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16 Paleo Slow Cooker Tips & Tricks for your Crockpot

16 Paleo Slow Cooker Tips & Tricks for your Crockpot

If you’re short of time and aren’t using a slow cooker – you need to get one! There’s nothing like coming home after a long day, to a freshly made, hot paleo dinner.

16 Paleo Slow Cooker Tips & Tricks for your Crockpot

If you’ve not used a crock-pot before, here are my top tips:

Preparation

They are completely safe to leave turned on all day, however, it’s always a good idea to make sure it’s sat alone on your counter with nothing sat too close to it.

If you can spare an extra few minutes, try searing your meat and veggies too. This makes a big difference with a far richer flavour of the final dish.

For maximum efficiency prepare your vegetables and meat the night before, so all you need to do in the morning is put them in and turn it on.

Along the same lines, I always avoid overly complicate recipes that call for lots of preparation. I figure the whole point of using this method of cooking is to save me time, not add to it.

Try to keep your cubes of meat and harder vegetables in uniform sizes to make sure they all cook at a similar rate.

Don’t overfill your slow cooker. Aim for no more than two-thirds full – and you only need to half cover the ingredients if you’re adding in extra liquid. This method of cooking loses virtually no liquid to evaporation, so once those veggies cook you’ll find you have more than enough liquid.

Put a lid on it

Make sure the lid is on properly – and don’t be tempted to lift it off mid cook for a nosy – it will take a long time to regain the lost heat.

If it’s looking to watery towards the end of the cooking time, this is the time to remove the lid. The extra liquid will evaporate thickening up your dinner.

Set the time carefully, go for a slower longer cook, over a faster hotter cook for deeper flavours and more tender meat.

Buy big

My top tip is to buy big! I stupidly bought a small one. I should have bought one like this. When you go to the effort of making a slow cooked meal, always double up on quantities so you have a few spares to put in the freezer. Cooking in a small one just seems like a waste!

Whilst most crock-pots have a removable “crock”, some are one piece – avoid these models as they’ll be a nightmare to clean!

Finally

Try making stock in your slow cooker – I always get great results and find it needs a lot less attention than when I do it on the stove.

One of my favourite things about slow cooking as that it allows me to use cheap cuts of meat, that would be tough in a faster cooking method. So when you see cheap cuts on offer – buy them and make a slow cooked dish with them!

Whatever you do – don’t use lean meat! Fat not only helps with flavour but will keep the meat moist instead of tough and dry.

For the same reason I also keep bones in and keep the skin on the chicken.

Finally, for maximum flavour wait until just before the end of the cooking time to add in your herbs and spices.

Now try these

Here are some of my slow cooker recipes:

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew

Creamy Coconut Slow Cooker Beef

Slow Cooker Jamaican Goat Curry

If you’ve got a slow cooker, which model do you have? Have you got any tip tips to share?

Recipe paleo Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew-min

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew

Despite having bought a far too small slow cooker (seriously, why make enough for one meal, when for the same effort you could have enough for several freezer meals?), I’ve recently been using my slow cooker a lot more. I love being able to put in a bit of effort in the morning, then coming home to smell a delicious dinner ready and waiting. I’ve found with this one it’s best to wait until right at the end of cooking to add in the coconut cream, but even so, it’s still next to no effort to have a nutritious dinner cook itself for you!

Serves 4 (but if your slow cooker is big enough make as much as you can and save the extras for later!)

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 organic free range chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 500g (1 lb) celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) minced fresh ginger
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) curry paste*
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground chilli
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
  • 200ml (7 floz) coconut cream
  • Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the chicken until brown and cooked through.
  2. Put the parsnips, celeriac and carrots in the slow cooker
  3. Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan, and cook for a further five minutes, stirring until they soften.
  4. Into the pan, stir in the paste, turmeric, chilli and seasoning.
  5. Add the stock to the pan, and bring it to the boil, stiring occasionally.
  6. Transfer the contents of the pan into the slow cooker, and with the lid on, cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours.
  7. In the last hour add in the coconut cream to add the creaminess to the dish
  8. Just before serving, add the coriander garnish.
  9. *This is so easy to make instead of buying – I’ll type up my recipe and link to it – watch this space!

