Save Time with Slow Cooker Meals this Fall


Fall is upon us! That means the holidays are right around the corner and your schedule is likely filling up. And if you’re a business professional, you know the changing of the leaves means the fourth quarter of the fiscal year has arrived and life is about to get a bit busier.

But regardless of what’s got your calendar booked this fall, there’s no reason why you can’t still make meals at home and eat well. 

One of the best ways to prepare delicious fall meals in the spacious kitchen of your Brunswick Crossing home is to utilize a slow cooker (or crockpot). Don’t let the name fool you; a slow cooker does cook food slowly, but it’s a kitchen appliance that does the work for you while you go to work or are out of the house meeting the other obligations on your calendar. 

The large kitchen island in our Westminster villa model is the perfect place to set up a slow cooker, and doing so can save you time spent in the kitchen as well as make you ask yourself: “Why wasn’t I cooking this way all along?”

To help get you going with planning fall meals in your villa lifestyle kitchen, here are some great recipes for slow cooker meals that you just have to try.

Game-Day Chili

Everyone knows that fall means football, and one of the best game-day fall meals is chili. Especially when the cooler weather hits, there’s nothing more satisfying than a large bowl of warm chili. This game-day chili recipe blends sweet with spicy for a flavor all football fans will love. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  •  1 recipe Chili Seasoning Puree
  •  1 ½ pounds ground beef chuck
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  •  1 stalk celery, sliced
  •  1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  •  1 14 ounce can beef broth
  •  1 ½ cups pitted dried plums, chopped
  •  1 ½ cups water
  •  1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  •  2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  •  2 teaspoons ground coriander
  •  1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  •  1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

First, prepare the chili seasoning puree and set it aside. Cook the ground beef on medium heat in a skillet or dutch oven with some onion and celery mixed in, until the meat is browned. Drain off the fat and add the meat mixture into your slow cooker. Stir in the chili seasoning puree, tomatoes, broth, plums, water, tomato paste, paprika, coriander, crushed red pepper, and cloves. Cover your slow cooker and cook on low heat for six to seven hours. Stir in chocolate just before serving for some added sweetness.

Pumpkin-Kale Calico Bean Stew

For those looking for a meatless fall meal option, you’ll love this bean stew that’s packed with seasonal flavors. This combination of fall veggies makes for a hearty, warm meal to cozy up with on a brisk autumn day. The ingredients for this slow cooker meal are:

  • ½ cup dried Great Northern beans
  • ½ cup dried pinto beans
  •  ½ cup dried black beans
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  •  1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  •  1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
  •  1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  •  1 teaspoon chili powder
  •  ¾ teaspoon salt
  •  4 cups roughly chopped fresh kale (3 ounces)
  •  1 14.5 ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and cut up
  •  1 cup frozen shelled sweet soybeans (edamame), thawed
  •  1 tablespoon bottled Louisiana hot sauce

Simply rinse and drain the beans, and in a large saucepan, combine the beans with enough water to submerge the beans about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the beans and let them stand for an hour. Drain and rinse the beans again before adding them into your slow cooker with the vegetable stock, pumpkin, onion, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Cover your slow cooker and cook on low heat for 11 to 12 hours. At the end, stir in the kale, tomatoes, edamame, and hot sauce and cook on high heat for about 30 minutes before serving.

Maple-Mustard-Sauced Turkey Thighs

Thanksgiving isn’t the only fall meal where you can enjoy some delicious turkey. This recipe combines sweet, savory, and tangy flavors to deliver a dish that you’re sure to love. And you won’t believe how easy it is to make in a slow cooker. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 pound new potatoes, quartered
  •  2 – 2.5 pounds turkey thighs (about 4 thighs), skinned
  •  ⅓ cup coarse-grain brown mustard
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup
  • 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca

Here’s a tip: Placing potatoes at the bottom of your slow cooker while you make this meal is an easy way to create a flavor-infused side. Once your potatoes are in the bottom of the slow cooker, place the turkey thighs on top. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and tapioca to create your sauce. Pour this over the turkey in the slow cooker once you are finished.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for six to seven hours. The turkey will come out tender and the potatoes will have soaked plenty of flavor. 

The spacious kitchen isn’t the only villa lifestyle feature our Westminster model has to offer. Learn more about these homes that are the perfect blend of style and convenience by clicking the button below.

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