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14 Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Make Your Sick Days Better

March 13, 2017

14 Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Make Your Sick Days Better

VitaClayChef.com

Are you looking for quick slow cooker recipes that can dial-up your health?

I bet you're wondering:

"I just want to throw something in the pot and just crawl back into bed, but I NEED a meal that's nutritious and delicious so I can get back on my feet!"

Well, here at VitaClay, we have gathered 14 quick health-boosting slow cooker recipes that are just perfect for any of our premium slow cookers ( found here) that will get you out of the funk faster using key super-food ingredients!

    1) Quinoa and Chicken Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 1-2 lb organic or pastured chicken meat (I prefer dark, but you can make that choice)
    • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 celery stalks, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 5 cups broth
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1 T fresh or dried thyme
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • fresh parsley (garnish)
    • hot sauce (garnish)

    Directions:

    Add all ingredients except for garnishes into the clay pot, seal and cook on “soup” setting for 1 hour Garnish with fresh parsley and hot sauce.

     

    2) Wild Rice and Chicken Soup with Veggies

    It’s still technically winter, and in any case, it’s still pretty chilly outside.

    So I’m still making soups.

    I just finished up a pot of amazing split pea soup, and now I’m ready for a new recipe, or at least one I haven’t made in awhile.

    I look in the fridge and I see that I’ve got some leftover chicken. In the cupboard: a box of wild rice.

    Perfect! I’ll just add broth and a few veggies and I have my next nutrient-dense, warm, soothing, delicious soup cooked in clay!

     Ingredients:

    • 2-3lb boneless chicken (I like a variety—if you have chicken meat left over from a roast, that is perfect as well)
    • 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped (if you get the kinds with the greens attached, I like to chop those up and use them too—they’re yummy!)
    • 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 c uncooked wild rice (rinsed and drained)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 t fresh thyme, chopped
    • 10 c broth
    • 1 c cream (if you want it creamy)
    • Real salt & ground black pepper, to taste
    • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

    Directions:

      Add all of the ingredients except cream salt, pepper & parsley into the clay pot Close, seal and cook on “soup” setting for 1-2 hours (if chicken is already cooked or in small pieces, 1 hour is plenty) When finished cooking, stir in cream, then add real salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley

     

    3) Vegetarian Broth

    Ingredients and Directions:

    • 5 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 large portabella mushroom, sliced
    • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
    • 10 cups of water
    •  Add all ingredients into Vitaclay pot
    • Seal and cover, setting on “soup” for the maximum time.
    • Cook for 4-6 hours.
    • Jar and add to recipes, stir-fries or as a base for soups.

    This broth is a great base for Asian soups, such as the seaweed tofu miso soup in our cookbook.

    The flavor and anti-oxidants shine through in many dishes and give a richness of flavor not found elsewhere.

    Create Nutritious Vegetable Broth From Veggie Scraps!:

    • Use Carrots, onions, garlic, celery, all chopped (use all bits, even scraps). Store veggie scraps from meals in the freezer.
    • Once you have 1-2 cups of scraps (or chopped veggies), add them to the clay pot  with 10 cups of water. Cover and seal, cooking on soup for 2-4 hours.
    • Fill jars and refrigerate
    • Use in any savory recipe that calls for water, as a base for soups, or heat up and sip with a bit of sea salt.

     

    4) Mushroom Broth

    Ingredients:

    • 5 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 large portabella mushroom, sliced
    • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
    • 10 cups of filtered water

    Directions:

    1. Add all ingredients into  VitaClay pot
    2. Seal and cover, setting on “soup” for the maximum time.
    3. Cook for 4-6 hours.
    4. Jar and add to recipes, stir-fries or as a base for soups.

    This broth is a great base for Asian soups, such as the seaweed tofu miso soup in our cookbook.

    The flavor and anti-oxidants shine through in many dishes and give a richness of flavor not found elsewhere.

    Use in any savory recipe that calls for water, as a base for soups, or heat up and sip with a bit of sea salt.

