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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

                      More by this author

                      Sophie Lizard

                      A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on June 20, 2019

                      Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

                      Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

                      There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

                      More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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                      Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

                      You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

                      During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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                      Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

                      Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

                      The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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                      This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

                      Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

                      The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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                      This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

                      This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

                      Conclusion

                      While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

                      More About Music Playing

                      Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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