Recipe paleo Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew-min

your paleo wishlist $200 gift vouchers

If you had $2000 to spend on paleo things – what would you buy?

What would you buy if you were given $2000 to spend on your paleo lifestyle?

Purely hypothetical, but let’s say you were given $2000 to spend on Amazon. On yourself. You’ve got half an hour to choose, before the offer expires. All those gadgets and books you’d love, but could never justify.

Instead of buying the entry model food processor, you could get the top of the range model. Instead of buying one good knife, you could buy the whole set.

your paleo wishlist $200 gift vouchers

What’s on my list?

Cooking Equipment:

A Vitamix Blender

So I’ve got a big standard food processor, but wouldn’t you just love your very own vitamix blender?

Paleo-wishlist-vitamix-blender

An Ice Cream Maker

I’d use this once in a blue moon, so I’d never be so extravagant as to buy one. But imagine the paleo ice cream you could make in one of these?

Global Knives

I’ve heard good things about these knives, so I’d make sure I invested in a good set. I’m sure they’d last a lot longer than the cheap knives I have in my kitchen!

global-knives-paleo-wishlist_of_you_had_2000

Slow Cooker/ CrockPot

When I bought mine, I didn’t give any thought to the size – and I’ve always been so disappointed with how small mine is. If I’m going to use it, why not make enough for the freezer, instead of just that night’s dinner?! So high on my list would be a much bigger model.

Fitness

Pull Up Bars

I really want to be able to master pull ups. If I had a pull up bar attached to my ceiling, I like to think I’d practice every time I walked by!

Pull up bar paleo wishlist

Kettlebells

Likewise I’d love my own set of kettlebells

Lifestyle

Grounding Mat

Now this might sound a little odd, but I’d also buy a grounding mat/ earthing sheet to make sure I always had a connection to the earth, even inside my house. Got to be a good thing for days when you’re stuck indoors

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

This might seem a little odd too, but I’m trying hared to reduce my exposure to blue light after sunset. This should really help to regulate circadian rhythm and improve sleep. As much as I try, it’s so hard to minimise all blue light – especially living in a built up area. Special orange lenses glasses like this could make a big difference.

Blue light blocking glasses

Books

There are so many paleo related books on the market at the moment (compared to only two or three a few years ago!), so I’d definitely order a few I’ve not yet read.

You can see the rest of my wishlist here

I’d love to see what you’d buy if you were given a $2000 Amazon voucher. So tell me in the comments – what would you buy?!

Paleo recipe Creamy Coconut Slow Cooker Beef dinner crockpot-min

Recipe: Creamy Coconut Slow Cooker Beef

Curries made in the slow cooker are one of my favourite things to make – not only are they much less hassle than a regular curry that requires constant babysitting, the extended cooking time allows the flavours to really develop. Beef is a great meat to use in the slow cooker, especially the cheap cuts like shin or chuck, as you can guarantee melt in the mouth consistency every time. This recipe is indulgently creamy with just the right amount of spice.

 Slow Cooker Beef Ingredients:

  • 200g block creamed coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 500g diced beef, suitable for slow roasting (I used the shin – cheap and oh so tender when cooked slowly!)

 Slow Cooker Beef How To:

1)    Gently melt the creamed coconut in a pan with approximately 200ml of warm water. Stir, and add more water to generate your desired consistency.

2)    Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy based pan to a medium heat. Add the onion and soften for 5 minutes, before bringing the heat down low and adding the chilli, garlic and ginger. Fry gently for a further 5 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn.