     

    5) Barley Vegetable Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 6 cups clean water
    • 2 garlic cloves( minced )
    • 3 celery ribs ( thinly sliced)
    • 1 small onion ( chopped)
    • 2 cans vegetable broth
    • ½ cup chopped green pepper
    • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
    • 1 ½ cups fresh baby carrot ( halved)
    • 1 ½ cups frozen cut green beans
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
    • 1 cup medium pearl barley
    • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
    • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes( un drained)
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds ( crushed)

    Directions:

    1. In a VitaClay slow cooker combine sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, onions, celery ribs garlic and green pepper.
    2. Stir in the water, broth, barley, bay leaves and seasonings. Using a lid cover and cook on low heat for approximately  2-6 hours this should be enough to make the vegetables and the barley soft.
    3. When done stir in the tomatoes, cover again and cook on high for 10- 20 minutes. Make sure it is heated through. You can now discard the bay leaf and serve.

    Yield 12 servings

     

    6) Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 1 Butternut Squash
    • 1 c chopped onions
    • 1 T ginger
    • 1 T garlic
    • 2 T  Thai curry paste
    • 2 c  broth
    • 1 T  coconut sugar
    • 2 T fish sauce
    • 2 c  coconut milk
    • dash of salt & pepper
    • garnishes: crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime

    Directions:

     Roast the butternut squash (whole) in an oven at 400 degrees, until soft (about 30-45 minutes)

    1. Peel the skin and remove the seeds, scooping the flesh into the VitaClay pot
    2. Add all ingredients except garnishes to clay pot
    3. Cook 20-30 minutes, then using a hand-immersion blender, puree the soup
    4. If it’s too thick, add a little more broth and stir
    5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro, serve with lime wedges

    This soup is so delicious! It’s a completely different flavor than regular butternut squash soup , and you can even make a big batch and just flavor some of it with the Thai flavors.

    I had a batch already made, and just stirred in the Thai ingredients, and it was amazing! (I didn’t have peanuts, so I stirred in some peanut butter and it worked like a charm!)

    Butternut squash soup is also super filling and nutrient-dense, so it can be served for a meal or as a side to a meal.

     

    7) Green Veggie Soup

    Ingredients:

    Make a big batch and keep that cold and flu at bay!

    • 1 lb broccoli florets
    • 1 c arugula leaves
    • 3 c  broth
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ onion, chopped
    • 1 t ground cumin
    • ¼ t each of salt & pepper
    • fresh juice from half lemon (garnish)

    Directions:

    1. Add broccoli, garlic, onion, and broth to the VitaClay pot
    2. Close, seal and cook on “soup” setting for about 20 minutes, until broccoli is just cooked
    3. Add cumin, salt and pepper, stirring
    4. Using a hand-immersion blender , blend the broccoli into the soup until smooth
    5. Add arugula leaves by the handful, blending as you go (spinach and other green leafy things can be added here as well)
    6. Allow the soup to sit on “warm” setting for a few minutes, stirring
    7. Stir in lemon juice just before serving
    8. It is also good garnished with sour cream, cilantro or parsley

     

    8) Gnocchi and White Bean Stew

    Ingredients:

    • 16 oz potato gnocchi
    • about 1 lb white kidney (Cannellini) beans, cooked
    • 1 cup  broth
    • 2 diced tomatoes
    • 1 red onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 6 oz baby spinach (fresh)
    • ½ c shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 3 T Parmesan cheese, grated
    • ¼ t pepper
    • salt to taste

    Directions:

    1. Add all ingredients except for spinach into the VitaClay pot
    2. Close, seal and cook on “stew” setting for 20 minutes
    1. Add spinach and seal again, allowing to steam through for 3-5 minutes, then stir
    2. Sprinkle cheeses and cover for a couple more minutes until they are melted, then serve

     

    9) Asian Rice Porridge

    In Asia, rice is eaten at every meal.

    For lunch and dinner, there is generally steamed white rice on the side of several stir-fried dishes with veggies and a bit of meat. Every once in awhile they’ll fry some leftover rice with other leftovers for “fried rice.”

    And the occasional noodle dish, but mostly, it’s just rice.

    But what do they do for breakfast?In fact, in Chinese (and probably most Asian languages) the term “eat” translated literally means “eat rice.” It’s the basis of all food dishes.

    Do they then, too, have a bowl of white rice with a side of dishes?

    Sometimes. But more often they will have a rice-based porridge that is really quite good.

