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5 Low-Calorie Slow-Cooker Meals

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HEALTHY CROCK POT RECIPES
Alan Richardson
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By Lynn Andriani

Everyone's favorite kitchen workhorse can do a lot more than short ribs, as these light, bright dinners show. (Slow pizza, anyone?)

  • Pizza -- Really!
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    Homemade pizza may not initially seem like a classic slow-cooker dish, but Robin Robertson, author of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, says it totally makes sense, since you don't have to worry about burning it, and turning on a Crock-Pot won't make your kitchen hot (but cranking the oven up to 500 degrees sure will). This thick and chewy pizza is a light version of the deep-dish personal pan ones served in restaurants, with much less oil (just a tablespoon) and no butter. Get the recipe: Puttanesca Pizza
  • The New Greek Supper
    Alan Richardson
    We love the classic Greek dinner of grilled or roasted meat wrapped up in a pita as much as anyone, but we've fallen hard for this vegetarian dish. Michele Scicolone, author of The Mediterranean Slow Cooker, simmers a big pot of white beans in a savory tomato sauce and then sprinkles it with tangy feta cheese. It takes about eight hours to cook, so you can start it in the morning and forget about it until dinnertime. Get the recipe: Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce
  • The Southern Classic, Lightened Up
    Thinkstock
    In this recipe from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, quinoa replaces rice and mixes with black-eyed peas to create a new spin on two Southern dishes, dirty rice and hoppin' John (which usually consists of peas, rice and bacon). For an even heartier meal, add some cooked crumbled or chopped vegan or vegetarian sausage just before serving, which adds flavor without tons of extra calories. Get the recipe: "Dirty John" Quinoa
  • Salmon à la You
    Alan Richardson
    While many slow-cooker recipes can take eight hours or more, this is one you can start in the late afternoon and still have ready by 7. It'll take just two hours for a broth made from vinegar, water and a handful of vegetables to become rich and savory, and less than 30 minutes for salmon steaks -- a staple for calorie counters -- to poach. Then, you can use the fish any number of ways, Scicolone says. Serve it plain with some of the cooking broth, chill for seafood salad, or eat hot or cold alongside tzatziki or pesto. Get the recipe: Poached Salmon in Court-Bouillon
  • The Colorful Antidote To The Winter Blahs
    Alan Richardson
    In Moroccan cuisine, a tagine is a slow-cooked stew braised at a low temperature, traditionally in a cone-shaped tagine pot. You can re-create this steamy environment in a Crock-Pot. This recipe from The Mediterranean Slow Cooker -- which includes carrot, rutabaga, butternut squash and apricot -- looks beautiful on the plate and might just be the sweetest way to eat your vegetables. Regular or Israeli couscous (both come in whole wheat varieties) are the perfect accompaniment. Get the recipe: Golden Vegetable Tagine

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