June 25, 2014
The Easiest Summer Recipes

The inventor of the slow cooker will - in my mind - go down in history as one of the most brilliant people of all time. Why do I love the slow cooker so? It's virtually fool proof (believe me, I'm hardly a chef and I can make it work!), extremely time effective (you can set things in overnight, during a busy work day or on a lazy Sunday) and can be very tasty & healthy.

What's not to love?

Here are a few ways to use your slow cooker that still feel like sunny summertime (think Mexican food and citrus!) Let us know what you think:


Lime Cilantro Chicken (Stage 1)

 Adapted from

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~5 oz. each frozen)
  • ¼ c chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup apple juice, unsweetened 
  • 1 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Coat the chicken breasts and onions with oil and place in the slow cooker.

  2. In small bowl, combine all other ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly over the chicken breasts

  3. Cook chicken on LOW for 6-8+ hours or HIGH for 3-4+ hours

  4. Slice or shred chicken as desired and use as topping for salads, filling for cabbage or lettuce wrap enchiladas or alongside cauliflower rice.

Yield: 4 servings, ~4 oz. each (check weight prior to serving)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 3+ hours

Nutritional information, per serving: 190 calories, 8.5g fat, 91mg cholesterol, 226mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 27g protein



Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Stage 1)

Adapted from

  • 2 pork tenderloins (24 oz.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic seasoning blend(Salt-free, Ex: Mrs. Dash brand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bottled barbecue sauce(Ex: Stubb’s brand)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice, unsweetened


  1. Coat the inside of the slow cooker with canola cooking spray. Place the pork tenderloins in bottom of slow cooker and sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper evenly over the top.

  2. Sprinkle chopped onions over pork and top that with barbecue sauce and juice.  

  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred pork with a fork and stir to combine all ingredients.

  4. Serve the pork filling in a lettuce wrap, on top of a salad, alongside steamed veggies (if in stages 2-6) or in a whole-grain bun or wrap (if in stage 7).

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 8 hours

Nutritional information, per serving (using Stubb’s original BBQ sauce):  275 calories, 6g fat, 2g saturated fat, 104mg cholesterol, 561mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 33g protein



Vegetarian Enchilada Crock Pot Casserole (Stage 7)

Adapted from

  • 8 corn tortillas (~60 calories each)
  • Canola cooking spray
  • 1 ½ packages (12 oz. size each, =18oz. total) veggie crumbles(such as Morning Star brand)
  • 24 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar and jack cheese blend


  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 6 green onions, the white and part of the green, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced


  1. Begin heating a medium nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Coat both sides of a corn tortilla with canola cooking spray and place in the pan.

  3. When both sides are lightly browned, remove from pan and repeat this step with the remaining tortillas. Cut each of the tortillas into 4 wedges.

  4. In medium bowl, combine veggie crumbles with enchilada sauce.

  5. Layer wedges from two tortillas (8 wedges) in slow cooker and spread one-fourth of the enchilada mixture over the top.

  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese over the top.

  7. Repeat until you have made 4 layers and used up all of the ingredients. Cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 2-4 hours.

  8. Right before serving, spread Greek yogurt over the top of the enchilada casserole and sprinkle with chopped green onions and avocado slices.

Note: to reduce sodium content, decrease amount of enchilada sauce used or substitute in part with no-salt-added tomato sauce

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 1/2-4 hours

Nutritional information, per serving (using avocado): 290 calories, 10g fat, 3g saturated fat, 1080mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 24g protein



Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes, that are great even in the sunny summertime?



Written by Erika Brown

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