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January 20, 2012

Hurray for Crock Cookers!

Healthy Foods
Hurray for Crock Cookers!

By: Leanne Ely, CNC

One of my pet peeves is hearing people say, “I don’t have time to make dinner.” I took a survey once and to my astonishment found out that a lot of people fend for themselves for dinner on days they’re not going through the drive-thru. There is no set time to sit down and eat and there is no plan.

I think this is sad. To have “no time to make dinner” is the same as not having the time to invest in your family’s health and well-being. Taking the time to make dinner is an opportunity to just stop for a moment and connect. I’m not trying to guilt trip anyone here. Nor am I so out of touch that I think we need to go back to the days of June Cleaver and have pot roast every night and fresh baked pie.

The concept of being able to turn the stressors of your life into blessers really gave me a chance to think about this in my own life: when there is “no time” to connect and I’m rushing the kids from one activity to another and I’m overbooked too, those are the days when the kids are snapping at each other, I’m cranky and that’s when those horrid words leave my mouth, “I don’t have time for (fill in the blank).” It’s usually a statement smacking of martyrdom, too.

The truth is what we truly don’t have time for is allowing our relationships within our family go by the wayside. I am dead serious when I say dinner is ministry. Those faces across the dinner table from you are God ordained to be there—why not invest your time wisely in them, give them something good and nutritious to eat and spend a half hour at the table silently blessing them and thanking God for them? (As you remind them to close their mouths when they chew because you can see their tonsils).

The way to the dinner table is not an unmarked road. It’s not hard and it’s not rocket science either.  We get there by using the tools we have available. One of the most wonderful tools is the crock cooker. I use mine at least once a week with my new paleo menu…my subscribers clamor for it and I have to tell you, I wouldn’t be without one.

Think of it this way: 5 to 15 minutes of prep time in the morning, and a gorgeous aroma entices you when you walk in the door in the evening because dinner is READY. Toss together a salad (buy the ready to go stuff at the market if you “don’t have time”; just make sure it’s not Iceberg—no nutrition there), heat some whole grain rolls and you have a marvelous dinner to go. Soups, casseroles, braised meats and stews…you can’t beat a crock cooker! Take a peek at http://www.crock-pot.com/. This is Rival brand crockpot recipe website. Great stuff there and some good info on crockpots.

You HAVE the time; the question is will you INVEST the time in the most important people of your life? You can do it when you use your TOOLS. A crock cooker is a dinner saving tool that no home should be without.

Here’s a great recipe to put that appliance to work—from the Rival Crockpot site! (no nutritional info—this right from their site!)

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 6

1 pound dry red beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans beef broth
2 cups water
1 pound smoked ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3-4 cups cooked rice

In a large pot, cover beans with 3 times their volume of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Discard water. Combine all ingredients except rice in stoneware. Cover cook on Low 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours. Serve over hot cooked rice.

VEGETARIANS: Substitute veggie broth for the beef broth.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Big ol’ spinach salad with all kinds of veggies…go clean out the crisper! LOL

Want more crock cooker help? Be sure to check out our Crock Cooker Ebook series

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  • Scrapgirljen

    I’m a working mom, not a total organic-food-crazy-lady, but I can’t figure how people ‘have time’ for sitting in a drive-thru line and driving to and from, and/or how they ‘have time’ for the intestinal unpleasantries that they’ve come to believe are normal.  It’s really not hard to cook, and it’s really not more expensive.