You know those days when you have to be out half the day with the kids, or you can't seem to cook dinner since the toddler glues himself to your leg from 5-6 pm? Those are days you need the slow-cooker. This has been such a life-saver on days with busy evenings, since I can get everything in the pot much earlier, and just leave it to cook on it's own. I know quite a few working mums who swear by the slow-cooker, and they get their slow-cookers going before they leave for work so that they can arrive home to piping hot soup.
Using the slow-cooker does take some planning though, and you usually need to start prepping the ingredients a couple of hours before. However, most recipes just call for you to pop everything into the pot, so preparation should be relatively fuss-free and quick. If you prefer quick meals that only require you to start cooking 30 minutes before mealtime, you can check out our list of favs here.
So here goes, our tried and tested list of slow-cooker recipes, all which are freezer-friendly:
:: Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken, from Damn Delicious
I struggle with cooking chicken, and I find that I tend to overcook it no matter how hard I try! As such, I love cooking chicken in the crockpot, as usually the meat turns out tender and moist. This recipe is really simple, and very versatile: we eat this with rice, or even noodles (like soba or Koka purple noodles). This is freezer friendly. I sometimes plop the frozen portion into porridge, which makes a flavourful porridge for sick days.
:: Italian Chicken Chili, from Half Baked Harvest
Nothing like a hearty soup for dinner! We usually pair this with bread or pasta, and it tastes great even without the broccoli rabe (which I have trouble finding!). I use fresh peppers instead.
:: Crockpot Sunday Sauce, from Half Baked Harvest
This sauce tastes pretty darn amazing, and it's something I'd prepare if I'm having guests, since it feels classier than the usual spaghetti bolognese. The only draw-back is that beef short ribs can be expensive, so try buying them frozen instead of fresh to cut on cost. We cook this without the jalapenos since the kids eat this too!
:: Asian-Braised Shin of Beef, from BBC Food
This is a great Asian alternative to regular beef stew, and goes really well with rice or with dry noodles (eg Cintan noodles). The recipe calls for the shin to be slowly cooked in the oven for two hours at 150 degrees, but I think it should also work in the slow-cooker (just that you'll need to cook it longer before the meat is tender). We usually pop it in the oven, but I'll be trying this soon in the slow-cooker, and will update when we do.
:: Wintermelon Pork Rib Soup, from Rasa Malaysia
This recipe is usually simmered on the stove, and the recipe calls for 45 minutes of cooking. However, I like to cook ribs for much longer, to ensure they are tender enough for the 2 yo to eat. So if you're headed out or have a busy day, you can always blanch the ribs in a pot before popping everything into the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. Due to food allergies, we increase the number of scallops used and omit the dried shrimp, and I also add red dates and wolfberries to add sweetness to the soup.
:: Crockpot Pork Adobo, from Pinch of Yum
I tried cooking this a month or so ago. The hubby took a couple of mouthfuls, set his spoon down, and told me "you need to cook this again!". It's hearty and yummy, and yet easy to prepare! I usually cook it with Japanese soya sauce and not the Filipino one as recommended, and I find it tastes fine. We also use black vinegar instead white.
I usually try a new recipe every week, so I'll be sharing more recipes that work for us in time to come. Meanwhile, here are our tips to cooking everyday for family, and do let me know if you try any of the recipes here!