With the start of the crazy school year, football and cooler weather, fall is the perfect time to bring out the slow cooker. I love to use my crock-pot to cook large batches of soup to eat that day and freeze for the season. Soup is a great way to sneak in your veggies (frozen or fresh) along with some lean protein to make an overall balanced and low cal meal in one bowl. I don’t always follow a recipe since I like to utilize what I have on hand, but if I did, it would look something like this:
1) Start with a good organic, low sodium broth. Or make your own.
2) Mix in veggies. I like to use carrots (fresh or frozen), onions, tomatoes, spinach (fresh or frozen). This would also be a great opportunity to use up any summer veggies you may have, like zucchini.
3) Add some fresh or dry spices.
4) For the protein, you can use 99% lean ground turkey and make turkey meatballs or use as the base of a chili; chunked and skinless chicken breast, or for some meatless options, lentils or beans are hearty substitutes.
5) If you want, you can make up some whole-wheat pasta to add in after the soup has simmered for a few hours on low and is ready to be enjoyed. I like barilla pasta for the added fiber.
The key is to use what you have on hand. I usually keep frozen veggies, broth and beans on hand at all times for easy and healthy meal prep. Enjoy!