Friday Feast: Slow and Steady Gets Dinner Ready

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

The slow cooker is the greatest invention since fire. I teach in the afternoons and evenings so I’m making dinner at noon before going to class. When I get home later, dinner is waiting just like a personal chef cooked for me all afternoon! I have a slew of easy, healthy, and satisfying slow cooker recipes that are regulars in our house.

On weekends I go shopping and spend the extra time preparing vegetables and herbs so they are ready and easy to use in a flash during the week. I do my baking on the weekends as well and freeze homemade breads to get out the morning I plan to serve them. I am usually rushing out the door in the early afternoon to get to classes and having the veggies chopped and the herbs cleaned makes preparation a snap. Thanks to weekend prep, I can have dinner in the slow cooker in 15 minutes. I normally set the cooking temperature to low since it will be six to eight hours before I get home to eat. Once home, I throw together a fresh salad and have a healthful meal that meets our nutritional needs without adding a lot of calories. You know how dangerous it is to eat late at night!

Try these three recipes soon and your whole family will be happy with the results.

“Turkey Roast” 

                3 lb. boneless turkey roast, thawed

                3 ribs of celery

                ½ cup water

                ½ cup chopped onion

                salt, pepper to taste 

Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with celery and onions. Place turkey on top of celery and onions. Add water.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

When you get home, use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature of the meat. It should be 170 degrees.

Heat a canned vegetable and serve with bread and butter or margarine. 

“Vegetarian Vegetable Soup” 

                1 can Campbell’s tomato soup

                4 cups water

                5 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes

                1 small onion chopped

                1 bay leaf

                1 small can diced tomatoes, basil and garlic flavored

                1 medium potato chopped

                3 medium carrots chopped

                1 can green beans

                ½ cup corn

                ½ cup peas

                ½ cup lima beans

                (veggies can be canned or frozen)

                1 cup pasta (elbow, rigatoni, etc.)

                salt, pepper to taste 

Add all ingredients except pasta to slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Add pasta to soup in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove bay leaf before eating

Serve with salad and bread. 

“Mediterranean Turkey and Rice”

                1 package boneless turkey tenderloins

                1 celery stalk, chopped

                1 can diced, basil and garlic seasoned tomatoes

                1 sprig of fresh rosemary, stripped and chopped

                3 cloves crushed garlic, or 3 tsp. minced garlic

                2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

                ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

                ½ cup white or yellow onion, chopped

                1 tbs. lemon juice

                cracked black pepper to taste

                1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain rice

                ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

                ½ cup black olives, sliced (optional)

Place everything except the rice, black olives, and the Parmesan cheese into the slow cooker.

Cook on high 4 to 6 hours adding rice the last 30 minutes or low 6 to 7 hours adding rice the last 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and olives if desired before serving. It’s nice to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley before serving also.

Serve with raw carrot sticks and ranch dressing.

A Life Saver!

While shopping, pick up a box of Reynolds brand “Slow Cooker Liners.” The first time you line the slow cooker with one of the specially designed liners you will wonder all day if it will actually work and how the food will taste. They fit all size cookers and the kitchen clean up committee in your house will be thrilled with the results. I’ve never had one spring a leak and clean up is as easy as the product claims. Four liners per box cost around $2. Most important, the food tastes fantastic and NEVER STICKS!

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey

Be well, write well.