Healthy Recipes

4 Muscle-Building Crock-Pot Recipes You Should Try

Cooking can be a chore, but not if you plan ahead.

crock-pot-jambalaya

Cooking — the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day, especially after an intense workout. You hope that dinner magically appears once you walk in the door. With disappointment, you trudge to the kitchen and attempt to whip up a healthy, protein-packed dinner. It’s another night of scarfing down a bland chicken breast and leafy greens.

Hold up, you can turn those dinner dreams into a reality with the help of a crock-pot. The whole point of using them is to prep a meal while you're away -- it's like having a personal chef fixing your dinner while you break a sweat at the gym. Try these recipes and you'll feast like a king. 

Jambalaya

You don’t have to travel all the way to The Big Easy for this authentic food, instead make the food come to you. This New Orleans staple is packed with protein and flavor. The traditional Cajun seasonings will have your nose running, and farro -- a high protein and high fiber grain -- brings a nutty flavor to this dish. When it comes to complex carbs, farro is loaded with cyanogenic glucosides, which triggers the immune system and regulates blood sugar levels. The magnesium content in the grain will back your muscles, nerves, and bone function. And, the niacin content in farro will assist your body in breaking down all your macros. If you’re one to work out before eating dinner, this is a great post-workout option to refuel those starved muscles

In the crock-pot combine all of the ingredients except for the shrimp and farro. Cook everything on low for seven hours. When you get home from the gym, throw in the farro and shrimp and cook it for a half hour. Note: one cup of uncooked farro makes two cooked cups.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • ½ pound turkey sausage
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ Spanish onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 can Hunt’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 cup kidney beans                          
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, dash
Totals (1 serving): 435 calories, 11g fat, 36g carbs, 42g protein

Honey Sesame Chicken

crock-pot-sesame-chicken

Are you afraid of killing your macros with sauce? Well don't, you can make room to enjoy food — that’s how a diet truly works. Turn that tasteless chicken breast into something that’s sweet and savory. Honey sesame chicken can be your dinner one night.

Cornstarch is generally used to thicken a sauce but it isn’t the healthiest. Almost all cornstarches are made with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the extraction process can be tough due to the abundance of chemicals and high heat. A healthier and safer substitute for cornstartch is arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder comes from a plant and the extraction process doesn’t involve any chemicals. The powder is also easier to digest.

For this recipe, combine the onion, garlic, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Next cut the chicken up into slices and place the slices into the crock-pot. Cover the chicken with the honey mixture and cook everything on low for three to four hours. For the last 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the crock-pot, leaving the sauce remnants.  Dissolve the arrowroot flour in water and pour it into the crock-pot — combine this with the sauce that’s already in the crock-pot. Cook this on high for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Once the sauce has thickened, return the chicken to the pot and stir until serving. Top the chicken off with sesame seeds. This recipe serves six and can be easily paired with leftover farro from the other night.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tsp arrowroot flour
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
Totals (1 serving): 352 calories, 9g fat, 39g carbs, 24g protein

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