From risottos to roasts, enjoy these easy and elegant slow cooker dinners.
Congee is a savoury rice porridge that can be enjoyed any time of day. Smoked ham hock adds a unique depth of flavour to this Asian staple. Look for it near the cured meat section of your grocery store.To serve, place individual bowls of garnishes, such as sodium-reduced soy sauce, sesame oil, salted Virginai peanuts, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced hot chiles, at the table and let everyone dress their own bowl to suit their tastes.
Madras curry powder, a mix of spices including fenugreek, coriander, cumin and turmeric, is often hotter than other curry powders. Slow cooking mellows out the heat leaving an intensely flavourful curry. Look for Madras curry powder in the spice or ethnic food aisles. Serve wrapped up in a warm roti or with rice.
A double dose of fennel - seeds and vegetable - add a pleasant licorice-like taste to this pot roast with Mediterrean flair. For nice, even slices when serving the roast, separate it into the natural sections and then slice across the grain. The slices will be smallish, but they'll hold their shape. Serve over pasta for a fun (and stress-free) take on Sunday roast.
Traditionally called Bo Ssam - these ginger-packed lettuce wraps make a light, satisfying meal. Serve with Korean-style pickled vegetables or kimchi, the intensely flavourful Ginger Green Onions Sauce and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds for an authentic flair.
This classic Quebecois soup gets new life with the addition of smoked turkey instead of the traditional ham hock. Look for smoked turkey thighs instead of the legs - they've got more meat and less sinew. You can find them near the deli counter at the grocery store.
It almost seems that the slow cooker was made for this subtly spicy, rich mole sauce. In fact, you might be tempted to make a double batch of just the sauce and freeze half for another time - simply thaw it and reheat with cooked, shredded meat. Serve over rice or with warmed corn tortillas to soak up all the sauce.
Finally a flavourful risotto that doesn't need any stirring! Dried mushrooms work perfectly to create an earthy aroma, we've used dried porcinis here as they're readily available, but any dried mushroom will do. Hearty pot barley makes adds a healthful twist and doesn't become overly mushy - even after 8 hours.
Reducing the sauce at the end of the cooking is an essential step to achieveing sweet-and-sour short rib nirvana. Serve over white rice and with a drizzle of sriracha if you can stand a little heat. For best results, look for thick, meaty short ribs.
Inspired by the traditional Mexican tacos served with spicy thin pork slices and pineapple, this slow cooker version features pork shoulder broken into tender bite size chunks. If you don't want to serve these as tacos, try serving the pork on top of steamed white rice instead.
To save time in the morning, prep and chop all the ingredients for this stew the night before so all you have to do is toss them in your slow cooker and turn it on before heading out the door. Serve with crusty bread for a simple, hearty meal.
Make this restaurant classic at home on a weeknight with our slow cooker version. Super thin steaks and sliced onions make a tender and flavourful sandwich. Serve au jus (with juice) on the side for dipping each bite.
There are few things more comforting than a bowl of rich, creamy seafood chowder. Sweet, licorice-like fennel naturally complements the seafood. Serve with oyster crackers or crusty bread and a simple green.
The sweetness of corn is complemented and elevated with smoky flavours from the ham and paprika chive crema topping. Frozen corn niblets never tasted so good!
Tagine is a stew eaten all over Morocco served in earthenware pots of the same name. All tagines start with a spice base, often including cinnamon, saffron, turmeric and cumin. Serve with lemon wedges over couscous or with flatbread to soak up the delicious juices.
This mild, sweet curry has all the comforting flavours of a curry without too much spice, making it a great choice for the entire family. Serve over steamed rice or with warmed naan bread.
Thanks to being cooked very slowly for a long period of time, the meat in this ragù is fork tender and soaks up all the tomato sauce around it. Serve over pasta with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for a delicious meal.
We've swapped beef broth for chicken broth and onions for tender leeks but kept all the flavour in this lighter version of classic French onion soup. When you get home, just toast the baguette, broil the cheese and enjoy!
This Asian inspired beef stew has a deep earthy flavour from the five-spice powder and a hint of orange and ginger. Boy choy can be quite sandy, so be sure to wash thoughly before chopping. Serve over brown rice.
The essence of this Vietnamese pho lies in the long-cooking, rich beef broth which forms the base of the soup - the slow cooker is the ultimate tool for the task. Fresh, vibrant garnishes, like bean sprouts, assorted fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro and basil, thinly sliced onion, chilies and lime wedges, make each and every bowl of soup unique. Serve them at the table in separate bowls so each person can create the pho of their dreams.
You won't believe how tasty and easy it is to make this classic dish in your slow cooker. A piping bag - or plastic bag - makes easy work of stuffing the manicotti. Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread for an easy family-style dinner.
Infused water Source: Ryan Brook
Weight loss goals can seem insurmountable. To lose each pound of fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories, and that number can sound scary. But taking little steps to cut just 100 or 200 calories at a time goes a long way. Use two of these tips each day and you'll lose a pound in a little over a week—no starvation necessary.
We all know about the dangers of soda, but even drinking unsweetened juice will give you a sugar rush at a rate of 120 calories per cup. And chances are you don't just drink a cup. Individual serving-size bottles of juice are typically about 450 mL, and can clock in at over 200 calories. But if you're a juice drinker, it can be hard to switch to water right away. Try muddling some watermelon and mint into your water to get all kinds of flavour, and a touch of sweetness, for almost no calories. Or make iced tea using a fruity flavoured tea, and skip the sugar.