    It goes by different names:

    • Zhou (Mandarin)
    • Jook (Cantonese)
    • Congee (Hong Kong English translation)
    • Gruel
    • Porridge

    It’s basically just “rice soup,” or rice porridge, a really watery way to eat rice.

    When Asian kids are sick, they feed them this, because it is more easily digested. If a child has a fever, they’ll feed them just the watery, starchy portion to get them some nutrients without any solid food.

    Plain rice porridge is pretty bland, so sometimes it’s paired with some cold, spiced meat or pickled/salted veggies.

    Other times it is sold out of a vendor cart on the side of the road with some flavoring already

    added in: a bit of meat and veggies, or black eggs, which look rotten and disgusting, but it actually tastes really delicious.

    Regardless, rice porridge can be a great addition to your recipe arsenal, as a light, versatile base for breakfasts or other meals.

    Here are some basic instructions:

    Ingredients:

    • 1-2 cups rice of any variety
    • 6-8 cups water or  broth
    • Small bits of meat and veggies
    • Pickled, salted or raw vegetables, cut into bits
    • salt  and pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Throw everything into VitaClay , except items that you want to use as garnish or stir in at the end
    2. Cook on “stew” setting for 2-4 hours (overnight or all day is fine; can be kept on warm after it finishes cooking)
    3. Make a big batch and heat it up and add different things all week long

     

    10) Chicken and Noodle Bowl

    I really love recipes that allow me to use whatever I have on hand.

    To me, there’s nothing much worse than finding a great recipe that I really want to try that calls for ingredients that I don’t already have.

    For the holidays or a special occasion it’s fine to buy ingredients just for one specific recipe, but for a regular dinner? I won’t bother.

    That’s why I love recipes that are quick, easy and I can put together without much effort, using whatever I have in the house. Bonus points if it’s new and different, or puts a new twist on an old favorite dish.

    Extra bonus points if I can use leftovers and cook it in VitaClay .

    So is the case with this great Chicken Noodle bowl recipe.

    Reminiscent of chicken noodle soup without all of the prep and cooking time, this recipe can be 

    put together quickly and is hearty, satisfying and delicious.

    It can also be spiced up with different herbs and spices for different flavors every time. But if it becomes a family favorite, don’t forget which spices you used!

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3 lb cooked chicken, cut up (raw is fine too)
    • 6 c  broth
    • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 16 oz noodles
    • ½ red onion, diced
    • 2 t fresh parsley, minced finely
    • ¼ t turmeric
    • ½ t thyme
    • 3 T flour or other thickener like arrowroot or tapioca starch (optional)
    • splash of whole cream or half & half (optional)
    • 1 t sea salt
    • ¼ t black pepper

    Directions:

    1. Add everything except noodles and starch to the clay pot
    2. Close, seal and cook on “soup” for 1-2 hours
    3. Mix the starch with a bit of warm broth and add it into the pot
    4. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the noodles
    5. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed
    6. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired

     

    11) Cream of Tomato Soup

    Growing up, tomato soup was one of my favorite things to eat. It was simple, filling and delicious. It was warm and comforting in the winter, and I could just curl up with a piping hot mug of it and be happy.

    I still love tomato soup, but now I like to add different flavors, from a dollop of sour cream to cheese sprinkled in, or as a base for veggie meatball soup or other things.

    Now, Campbell’s is an old standby, but since I’ve “kicked the cans” to the curb, I’ve been on a quest to find more homemade soup recipes that still taste great and are comforting, without being

    This cream of tomato soup has become a favorite of mine because it is so very easy and quick, and I can make it easily in my VitaClay —which means it’s even easier! And Quicker!

    And it only uses 5 ingredients! Talk about amazing!

    So pair it with grilled cheese, sip it out of a mug for a mid-afternoon snack, or serve it as an appetizer for your dinner party main course, but whatever you do—try this recipe!

    Ingredients:

    • 8 Tomatoes, diced
    • 5 cups broth
    • 16 oz heavy cream
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • basil leaves

    Directions:

    1. Put the tomatoes, broth and cream into the clay pot
    2. Cook on “soup” 1 hour
    3. Using a hand-immersion blender, puree until smooth
    4. Season with salt & pepper to taste
    5. Sprinkle with chopped basil leaves, and serve

    It really is just that easy! What are you waiting for?!

