Don’t Be Slow Getting Your Autumn Recipes Ready

It is the time of year when lots of people are thinking of cramming their barbecue in the shed and making room on the kitchen worktops for the autumn and winter favourite — the slow cooker. Hearty stews and casseroles are a must as the weather gets cooler, and a good old crockpot means you can simply throw in the ingredients and let the cooker take the strain.

Slow cooking does not have to mean stacking up on the stodge and eating out of a bowl for the rest of the cold season, either, as these simple and healthy recipes prove.

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Dairy-Free Creamy Chicken Curry | Serves two to four

Ingredients:

  • 750g chicken breasts (skins removed) cut into chunks
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 diced potato
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 1 chopped clove of garlic
  • 2 tbs curry powder – choose your own heat level
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 sliced stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 sliced red chilli
  • 2 chopped kafir lime leaves
  • 250ml water
  • 550ml reduced-fat coconut milk

What to Do (Not a Lot, Thanks to Your Slow Cooker) | Soften the onions and garlic before throwing all of the ingredients into your crockpot. Set on low and leave for nine hours, then service with naan, rice and chutneys. Sprinkle on a handful of chopped coriander if you want to finish with a chef-like touch.

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Hearty and Healthy Chilli Con Carne | Serves eight

Ingredients:

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 600g passata
  • 400g tin of cannellini beans (with the liquid)
  • 2 x 400g can of kidney beans (with liquid from one tin)
  • 1/2 tbs chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

What to Do | Brown the mince, drain off any excess fat and then simply pop all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and leave for eight hours on low. Enjoy!

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Stewed Chicken and Barley | Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 500g cubed chicken thighs
  • 1 cubed, medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 125ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

What to Do | Brown the onion, garlic and chicken and then add all of the ingredients to your pot. Cook for two to four hours on high or six to eight hours on low. Add extra barley and serve as a one-bowl meal or cook some rice.

Is your mouth watering? Are you tempted by how easy and tasty these recipes sound but have just discovered that your slow cooker did not survive the summer storage? If so, check out the great bargains to be had with the Morphy Richards 48702 Sear and Stew Slow Cooker (£22.49 from Tesco), or look at the comprehensive range of slow cookers available at Argos (prices starting at £10.99).