For 364 days of the year I keep a "wish list" in my head of items I want, but that I can survive without purchasing for awhile. I save this list for that one blessed day... Black Friday. When it is likely that most of the random gadgets I have been wanting all year long will be on sale SOMEWHERE for 40-70% off what I would have otherwise paid.
One of the best purchases I made from 2011's sale was one of these guys.
Why so miraculous? Because I am lazy. And this little guy works with my laziness in 3 ways.
1) Crock pot meals are inherently easy. You throw it in, you season it, you turn it on, and then it is ready when you come home. It's kind of like magic. Slow cooking magic of laziness and awesome.
2) A lot of my fatness is a by-product of tiredness. I come home from work, I don't wanna cook, so I order a pizza. I definitely save calories and money and time by using my slow cooker instead. Equally as easy, but better in every way.
3) I specifically like this model because there are three different 6 cup crockpots. That means you can make three different things at once. So ideally you could get like 3 meals out of the way in 15 minutes. And that makes me excited in ways I shouldn't explain.
Let me show you.
Most recently I made pinto beans, a beef roast, and pulled pork. The crock pots are pretty small and there's only two of us so I cut my beef and pork roasts in half if they are too large. (I simply wrap and freeze the portion I'm not cooking immediately.)
I love cooking beans in the crock pot because I always, always, always, without fail, forget to soak them. Guess what? When you cook them in the crock pot you get to pour them in straight from the bag. (Uhhh just watch out for rocks. Cuz ow.) Isn't that awesome? Bags of beans are way cheaper than cans and I think they are tastier as well.
I add salt and garlic powder after they're done cooking. And then what?
I make "tacos" by wrapping 1/4 cup of cooked beans in a warmed corn tortilla and topping with salsa. Each one is 110 calories, 150 if you add a half ounce of reduced fat cheddar cheese.
I fry an egg in the morning and top with 1/3 cup of beans, cilantro, and 1/4 c enchilada sauce for about 230 calories.
I mix 1/3 c beans with 1/2 c brown rice, add salsa or tomato sauce or cajun seasoning or whatever strikes my fancy, and vegetables for around 300 calories.
As for the beef roast, the possibilities are practically endless. Stroganoff, any type of mexican, soup, shepherd's pie, sandwiches, salads, and on and on. I typically just keep it in the fridge and reincarnate it into something new each meal.
Today I slapped some on whole wheat bread, added reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese and panini-fied that sucker for 350 calories. Better than Wendy's and better for ME.
And as for the pulled pork? Well that mostly becomes sandwiches for the husband. He isn't a fan of traditional lunch meats so this is a good option.
I like it on top of a toasted whole wheat pita with chopped cabbage and hot sauce for about 400 calories.
So if you are lazy like me and the thought of eating something that's been in the fridge for 4 days doesn't skeeve you out, definitely consider a triple slow cooker.
I get to dedicate alllllll the time I spend NOT cooking dinner to walking the dog and catching up with the DVR.