Slow Cooker Carnitas are tender, juicy, and packed with huge flavor. These make some of the best tacos or burrito bowls that your family will absolutely love. Try serving with Tex-Mex Black Beans for a totally satisfying dinner.
Vegetarian Chili with Lentils and Butternut Squash has all the flavor and texture of a traditional chili, just without the meat. Would it be bragging too much for me to say that I am a huge fan girl of the seasonings in this chili? Just do yourself a favor, and give it a try. Russ, and many coworkers, even loved the texture and flavor.
This Slow Cooker Chili is simple to make and packed full of flavor. That’s what makes it simply fantastic. In fact, even with only two of us, the first time I made this chili, none of it made it into the freezer. We just ate it all up over the course of two days.
Simply Fantastic Slow Cooker Chili is also a great party food, and since it’s made in the slow cooker, it is easy to keep warm for people to serve themselves as they get hungry throughout the party. I would definitely put this chili on the menu for a Super Bowl party! I’m all about being able to enjoy my guests and not being stuck in the kitchen any more than I need to.…
With Cinco de Mayo on a Saturday this year, chances are you’re either hosting a party or attending one. I have you covered with seven easy crowd pleasing recipes. All of these are recipes that you can make ahead so that you have time to sip margaritas with your friends and enjoy the food together.
There are even three Whole30 friendly dishes, and all of these recipes are also gluten-free. Just make sure your corn tortillas don’t contain any wheat. Set up your table buffet style, and let your guests enjoy the dips and create their own tacos or fajitas. I like to include lots of veggies for dipping and always include butter leaf or romaine leaves as alternative wraps.
Not only is this hummus incredibly yummy, it’s so easy to prepare in your food processor or blender. I used a blend of black beans and garbanzo beans, but I think it would be just as good using all black beans. Serve it with your favorite veggies, crackers, tortilla chips, or pita.
Yum! I love guacamole, and I love hummus. Avocado Hummus marries those two favorites into an amazing dip for chips, pita, or veggies–-pretty much whatever your heart desires. Plus, it couldn’t be any easier to make. Simply place all your ingredients in the food processor, and turn it on until the hummus is blended smooth. Yep, that simple. It only takes about eight minutes to throw together and makes a perfect party appetizer.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like guacamole, and this variation has been one of my most requested side dishes to bring to friends’ gatherings.The stars in this recipe are fresh avocados, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.I love serving Guacamole Style Dip with organic blue corn tortilla chips and strips of sweet peppers.
I love this Easy Taco Meat recipe because it is so versatile. You can use it for taco night with your favorite wraps and toppings, make a taco salad (which is what I usually do), or even double the recipe and freeze the leftovers as part of your meal prep. Who doesn’t love tacos?
You definitely want to try these Easy Steak Fajitas. Whether you serve them over greens or wrap them in a warm tortilla, you are going to love the flavor. I love to add fresh tomato, avocado, and shredded cheese to mine, but you could also use additional toppings such as black beans or sour cream.
I just love it when recipes that are so simple turn out like you spent hours working on them. Slow Cooker Carnitas is one of those. Prep time is only ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how fast your are at slicing veggies. Put this in the slow cooker Friday night before bed, and it will be ready for Saturday’s festivities.
This recipe is so easy, even with the homemade enchilada sauce. In fact, it’s one that I make about once a month, so no, you don’t have to wait for Cinco de Mayo to enjoy this dish. This can also be assembled the night before or in the morning, then cooked when ready to serve.
No matter your plans for Cinco de Mayo, enjoy your friends and family, and be safe. As always, if you try any of these 7 Easy Cinco de Mayo Recipes, let me know how they turned out for you, or rate the recipe.
I hope the new year is finding you happy and healthy. Russ and I spent a relaxing New Year’s Eve at home together after a round of golf in the morning. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a hard time staying up to watch the ball drop these days?
Although we’ve both been crazy busy with work for the last month, I did get Russ to sit down and select his top ten guy approved recipes from 2017 for you. These are recipes that I make for him frequently. First of all, most of them are easy weeknight meals or slow cooker creations that make dinner a snap on those late nights. Second of all, all ten recipes are gluten-free depending on how you serve them (not that he cares), and most of them are Whole30 friendly. Third of all, I did ask him to rank them, so they are listed from his most favorite to his tenth most favorite.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement this year. It really does mean the world to me. Your comments about recipes you’ve tried is what keeps me motivated to keep Inspired Fresh Life going. Cooking really is a passion of mine, and making (mostly) healthy whole foods that taste amazing is a plus. And a really special thanks to Russ for being my constant guinea pig and giving me honest feedback about the dishes I prepare.
