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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple slow cooker recipes

Chicken thighs and red beans cook in the

Chicken thighs and red beans cook in the slow cooker in a savory, aromatic Mexican-style mole sauce. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

MOLE CHICKEN AND BEANS

3 tablespoons flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium red kidney beans

1 ounce semisweet chocolate

1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped

 

1. Coat the bowl of slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl; add chicken and toss thoroughly.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

4. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon to the skillet, and cook until the onion is somewhat softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the broth and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the beans, cover and cook on low 8 hours.

5. Stir in the chocolate until melted; ladle into bowls and top with the cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 396 calories, 29 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 1010 mg sodium

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PERSIAN GREEN BEEF STEW

1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric

1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound beef chuck, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 medium)

1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach

1 1⁄2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

3⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 scallions, chopped

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium white beans drained

4 teaspoons lime juice

 

1. Coat the bowl of a slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Combine the turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper in a bowl; toss with the beef.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

4. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until somewhat softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the spinach, parsley, cilantro and scallions, and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir in the broth and beans. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 373 calories, 29 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 488 mg sodium

 

BACON, EGG AND CHEESE BREAD CASSEROLE

8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1⁄2 medium green bell pepper, chopped,

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil

3 tablespoons drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

12 ounces crusty bread (such as sourdough), cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1⁄2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

10 large eggs

1 cup skim milk

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

1. Coat the bowl of the slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp; transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and return to the heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, oregano and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook 1 minute longer; transfer mixture to the slow cooker and add the bacon, 1 cup of the cheese and the bread.

3. Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl, then pour into the slow cooker, pressing down on the ingredients with a spatula to ensure the bread at the top absorbs some of the egg mixture. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining cheese, cover and cook on low 8 hours. To serve, cut in wedges. Makes 6 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 419 calories, 28 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 859 mg sodium

TIP: Do not open the slow cooker during cooking: The already low temperature drops significantly and delays cooking more than if you peek under a pot lid on the stove.

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