When the last of the Autumn leaves fall from the trees, when t-shirts and sun hats are swapped for jumpers and blankets and when every morning you are greeted with a garden covered in frost, you know that winter is here. A time where high protein slow cooker recipes take centre stage.
The Benefits Of Maintaining A Healthy Diet.
When the season's change and the cold weather settles in, it can be easy to stop the salads and replace them with heartwarming comfort foods that warm you up from the inside. What must be remembered, however, is that these comfort foods that are often turned to when the temperature drops, are often carb-heavy and full of calories.
It is easy to lose motivation in the colder months when looking to eat well and exercise regularly. When temperatures drop, it can be challenging to stomach the idea of wheatgrass smoothies and chicken salads, but dropping the diet all together would set you right back to square one by the time spring came back around, so what do you do?
Luckily, you can still get all the comfort and heartwarming food-love that you get from your grandmother's stew and dumplings, from these 3 simple high Protein slow cooker recipes for winter. Nutritionally dense and loaded with all of the right stuff, these recipes will help you to maintain a healthy diet over winter, avoiding the 'Christmas weight' most of us are all too familiar with.
Slow-cooked Protein Pasta Dish.
Beef Ragu Fettuccine
Is there any dish out there more comforting than a hot delicious serving of beef ragu pasta. This high protein pasta recipe is an Italian sweetheart, always there for you when you them the most. Simple ingredients, simple method and a rich, decadent outcome, perfect for those crisp evenings.
- 300g Lean stewing beef
- 500g Tomato passata
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 3 Large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 350ml Beef stock
- 2 Red onions, fine dice
- 1 Carrot, fine dice
- 1 Courgette, fine dice
- 150g Button mushrooms, quartered
- Generous pinch of dried oregano and basil
- Worcester sauce to taste
- 200g Dried fettuccine
- In a deep pan brown off the lean stewing beef on high heat till well coloured, but not cooked through.
- Add all of the vegetables and saute for 3 minutes on medium heat. transfer to your slow cooker and set to high temperature.
- Mix in the Passata, Tomato puree add dry herbs. Then add beef stock until covered. If possible reserve some beef stock to let down the ragu in case it over reduces.
- Turn the heat down to a very low temperature once the ragu starts to boil. Cover with the lid for 5-6 hours. Check every so often to give it a stir, and make sure that it is not catching on the bottom. The ragu is ready when the meat is so tender that it starts to break up from mixing.
- Once the ragu is cooked bring a pan of lightly salted water up to the boil, add the dry Fettuccine and cook according to the time suggestions on the packaging.
- To serve, drain the pasta, drizzle with olive oil and mix into the ragu. Add Worcestershire sauce according to taste, and adjust seasoning with salt if required. Serve immediately with a side of dressed rocket.
Souper Slow High Protein Soup
Red lentil and chicken soup
A hearty winter soup loaded with regular and plant-based protein, this red lentil and chicken soup is a nutritional powerhouse that also packs a flavoursome punch. Lentils are often a forgotten ingredient in western cooking, but they are full of fibre, complex carbohydrates and are an excellent source of iron. This is one of my favourite low-fat high protein recipes for weight loss and should most definitely be in your healthy diet dinners diary.
- 4 tbspOlive oil
- 2 Large onion, fine dice
- 1 Large carrot, fine dice
- 6 Cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp Tumeric
- 1 tspCumin
- 2 tbspsmoked paprika
- 1 cup red lentils dry
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1l chicken stock
- 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Low-fat creme fraise.
- In a deep pot add your olive oil and saute your onion carrot and garlic over medium heat until slightly cooked and starting to caramelise.
- Add your dry spices and cook for a further minute or 2.Transfer to your slow cooker set to high temperature.
- Time for the tomato paste, chicken stock and dry red lentils. No need to soak the lentils as we will be cooking this soup for long enough for them to become tender. bring the soup up to the boil before turning the slow cooker down to low heat. We want the soup to be barley simmering so that it can cook for a good hour before the lentils are fully cooked.
- In the meantime, lightly oil a roasting pan and bake 2 chicken breasts in the oven for around 35 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius.
- Once cooked shred the chicken with 2 forks and add to the slow cooker for the remaining 20 minutes or so. this will allow the chicken to soak up all that delicious flavour!
- Once the soup has thickened and the lentils are tender its time to serve. Chest the seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper accordingly before dishing up generous portions with a ladle.
- Garnish with a couple tablespoons of creme fraise and enjoy!
Brown Rice Burrito Bowl.
This recipe is so quick and easy to prepare i’ll keep this recipe short. You may be wondering what on earth a burrito Bowl is, but it's really not that complicated. Think traditional, wholesome, fresh ingredients typical of your favourite burrito. Instead of rolling them up in a tortilla, put them on top of some perfectly cooked rice, and for names sake in a bowl. Opt for wholegrain rice to reap some brown rice protein benefits, and it's okay to forget the meat because this is a great vegetarian dish sure to highlight the benefits of eating a healthy diet.
go heavy on the hot sauce to keep you warm on those winter evenings!
For the rice you'll need:
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 2cups of water
- pinch of salt
- Thoroughly rinse rice until water goes from running cloudy to clear.
- Add rice to slow cooker and cover with 2 cups of water, add salt.
- Cook on low for 2- 2 1/2 hours until rice is light and fluffy.
It's as easy as that! As far as toppings go, let your imagination go crazy. Anything that you would have in a burrito can go onto this burrito bowl.
My favourite is sliced avocado, dressed black beans, cooked corn, red chilli salsa and loads coriander. Finished with a wedge of lime and ample amounts of my favourite hot sauce. Perfect.