Read on for Russ’s guy approved recipe picks for 2017:
This is a great recipe for using up veggies from the fridge. You can mix and match nearly anything you like. The meat you use is also versatile. I’ve made Veggie and Sausage Breakfast Casserole with turkey sausage, bacon, and prosciutto. Of course, you don’t even need to include the meat if you want a vegetarian or more cholesterol friendly dish. If you don’t include the meat, just add an extra cup of veggies.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried a number of different recipes that promise crispy chicken from the oven. Either they weren’t crispy, or they used ingredients that weren’t very healthy. Well, despair no more. These Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs really are crispy, and use only tapioca flour, a blend of spices, and an egg. You can also mix up your spices for different flavor combinations.
No, you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to come around again to enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage. This is such an easy recipe to prepare with a huge flavor pay off. It’s not quite a “fix it and forget it” slow cooker dish, but the extra steps make a difference and are really quite simple.
Deliciously smoky, and fall-off-the-bone tender, Smoked Rosemary Wings deliver on flavor, and are so much healthier for you than restaurant fried wings.
You definitely want to try these Easy Steak Fajitas. Whether you serve them over greens or wrap them in a warm tortilla, you are going to love the flavor. I love to add fresh tomato, avocado, and shredded cheese to mine, but you could use additional toppings such as black beans or sour cream.
I make Slow Cooker Carnitas about once a month. It’s such an easy dish to prepare, and it gives us a ton of leftovers for lunches, another dinner later in the week, or the freezer. You can serve the carnitas in a tortilla with your favorite toppings, over rice, or in lettuce wraps (which is what I did for myself).
Yum! Creamy Veggie and Chicken Sausage Gnocchi is so easy to make and full of fresh flavors. For me, this is pure comfort food, and I was excited to find Delallo Gluten Free Gnocchi. Of course, you can use any gnocchi you like, or even a pasta for that matter.
I used ground chuck, zucchini, spinach, and cauliflower rice in these Whole30 compliant Veggie Loaded Meatballs, and I really don’t think he realized how many veggies were packed into each serving. I served mine over wilted spinach and served his over linguine with a little pasta sauce. He always loves it when I make different variations of meatballs, and these were no exception.
This Chicken Enchilada Casserole is an easy weeknight dinner. Russ is not always a Mexican food fan, but he loves this casserole. Depending on your family size, you should end up with some yummy leftovers for lunch during the week.
Yes, another slow cooker recipe. Lentil Farro Stew is a hearty, warming meal that you will enjoy for either dinner or lunch. You can serve it with a side salad or some crusty bread if you like, but it stands alone just fine. It is filling, tasty, and full of good nutrients. It’s low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Did I mention that it is oh so easy to make? Simply toss everything in your slow cooker, turn on low for eight hours, and wait for the magic to happen.
Lentil Farro Stew takes twenty minutes or less to prep. And if you buy some of your ingredients (like the mushrooms and kale) already chopped, it takes even less. Heck, you could even buy the onions and carrots chopped, but I wanted larger pieces of carrots, and an onion doesn’t take long to chop. Another quick tip: I buy a large bag of chopped kale and keep it in the freezer. It is sturdy enough to freeze well for adding to soups and stews, or any other cooked dishes. Just don’t thaw it and try to eat it fresh.
This is the order I added everything to my slow cooker insert. But really, you can just add all the ingredients, and make sure that you give everything a good stir before you turn it on. Add the dry lentils and farro to the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle in the turmeric, smoked paprika, thyme, celery seed, salt, and pepper. Pour the vegetable broth over the top, and stir to incorporate the spices into the liquid. Add in the diced tomatoes (with their juices), sliced mushrooms, chopped onion and carrots, kale, and minced garlic. Stir everything again to ensure that the stew is mixed together well.
Place the insert into the slow cooker base, and turn on low for eight hours. Oh, and get ready to arrive home to a mouth-watering smelling house. By the way, as with so many other slow cooker meals, you can prep Lentil Farro Stew the night before, keep the insert in the fridge, and simply turn on the slow cooker in the morning. This option always works well for me because I am not a morning person and prefer to reserve my morning time for coffee rather than food prep.
If you make Lentil Farro Stew, or a variation of it, I’d love to hear your feedback.
I know I’ve been posting a lot of slow cooker recipes lately, but it’s that time of year when I work more late shifts. The slow cooker makes having a nutritious dinner, like Loaded Vegetable Bean Soup, when I get home possible. It also limits the amount of nights when we resort to take out. I don’t know about you, but this time of the year just becomes incredibly hectic no matter how well I try to plan.
The prep for this recipe is simply chopping a lot of vegetables. Then, all you have to do is add everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours. I used my usual trick and prepped everything the day before and simply stored the insert in the fridge until I was ready to cook the soup the next day.
