Thursday, June 27, 2013

Crockpot Meals... Are they worth the price?

I have used a crockpot for a very long time. In my lifetime, I have gone through one and currently own two. I enjoy cooking from my crockpot because it is easy and doesn't make it hot in my house during the summer months. We can still have the things that we love the most from the winter months during the summer without heating up the kitchen. Sometimes I like to try new recipes, but mostly I stick to the same old ones that I have grown to love. Today, however, is a different story....

Today I am trying my hand at Easy Spaghetti Sauce in the slow cooker. In April, I began taking a slow cooker class. It was a four week class that met one Wednesday a month. During the class, we tried new recipes and learned how to be more healthy with our choices of foods we put into our bodies. Because of this, we have turned to eating better. This is very important for our family especially as we are trying to lose weight in a positive way. I learned a lot from this class and took away more information than I could handle sometimes. I was very thankful to share it with my husband to get him on the better track for eating too. It was awesome. As a result of taking this class, we received a brand new slow cooker. This excited me a lot. I love getting new things. Especially new things that I can cook with. We also received a small handmade slow cooker recipe book that had some really neat recipes in it. One of those recipes was slow Cooker Easy Spaghetti Sauce. I've been contemplating using this recipe because it is cheaper to purchase a ninety-eight cent can of spaghetti sauce than the ingredients to make my own. However, the slow cooker way is definitely healthier.

Here's the recipe

                                                            Slow Cooker Easy Spaghetti Sauce
 1 can (28 ounces) low sodium whole peeled tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) low sodium tomato sauce
1 can (12 1/2 ounces) low sodium Italian flavored diced tomatoes
1 pound lean ground turkey or ground beef cooked
16 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and a bit more to taste when cooking is done

1. In a skillet cook ground turkey or beef and chopped onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink
2. Drain and transfer to a slow cooker and stir in the remaining ingredients
3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 8 hours

Cooking tip: If you do not drain your fat from your meat it makes the sauce runny.

Nutritional tip:  The turkey or beef are high in iron and the tomato sauce is high in vitamin C which helps your body better absorb the iron, so this is a fantastic dish for those who might need more iron in their diets.

I didn't follow the recipe to a t. However, I put the onions fresh in the sauce instead of cooking them with the hamburger. I used Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb powder instead of just garlic powder. It smells delicious though and I can't wait until supper.

What's your favorite slow cooker meal?

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