slow cooker brats with sauerkraut + potatoes

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

If Wisconsin had a slow cooker-themed meal, this would be it.

And it feels SO appropriate to share a slow cooker recipe with you today, because I finally felt a bit of fall!

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

We spent last weekend in DC and while our first day was sunny and warm, the rest of the time was cold and drizzly. We’ve been craving this type of weather and while I would have preferred to be snuggled up watching movies to “enjoy it,” walking around the national mall made it really sink in. Cold feet, damp clothes and a yearning for anything hot. Hot chocolate, soup or a hearty slow cooker meal. Without access to a slow cooker, I settled for a coffee one afternoon and the next, some hot tea and a bowl of crab soup. Even with the less-than-ideal weather, DC was amazing. We went to the Capitol, walked down the mall, visited the Newseum (LOVED!) and Arlington Cemetery and had some perfect meals: Founding Farmers, Hanks Oyster Bar, Eat the Rich and the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Los Angeles greeted us with warmth and sun upon our return, but that small dose of fall was so very appreciated.

So from oysters to brats…how do you all feel about brats? It’s pretty much part of the culture I grew up in. The local meat market in Baraboo, WI has no less than 22 varieties of brats. We take it very seriously and from the moment it’s warm enough to step outside to grill (and let’s be real – even when it’s not for some) the aroma of brats are essential to spring/summer/fall nights.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Typically, brats are a warm-weather meal, but this slow cooker version takes it into fall and winter. Brats, sauerkraut and potatoes are slowly simmered in a mustardy-beer sauce. And though the result may not be the prettiest food around, the warm, comforting meal more than makes up for it.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Not only does your home (or tiny one bedroom apartment, in our case) smell incredible, but it takes a mere 10 minutes of prep work and some time in the slow cooker. It’s easy. It’s super-satisfying. It’s divine.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes
Author: Emily Dingmann (adapted from Martha Stewart)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds of baby red potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5-6 brats (I used a 1lb, 3oz package)
  • 1 cup beer of choice
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Layer potatoes, sauerkraut, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Nestle brats on top.
  3. Combine beer, mustard and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  5. To serve, top with fresh parsley.
Calories: 734 Fat: 27 grams Carbohydrates: 85 grams Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 33 grams

 

broccoli pesto pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve received some wonderful cookbooks lately but there’s one problem: I’m drawn to – and therefore bookmarking – all of the cozy and rich, fall and winter meals. And the only problem is that we just came off of another scorching few days (90’s and I’m so over it) and I can’t quite bring myself to make the hearty meals quite yet. (The soup was an anomaly!)

I managed to find something a little more forgiving in the heat: broccoli pesto pasta! We absolutely LOVED this meal.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

FRESH and LIGHT by Donna Hay* is the kind of cookbook I would love to write. It’s filled with beautiful pictures (simple ones, not heavily styled, which I’ve come to realize is what I’m drawn to) and recipes, ideas and inspirations for real food, kept both fresh and light. I have about 15 recipes bookmarked, but it’s the kind of cookbook that can be pulled out for inspiration on a regular basis. She has a number of sections in the book with a whole spread of simple variations on meals like pizza, pasta, dips and muffins. It’s my kind of cooking. Simple, no crazy-long ingredient lists or equipment required, just real food that’s full of flavor and perfectly healthy.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

(So yes, I HIGHLY recommend the book!)

Let’s talk about this pesto! I’m a pesto fan and so I was drawn to this variation right away. I’ve had kale, arugula and edamame pestos, but never broccoli pesto. It comes together really quickly (about 20 minutes!), requires only a few ingredients and I love that your entire meal is served in one bowl for a simple dinner.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

After taking a bite, my first thought was, wow, it tastes so fresh and light. (Yes, the title of the book!) But it really does taste so fresh and it’s while it’s a very satisfying meal, it’s light at the same time. Richie also loved this meal, and not just because it included pasta. :)

I think it would be great for kids who aren’t thrilled by the idea of broccoli on it’s own – it’s hard to resist when it’s combined with cheese, fresh herbs and pasta!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

Broccoli Pesto
Author: Donna Hay
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups of blanched broccoli
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups hot spaghetti
  • parmesan
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine broccoli, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and olive oil in food processor and process until finely chopped. (You want to keep some texture to it!)
  2. Toss with hot spaghetti and sprinkle with parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  3. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Calories: 575 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 77 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 20 grams

*affiliate link

slow cooker honey soy chicken

Is it too early for slow cooker recipes?

