308 Days ’til 40: Fast, Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

19 Apr

I PROMISE this is not going to become a food blog, but I thought that we can all use a break from monotony every once in a while and I am all for FAST recipes that allow us to have something that tastes good, is healthy, and requires a minimal effort.  This is particularly important in our fast-paced society where we work all day and are often too exhausted to spend time preparing a healthy meal when we return home.  I personally work @ 10 hours a day and love it when I am able to come home to a fully cooked meal.  I love walking through the door and smelling the food and knowing that I will have little preparation to do that night.  

The photo above is a red lentil chili recipe I adapted from a meat-based recipe.  I also adapted it so that it could be made in the slow cooker.  Here are a few of our family favorites that require little time, but leave you with a great, nutritious meal.

Red Lentil Chili (Adapted by 400 Days ’til 40):


16 oz uncooked red lentils

16 oz can crushed tomatoes (with liquid)

1 can kidney beans (with liquid)

1 packet chili seasoning (approx 1.25 oz)

Place all ingredients in crock pot, fill to top with water, stir.  Cook on high for @ 3 hours, then on low for an additional 2-3 hours.  I stir every 45-60 minutes ,as the ingredients tend to settle at the bottom while cooking.

Beef Stroganoff (Found On the Internet, Source Unknown):


2 pounds beef strips (cut for stroganoff)

1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup (enough to cover and blend with the meat well – do NOT add water)

Rinse beef and place it in the slow cooker, cover with mushroom soup and stir to blend.

Cook on low for 10-12 hours.  Serve over rice or stroganoff noodles.

Cranberry Turkey (Found On the Internet, Source Unknown – Possibly


1 pound turkey breast

1 packet onion soup mix

1 can cranberry sauce, with whole cranberries

Rinse turkey breast and place at bottom of the slow cooker.  Sprinkle onion soup mix on top.  Stir and pour cranberry sauce on top of the soup mix-covered turkey.

Cook on low until done (I think @ 6 hours).

So, there you have it!  I welcome your easy, healthy recipes!  Please share!

Today, 308 days ’til 40, I will continue to search for healthy ways to feed my family.  I can save time without resorting to unhealthy fast food options.  You can too!

On a final note of confession, the beautifully photographed red lentil chili above came at a price, moments after I snapped the shot, my iPhone fell into the chili.  Thankfully, the phone made it out alive and I became very skilled at using a small paintbrush to remove chili bits from all intricate crevasses of my iPhone.  The photo turned out well, and I will be more careful the next time I try to photograph anything over food/ water.  (WHY is it that there are no wrist straps for iPhones????)  🙂



Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Diet, Health, mental health


Tags: , , , , , ,

50 responses to “308 Days ’til 40: Fast, Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

  1. A Nature Mom

    April 19, 2012 at 00:18

    I can never have enough slow cooker recipes. Thank you. And I’m glad your phone survived!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 09:10

      Me too – I love collecting the recipes! I now need to use more of them. 🙂

  2. Cathy

    April 19, 2012 at 00:22

    I guess one of my quickest healthy recipes would be an omelette! Throw in any leftover vegetables or odd bits of cheese, and loads of herbs! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 09:14

      Ah yes, I do that too! So easy and also so healthy!!! 🙂 (Then again, if I pile it up with bacon and cheese, it will take amazing but probably won’t be so healthy! 🙂 )

  3. L @ Trying Not to be Fat

    April 19, 2012 at 00:40

    I should be using my slowcooker more often…

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 09:01

      The nice thing is that using it is so easy!

  4. allthingsboys

    April 19, 2012 at 00:45

    They all sound good! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Marianne

    April 19, 2012 at 01:27

    I used to love beef stroganoff, what happened? Why did I stop making it? I need to analyze myself, 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 09:00

      I find that sometimes I do the same – realize I have stopped cooking something I loved and I have no idea why! 🙂

      • Marianne

        April 19, 2012 at 09:57

        I’m glad I’m not the only one… Thanks to you, I’m cooking beef stroganoff on Sunday, 🙂

  6. viveka

    April 19, 2012 at 01:27

    Red lentils … my favorite here. Sorry to hear about the phone scare – here is a link for strap – – can also buy them from

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:59

      Thank you, thank you thank you! I am ordering the strap TODAY! 🙂

  7. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    April 19, 2012 at 01:52

    I can SO see this happening to me, dropping a phone. I’m impressed by the skill of saving the phone!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:39

      I am impressed by the fact that the phone did not die. It is a new phone too…… I almost had a heart attack!!! 😛

  8. Gluten-free Medley

    April 19, 2012 at 02:50

    So, what’s wrong with a food blog? :-))

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:38

      Nothing at all! In fact, I read them constantly!!! Particularly the gluten free ones (I can’t have gluten either!) But, alas, my personal babbles seem to be better off in the psycho-babble range! 🙂

      • Gluten-free Medley

        April 19, 2012 at 16:01

        I like other people’s psycho-babble, but can’t get into writing it myself. That’s what makes the world such an interesting place – we’re all different, yet similar!! P.S. I’m always amazed that anyone can write a post every single day – kudos to you!

