Loving the Bike: Slow Cooker Recipes for Cyclists Short on Time

25
Sep
2014

porkstewDo your days begin to feel a time-squeeze with less daylight hours?  Although the number of hours in the day stays the same, less daylight often makes me feel more rushed than ever.

For many people, less time equals less cooking.  I know this because it’s this aspect of life I work on most with clients (of course!). And, I’m the first to admit that I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.  I need and use quick recipes…but, I’m still dedicated to cooking nourishing, health-promoting meals.  One of my favorite time-saving strategies is the slow cooker.  The prep is fast, and the cooking is slow allowing flavors to come together beautifully, and if using meat, meat to become fork-tender.

This week, I’m sharing one of my favorite Autumn Slow Cooker recipes and a couple slow-cooker recipe resources for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

Recipe of the Week:  Delicious Butternut Squash Pork Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork boneless loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch diced peeled parsnips (or an additional 4 carrots if not parsnips available)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour OR 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch for gluten-free
  • 3 tablespoons butter or organic coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except flour and butter in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 7 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours) or until pork is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  3. Mix flour and butter. Gently stir flour mixture, 1 spoonful at a time, into pork mixture until blended.
  4. Cover and cook on high heat setting 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Comments:

If you think slow cookers are out-dated, over-rated, or complicated (yes, I’m in a rhyming mood), you ought to give one another try.  They are amazingly simply time savers that de-stress dinner time and allow for wonderfully healthful meals.  They can make cooking for a family easy.  Or, they can provide freezable leftovers if cooking for one or two (just cool, divide into appropriate portions, and freeze in freezer baggies for up to 6 months).

Interested?

Here’s more recipes to get you going this Autumn Winter:

Meat-Based from Rubies and Radishes: http://www.rubiesandradishes.com/2013/09/25/15-best-paleo-slow-cooker-recipes/

Vegetarian from Oh My Veggies: http://ohmyveggies.com/50-vegetarian-slow-cooker-recipes/

Both meat-based and vegetarian recipes can be used to keep dinners “light at night.” Simply omit any extra grains/carbohydrates most nights and load up on additional vegetables on the side of these recipes.  For more information on my dinner strategies and recommendations for optimal cycling weight and health, see this post.

The best reason to use a slow cooker? More time to ride.  That’s right…dinner’s cooking itself, so go ahead and keep pedaling.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body. 

image c/o natureswayfood.com

Enjoy Your Ride
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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.

Answer:

Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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