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11 Sinfully Easy Crock Pot Recipes

11 Sinfully Easy Crock Pot Recipes

Crock pot recipes are awesome. Fill up your slow cooker, leave it going, come back later and dinner’s ready! It’s an incredibly easy way to cook. Crock pots aren’t only for savory dinners, either—you can use them to make breakfast, dessert, snacks and hot drinks, too. I’ve collected 11 of the best simple crock pot recipes that create tasty, filling dishes with little effort and little waste.

1. Moroccan Spiced Chicken

Moroccan chicken

    Warm and gently spicy, this dish goes well with couscous or rice. For an extra Moroccan-style treat, serve up hot, minted green tea as well.

    Ingredients:

    • 2.5 lb chicken thighs, skinless on the bone
    • 1 tsp cumin, ground
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
    • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mixture
    • 1.5 cups chicken broth
    • 15 oz can of tomatoes, drained and diced
    • 15 oz can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped

    Preparation:

    Put your chicken thighs, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander and pumpkin pie spice into a large resealable plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Then throw all the other ingredients into your slow cooker, take the chicken out of its bag and put that on top of the vegetable mixture. Put the lid on the pot and cook for at least 5 hours on a low heat setting until the chicken’s completely cooked through. If you’re using the liquid as well as the chicken from this dish, skim the fat off first.

    Serves: Up to 6

    2. Root Vegetable Stew

    Root vegetable stew

      Tender and sweet, root vegetables that have stewed slowly in a crock pot are delicious. Perfect for a filling meal that doesn’t make you work for your dinner!

      Ingredients:

      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 medium onions, diced
      • pinch of salt
      • 1 tsp ginger, ground
      • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
      • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
      • 1/4 tsp cumin, ground
      • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
      • A pinch of saffron threads
      • Black pepper, ground
      • 1 lb potatoes, diced
      • 1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
      • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and diced
      • 3 cups vegetable broth
      • 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
      • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
      • 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      • 1/2 cup sultanas
      • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
      • 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar

      Preparation:

      Put the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, then fry the onions with the salt for about 4 minutes. Add the dried herbs and spices and give it another minute to cook, then empty the frying pan into your crock pot and add the potatoes, parsnips and carrots long with the vegetable broth. Leave it to cook for at least 1.5 hours on a high heat, then add the squash, sultanas, sweet potatoes and chickpeas before leaving it to cook for another 2 hours. Stir the spinach in gently and let it wilt, then add cider vinegar to taste.

      Serves: Up to 8

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      3. Slow Beef Chili

      Slow beef chili

        This is one of my all-time favourites. The beef and beans give it plenty of body, but thanks to the crock pot it’s a juicy dish that’s easy to eat. Goes nicely with rice and a bit of grated cheese.

        Ingredients:

        • 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
        • 3/4 lb stewing beef, cubed
        • 2 tbsp chili powder
        • 1 tsp cumin
        • 2 tbsp flour
        • 1 onion, chopped
        • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
        • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
        • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
        • 16 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
        • 16 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
        • 28 oz can of tomatoes, diced
        • 1.5 cups beef broth
        • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
        • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
        • 3/4 tsp salt
        • Sour cream for topping
        • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish (or jalapenos if you like it extra hot!)

        Preparation:

        Brown the meat for about 2 minutes in hot oil in a skillet, then add your cumin and chili powder. Let those cook for 1 minute before stirring in the flour, then leave it for another minute before emptying the skillet into your crock pot. Add all the other ingredients that aren’t toppings, then cook for up to 8 hours on a low heat, stirring once an hour and adding small amounts of extra liquid if it gets dry.

        Serves: Up to 8

        4. Sausage and Potato Pot

        Sausage and potato crock pot

          This is simple cooking at its best. There are only 5 ingredients and this crock pot recipe involves very little preparation, so you can get on with your day knowing that a hearty dinner’s on its way.

          Ingredients:

          • Drizzle of oil (or a cooking oil spray)
          • 3 lb potatoes
          • 2 lb sausage
          • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
          • 10.5 oz cream of celery soup
          • 1 oz dry ranch dressing mix

          Preparation:

          Coat the inside of your crock pot with oil. Cut the potatoes into wedges, slice the sausages into discs and put the potato and sausage into the pot. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, then stir the mixture into the sausage and potato. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on a low heat.

          Serves: Up to 6

          5. Poached Pears

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          poached pears

            Sweet poached pears in caramel sauce is a dessert that’s blissfully simple to make in a slow cooker. Serve it with Belgian waffles and ice cream if you want to go above and beyond the call of dessert duty.

            Ingredients:

            • 1.5 cups dark brown sugar
            • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
            • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
            • 6 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved

            Preparation:

            Mix your sugar, ginger and butter together in the crock pot, then add the pears and toss them in the mixture until they’re coated. Arrange the pear halves flat side down in the pot and cook on a high heat for 1 to 2 hours until the pears are tender, then dish them up and drizzle the caramel liquid over the top.

