When you are pushed for time this is a fantastic meal which will take you 2 mins to prep and if like me you are going to pop it all in the slow cooker you can then walk away and get on with your day.
I used a sachet mix today its not designed to be used in the slow cooker but it works perfectly well so dont be afraid to use it.
You can serve this many different ways in the below videos you will see i have served using sliced potates making a kind of hotpot dish or i have topped it mashed potato which also worked really well, a very versatile dish that you can adapt to suit your family.
I have wanted to make this for ages and finally got around to it but as always with me if there is an easy way to do it i will find it! So into the slow cooker it goes – you can easily cook this on the hob or in the oven if you wish. This is a classic family meal that i think works well in both the warmer and colder months.
If this is your first time making this recipe i would suggest you make the sauce up in a bowl and taste it you may need to adjust to it suit your taste this is true of all sauces. There is Sriracha in this (chilli sauce) if you are not a fan then leave it our, reduce the amount or add a pinch of mild chilli powder. This will batch cook well and freeze well for those days when time is not your friend.
How doesn’t love a good beef pie???? we absolutely loved this one really made a change and felt so naughty but it was all slimming world friendly. I cooked the pie filling in the slow cooker but you can easily do it on the hob or in the oven choice is yours as suggested in my Top Tips i would also bulk it out with more veggies which is what i will do next time. Another tip if your cooking the pie lid on top of the pie filling leave enough gravy in the pie mix as the oven will evaporate it as the pastry needs to be cooked on a high heat, next time im going to cook my lids separately and just sit them on top of the pie mix filling but other than that this is a fab easy mid week treat. The pie mix will batch cook well and freeze well ready for those busy days when time is not your friend.
Now how easy was this???? well it was super easy!!! it literally can be a “chop and chuck” it in job as the choice is yours if you want to soften down the onions or fry off the beef. I would however suggest you quickly flash fry the beef. I used diced beef and trimmed off all visible fat you could used beef strips and reduce the cooking time. You will see i added fat free natural yogurt at the end you could also use creme fraiche. Top Tip!! Leave the Stroganoff to cool slightly before adding fat free yogurt or it will split… stir the Stroganoff rapidly to take out some of the heat this action will help cool it quicker. This is a perfect meal for batch cooking and freezing just leave the yogurt out and add it just before serving.
I love stew in the winter months they are so easy to prep and get ready and a fab way of using up all those veggies in the bottom of the fridge.
In this recipe i have used chicken thighs as its a much cheaper cut of meat and doesn’t dry out during cooking. If you want to use chicken breast leave the breast whole then once cooked dice or shred.
You can use chicken legs with the bone in but remove the skin cook the legs with the bone in then once cooked remove and take out the bone its so much easier to remove the bone once the chicken is cooked.
Lentils, add any lentils you like i used pearl barley as it works so well in a stew. Lentils swell during cooking so you may need to add a little more water depending on what vegetables you have used.
Any vegetables especially root vegetables will work in this recipe, butternut squash, swede/turnip, parsnips etc. Use whatever you have and can get hold of easily.
I was going to add dumplings to the slow cooker last 45 mins but ran out of time but they will work well with this stew.
Thickening the gravy can be done several ways probably the easiest way is to add Chicken Gravy Granules unfortunately I didn’t have any so used Xanthan Gum which is found in most supermarkets but only add small amounts at a time.
Love a beef stew especially now the weather is getting colder and this one is fab! its no fuss and so easy to make and by using the slow cooker you can buy the cheapest of cuts of beef. I browned off my beef first as you will see in the video but as always the choice is yours.
My top tip for cooking a fab beef stew is give yourself plenty of time and wherever possible always cook it on low, if the beef is tough and chewy its not cooked keep cooking until it nearly falls apart. I added pearl barley to mine but you can use red lentils if you want they will disappear during the cooking but will still thicken the gravy – they do exactly the same job as pearl barley but if you have kids then this maybe an easier option! Lets talk about the Jam i added yep i appreciate that sounds mad but it really does work and you need to adjust it to your taste i would suggest you add 1 teaspoon then taste again before serving and add another one if you like. If your stew has that “too beefy” taste or a “tinnie metalic” taste the jam will counteract that and the sweetness from the sugars will take that taste away.
In the below video I have given you 3 different ways to thicken up the stew of you need to Gravy Granules, Lid off, or Xanthan Gum which you can buy from most supermarkets.
This is a perfect winter warmer and for me had the right amount of heat and spice if your not good with spicy foods then only add a small chilli and take the seeds out this dish makes 4 big portions but will freeze well
On slimming world this is completely syn free and if you dont sweat down the onions it really is a chop and chuck it in jobby. Once cooked stir through some fat free yogurt to get a really creamy sauce.
PORK GOULASH 15th October 2019
Created out of pure forgetfulness lol as i forgot to buy beef but i have to say it was absolutely lovely worked really well
500g diced Pork
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
1 x red onion, a mix of peppers i used 1 orange and 1 red pepper
1 x vegetable stock pot
1 x teaspoon of smoked paprika and 2 x teaspoons of Paprika
half a teaspoon of lazy chilli, 1 heaped teaspoon of lazy garlic.
Fat Free Yogurt to stir in at the end i used total fage 0%
I softened off the onion but this is optional if you dont have time chop it and chuck it in the slow cooker, then add all the above ingredients, do not add any further liquid you can always add a splash at the end if it gets too thick. On low for approx 7 hours once cooked stir through some fat free yogurt which will give the sauce a lovely creamy taste.
Got to admit these were absolutely fab! i made my own meatballs to keep the dish syn free if your following slimming world but use whatever meatballs you want or make your own in batches and freeze until you need them again which is what i did – i basically made a huge batch of cooked meatballs and froze the leftovers. See the old Youtube video to see how i make my own homeade meatballs.
