Healthy slow cooker recipes - Warming up for Winter!

Bouillabaisse                                                                      Serves 4

2 tomatoes                                                                        1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped                                                1 leek, white part only, chopped

1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped                                    250ml reduced salt fish stock

100ml white wine                                                            2 garlic cloves, crushed

Grated zest of 1 orange                                                pinch saffron threads

1 tablespoon tomato paste, no added salt            200g firm white fish fillets

200g salmon fillet                                                            200g fresh mussels

200g raw prawns                                                             chopped parsley to serve

  1.  Score a cross in the base of each tomato.  Put tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for 30 seconds, then transfer to cold water, drain and peel the skin away. Cut the tomatoes in half and roughly chop them.
  2.  Put tomatoes in the slow cooker along with the carrot, celery, leek, fennel, stock, wine, garlic, orange zest, saffron and tomato paste.  Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3.  Meanwhile, prepare the seafood.  Cut the fish into 2cm pieces, removing any bones.  Scrub the mussels with a stiff brush and pull out the hairy beards.  Discard any broken mussels or open ones that don’t close when tapped on the work surface.  Peel the prawns, leaving the tails intact, and then gently pull out the dark vein from each prawn, starting at the head end.  Refrigerate the seafood until needed.
  4. After 3 hours cooking time, allow the soup based to cool slightly, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the slow cooker along with the fish and cook for a further 2 hours on low.
  5. Add the mussels and prawns to the slow cooker and cook for a further 1 hour on low.  Ladle the soup into large serving bowls and garnish with the parsley.  Serve with crusty bread.


Thai Chicken Soup                                                            Serves 4

5cm piece galangal, thinly sliced                                    500ml lite coconut milk

250ml reduced salt chicken stock                                    4 kaffir lime leaves, torn

1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander stems            1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped red chilli

800g boneless, skinless chicken breasts                        1 ½ tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce                                                3 teaspoons soft brown sugar

Coriander leaves to garnish

  1.  Put galangal, coconut milk, stock, half the lime leaves, coriander root and chilli in the slow cooker and simmer on low for 1 ¾ hours.
  2. Trim any fat off the chicken and then cut into thin strips.  Add the chicken strips, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar to the slow cooker and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Stir through the remaining lime leaves.
  4. Ladle the soup into the serving bowls and garnish with the coriander leaves.


Beef Pho                                                                        Serves 4

650g lean gravy or blade beef                                    5cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1.5 litres reduced salt beef stock                                    black pepper

1 cinnamon stick                                                            4 cloves

6 coriander seeds                                                            200g dry thick rice noodles

2 tablespoons fish sauce                                                 150g rump steak, sliced very thinly

3 spring onions, finely chopped                                    1 onion, very thinly sliced

1 red capsicum, thinly sliced                                    1 carrot, cut into thin batons

1 cup chopped snow peas

3 tablespoons coriander leaves                                    Chilli sauce to serve

Garnishes – red chillies, sliced, bean sprouts, basil leaves, spring onions, lime wedges

  1.  Put piece of gravy beef, ginger, stock, 250ml water, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon salt in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Remove beef and set aside to cool.  Remove spices with a slotted spoon. Cut the beef into very thin slices.
  3. Meanwhile, add the capsicum, snow peas & carrot.  Allow vegetables to soften for 3 minutes.  Add the rice noodles and fish sauce to the stock in slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes until the noodles have softened.
  4. Divide noodles & vegetables among serving bowls.  Place some slices of cooked beef and a few slices of raw rump steak on top of the noodles in each bowl.  Ladle hot stock over the top and sprinkle with the spring onion, the onion slices and the coriander leaves.
  5. Serve with the garnishes for each person to choose from.


Apricot Chicken                                                            Serves 4

4 X 200g boneless, skinless chicken breasts            1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger                                    1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon cinnamon                                                1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                ¼ cup plain flour

400ml apricot nectar                                                1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice                                                4 tblsp slivered almonds

1 handful coriander leaves

  1.  Mix together garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and oil in a dish and toss the chicken breasts in the marinade to coat.  Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove chicken from the marinade and dust with the flour.  Place chicken in the slow cooker with the apricot nectar, honey and lemon juice.  Cook on high for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with toasted almonds and serve with rice.