Because personally, I love using the slow cooker all year long, but in the fall and winter, weekends just don’t seem complete unless there is an intoxicating smell of something slowly cooking away in the kitchen. And we are all in fall mode, right?

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve had quite the history with slow cookers. I don’t think we used them much growing up, so it wasn’t something I was especially used to. Then my brother gave me a camouflage slow cooker for Christmas one year that I deemed way “too hick” (I’m sorry!!!!) for my “sophisticated palette.” Oh the naivety. (To defend myself a bit, the gift was a joke and while my brother was a big fan of the slow cooker and I’m 92% certain that he and his roommates were cooking items they had personally hunted…like squirrels. I didn’t really think I had a use for it, being that I was a city dweller.) The moral of the story is this: I returned that camouflage slow cooker to K-Mart and then found myself buying a stainless steel version a few years later.

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve been hooked ever since.

Years ago, I created a few asian-inspired slow cooker recipes (crock pot asian chicken, crock pot asian beef), which have been quite popular over the years, but it was time to revisit the concept, with some different cuts of meat and different flavors. I love this version because it’s made with really simple ingredients and it couldn’t be easier!

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken | anutritionisteats.com

This honey soy chicken takes a few minutes of prep, a few hours in the slow cooker and before you know it, you’ll be eating a flavorful, healthy meal. The chicken thighs practically shred themselves. The rice soaks up the delicious sauce you don’t want to leave on your plate. The broccoli is a) something green and b) so tasty! It’s a complete meal the entire family will enjoy.

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 pound chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • 1 cup basamati rice
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
Instructions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Add chicken thighs to slow cooker in one layer.
  3. Pour over marinade.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. When chicken is almost done, prepare rice as directed.
  6. Steam or roast broccoli.
Calories: 552 Fat: 9 grams Carbohydrates: 80 grams Sugar: 39 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 43 grams
Notes
Replace soy sauce with tamari for a gluten-free meal.

 

healthy taco pizza

(I changed up my site over the weekend, so if you’re on a reader, click through to check it out! It was planned for a few weeks from now, but after some major issues last week, I decided to go for it early. I’m still working on a few things, and unfortunately crossing my fingers a bit at this point that everything works as it is supposed to, but it’s close!)

Enough of the tech talk, let’s get on to the good stuff. Healthy Taco Pizza is today’s topic!

Healthy Taco Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

This latest creation is another kid-friendly meal that I think the entire family will love. It’s hard not to.

I obviously don’t have kids of my own yet, but I have this laughable idea that my toddlers are going to love quinoa and kale. (They will, right?!)

Ok, that might be a stretch and while I’m still going to hold out hope, I do know that kids like tacos. And that kids like pizzas. In fact, everyone does – adults included!

Healthy Taco Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

Taco pizzas are one of those meals that are filling, tasty and pretty healthy as well! To lighten things up, I use a tortilla for the crust, which also creates built-in portion control. If you’re really concerned with the calories and fat in ground beef, by all means, swap it out for extra-lean turkey.

As the GIF below illustrates, you top the tortilla with beans, cheese, ground beef and then layer on the fresh toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion and a drizzle of sour cream. (Hot sauce is good too!)

taco final

Everyone is happy. Everyone is satisfied. Everyone loves pizza + tacos!

Healthy Taco Pizza
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1-15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 chopped tomatoes (1-2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • hot sauce if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef to pan and break up with a spatula. Continue to break up meat into smaller pieces as it browns, about 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and cook another minute.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toast tortillas in oven, flip after 5 minutes and cook another 5 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Top tortillas with refried beans and cheese.
  5. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Top with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and sour cream.
Calories: 734 Fat: 36 Carbohydrates: 50 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 1205 Fiber: 11 Protein: 51