Since making this recipe way way back a lot has changed in the world of meatballs lol and lots of manufacturers have really upped their game and created lower fat lower calorie versions. In this updated recipe i used ready made meatballs from Asda and to be honest they were really good they weren’t fatty and held together well. So i guess the question is do you really need to make your own, to be honest i think i will save myself sometime and use ready made.
Italian herbs i use in the video are from Spicentice Use my discount code (affiliate) Jules 20 for 20% off any order https://www.spicentice.com/
I use the same recipe to make meatball subs from and these are amazing so easy to make.
You will see from the video i haven’t used an egg to bind the meatballs together this is because i use a cooked onion and find the moisture from the onion is enough to hold them together but if you want to used an egg please do – flavour the meatballs in anyway you like i used Spicentice Italian rub but any herbs will do even a bit of garlic would be nice, the choice as always is yours
Who doesn’t love Shepherds Pie??? we do in our house! lovely warm winter food that never fails to hit the spot! I added split red lentils to make a thick gravy these disappear during the cooking so you wont see or taste them they just dissolve but its a fab way to thicken a sauce or gravy and if your following slimming world its syn free!
I added a mixed mash to the top of my shepherds pie but add any mash you want – one point to note is make sure your slow cooker inner can go in the oven or under the grill, mine is aluminum so is oven proof
In the video I have made 4 portions but foze 2 portions of the meat part and used 2 portions topped with mash. The reason I did freeze with the mashis because sometimes I like carrot as nd turnip mash to top the Shepherds Pie with.
This has got to be the easiest shortcut ever and i know they can be done in the microwave but when your at work all day or out at the weekend for me i just want to walk through the door and have no messing! you can literally pick these out of the slow cooker and get your meal done and you may need the microwave to heat other things – anyway the choice is yours!
Some tips – cooking time will depend on how big your potatoes are and what size slow cooker your using and how quickly it cooks but as a rule of thumb i would say 6-7 hours on low, i did a test batch when i was in the house as my slow cooker is a bit of a hottie. You will see i also scrunched up some foil and sat it on the bottom of the slow cooker when i used my old cooker i had a couple of occasions when the bottom of the potatoes were burned so i decided to lift them off the bottom and sit them on some foil
If the potatoes come out and are brown in the middle dont worry they have just been over cooked they are still perfectly fine and will probably have a “nutty” taste to them – just adjust your cooking time next time around
This is such an easy way to cook lasagne – i cooked the ragu (bolognese) part in the slow cooker for me this is just easier but you can do it whichever way you like – cooking it on the hob works equally as well. Plus my recipe for this part is basically my spag bol recipe it just works so well, so i cook up a huge batch of bolognese then decide which meal to turn it into.
For the white sauce i have tried everything and to be honest most of them work, i have used a tin of macaroni cheese blended with a dash of water which really works, i have used a packet of Bachelors mac cheese cooked it and blended it again that works also. Then we come to the packet which sauce mixes you can buy from the supermarkets the one i used most recently was the Colmans and again it works equally as well as all the other methods.
However my preferred method at the minute is to use primula cheese with a dash of warm water mixed into a sauce consistency, I know totally unconventional and i can hear the screams from here, but don’t knock it until you have tried it, because it really really does work and i promise you wont be able to tell the difference I didn’t even tell my other half and he never even guessed, plus it saves so much faffing around. You will also see in the “how to” video i don’t use white sauce on every layer again its just down to personal preference i have done it all ways, even just used it on the top layer and it makes no difference to the end dish, again just do whatever you and your family like and enjoy.
In my video it shows i make my lasagne in 2 stages – the bolognese then once cooked assemble the lasagne for me this is easier but do whatever suits you and your family.
Perfect for smaller families, this is another reason i cook up a batch of bolongnese and freeze it into batches . Also if you are watching your calories this perfect as you are reducing the lasagne sheets used the cheese used etc i have made these a few times now and really enjoy this version. I added a dash of warm water to Primula Cheese to turn into a sauce and used this as the white sauce part honestly was delicious, plus if following Slimming World this is a HEa.
Another super easy and super quick recipe you will see i softened down the onions but thats personal preference if you dont want to or dont have time then chop and chuck them in. I would suggest you fry off the mince as it helps hold it together. Add anything you want or anything that needs using up also add as much or as little chilli as you want – i like it hot hot hot! I have made this chilli today as part of my batch cooking and filling the freezer again this recipe makes 4 good sized portions and is a fantastic fall back when time is tight as it reheats perfectly
If you want to make this dish vegetarian and are using quorn add it towards the end of cooking say the last 40mins
Below are some of the meals i have made out of the slow cooker chilli, im a firm believer in always trying to find new ways to serve up old family favourites and to try and keep meals interesting.
This has got to be the easiest slow cooker meal i make and i usually turn to it when i know im going to have little time! Its very adaptable and can be easily changed to suit your family needs you can spice it up or spice it down the choice is yours plus it the most cost effective meal ever to feed a family. I have used 4 weight watchers Cumberland sausages for 2 of us but you will see in my video how i make the sausages go further which if your on a budget keeps the cost down You can also change this into a vegetarian dish and use vegetarian sausages and it will work just as well if your using Quorn add them to the slow cooker in the last hour of cooking
Very quick and easy way to get a mid week meal on the table and very adaptable as you can literally use all the bits you have lurking at the bottom of the fridge, freezer vegetables also work well in this dish .
As you will see on the video i dont add any further liquid or stock the reason for this is that all the veggies frozen or fresh will add liquid to the dish (most veggies are water anyway) the trick here is towards the end of cooking if the sauce is too thick just add a splash of water but to date i have never added any further liquid – but each slow cooker is different and you will know better how yours cooks