Friday, September 23, 2016

Dear Crockpot, I Love You

Once upon a time, Aaron and I had crazy commutes and long hours.  Now, we both have pretty sweet schedules for work and short commutes. It seems like dinner would be easier now, but not really. Now we're cooking healthier (so more prep) and we're working around my gym schedule. I'm at the gym three nights a week and one of those nights I recently made a twofer, meaning that I have a class at 6 pm and at 7 pm. On those nights, I don't actually get home to cook dinner until 8 pm.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Especially after two hours of working out.

So how do we survive this?

The crock-pot. It is your best friend. This whole post is my love letter to my crock-pot. Even when the meals are not the tastiest ever, I still love it. Just throw some Frank's Red Hot on whatever you're eating and you're good to go.

But it can't be just any crock-pot. The holy grail is one that has a digital timer. One that you can set before you leave at 7:30 am and not touch again until you come home because it has an automatic "keep warm" feature. That thing is my saving grace.

I've been a crock-pot lover for a while now. When we got married, I made sure to register for one of the digital ones for the very reason I listed above. I don't have time to come home at lunch, turn the thing on and go back.  No, I write blogs during my lunch hour. I need time to eat, think, possibly shop and blog. Those are my priorities.  Not driving 30 minutes round trip to put something in my crock-pot! That defeats the purpose.

The crock-pot is also much more vital now that we're trying to be healthier, eating more whole foods. Sometimes, you just don't want to cook. At all. It's glorious to just dump everything into the crock-pot, turn it on and walkaway. Which is what I did Thursday morning.

That afternoon, I came home home to this:

White Chicken Chili!
I was able to grab a small bowl of white chicken chili before heading out for my first class. This helped fuel my energy through my classes.  After class, I ate a bar and was good to go.

The best part of the crock-pot? The liner. It's a bag that you put in the crock-pot so that you don't have to deal with the baked on crust around the side once you're done.  I ran out last week and it was not pretty. You do still have to clean the crock when you're done, but it doesn't require soaking and ten minutes of elbow grease.

Also, not all crock-pot meals are made equal. This one is most definitely NOT primal or paleo (whoops). And sometimes the primal/paleo ones don't have as much taste, so make sure to add additional seasoning (or Frank's) as you need. This recipe has white beans (legumes) and corn (technically, a grain). The paleo gods shall smite me, I'm sure. But it's filling, it's easy and considering other crap you could be eating, fairly healthy. The recipe can be found here if you're interested.

Some other paleo/Whole 30 recipes we made in the crock-pot are:

Do yourself a favor. Get a crock-pot. If you have one, dust it off and use it. I've used mine three times in the past week or two. This is how you survive paleo/Clean 14 or eating clean with a crazy schedule.

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