Cut Back on Carbs Without Increasing Cook Time at Dinner
If mom life has led you to pack on a few extra pounds, temporarily going on a low-carb diet can help you shed the excess weight. Too often, though, an effort to lose weight means adding on time while you're cooking meals because of all the prepping it requires. This is not the case with low-carb Crock-Pot dishes, which can be quickly prepped in the morning and served alongside a simple green salad in the evening. A Crock-Pot disposable liner makes clean-up a breeze.
1. Coffee-Braised Brisket
The flavor is strong with this low-carb brisket dish, in which the meat is rubbed with a mixture of coffee, brown sugar (or sugar substitute to lower the carb count even further) and paprika. Add the rubbed brisket to the Crock-Pot, along with a sliced onion, brewed coffee and balsamic vinegar, and let it cook for 9 to 10 hours on low.
2. Healthy Italian Pork Chops
Take a mental trip to Italy with these aromatic pork chops, seasoned with garlic and balsamic vinegar and topped with tomatoes and zucchini. It cooks for eight to nine hours on the Crock-Pot's low setting. Serve the pork chops over a little bit of orzo, if your meal plan allows it, or a bed of sautéed kale or mashed cauliflower for a lower-carb option.
3. Pulled Pork Chili
When the weather is gray and you want a bowl of hearty chili, choose a version that's free from carb-rich beans. Pulled pork chili gets its flavor from hot sauce, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper, plus plenty of veggies such as bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes and green onions. Eight to 10 hours later, you have a rich chili ready to serve. The addition of sliced avocado offers a source of healthy fats that will keep you full for hours.
4. Slow-Cooked Summer Veggies
Low-carb Crock-Pot meals don't have to revolve around a hunk of meat. If you want to throw a protein on the grill without having to figure out a low-carb side dish, combine your favorite vegetables, such as tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms, in the Crock-Pot with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs. After a few hours, your healthy side dish will be prepared.
5. Garlicky Shrimp
Try out a Crock-Pot recipe that doesn't take hours to cook. With this saucy dish, you cook olive oil, garlic, Spanish paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper on the Crock-Pot's high setting for just 30 minutes. Then, add extra-large shrimp and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for another 10 minutes—after just 40 minutes, it's all done.
6. Curry Two Ways
Whether you prefer chicken thighs or beef, it's easy to make coconut curry in the Crock-Pot. If you're craving chicken, combine thighs, coconut milk and green curry paste in the slow-cooker for four to five hours. For beef-lovers, add chuck roast, coconut milk and red curry paste to the Crock-Pot for six to eight hours. Either way, you have a flavorful dish without too many carbs in just a few hours.
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.