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After a long day, spending your evening cooking dinner doesn't always sound appealing.
But you don't always have to slave in the kitchen - a slow cooker can take the task off your hands. Consider using the appliance to create these simple and delicious meals throughout the week:
1. Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
This recipe by Carlsbad Cravings makes the perfect melt-in-your-mouth meal.
First, set the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.
Cook on low for about 4 hours, and then transfer roast to a cutting board. Thinly slice the meat across the grain, then place back in the cooker on low heat for an additional 2 hours.
Remove roast and strain fat from broth. Place meat back in the juice to soak.
When ready to serve, slice the rolls and fill them with beef and two slices of cheese. Place on the top rack in the oven and cook until cheese is just melted. Serve with a side of reserved broth, or au jus, for dipping.
2. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Try Food Network's healthy take on the classic chili dish with this recipe.
First, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and cayenne, stirring until the mixture turns dark red - this should take about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey and 1 teaspoon salt, cooking until the mixture is fully combined. Remember: turkey does not need to be fully cooked. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
In the same skillet, cook the tomatoes, chicken broth, cocoa powder, vinegar, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt over high heat and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Then, transfer mixture to the slow cooker. Top with beans, onions, crushed tortilla chips and garlic, give it a good stir and cover. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Halfway through the cooking time, add chicken broth until chili reaches desired consistency. Once it's ready, distribute evenly among bowls and serve with additional toppings.
3. Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and this traditional meal by Martha Stewart Living will be tender and delicious just hours later.
Place the celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and thyme on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the corned beef - fat side up - and sprinkle with pickling spice. Pour in enough water to almost cover the beef - this should take 4 to 6 cups.
Cover and cook on low for 8 1/2 hours or on high for 4 hours until the beef is tender. Place cabbage wedges over the meat and continue cooking until soft - 1 1/2 hours on low or 45 minutes on high.
Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain, and then serve with vegetables and grainy mustard if desired.
4. Rosemary Garlic Chicken Quarters
Your family with love this slow cooker meal by Southern Living magazine.
First, place the carrots or celery at the bottom of the slow cooker.
Remove skin from chicken, and then rub with a mixture of rosemary, paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Sauté chicken in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown on each side. Transfer to slow cooker and reserve the drippings.
Add broth and garlic to reserved liquid and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker, cover and cook for 2 hours on high.
Add potatoes, remaining salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook for an additional 2 hours.
Transfer chicken and potatoes to a serving platter and serve with drippings.