While it’s tempting to pick up a pizza or greasy Chinese takeout on your way home from work and consider your dinner mission accomplished, there is something seriously satisfying about preparing your own meal — something that simply cannot be achieved by signing a restaurant receipt. But after long hours spent muddling through another dreary weekday, sometimes the last thing you want to do is muster up the effort to prepare food, especially healthy food, when drowning stress/self-loathing/sheer exhaustion in a sea of General Tso’s would be so much easier.
Fortunately, most home cooks have both forethought and a slow cooker at their disposal. The slow cooker is one of those ingenious kitchen appliances that allow you to create incredibly flavorful meals with minimal effort; the slow cooker does all the hard work for you, slowly simmering its contents to tasty, dinnertime perfection.
The slow cooker is capable of cooking an entire meal unattended, but what it cooks is up to you. That’s where forethought comes in. Taking a few minutes in the morning to add ingredients to your slow cooker saves you the hassle of having to decide what to eat later. By starting early in the day, your resolve will be strong; you might even be inclined to prepare something that’s good for you (that will also be super tasty when you return because it has been slowly infusing with flavor all day).
Soups and stews are a slow cooker’s bread and butter (and you should totally make those, because, yum), but the slow cooker is capable of doing so much more. A boneless pork shoulder is transformed into carnitas (read: meaty, melt-in-your-mouthfuls begging to be swaddled in tortillas). Boring lentils simmered in Indian spices become bold (vegetarian- and vegan-friendly) lentil curry. Meatballs drenched in a hearty vegetable marinara sauce let the indecisive eater make a meatball sub or enjoy the dish atop a bed of rice or pasta.
So just set it and forget it and when you walk through the door you’ll be greeted by the incredible aromas of a healthy and ready-to-eat meal, courtesy of your slow cooker.
Moroccan Lamb Stew