5 Days of Easy, Healthy Crock Pot Meals

Healthy lifestyle expert Brooke Thomas shares her incredible story—and a few simple, delicious recipes.

#WomenWhoWork Brooke Thomas
Brooke Thomas, the founder of 360 Your Life, started her journey to healthy living (and launched her successful wellness company) in the darkest of places. “I found out that I had stage three melanoma when I was pregnant with my first daughter,” she recalls. “I was in my first trimester. The doctors gave me a choice. I could either have chemotherapy and lose the baby, or have the melanoma cut out—with no anaesthetic.” She bravely chose the latter option. Twelve years later, Brooke is cancer-free, and mom to two happy, healthy kids.
“When I was diagnosed, I was 26. I thought I was healthy,” she says. “Having that cancer took me on a path to discovering what ‘healthy’ really means.” She’s made it her mission (and her business) to educate others. Having grown up in a world of dieting fads, Brooke realized that most of what we’re told about health—as women, in particular—has to do with being skinny. “I realized that, rather than buying everything fat-free and low-calorie, I had to get in the kitchen.”

That said, she was no chef. “I was completely paralyzed in the kitchen,” she says. “Plus, I was working full-time on top of being a mom.” The healthy recipes she saw were overwhelming, with long ingredient lists and complicated steps. She saw a need for a simple solution. “When it comes to making lifestyle changes, they have to be simple and accessible, otherwise they won’t happen.” "Lifestyle changes have to be simple and accessible, otherwise they won’t happen.” — Brooke Thomas #WomenWhoWork Enter: the crock pot. “It’s truly the modern woman’s secret weapon,” she says. Crock pot newbies, picture this: you do 15 minutes of prep before work, toss it all in and come home at the end of the day to the smell of a home-cooked meal. Yes, please. To get you started, Brooke shared five weeknight-friendly recipes from her book, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition.

MONDAY

Chicken Burrito Bowl From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Chicken Burrito Bowls
From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Ingredients 2 tbsp. coconut oil 1.5 lbs. of skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes 1 15-oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed 1.5 cups chicken stock 1 cup organic corn 3 tsp. chili powder 2 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. ground cumin
Directions Grease the bottom and sides of the crock pot with coconut oil. Place chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot and add the chicken broth.
Combine the tomatoes and spices in a small bowl and mix well. Add the mixture in the crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Add the black beans and corn for an additional 30 minutes if desired. Shred the chicken in bite sized pieces with two forks. (You can do this in the crock pot.)
Serve in a bowl and add desired toppings.

 

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TUESDAY

Vegan Detox Stew From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Vegan Detox Stew
From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Ingredients 1 32-oz. box of organic veggie broth 2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped (you could also use a pint of baby portobello mushrooms, chopped) 2 celery sticks, chopped 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped 1 head of broccoli, chopped (including the stems) 2 large carrots, chopped ½ red onion, chopped 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped 2 cups or 1 15-oz. can of black beans 4 garlic cloves, diced Fresh parsley Fresh cilantro Salt and pepper to taste
Directions Chop, dice and wash all veggies.
Throw everything in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

 

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WEDNESDAY

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry
From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Ingredients 2 ½ cups diced butternut squash 1 ½ cups organic chickpeas 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 can organic coconut milk 1 bunch of fresh spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped (may use kale) 1 ½ cups organic green peas 1-2 large tomatoes, diced 3 cups vegetable broth or water 3 tbsp. yellow curry powder 1 tsp. sea salt, handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (save some for serving)
Directions Rinse and sort through the dry chickpeas to remove any small rocks or bad beans. Cut the skin off the squash, remove seeds and chop into 1-in. square cubes.
Add all of the ingredients to your crock pot except for the green peas and spinach.
Cook on high for 6 hours. About 20-30 minutes before serving add the green peas and spinach, and give a stir.
Serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice or quinoa topped with fresh cilantro, mint or basil.

 

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THURSDAY

White Bean Turkey Chili From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
White Bean Turkey Chili
From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Ingredients For the meat—prepare before putting in the crockpot 2 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 lbs. ground turkey 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped
For chili mixture 32-oz. organic chicken broth 30-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. chili powder 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Directions Brown ground turkey in large skillet with coconut oil, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Add the chili mixture to crock pot. Add the browned ground turkey. Cook on low for 4 hours.

 

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FRIDAY

Chicken No-Noodle Soup From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Chicken No-Noodle Soup
From Brooke Thomas, Thankful 30: The Crock Pot Edition
Ingredients 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 6 carrots, chopped Small head of cauliflower florets 1 cup fresh baby spinach 2 cloves garlic, minced 28-oz. organic chicken broth in a box 1 tbsp. herbes de provence salt and pepper to taste
Directions Wash chicken, cut into chunks and place into the crock pot. Chop all veggies and place on top of chicken.
Add the chicken broth, garlic, herbes de provence and salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

 

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