A few notes about the vegetables in this recipe. First, I used Teeny Tiny Potatoes from Trader Joe’s, but you could just as easily use Yukon Gold cut into bite-sized pieces. Also, I used rainbow carrots (because I just love the colors), but you can use any variety of carrots. Finally, I always peel and chop my broccoli stems when I am prepping broccoli florets. The stems freeze fine and make a fantastic addition to soups and stews. I used the stems that I had frozen, but you can definitely use fresh.
To begin, chop the potatoes, carrots, broccoli stems, and leeks into bite size pieces, and place in the slow cooker.(While I was chopping veggies, I baked four strips of bacon to add for flavor. If keeping your soup vegetarian, simply omit.) Drain and rinse the white kidney beans and black beans, and add those along with the undrained can of diced tomatoes.
Finally, add the vegetable stock, seasonings, and bacon to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, then cover. Turn the slow cooker to low, and cook for eight hours. You won’t believe how good your house will smell when you get home.
Loaded Vegetable Bean Soup is a fantastic recipe to include as part of your meal prep. We ate it for dinner on Monday night, and both of us took leftovers to work multiple times during the week for lunch. It also freezes well to have on hand for easy to reheat meals. What’s your favorite soup to make in your slow cooker?
It’s definitely that time of year. Although I use my slow cooker frequently all year long for food prep, there’s just something about coming home to a pot full of chili when it gets a little colder outside. I know you’re thinking, “She lives in south Florida. How cold can it possibly be?” Well, once the temp dips below 68ºF, it’s time to put on a pot of Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. You will definitely love the smoky flavor of this chili.
I also love how easy this dish is to prepare. Prep everything the night before in your slow cooker insert, keep it in the fridge, then plug it in and turn on for eight hours before you go to work. I used ground turkey in this recipe, but you could also use shredded turkey to use up some of those Thanksgiving leftovers.
Begin by drizzling about a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large skillet. Heat over medium high heat, and add the ground turkey. Use the tip of your spatula to break apart the meat into small pieces as it cooks. (Omit this step if you are using shredded turkey.)
While the meat is cooking, dice one medium onion, and mince the garlic cloves. When the meat is nearly finished, add the onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Once the onion and garlic are fragrant (about five minutes) remove the skillet from the heat, and drain any excess liquid. (Again, if using leftover turkey, simply sauté the onion until soft, then add the garlic and sauté about thirty more seconds.)
Add the ground turkey mixture to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. I used two cans of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed), a half cup dry lentils, two cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, two cups chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, and chipotle powder. Give all the ingredients a good stir, set the slow cooker to low for eight hours, and enjoy a hearty meal when you arrive home from work. Yes, it really is that easy.
Add any favorite toppings to individual bowls such as shredded cheese or cilantro, if you like. Serve with a side salad and cornbread muffins for a hearty dinner.
We ate this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili for dinner with plenty left over for lunches during the week. It also freezes well for when you need those last minute dinners during busy weeks.
Note: Nutritional information is an approximation. Different brands and/or quantities will change the nutrition profile.
Yum! Russ loved this Slow Cooker Carne Asada and asked for it to be put in the dinner rotation. I’m sure I will be making it again soon. It is the perfect dish for me to put in the slow cooker before I go to work, and it is ready for him to slice the meat, then eat whenever he is hungry.
I just love it when recipes that are so simple turn out like you spent hours working on them. This Slow Cooker Carne Asada is one of those. Prep time is only ten to fifteen minutes, depending at how fast your are at slicing veggies. By the way, recipes are not created in a vacuum. My version was inspired by Fit Slow Cooker Queen’s recipe for the same.
Begin by sprinkling both sides of the flank steak with salt and pepper; place in your slow cooker. Cut the onion and peppers in half, and remove the skin from the onion and the seeds and ribs from the peppers. Slice each about a half-inch thick. Place the onion and pepper slices on top of the flank steak.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, and pour over the steak and onions. Yes, you can use soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos. Also, omit the honey (and don’t substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos) if making this recipe Whole30 friendly.
Set the slow cooker to low and cook for six hours. After six hours, remove the flank steak and slice thinly against the grain. Return the flank steak to the slow cooker and mix in with the peppers and onions. If ready to eat, use a slotted spoon to remove. If you’re like us and often eat a little later, simply turn the slow cooker to keep warm, and this delicious Carne Asada will be ready when you are.
Serve in your favorite tortillas topped with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and cheese, or any toppings you like. Or, serve over rice or cauliflower rice. However you decide to serve this Slow Cooker Carne Asada, you will be amazed at the abundance of flavors.
Please note: The nutritional information is only for the Slow Cooker Carne Asada. It does not include the accoutrements you serve it with.
No, you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to come around again to enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage. It’s actually one of Russ’s favorite meals, so I decided to surprise him with it on a random Tuesday off from work. This is such an easy recipe to prepare with a huge flavor pay off. It’s not quite a “fix it and forget it” slow cooker dish, but the extra steps make a difference and are really quite simple.