Who doesn't love pasta? But when your fettuccine comes with around 400 calories in two cups (even before the sauce!), you can feel guilty about eating it. Try replacing half the pasta with a cup of zucchini that's been cut into thin strips to match the shape of the pasta. Just throw it in the water a couple of minutes before the noodles are done. You'll still get the flavour and texture of the pasta that you crave, but with almost half the calories, because that cup of zucchini has just 30 calories.
Did you know that half a cup of barbeque sauce can contain about 250 calories? If you're someone who uses sauces liberally, this could be a big source of extra calories for you. Instead, give your meats a spice rub, which contains virtually no calories. And keep an eye on stir-fry sauces, such as teriyaki. You can often get a lot of flavour using spices (think fresh ginger, garlic and herbs) and little soy sauce, instead of using a rich sugar-filled sauce.
According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips are in fact the biggest contributor to obesity. In a study that found Americans gain about a pound a year, chips were the biggest cause of that weight gain. Though a serving might have about 160 calories, chances are you eat at least two to three times that. Instead, bake a cup of kale mixed with a teaspoon of oil and a bit of salt to make your own kale chips. For about 70 calories, you'll get a much more nutrient-dense snack that won't make you pack on the pounds.
If you haven't yet heard of cauliflower rice, you're missing out. This simple recipe is the perfect low-calorie replacement for white rice, which will set you back about 250 calories. Just process cauliflower florets in a food processor or grate them with a box grater, then cook with a bit of water or oil until soft. Use it for the bed of rice below meat or fish, or on the side of a curry dish. The cauliflower mimics the texture of rice but has only about 30 calories per cup.
Hamburger buns can easily contain 200 calories or more. Instead of a bun, sandwich your burger or chicken breast with veggies that contain almost no calories. You've heard of using lettuce instead of a bun, but how about grilled portobello mushrooms? Or a tomato cut in half? If you can't give up bread entirely, try a small wrap, which should cut the calories in half. Thinking outside the bun will help you lighten up your meal.
The iconic lifestyle expert shares stylish ways to give your bedroom a fresh new look.
We recently had the chance to talk to Martha—who just launched her latest collection of home decor products at Hudson’s Bay—and ask her some of our burning questions about bedrooms and bedding. Yes, she irons her bed linens. No, she doesn’t like accent cushions on her bed, instead opting to style them on a nearby chair or chaise. How often does Martha think you should change your sheets? Once a week. “Investing in good bed linens will last you for many years. Wash them once a week and they will last you for a very long time,” she says. Here’s what else Martha has to say about making your bedroom design a “good thing”:
1. Add a headboard
A headboard can instantly pull an entire bedroom together! It gives the room a focal point when layered behind your comfy, cozy pillows.
2. Use colourful accents
Liven up your room with colourful lamps, a fresh coat of paint on an old dresser, or wallpaper in your closet. A light, floral pattern makes a statement next to a solid wall without being too bold. It's eye-catching and creates depth.
3. Use mirrors
Create the illusion of more space by using a wall full of mirrors. It's a beautifully polished touch that matches almost every colour and decor.
4. Get artsy
Bare walls really only mean one thing –room for art! Keep your bedding subtle and go bold with your favorite paintings and art pieces. It will make your bedroom more personal and way more interesting.
5. Style the nightstand
The nightstand is an oft-neglected but valuable piece of furniture in your bedroom. Turn it into a picture-perfect composition that will make your bedroom feel both homey and inspiring.
Our experts answer reader questions about dropping the last 10 pounds—or more.
Question: I've heard that lifting weights helps the body burn calories even when you're not active. True or false? — Reiko
Answer: That's true. A lot of women prioritize cardio because they want to lose fat, but that burns calories only while you're exercising; as soon as you stop, you're no longer burning as much. Instead, lifting weights revs up your metabolism, so you'll continue burning calories for a few hours after your workout. And don't worry about bulking up; women don't have enough testosterone for that. But you will get leaner!
— Trudie German, certified personal trainer and owner of bodyenvy.ca, Toronto
Question: Is it possible I'm meant to be this big? I've been about the same size all my adult life, give or take a dress size. My mom and my sister are both size 14, and so were my grandmas. Maybe it's genetics? — Anne
Answer: Your genes do play a role, but it's more important to remember that size isn't really a good measure of health. If you're active, feeling good and sleeping and eating well, you probably don't have to worry. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health." Of course, as you get heavier, there's a greater likelihood your health could be negatively impacted. But it's impossible for me to tell just by having you step on a scale; I have to do all sorts of tests to see if your weight really is affecting your health.
— Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network and professor at the University of Alberta
Question: I'm injured and I can't work out. Is it still possible to lose weight? (Even if I'm eating my feelings about not being able to exercise?) — Katie
Answer: It's certainly possible! In fact, what you eat has more of an impact on your weight than exercise. You won't be able to work off extra calories, so be particularly mindful of other factors that influence weight, too, by getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress and choosing healthy whole foods in appropriate portions. And try these tricks: Serve vegetables family-style so they're within easy reach, but keep richer foods on the stovetop; use a smaller plate; and focus on your food—you're more likely to overindulge if you're distracted, so try not to eat in front of the TV, in the car or at your desk at work. Lastly, don't deny your hunger; eventually, it will backfire and you'll find yourself overeating or grabbing a convenient but unhealthy snack. People often think they have to cut back on food if they're going to lose weight, but I counsel my clients to eat more during the day. The idea isn't to willpower your way to weight loss; it's to make sustainable changes.
— Casey Berglund, registered dietitian and owner of worthyandwell.com, Calgary