  9. Dave Knickerbocker

    April 19, 2012 at 02:56

    All that fiber in those beans will be great for when you join those of us already in our 40s!

  10. forhisgloryandpraise

    April 19, 2012 at 03:35

    I am going to have to try this one! When I was teaching my daughter about World History last year, once a week we made a meal from the country we were working on. For Israel we cooked lentils and we cooked Barley…2 grains we had never had. I fell in love with them! The flavor of these two foods are amazing! Thanks for posting a new recipe for us to try!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:53

      You are welcome! We LOVE lentils in our house – particularly red lentils, so much flavor! What a fun way to teach World History to your daughter!!! 🙂

      • forhisgloryandpraise

        April 19, 2012 at 09:39

        It was wonderful…we tried so many new foods, and since some have become a normal part of our menu…lentils and barley, different breads and stews from different countries. She can even make eggrolls on her own now.

  11. Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

    April 19, 2012 at 03:49

    Thanks, as a fairly new houswife I like the easy stuff that is not microwaved. Waldorfia

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:52

      Me too – we try to only use our microwave to re-heat stuff when absolutely necessary, we rarely cook with it.

  12. buckwheatsrisk

    April 19, 2012 at 04:51

    now i’m hungry! 😉

  13. sanjaywa

    April 19, 2012 at 06:01

    The red lentil chilli looks great (obviously, just not when it’s on your phone). I use our slow cooker several times a week, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. I love being able to throw things into it, and come home to delicious, and healthy food.

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:51

      Yes, me too! I think the slow cooker is one of the greatest inventions ever!!!!! 🙂 The chili was an instant favorite in my house… maybe the Iphone gave it extra flavor??? 🙂

  14. narf77

    April 19, 2012 at 06:28

    There are no wrist straps for Iphones because Wii would sue! Remember to always look for the positive…in this situation, you can now suruptitiously lick your Iphone whenever you are sitting bored anywhere and be reminded of that delicious meal at any given moment. Knowing how chilli stains, I dare say the flavour will be there for quite some time (and most probably the smell…). Maybe we just accidentally strayed onto an amazing idea!…food flavoured Iphones! The anorexics will go crazy for them…I am already formulating a business plan as we speak…”To the batmobile robin!”…

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:50

      Thank you for the GREAT laugh this morning! I agree, we need to market flavored Iphones and Iphone cases!!! 🙂

  15. Knoob

    April 19, 2012 at 07:16

    Last time I made chili I added lentils too, to add flavour and bulk for little money! I also added celery but that didn’t work too well, might try potatoes next time.

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 08:45

      Yes, I have added potatoes and that works nicely (I find that celery can make it a tad sour….)

  16. lengesinski

    April 19, 2012 at 14:10

    Thanks for the Recipe Ideas-Always Appreciated!

  17. elisabelmont

    April 19, 2012 at 14:56

    I’m only laughing because I can see myself dropping my phone in the pot!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 16:06

      Yeah, I know! You can imagine how stupid I felt, but I am sure there are many others who are capable of similar. One wonderful reader showed me where to order a strap online – I ordered it immediately! 🙂

  18. missdoniasglutenfreegoodies

    April 19, 2012 at 17:55

    Yummy! This sounds wonderful! And it would be so easy to make gluten-free & dairy-free! Thanks!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 23:07

      Yes, I make all of my recipes gluten free (which is how I found your great blog!!!) As for dairy… that is one of my last standing vices!!! 🙂

      • missdoniasglutenfreegoodies

        April 20, 2012 at 00:52

        LOL! One thing at a time, right? Good for you going gluten-free! And glad you like my blog 🙂 I’m brand new to blogging & still learning 🙂 I’m with you on the recipes thou…you won’t find my many on my page. There are already so many wonderful food blogs out there, so I figured I would leave it to them & refer people to their pages if they want yummy recipes! Can’t wait to read more of yours!

  19. motherofwonder

    April 19, 2012 at 21:01

    oh my goodness! The chili looks fantastic! (And oh, how I love crockpot meals!!) But man, straps should come standard with phones!!

    • 400daystil40

      April 19, 2012 at 23:04

      Maybe the chili looked and tasted so good due to the iPhone seasoning????? 🙂

  20. edwardonbebop

    April 20, 2012 at 10:36

    Reblogged this on Edward On Bebop and commented:
    I need to try those recipes.

  21. Bella

    April 23, 2012 at 23:07

    I couldn’t help laughing even though I’m sure that was quite a tragic moment! So glad you were able to rescue your iPhone, and the chili looks delicious.

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 23:11

      It was funny ( well, at least after I knew my phone was alive!!) 😉


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