Yesterday my husband had shoulder surgery to repair a tear in his rotator cuff that’s been inhibiting his movement and causing him pain for quite a while. He’s quite sore today and has to have his arm in a sling for four weeks, maybe longer. Usually on a Sunday he cooks us lunch while I go out to the gym. It’s a pattern that we established when I first began marathon training back in 2012 and a routine that we’ve stuck to ever since. While he has one arm out of action the cooking duties are going to fall to me. But I still want to go to the gym and keep up with my workouts so I’ve decided to turn to our trusty slow cooker and try out some new recipes over the next few weekends.
My recent post on food planning attracted quite a lot of views and comments so I thought I’d start a little healthy slow cooker section and share the recipes with you all. Slow cooking is a great way to batch cook with minimal effort at the weekend and have extra portions ready for lunch or dinner during the week.
We got our slow cooker from Tesco for around £15. It’s a pretty basic model and doesn’t come with anything fancy like a timer but we have hooked it up to a timer switch so we can set it to come on at a particular time if we want to. We’ve had it for nearly a year and it’s served us very well indeed. I’d recommend it.
Today we wanted something warm and hearty, easy for my OH to eat with a fork or spoon and nothing too spicy or rich – he’s still recovering from an anesthetic. So we decided on a simple sausage and bean stew. Simple but really delicious. Here’s how I made it.
Ingredients – serves 5-6 depending on how big your appetite is. Mine is large.
- 10 Heck pork sausages – we buy these as they are gluten free and my OH is intolerant, any decent sausages will do
- 190g of mini chorizo cooking sausages – ours were from Ocado
- 2 red onions cut into thick wedges
- 3 carrots cut into round slices
- One can tinned tomatoes
- One small carton of passata
- 400 ml chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sticks of celery diced very fine in a blender
- Handful of button mushrooms halved
- Dried mixed herbs
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh sage
- Glug of red wine
- One can of butter beans, drained
- One can of cannellini beans, drained
- One can of chick peas, drained
I prepared all the ingredients and then browned the pork sausages in a frying pan for a few minutes. Once they were brown I cut each into four. I then put everything other than the beans and chick peas into the slow cooker and put it on high for an hour, giving it a stir now and again. After an hour I added the butter beans, cannellini beans and chick peas and then let it cook for a further 3 hours. Then served in bowls. So easy and very very tasty. And there are 3 portions left over for the week.
If you’re interested in macros My Fitness Pal tells me that there are 603 calories in each serving with 30g of fat, 44g of carbs and 37g of protein. For me that’s a perfect Sunday post gym lunch but you could reduce the calories by eating a smaller portion, make it without the pulses to reduce the carbs or use chicken sausages and no chorizo to reduce the fat content – whatever floats your boat. You could also spice this up a bit with some chilli and/or paprika and use different herbs if you have a particular favorite combination. It’s a pretty versatile recipe.
Let me know if you try it out!