First of all, Happy New Year to you all. I hope this year is filled with everything you wish for and more!

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Trainers can be found here, Jumper here.

I am not one for New Years Resolutions, normally they feel like high targets I set for myself that in 2 weeks turn to sticks that I get to beat myself up with.

This year though I am taking up a few resolutions and they are to help make life simpler, remove the pressures a little and hopefully I can then achieve the things I would really love to get time to do again, like running to refocus and clear my head… or reading a book, depends on the motivation levels.

My aim to make life simpler is to continue the organisation and clear outs I started when moving house in order to help live a more minimal and clutter free life. The one that I know will challenge me a little more and I will need to put more effort in to is meal planning. I know though that it is the key to help me make better and healthier choices, not mentioning the money saved when planning meals properly.

I have shared loads that I am not a great cook though credit where credit is due, I am getting better (slowly). Even though the entire family can confirm that the smoke alarm works, I won’t give up!

This January to help kick things off, my plan is that a minimum of 3 days a week, when the girls are at school and I am working I am going to prep dinner in the morning and leave it in the slow cooker so that when we get home in the evening the dinner is ready and reduces panic buying on the way home.

I have no doubt that most of you reading this will have loads of amazing recipes to share but I am going to share a few of mine incase it helps anyone like me!

The Slow cooker that I am using was £19.99 from Very.co.uk (currently on offer) and is the large 5 litre version (found here), I wanted the larger one to cook a whole chicken or joint of beef but there is also a 3 litre version too. I also love that it looks well in the kitchen too, I know, I know the appliances in the kitchen aren’t all about looks!

I decided that this blog post would be a little different than I normally share but I’ve planned our meals for this week and thought they might be handy to someone else. We had all of the spices already in our cupboards, bought multi bags of veg and salad to use across the meals and know that by better planning this week I will have cut what I normally spend on food by over half (hard to admit but it’s a good motivator).

I hope these help and would love you to share your favourite slow cooker recipes or top tips on food organisation to avoid the fast and normally less nutritional alternatives.

This blog post is a part of my paid partnership with Very.co.uk and the products mentioned are from Very. All ideas, resolutions and words are my own… the recipes are passed down, changed and nothing that I can claim as fully my own.

Anna xx

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Family Chilli

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • Beef Mince
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • sour cream and grated cheese to serve with either rice or taco cups.

 

Method

  • heat oil in frying pan and cook onions and garlic until soft
  • add mince, cumin, paprika and cook until the mince is browned, stir to break it up.
  • transfer to slow cooker
  • add the rest of the ingredients (expect cheese and sour cream)
  • cook for 8 hours on Low heat
  • serve in taco shells or with rice and top with some sour cream and grated cheese.

Carrot and Coriander soup (my girls fave!)

Ingredients (these don’t have to be exact, what I use normally depends what I have in the fridge)

  • One bag of carrots, washed but I don’t peel (if Jamie Oliver says it’s fine and it saves me time I am happy!)
  • One onion chopped
  • 300g Potatoes peeled
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 pints Veg stock
  • Small bunch coriander chopped or you can use 1 tsp Dried Coriander leaf
  • Double cream to top with some fresh coriander (or without Cream and then suitable for vegans)

Method

  • Preheat the slow cooker while preparing the veg
  • Add all vegetables, stock and coriander into slow cooker. Season with black pepper
  • Cook on High for 4-5 hours
  • Remove the pot from the cooker and blend using a hand blender or I now use the NutriBullet.
  • Can be served immediately or chilled
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whole chicken

  • one large onion chopped
  • 3 carrots halved and chopped
  • 1 medium chicken
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • bay leaf (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the slow cooker
  • cover the base with carrot & onion and add 100ml boiling water
  • Push a little butter under the skin (can add salt and pepper too but I tend to try to avoid adding salt)
  • Put the bay leaf in the chicken and set on top of carrot and onion
  • cook on low for 5-6 hours
  • Tip the chicken up to remove any juice then cook on high for 30 mins
  • Sieve the gravy from the veg and serve with veg if you want

(you could also have added potatoes halved to have a full meal in one pot)

I started off so well with the before pictures then realised after we ate dinner I didn’t take an after… must try harder when it comes to picturing food! 

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