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Slow-Cooker Umami Mushrooms

In addition to being a great stand-alone side, these slow-cooker mushrooms are also excellent tossed in a salad or stir-fry. Be sure to buy whole cremini mushrooms so they will retain their texture and not turn mushy during the long cook time. If you don't want to wait for the mushroom mixture to concentrate during the 1 hour and 30 minutes of cooking it uncovered, then cook it, uncovered, just long enough for the mushrooms to brown. Then drain the liquid and bring it to a boil in a saucepan. Once the liquid has thickened, stir in the mushrooms and vinegar and sprinkle with the scallions.

Slow-Cooker Maple-Mustard Turkey Breast

Depart from the expected roasted whole turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and serve this succulent, slow-cooker turkey breast instead. You'll delight guests with a new dish and also save yourself hands-on time and effort. As a bonus on Turkey Day, this recipe leaves your oven free for stuffing and casseroles. If whole turkey breast isn't available, ask your butcher to cut up a whole turkey and give you the whole turkey breast. To make this recipe gluten free, use

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.