3)    Add the spices to the pan and fry for another two or three minutes, before adding the diced beef to the pan. Toss well to coat it in the spices and lightly brown the meat on all sides.

Add the coconut milk and stir well. Now transfer the whole contents of the pan to your slow cooker, and let it cook on a low heat for around 8 hours (or until you run out of willpower!). Serve over a big heap of cauliflower rice.

Paleo recipe Creamy Coconut Slow Cooker Beef dinner crockpot-min

paleo recipe slow cooker Jamaican goat curry crockpot dinner-min

Recipe: Slow Cooker Jamaican Goat Curry

Ever tried goat? I’ll admit, it can be a bit of a challenging meat. It took me quite a few visits to my butchers before I finally learnt how to use it properly. Through experimenting, I’ve learnt that it requires an extended, slow cooking method in order to make it tender. The meat itself is incredibly flavoursome, and excellent when paired with bold flavours. Goat Curry is a popular dish in the Caribbean, so that’s exactly where my influences came from when creating this recipe.

Goat Curry  Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g ginger, grated
  • 4 scotch bonnet chillies (use less if you prefer your curries less spicy) deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 500g goat shoulder meat, chopped into cubes
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 x 400ml can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml beef stock
  • Juice half a lime
  • Fresh coriander

 Goat Curry How To:

1)    Heat the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook for another 2 / 3 minutes.

2)    Add the goat meat to the pan and lightly brown on the outside. Throw in the allspice, cumin and coriander, ensuring the meat is evenly coated.

3)    Transfer the contents of the pan into your slow cooker. Add the thyme, bay leaves, chopped tomatoes and beef stock and stir. Cover, and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

4)    When ready to serve, squeeze in the lime juice and garnish with plenty of fresh coriander.

paleo recipe slow cooker Jamaican goat curry crockpot dinner-min

12 Gifts For The Health Conscious Foodie paleo diet christmas present ideas kitchen cooking gadgets wish list-min

12 Gifts For The Health Conscious Foodie

Whilst you can follow a healthy Paleo Diet with little more than a chopping board and a few pans, there are some great kitchen gadget and tools that surely any foodie would love in their kitchen.

Here’s my list. What’s on yours?

1. Dehydrator

I’ve had good results making jerky and kale chips in my oven, but I would love to try a dehydrator

2. Vitamix Blender

The Rolls Royce of blenders, able to grind nuts into nut butters and even cook soup. I want one!

paleo diet network christmas gift present wish list-min

3. A Good Set Of Knives

I really miss a good knife set, but have yet to find a good brand available in Australia (without needing a small mortgage). Any recommendations gratefully received!

4. Pressure Cooker

I’ve seen so many recipes that use a pressure cooker to make exceptionally tender meat – and I’d love to try it out for myself.

5. An Old School Mincer/ Meat Grinder

Even though I have a good butcher, I’d love to be able to make my own minced/ ground meat

6. A Big Slow Cooker/ Crockpot

I didn’t realise how much I’d love this method of cooking, when I bought my small slow cooker. I wish I’d bough a much bigger one, as whenever I cook I always like to make enough for lots of future meals at the same time.

7. A Heavy Hardwood Chopping Board

A good chopping board last for years and is so much more hygienic than those nasty plastic chopping boards.

8. Mandoline Slicer

A great way to cut up vegetables evenly

9. Meat Thermometer

The best way to cook a perfect roast is using science after all!

10. Sausage Stuffer

Once I have my meat grinder, I’d love to make my own Paleo Sausages.

11. Water Filter

I have a Brita water filter jug in the fridge – but what I’d really like is a water filter on my tap, to ensure all the water is filtered before it leaves the tap.

12. Salad Spinner

This would be great for summer and making sure the kale is dried properly before making kale chips.

Do you have any of these items? How do you find using them?

What would be on your Paleo diet kitchen wish list?

12 Gifts For The Health Conscious Foodie paleo diet christmas present ideas kitchen cooking gadgets wish list-min