The past several days I’ve been drowning in notepads, pens, excel spreadsheets, and calendars trying pull myself together and get a grasp on our reality in the upcoming weeks.  School is almost in session.  Sports and extra curricular activities will soon be in full swing, and time…..well what’s time?  I quickly came to the shocking realization that I AM NOT PREPARED!

Truthfully I never wanted to be a family that runs around every single night of the week, never knowing if we’re coming or going.  We’ve purposefully made our lifestyle as such that spends as much time as we can together as a family and keeping schedules low key, which means paring down the extra curricular activities.  But even with a more “simple” lifestyle, we have still found ourselves right smack dab in the middle of a season of busyness.  I’m not sure how we got here, but here we are with our calenders full and in desperate need of some organization.

I know us, and I know that if I don’t have a plan in place we’ll find ourselves getting “healthier” takeout more than we like, our food bill will sky rocket, and our pants will get tighter.  As I was panicking a bit on how I was going to keep everything in check, my mind somehow had an “aha” moment in the midst of the chaos.  My eyes glanced over to the cabinet that gets very little play in the summer time.  The one that holds my slow cooker.  ::cue angelic choirs::

You know, that magical little kitchen gadget that cooks dinner while you are busy doing other things?  Oh slow cooker, I knew I liked you.  I think this will be the year we become BFFs.  We’ll be like peas and carrots, the two of us.  The kids will be like, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” and I’ll be like “whatever my magical slow cooker fancies my darlings.  Mama’s taking the night off.  Slow cooker Sally is doing all the work.”

Ok a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift.  I plan to HEAVILY rely on super easy real food slow cooker recipes this Fall.  It’s the only way we will eat, I’m sure of it.  And when I say easy, I’m not talking 20 step process slow cooker recipes that would be faster made on the stovetop or oven.  No no no.  I’m talking chop, dump, cover, and done.  Mama doesn’t have time for all that complicated time consuming stuff.  You likely don’t either.

That’s why I’ve searched the web and asked my friends for their favorite easy real food slow cooker recipes.  I only have about 5 in my repertoire and needed some help.  This list is actually for me to work through using 2-3 a week, but I thought I’d share it with you too.  Think of this as a friend doing some of the leg work for you.  All of these recipes are things that my whole family is likely to eat too.  Sure, the three year old will balk at some of them, but this is also coming from the kid who would eat PB&J every night if I would let him.  No I don’t let him. Surely you will find some that appeal to you too.  Pin this, share in on Facebook, Tweet it out, and refer to this list when you need some inspiration and you are in need of a home cooked meal without actually doing any cooking.  🙂

 

60+ chicken, beef, pork, meatless and seafood real food slow cooker recipes.Image courtesy of Homegrown and Healthy

Chicken

Slow cooked chicken in a tomatillo salsa verde via My Humble Kitchen

Cashew Chicken via Homegrown and Healthy

Whole chicken fajitas with corn and cilantro via Live Simply

Cherry Balsamic Chicken via Happy Healthnut

Greek chicken with white beans via The Nourishing Home

Whole chicken and gravy via We Got Real

Slow cooker balsamic chicken via Skinny Ms.

White Chili via Raia’s Recipes

Chicken and potato soup via Simple clean living

Aunt Beula’s saucy chicken via Red and Honey

Chicken chili via A Mind Full Mom

Chicken chile verde nachos via Two Peas and Their Pod (To make it easier, skip the roasting part or make the sauce the night before. Use organic corn chips.)

Crockpot whole chicken via Scratch Mommy

South of the Border Chicken Chowder via Simple Clean Living

Chili cilantro lime chicken via Paleo Pot

Poor man’s chicken noodle soup via Live Simply

Chicken philly sandwiches via Food Family Finds (I would sub soy sauce or coconut aminos for the Dale’s seasoning.)

Tumeric chicken via Happy Healthnut

Chicken taco meat via We Got Real

Creamy Italian chicken via Simple Clean Living

Thai coconut soup via Happy Mothering

Tikka masala via Dinner Dishes and Desserts

Fiesta soup via Raising Generation Nourished

Creamy chicken with kale via Just Enjoy Food

Salsa chicken via Don’t Waste the Crumbs

Chicken marinara via Happy Healthnut

Chicken adobo via Farm Fresh Feasts

Shredded chicken via Raising Generation Nourished

 

60+ real food slow cooker recipes. Healthy and fast!

Beef

Chipotle Barbacoa Brisket via Paleo Pot

Easy marinated roast with onions via Raia’s Recipes

BBQ meatballs via Little House Living

Round steak with mushroom gravy via We Got Real

Easy beef stew via Good Food Eating

Simple chuck roast via It Takes Time

Meatballs in marinara sauce via Food and Wine

Tangy pineapple shredded beef via Recipes to Nourish

Simple Mexican shredded beef via Intoxicated on Life

Beef stroganoff via Granny’s Vital Vittles

 

Easy slow cooker recipes. All real food.

Image courtesy of The Earthy Mama

Pork

Carnitas via Oh, The Things We’ll Make

Pork Chops with cabbage and fennel via My Humble Kitchen

Pulled pork sandwiches via The Earthy Mama

Pork stuffed peppers via Mark’s Daily Apple

Italian sausage, peppers, and onions via Modern Christian Homemaker

Jambalaya via Cats and Casseroles

Apple BBQ pork tenderloin via Homegrown and Healthy

Smoked sausage and potato soup via Simple Clean Living

Crispy Carnitas via My Heart Beets

Poor woman’s cabbage soup via Scratch Mommy

Baby back ribs via Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Chalupas via Pinch of Yum

Red beans and rice via Little Magnolia Kitchen (Use homemade broth instead of canned and red pepper, salt, and pepper instead of seasoning)

 

Easy real food slow cooker recipes.Image courtesy of Life Currents

Meatless/Seafood

Smoky black bean chili via Life Currents

Creamy tomato basil soup via We Got Real

Loaded potato soup via Simple Clean Living (If using bacon it is not meatless)

Pinto beans via We Got Real

Marinara sauce via Life Currents

Refried beans via Ten at the Table

Black bean enchiladas via The Kitchn

Shrimp Creole via Natural Chow

Spaghetti sauce via Life Made Full

Baked potatoes for a potato bar or side dish via Heavenly Homemakers

Quinoa Tex Mex casserole via Chelsea’s Messy Apron