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Meal planning: An expert is in help you prep for supper success

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MILWAUKEE -- Did you know 80 percent of Americans don't know what they'll have for dinner tonight? Many are cooking less than ever before. But a little meal planning can help you eat healthier and save some money too. Registered dietitian, Kerry Clifford with Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market, joins Real Milwaukee with five Crock-Pot recipes you can prep in no time.

Meal 1: Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

  • The first recipe is a family favorite and great for game time this weekend! It has tons of great spices which means that you don’t need to only season with salt! Add ground turkey, chili powder, red onion, cumin, garlic, chopped sweet potato, diced tomatoes, black beans, tomato sauce, chicken broth and black pepper to a slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high. It easily feeds 4 people, or 2 people with leftovers for lunch! If you like a little spice, you can dice and add some jalapeño.

RECIPE:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 (15-oz) can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can Tomato Sauce (or tomato "puree")
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper

Combine all items in a bag or place directly into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.

Meal 2: Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

  • This is a great recipe for meatless Mondays or those avoiding meat on Fridays in March. Grab our chopped Butternut Squash so you don’t even have to peel and cut it. Lentils in the bulk section at Fresh Thyme are packed with protein and fiber. Toss them in a bag and freeze or dump into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours. You don’t even have to soak the beans! And you can buy all these spices in the bulk section, so you don’t have to commit to a whole container of it.

RECIPE:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup diced Celery
  • 2 tablespoons Peeled ginger
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup Red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon Curry powder

Combine all items in a bag or place all ingredients directly into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.

Meal 3: Ginger Peach Chicken

  • The Ginger Peach Chicken is great with brown rice, which you can even buy frozen! This one includes a personal favorite Fresh Thyme find, coconut aminos, which are a soy free alternative. Once added to the slow cooker, cook on high for 4-5 hours. This meal serves 6 people.

RECIPE:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
  • 12-ounce bag of frozen peach slices
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

Combine all items in a bag or place directly into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.

Meal 4: Pot Roast and Green Beans

  • Don’t avoid beef! Grass fed beef packs much less saturated fat and increases polyunsaturated fat, which is better for you. It’s a great choice to boost iron and vitamin B12. Add the beef to the slow cooker with sliced mushrooms, green beans, diced potatoes and a beef pot roast. The great thing about all these recipes is you don’t really have to measure and you can season them just how you like!

RECIPE:

  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 lb. beef pot roast

Combine all items in a bag or place directly into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.

Meal 5: Turkey White Bean Kale Soup

  • Our final recipe is a Turkey White Bean Kale Soup. You won’t even notice the kale if it’s not your favorite thing here. What’s also great about slow cooking meals is that they stay good in your freezer for up to 6 months!

RECIPE:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 turnip, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (19 ounce) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all items in a bag or place directly into the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high.