smoky flavor. Don't forget to soak your beans overnight for the creamiest, most luscious results. Serve over brown rice with lemon-curry collard greens for an easy healthy dinner that's super-satisfying.
Slow-Cooker Sichuan Chicken with Scallions & Baby Bok Choy
Sichuan peppercorns give this brothy slow-cooker chicken dish a distinctive lemony, mouth-numbing flavor. Unrelated to peppercorns, they're the dried berries of the prickly ash tree. Look for them in specialty markets and online. If you've never had them before, try one first and add more or less to taste. Serve with sesame baby bok choy (which takes just a few minutes to prep) and Chinese noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that'll get you out of your same-old-chicken-dish rut.
Slow-Cooker Beef & Carrot Tagine with Almond Couscous
Feel free to experiment with the spices in this simple slow-cooker beef stew--keep cumin and cinnamon in the mix, but try adding cardamom and ginger for greater depth of flavor. Both the stew and the almond couscous are very easy to prep, and the active time is just 20 minutes. Recipe adapted from Slow Cook Modern.
Slow-Cooker Squash, Millet & Lentil Dal with Herbed Yogurt
This slow-cooker dal recipe has a range of pleasing textures: red lentils and millet break down as they cook, and the toor dal, which are split pigeon peas, stay toothsome. Look for all three ingredients at Indian markets or natural-foods stores. The crock pot does most of the work for this healthy vegetarian recipe, and a quick herbed yogurt added just before serving brightens up the flavors. Bonus: Both the dal and the yogurt can be made ahead and the leftovers are wonderful.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Stew
Potatoes and beans make this tomato-based crock-pot vegetable stew super-hearty. You could also add briefly sautéed chunks of zucchini or fresh corn kernels just before serving, or add another can of cannellini beans for more substance. A dollop of pesto on top is also super-delicious. Adding homemade garlic croutons is an easy way to elevate this healthy dinner.