The Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook: Incredibly Simple Prep-and-Go Whole Food Meals
By Shannon Epstein
Given the choice I would much rather be reading than cooking but feeding the family is one those things that we just have to do. To make the process less painful, I look for recipes that can be fixed in my Crock Pot. We all know the benefits of using a slow cooker to prepare meals. The slow cooker allows us a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. Our meals cook all day while we are doing other things.
The problem with slow cooker recipes is that most recipes incorporate things like “cream of” soup, bottled sauces and dressing, and pre-packaged mixes. Those ingredients are full of preservatives and high in sodium. And they get expensive.
The Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook is packed with whole food recipes. “…This cookbook focuses on providing basic recipes that use nutrient-rich, whole food ingredients and avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and artificial additives.” Shannon Epstein, the author, is a food blogger at fitslowcookerqueen.com & tweeteattravel.com.
Epstein wanted to revamp her diet and put her slow cooker to use but the slow cooker recipes she found used ingredients that were at odds with her desire for a healthy lifestyle and tasty, nutritious foods. So she began creating her own recipes. The result is The Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook.
The book opens with a short intro explaining how the cookbook came to be. Then there are 7 chapters of recipes—125 recipes in all—covering everything from breakfast to desserts. All the recipes have a prep time of less than 15 minutes and are labeled to indicate if the recipe is heart-healthy, vegan, paleo, etc.
I chose three recipes to try before writing a review of the cookbook.
First I made the Apple-Oatmeal Crisp. The use of apple juice surprised me because juices are so high in sugar but it only calls for 1/4 cup and I don’t know what an adequate substitute would be. The dish smelled wonderful, like the perfect autumn day, leaves drifting to the ground, cinnamon and apples baking. While it tasted good, the flavor was a bit bland, so next time I would add more spices.
The second dish I made was the Tomato-Garlic Chicken & Herbs. But it was actually Garlic Chicken & Herbs since I didn’t have any tomatoes. (It was a last minute substitution for something else I had planned to cook.) The chicken came out very tender and flavorful. I would definitely make it again.
Last, we tried the Sweet & Tangy Pork Tenderloin. The flavor was amazing, even better on the 2nd day when I ate the leftovers for lunch. The only change I would make is to brown the pork before adding it to the crockpot because I think that improves the flavor. (Epstein does not list browning as a prep step in any of her recipes in the interest of saving time. It’s not a necessary step and can be skipped depending on your personal preference.)
Everything was very easy to make, with very little prep time which is great as we’ve established that I don’t like cooking.
The best thing about The Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker is how many of the recipes I would use. If I hadn’t received this cookbook as a digital review copy from Callisto Publishing via Callisto Publishers Club, I would happily purchase a copy to add to my home library. We are a family of picky eaters but there are plenty of recipes in this cookbook that would suit us all, making it a worthwhile investment in our health and meal planning.
*I received a digital review copy from Callisto Publishing who requests the reader leave a review on Amazon but I was not obligated or asked to review this cookbook on One Book Blog.*