            Serves: Up to 6

            6. Cream Cheese Black Bean Chicken

            Black bean chicken

              So easy you might just forget you’re cooking anything, so set a timer to remind you when it’s ready to eat! The combination of cream cheese with chicken and black beans is smooth and creamy, delivering a huge protein boost and leaving you feeling full for hours.

              Ingredients:

              • 4  or 5 boneless chicken breasts, frozen
              • 15 oz can of black beans
              • 15 oz can of corn
              • 15 oz salsa
              • 8 oz cream cheese

              Preparation:

              Put your frozen chicken breasts straight into your crock pot and add the black beans, corn and salsa. Cook it on a high heat for at least 4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Open up the pot, plop the cream cheese on top of the other ingredients, and leave it to sit for half an hour before dishing up.

              Serves: Up to 4

              7. Apple Oatmeal

              apple oatmeal

                This overnight oatmeal crock pot recipe lets you wake up in the morning to a breakfast that’s already hot and waiting to be eaten! Not only that, but it’s easy, healthy and delicious, too.

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                Ingredients:

                • Drizzle of oil (or a cooking oil spray)
                • 2 large tart apples, chopped
                • 1.5 cups skim milk
                • 1.5 cups water
                • 1 cup whole grain oats
                • 3 tbps dark brown sugar
                • 2 tbsp butter
                • 1 tbsp cinnamon
                • 2 tbsp flaxseed, milled or ground
                • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
                • 1/4 cup fruit (fresh or dried) for topping
                • 1/4 cup chopped nuts for topping

                Preparation:

                Oil the inside of a large slow cooker and put in everything except the salt and toppings. Stir it up and cook on a low heat for at least 7 hours. Stir in the salt when you switch off the heat, and serve topped with nuts and fruit.

                Serves: Up to 4

                8. Crock Pot Roast

                Roast beef

                  Feeling lazy in the kitchen today? This recipe just needs meat, water and some ready-made condiment mixes. Serve with bread and raw vegetables for a sinfully easy dinner.

                  Ingredients:

                  • 4 to 5 lb beef roast
                  • 1.25 oz brown gravy mix, dry
                  • 1.25 oz Italian salad dressing mix, dry
                  • 1.25 oz ranch dressing mix, dry
                  • 1/2 cup water

                  Preparation:

                  Put your beef roast in the crock pot, mix the dried condiments together and sprinkle them into the pot. Pour the water in around the beef and cook on a low heat for at least 7 hours or until the meat is completely cooked through.

                  Serves: Up to 8

                  9. Pork Tenderloin

                  Pork tenderloin

                    A slow cooker is perfect for cooking up a tenderloin of pork. The meat comes out so tender it almost falls apart on your fork!

                    Ingredients:

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                    • 1 lb pork tenderloin
                    • 1 oz onion soup mix, dry
                    • 1 cup water
                    • 3/4 cup red wine
                    • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
                    • 3 tbsp soy sauce
                    • Pinch of black pepper, ground

                    Preparation:

                    Put the pork in your crock pot with the dry soup mix and pour the water, wine and soy sauce over it. Turn the meat to coat it with the mixture, then spread garlic over the pork, leaving most of it on top. Sprinkle pepper on top and cook on a low heat for 4 hours. Serve with rice and some of the cooking liquid.

                    Serves: Up to 6

                    10. Hot Apple Cider

                    Hot apple cider

                      Yes, you can use a slow cooker to make hot beverages and keep them hot! This spicy crock pot apple cider is simple to prepare and keeps you toasty warm on a cold night.

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 gallon apple cider
                      • 2 whole nutmegs
                      • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
                      • 1 orange, cut into wedges
                      • 1/2 apple, cut into wedges
                      • 20 to 25 whole cloves
                      • 3 to 4 pieces crystallized ginger
                      • 1/4 cup brown sugar
                      • You’ll also need cheesecloth and string

                      Preparation:

                      Fill a large crock pot up to 3/4 full with apple cider and add brown sugar. Push whole cloves into the skin of the fruit wedges, then put them onto your cheesecloth with the remaining ingredients. Tie the cloth around the ingredients with string and drop the bundle into the crock pot. Leave on a high heat setting for at least 2 hours to boil, then switch to low heat for another 2 hours and keep it on low until it’s served, topping up the cider if necessary.

                      Serves: Up to 15

                      11. Spiced Nuts

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 lb nuts, mixed or any kind, shells off
                      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
                      • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
                      • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
                      • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
                      • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
                      • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
                      • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

                      Preparation:

                      Switch the crock pot on its highest heat setting and let it preheat for 15 minutes, then put the nuts and butter in and stir well. Add the sugar, stir some more, then cook at a high heat for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down low, take the lid off the pot and cook the nuts for another 2 hours, stirring every once in a while. Then move the nuts into a bowl, combine the spices together and sift them over the nuts while stirring.

                      Serves: Up to 8

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                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                      Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      His motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • He riles up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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