A slow cooker can be a busy person’s best friend, whether you’re looking to prep lots of healthy food in advance or just want something warm and satisfying waiting for you at the end of the day. “

Slow cookers are my saving grace,” notes Elizabeth Eichhorn, owner of Mary Lee Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. “I can put something up before I leave the house and have a healthy meal ready by the time I get back home at night.” And while the slow cooker is perhaps best known for soups and stews, you don’t have to stop there: These protein-packed recipes, designed by Eichhorn, feature plenty of flavorful ingredients for a main meal that’s both clean and satisfying.

“I suffer from food allergies and like a lot of people with dietary restrictions, I have a hard time finding recipes that taste good and are simple to make while meeting the needs of my diet.” The slow-cooker meals here do all that and more.

If you’re refueling after a hard workout, add in a starch like brown rice or quinoa; if you’re trying to cut fat, serve with some steamed veggies and a side salad. 

Food styling by Dana Bonagura