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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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                      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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