Balance Good Health and Being Busy With This Recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Stew
I’ve been noticing that my calendar is starting to fill up a bit lately, which I’m assuming has something to do with the arrival of spring. Yes, it’s just around the corner, a mere three weeks away! It’s exciting for me since it means I’ll be traveling to several areas of Michigan and striving to motivate people to live a healthier lifestyle, my true passion.
But I’m not the only one that has noticed a fuller schedule for the upcoming months. Lately I’ve spoken with people who have informed me they, too, have seen an increase in activities scheduled for the months ahead. What surprised me was that many of them said they’ve come to dread this time of the year. Of course they enjoy the fact that winter will be over and warmer temperatures are on their way. But what they don’t like is that busier schedules mean less time at home. And less time at home means less time to do those things that must be done — specifically preparing dinner for the family.
I know how busy evenings can be, especially when you have children that are involved in sports or after school activities. There were days when all three of my kids had something to practice for or attend… and I felt more like a taxi driver than a mom. Once all family members were home (usually by late evening) my kids were, as they called it, starving to death! My first thought was always to just order out — it sounded pretty easy to do, but that was not a solution because I wanted my kids to eat healthy, obviously. So I had to find something that would work for us. Something simple, inexpensive and healthy: a Crock-Pot!
Crock-Pots, or slow cookers at my mom always called them, are great. You just place the ingredients in the crock before you go to bed, place it in the refrigerator overnight, and take it out in the morning, plug it in and the Crock-Pot does the cooking all day for you. It’s pretty simple and works great for those with a hectic schedule; plus you can prepare an economical meal that is healthy for your family — three big bonuses in my book.
In fact, I thought I would make it even easier for you as I found a great site with some healthy slow-cooker recipes for you to try.
I have a recipe below that I’d like to share, one our family really enjoys: “Crock Pot Chicken Stew.”
Crock Pot Chicken Stew
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 cans fat-free chicken broth
3 cups potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 ounces tomato paste
1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine all ingredients, except water and corn starch, in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours. After the time has passed, turn on high. Mix corn starch and water, stir until smooth. Stir into stew. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender.
Do you use a slow cooker for family meals? What recipe is your family’s favorite?
Photo by Matthew Saunders