Friday, December 31, 2010

'Tis the season for slow cooking...from scratch

Cold weather is the perfect time to haul out your slow cooker. Soups and stews are wonderful and warming. Plus, CrockPots make it easy to have a healthy, home-cooked meal: throw a ton of veggies and maybe some meat into a pot and just kick back and smell the yummy. 


However, if you do a search for slow cooker recipes, nearly all of them include stuff like 2 cans of condensed something-or-other soup or a packet of onion soup mix. These are highly-processed products and contain loads of suspect ingredients; the sodium content alone is reason enough to try to avoid them. For instance, one serving of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup delivers a whopping 870mg of sodium - that's 36% of the Recommended Daily Allowance.


But how can you tackle a slow cooker recipe that calls for this stuff? I was thrilled to find a from-scratch version in this recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. 


Why bother making it from scratch? Because then you control the amount and the quality of the ingredients. For me, that meant using all organic ingredients: whole grain pastry flour, milk and butter from grass-fed cows, and low-sodium stock. It took about five minutes, was easy as pie, and was perfect for my slow cooker dish.

So, the next time you see a recipe that uses ingredients you want to avoid or just plum don't trust, find an option or create an alternative. It's probably easier than you'd think.


My version of chicken-n-dumplings. And, yes, I made the dumplings from scratch, too.

2 comments:

  1. Oh how do I love the crockpot! Let me count the ways!!! Spaghetti sauce with meatballs...(meatballs made with dry oatmeal, eggs, and some shredded carrots)...chili...lemon chicken...sausage and peppers...I can go on and on! I am interested in this chicken and dumplings thanks for another good idea!

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  2. Janet, i didn't take a great pic, but this was delish. The whole house smelled amazing! Have you ever made crockpot applesauce? That's one of my faves.

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