Your slow cooker is probably one of the most underused appliances in your kitchen. You may use it from time to time, but it will likely be for a dinner or for something specific. If you have decided to switch to a low-carb diet, you may feel like your slow cooker has no place in your new lifestyle. However, I’m happy to tell you, there are many lunches that you can make that fit in well with your low-carb diet and that can be made in a slow cooker. Here are a few ideas, most of which can be made in large batches and frozen or used for later in the week.
What? Stuffed mushrooms in a slow cooker? Yep, with just a few tweaks, you can make this a great lunch for eating at home or on the go. Ideally, you will want to use Portobello mushrooms for this because they have larger caps. They are also fat-free, very low in calories and rich sources of copper and selenium. To work well in a slow cooker, the filling should be made of cheese, ground pork, ground beef, and seasonings. Mix your filling and place in the caps. Place the caps in the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. They can be placed into a lunch carrier or can be eaten on the spot with some pasta sauce to complete the dish.
Pasta-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
Double what? Spaghetti without pasta? Yep, there are pasta-like alternatives for people on a low-carb diet. One option is to use a vegetable spiralizer to create “noodles” out of a vegetable such as zucchini. Or you can use spaghetti squash. You can even use the spiraled zucchini along with the spaghetti squash! The spaghetti squash can be roasted alongside the meatballs in the slow cooker. Just place a piece of rolled tinfoil in between to keep them separate. The meatballs can be whatever meat you like, just make sure you are not using breadcrumbs as the binder (that increases the carbs). Use egg and some cheese instead. Cook the squash and the meatballs on low for 4 to 6 hours. Take out the squash and use a fork to pull out the meat of the squash. It will make the noodles. Then just dress the noodles with pasta sauce and the meatballs.
Pulled Pork Bahn Mi
Lucky for pulled pork fans, this dish is incredibly easy to make in the slow cooker — and it can be easy to assemble as a lunch. Just place several pieces of boneless pork chops or a half pork loin in the slow cooker with a little water for 6 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Cook until tender, but thoroughly cooked throughout. Use two forks to shred the pork. Toss in a low-carb sauce like a low-carb oriental sauce and add some shredded cabbage and other shredded vegetables. Place the mixture into a purple cabbage leaf cup or “bun” for a finished meal.
These are only three options, but by using these options you can start to find out what other recipes may be good for you. Stuffed Italian pizza peppers, pasta-free pasta dishes, and more can be derived and tweaked to your own taste.