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Shannon Center Weekly Nutrition Tip - Healthy Crock Pot Cooking


Skinny Tips for Crock Pot Cooking!

Fall is here, which means it's crock pot time; however, slow cooking doesn't have to have mean, hearty, high-fat dishes. Here are some tips below to lighten up some of your favorite slow cooker recipes:

  • Try browning your meat before you put it into the crockpot. Browning the meat, especially ground meat, will help get rid of excess fat and grease and adds flavor to the dish you're making;
  • Experiment with herbs and spices in recipes rather than adding cream soups or other fatty ingredients;
  • Let the steam do its thing – steam actually makes the meat more tender and juicy, so be sure you don't lift the crockpot lid unless the recipe calls for you to do so;
  • You can cook vegetables in the crockpot too! Believe it or not, crockpots can actually turn out some pretty good-tasting vegetables! Here's an example of a crockpot vegetable and chickpea curry from Cooking Light's website;
  • Check out some other healthy crockpot recipes for meats, soups, stews, sandwiches, and even breakfast from Cooking Light's website;
  • And lastly, here's a healthy yet comforting vegetable and beef soup recipe for the upcoming cold season!

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili


  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed;
  • One (1) 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed);
  • One (1) 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel);
  • Two (2) 16 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed, drained;
  • One (1) 15 oz. can of corn, drained;
  • 3 Cups chicken stock;
  • 2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed (cook longer if frozen);
  • 1 tsp garlic powder;
  • 2 tsp cumin;
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper;
  • 2 tsp chili powder.


  • Toss everything into slow cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 7 hours on high;
  • Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker;
  • Top with cheese (2%), sour cream (fat free or light), and avocados.