Crockpot Cooking: 3 Low-fat Recipes to Start the New Year With

Want to start the New Year on a warm and healthy note? Do it using your Crockpot! Check out these healthy, low fat slow cooker recipes that will give you a positive start to your New Year.

#1 Sweet and Spicy Satsuma Turkey

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I had enough turkey over Christmas! Well, okay maybe that’s not quite true, but certainly any turkey I had was your traditional, dry, roasted turkey that stayed wedged in my throat until I washed it down a good glug of snowball! This Turkey dish is completely different though…  Not only is it extremely tasty and moist, it is also under 300 calories per serving! Perfect to fit into your New Year Resolution diet plan eh?


  • 3 cups thinly sliced red onion (1 large onion)
  • 3/4 cup riesling or other slightly sweet white wine $
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (2 large oranges) $
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 3/4 pounds bone-in turkey thighs, skinned
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh Satsuma mandarin orange sections (about 7 oranges)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Sliced green onions (optional)


  1. Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a 5-quart oval electric slow cooker.
  2. Now Rinse the turkey with cold water and pat dry.
  3. Sprinkle your turkey with five-spice powder and salt.
  4. Heat up a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat then add oil to the pan; swirling to coat.
  5. Pop the turkey in and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  6. Then place the browned turkey in a single layer over your onion mixture in the slow cooker, overlapping slightly.
  7. Add your orange sections. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
  8. At the end remove the turkey from slow cooker and take out all of the bones. (You can get rid of them)
  9. Place turkey on a lovely platter.
  10. Pour the cooking liquid and orange sections into a medium saucepan, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  11. Combine the reserved cooking liquid and corn-starch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
  12. Stir corn-starch mixture into orange mixture in saucepan.
  13. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly for one minute or until sauce thickens.
  14. Serve the delicious sauce over the turkey and sprinkle with green onions, if you like!

#2 Crockpot Banana Bread Quinoa


If you are embarking on a new healthy eating regime this year, or if you are trying to lose weight, then kick-start your metabolism in the morning by eating a proper, not to mention healthy and filling breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunch – no mid morning fatty snacks!

Bet you never though of preparing a yummy breakfast in your slow cooker overnight thought did you? Imagine waking up to the mouthwatering aroma of baking bananas – who needs an alarm clock when you have a crockpot?

This recipe uses quinoa. Are you thinking – er, what on earth is that? So was I until I did a little bit of online browsing… Well it’s a superfood for starters. It tastes a bit like rice or barley as its slightly chewy, but if you cook it with the right ingredients (enter bananas, brown sugar and butter – don’t freak out, it’s breakfast, you’ll need all of those calories to get you through til lunch!) then it becomes a pretty good dish indeed!

When you combine all of these ingredients what you get tastes just like banana bread! Yum.


  • 1 cup of quinoa (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup of Seasonal Coffee-mate Warm Cinnamon Sugar Cookie *
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 banana (past ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Mash the banana in a bowl and pop to one side. In another bowl, mix the brown sugar and walnuts together. Try not to drool.
  2. Pour quinoa, creamer (or light cream), milk, water, butter and vanilla into the crock pot. (try not to think of all the calories, you will be pleasantly surprised by the end of this article) Add the mashed banana and stir to evenly distribute. Sprinkle the sugar and walnut mixture into the quinoa and stir to mix.
  3. Cook on LOW for 4 – 6 hours, or until the quinoa is fully cooked. TIP: set your crockpot on a timer so you can cook it overnight and wake up to the smell of breakfast!) If you need to, add additional liquid or sugar to the mixture for taste.
  4. Serve warm and garish with slices of banana!

And now for the wonderful, marvellous news – there are only about 260 calories per serving! That is less than a blueberry muffin from Costa Coffee. Pretty good eh?

#3 Barley Risotto with Fennel


And now for something a bit posh – just in case you want to impress some friends and celebrate the new year by throwing a fancy dinner party… Forget slaving over a stove stirring the starch out of rice – sling everything in your crockpot and get on with being a marvelous hostess!


  • 2 teaspoon(s) fennel seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and finely diced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fronds
  • 1 cup(s) pearl barley, or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 4 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth, or “no-chicken” broth
  • 1 1/8 cup(s) water, divided
  • 1/3 cup(s) dry white wine
  • 2 cup(s) frozen French-cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup(s) pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan.
  3. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley (or rice), carrot, shallot and garlic in the slow cooker.
  4. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but pleasantly chewy, and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or low.
  6. Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package instructions and drain.
  7. Turn off the slow cooker.
  8. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto.
  9. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto.
  10. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fennel fronds.

Which one of these do you like the best? Which one will you try to make?

Cover photo:

About the author

Zara M.

I love to write, draw, take photographs, dance tango, write in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook and ogle other people’s Filofaxes. Oh – and I like LOTS of sugar in my tea! I want to inspire you, and show you the world through my eyes.

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