     

    12) Veggie Couscous Soup

    As we head into the home stretch of the cold winter weather (and spring forward to longer, brighter, sunnier days!) we are looking forward to warmer weather, trips to the beach, and cold food (ice cream!)

    But, alas, it’s still chilly outside, and we still crave something warm and satisfying on the wet, cold days that we must endure until the final thaw.

    So, with the finish line just barely in sight, we shall endure with soup. And I dub today: Soup Sunday.

    Because sometimes we just need another holiday.

    Let’s kick off the first Soup Sunday with a super delicious Vegetarian soup that is sure to please the whole family! Make a huge pot and sip on it all week long!

    Ingredients:

    • 2 c uncooked  pearl couscous
    • 1-2 lb protein of choice (meat can be added if not vegetarian)
    • 2 c soaked and cooked beans  of your choice (a mix of different types of beans is also great)
    • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 red onion, chopped
    • 2-4 tomatoes (depending on size), chopped
    • 1 c red sauce
    • 4 c  broth
    • 1 t dried or fresh oregano
    • 1 t real salt
    • ¼ t ground pepper
    • 1 t turmeric ( because it's THE BEST superfood on the planet! )
    • 1 t non-salt spice blend  of choice (optional)

     Directions:

    1. Add all ingredients into the VitaClay cooker
    2. Cover, seal and cook on “soup” setting for 2 hours
    3. Serve with a side of warm sourdough bread and butter

     

    13) Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Well, the snow has hit again on the East Coast.

    And while I’m sitting here, suffering through our treacherous weather in the low 70’s, battling the brightness of the sunshine; I just want to say I feel for all of you that are snowed in right now.

    Seriously, though: this post is for you.

    Because when you’re cold, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup. It’s nourishing; it’s comforting; it’s delicious and filling.

    And it’s so very versatile! Just switching up a few ingredients or key spices can create a totally different flavor, texture, and experience.

    Ingredients:

    • 2lb pastured or organic chicken meat (bones and skin are a bonus!)
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2-4 chile peppers, chopped finely (type and amount to taste)
    • 1 cup  enchilada sauce
    • 3 c  broth
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1 T  turmeric powder
    • 1 T chili powder
    • 1 t salt
    • dash of black pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 cup organic * corn (fresh or frozen)

    Topping Ingredients:

    • 1 T chopped cilantro
    • tortilla chips
    • thin slices of avocado
    • lime wedges
    • shredded cheese

    Directions:

    1. Toss all of the regular (not topping) ingredients into the clay pot , and stir to combine.
    2. Close and seal, set to “soup” and cook 1-2 hours (if the pieces of chicken are not huge, 1 hour is enough).
    3. Shred the chicken meat, removing any bones.
    4. Break up a few tortilla chips and sprinkle them on top of each bowl so they stay crunchy.
    5. Garnish with cheese, lime wedges, cilantro and avocado slices.

    You can spice it up or down according to your preference. Just add more chili powder or less!

    You can also mix it up by adding different veggies, like okra, peas, carrots, celery, shallots… really anything will work and add more veggie goodness, bulk and flavor!

     

    14) Spicy Turmeric-Lemon Chicken & Veggies

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c broth
    • 1 whole chicken or pieces (3-4lb)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 pound carrots, chopped
    • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 whole lemon
    • 1 T ground cumin
    • 1 T tumeric powder
    • 1 T paprika
    • 1 t cayenne pepper
    • 1 t real salt
    • 1/2 t ground black pepper

    Directions:

    1. Add the broth to the bottom of the VitaClay pot
    2. Stuff the chicken with half of the onions, garlic and cilantro
    3. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt. Add the juice from one whole lemon (reserving the lemon rind) and mix well.
    4. Using your hands, apply the spice mixture generously all over the inside and outside of the bird. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with half of the onions, half of the garlic and half of the cilantro.
    5. Add the remaining veggies to the VitaClay pot. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables
    6. Cook on “stew” for 2 hours. Add salt & pepper to taste.
    7. Serve over rice, quinoa, or with a side of salad greens.


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