Veal with Sweet Potato and Olives                        Serves 4

800g piece lean veal                                                350g sweet potato

1 large red onion, chopped                                    1 celery stalk, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped                                                400g tin tomato pieces

¼ cup white wine                                                            2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 sprig rosemary                                                            1 tablespoon cornflour

12 stuffed green olives                                                2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Grated lemon zest


  1. Cut veal into 4cm cubes.  Peel and cut sweet potato into 4cm cubes as well.
  2. Put veal, sweet potato, onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes, wine, tomato paste and rosemary in the slow cooker.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook on high for 4 hours or until veal is tender and cooked through.  Remove rosemary sprig.
  4. Combine cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste and stir it into the veal.  Cook for a further 5 minutes to thicken the juices.  Stir the olives in and sprinkle with the parsley and lemon zest to serve.


Country Beef                                                                        Serves 4

800g chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 4cm cubes

1 small eggplant cut into 2cm cubes                        200g new potatoes, halved

2 celery stalks, sliced                                                3 carrots, chopped

2 red onions, sliced                                                            6 tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed                                                1 teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon allspice                                                            ¾ teaspoon paprika

250ml red wine                                                            500ml reduced salt beef stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste                                    2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped


  1. Put all ingredients except the parsley into the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 5 ½ hours or until beef is tender.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.


Portuguese Beef                                                            Serves 4

625g lean blade or chuck steak                                    2 cloves garlic, chopped

175g lean bacon, chopped                                    1 cup red wine

1 cup reduced salt beef stock                                    1 tablespoon paprika

¾ teaspoon smoked paprika                                    2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons oregano                                                20g reduced fat margarine

2 tablespoons plain flour                                                1 cup green olives

¼ cup slivered almonds

  1. Trim beef and cut into 4cm cubes.  Put into slow cooker along with garlic, bacon, wine, stock, both types of paprika, bay leaves and oregano.  Cook on low for 5 hours or until the beef is tender.
  2. Mix together the margarine and flour.  Add gradually to the beef in the slow cooker, stirring.  Cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened a little.
  3. Stir through the olives and almonds and season with salt and pepper.


Lamb in Red Wine                                                            Serves 4

800g boneless lean lamb                                                200g turnips

8 bulb spring onions, trimmed                                    200g baby potatoes

1 onion, chopped                                                            1 clove garlic, chopped

½ cup reduced salt chicken stock                        ½ cup red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste                                    1 large sprig rosemary

2 sprigs thyme                                                            1 bay leaf

20 baby carrots                                                            1 cup peas

1 handful parsley, chopped


  1. Trim lamb and cut into 3cm cubes.  Put into slow cooker with turnips, spring onions, potatoes, garlic, stock, wine, tomato paste, and herbs.  Stir and cook on high for 3 hours or until lamb is almost tender.
  2. Trim carrots, add to lamb and cook a further 40 minutes until they are tender.
  3. Stir through peas and parsley then cook 5 minutes more.
  4. Season with salt and pepper before serving.


Chickpea Curry                                                            Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, crushed                                                1 red chilli, chopped

2 tablespoons curry paste                                                1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric                                                400g tin tomato pieces

1 cup reduced salt vegetable stock                        1 red onion, sliced

1 carrot, sliced                                                            200g sweet potato, sliced

250g cauliflower, cut into florets                                    250 g broccoli, cut into florets

100g eggplant, cut into thick slices                        2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained

1 cup peas                                                                        165ml coconut milk

Coriander leaves to garnish                                    400g low fat natural yoghurt, to serve


  1.  Combine garlic, chilli, curry paste, cumin, turmeric, tomatoes and stock in slow cooker.  Stir in onion, carrot, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant and chickpeas.
  2. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until all the vegetables are cooked.
  3. Add peas and stir though the coconut milk.  Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes until the peas are cooked through.
  4. Ladle into large bowls and dollop 100g yoghurt on each.  Sprinkle with coriander.


Dhal                                                                                    Serves 4

2 x 400g can red lentils, rinsed & drained                        1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger                        2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick                                                            2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander                                                1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 cups salt reduced chicken stock                        1 teaspoon garam masala

20g reduced fat maragarine                                    2 large handfuls coriander leaves

400g low fat natural yoghurt


  1. Put lentils, onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, stock and 4 cups water in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours or until lentils are soft.
  3. Stir in garam masala, margarine and chopped coriander leaves.
  4. Stir until margarine has melted then serve.
  5. Serve topped with yoghurt and extra vegetables.


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