Good things take time
Colder months guarantee two things: dreading the trip between the blankets to the outside world, and delicious, hot food to make the chill nights a brilliant place to be!
To help you get through an Australian winter which will see temperatures dip below 10°C (terrifying, we know!), we’ve laid out our favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner slow-cooker recipes.
Why slow-cooked, you ask?
Slow-cooked foods have three distinct advantages in the winter time:
- Preparation requires less effort – simply put it in and walk away
- More servings per batch – you can make meals for the week in one sitting
- The aroma, oh goodness, the aroma – nothing beats waking up or coming home to the smell of a slow-cooked meal on a cold day
Where can I get a slow-cooker?
Most electrical retailers or home appliance stores will have electric slow-cookers. Prices generally range from $20 for a basic unit to $150+ for combination pressure cookers.
Why do you list ratios instead of specific amounts?
The beauty of slow-cooking is that it’s your personal mix of ingredients and flavours, so feel free to chop and change as you go along!
Breakfast - Banana, macadamia and apple oatmeal
Prep time: 5 – 10 mins
Cook time: Overnight/8hrs
Ingredients: Bananas, macadamia, steel cut oats, milk (of your choice), water
Ratios: 1 banana/1 cup of steel cut oats/2 cups milk/2cups water, and macadamias for your favourite level of crunch!
- Mash your banana (optional: laugh maniacally)
- Pour all the ingredients including your recently assaulted banana into your slow-cooker and mix thoroughly
- Leave it on low overnight/8 hours
- Serve with slices of fresh banana, apple
- Be a little bit naughty and add some cinnamon
Voila – a breakfast fit for (healthy) queens and kings and their spoilt children.
Lunch – Spicy bean chilli
Prep time: 5 – 15 mins
Cook time: Morning till lunch (4hrs on high), overnight (8hrs on low)
Ingredients: Mince meat (check the ingredients are just meat), canned tomatoes, beans (such a variety to choose from – kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans), corn, capsicum, brown onion, white onion, garlic, chilli powder/flakes/chillies/paprika, peppers, olive oil
Ratios: 500g mince meat/1 x 800g tin tomatoes/1 x 800g tin of beans/2 x large capsicum
Note: If you think your ratio might leave your chilli a little dry, you can avoid draining the beans, or add in your desired amount of tomato sauce (not the sugary stuff, actual tomatoes made into a sauce).
- Mince your onions and garlic, and cook in a pan with a little olive oil on a low heat until golden brown
- Finely dice your capsicum
- Pour all your ingredients into the slow-cooker and mix thoroughly
- Leave on high for 4hrs or on low for 8hrs
Make it a personal chilli by emphasizing the flavours you like – if you want something with a kick, you can add more chilli or try adding jalapenos. Fear for your guts? Cut down on the chilli and substitute it for some smoky paprika and pepper instead!
Dinner – Turmeric and pepper lamb on kumara rice
Prep time: 5 -10 mins
Cook time: 8 - 10 hrs
Ingredients: Lamb (leg or shoulder), turmeric, pepper, kumara (sweet potato), brown rice, olive oil, water
Ratios: In this recipe, our focus is on water level. You’ll want your brown rice and kumara to be submerged and your lamb partially sitting in the water. This will take a little experimentation depending on the size of your slow-cooker and the cut of lamb you decide to use. Not to worry, if it’s not right the first time, there’s always more opportunities to try again!
- Dice the kumara
- Spread olive oil, and generous amounts of turmeric and pepper over the lamb
- First place the rice into the slow cooker, then the kumara, then cover with water
- Gently mix
- Place lamb into the slow cooker
- Leave for 8 – 10 hours (the aroma should be driving you crazy by that point)
It’s a heart winter meal that will keep you warm and comforted for hours afterwards.
Stay warm, and bon appetit!
All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner. CBHS endeavours to provide independent and complete information, and content may include information regarding services, products and procedures not covered by CBHS Health Cover policies.