Slow dinner

Three easy meals that cook up relaxing and nutritious endings to the day.

Dinner should be a relaxed meal, eaten without rush, a long evening’s feast of gastronomical pleasures.

This does not mean overeating, of course, but enough delicious food, including dessert, to end the day and prepare for the next.

In our modern fast-paced society, these events are becoming too infrequent. But it need not mean we should ever eat tasteless fast food that’s not healthy or enjoyable. Our TV-dinner society is alive but unwell, with today’s fast-food dinners looking much different. Avoid these by choosing more wisely.

By planning and preparing ahead of time, you can have a healthy, nutritious and relaxing dinner ready to go most evenings. Slow-cooked meals are one healthy way to avoid dinner stress, and they also often provide leftovers for lunches or more dinner the next day. 

If you start the day with a healthy breakfast, have a good lunch and eat healthy snacks midmorning and afternoon, dinner should be your smallest meal. Skipping breakfast, a skimpy lunch, and overeating in the evening can wreck your metabolism and your gut.

Slow-cooked meals can be made in a crockpot, or in the oven with a heavy covered casserole dish or Dutch oven — porcelain-coated cast-iron pans are great. It often works well to sear a roast or chicken for a short period at high heat before placing in the crockpot or Dutch oven at low heat (around 200° F) with vegetables and some liquid (either water or stock).

Many dishes like this can be cooked all day while you are away or at work, allowing you to return home to an inviting aromatic atmosphere and a tender dinner. For some of these dishes you may wish to remove the lid and place in a hot oven (375-400°) for a few minutes to brown the outside.

Dinners like this also can provide the basis for the next evening’s meals, combined with other items from the refrigerator, for a sampling of tasty leftovers you’ve accumulated over the past few days.

Of course on those days when you don’t find time for a slow-cook meal, a simple dinner can always be a small salad with some protein, or an egg dish with vegetables. Either way, dinner should be easy, delicious and relaxing.

Gourmet meals that are quick and easy to make, delicious and nutritious, should be our daily cuisine. It’s all about planning and using some simple short-cuts that don’t sacrifice quality. Here are three recipes that are old-fashioned meat-and-vegetable meals. You could create several different dishes by simply varying the kind of meats, and vegetables in these three simple, delicious and nutritious dinners:

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Ben Wieczorek says:

    Oh man I love my slow cooker, it is the perfect way to go for a busy family, my 2 year old’s favorite is mole lamb!!
    Love the site and posts btw

  • Liked the article and recipes, but have an issue with this:

    “If you start the day with a healthy breakfast, have a good lunch and eat healthy snacks midmorning and afternoon, dinner should be your smallest meal. Skipping breakfast, a skimpy lunch, and overeating in the evening can wreck your metabolism and your gut.”

    This seems to be right out of the Registered Dietician’s playbook of awful advice that got us all on the high carb/low fat SAD (Standard American Diet) with the financial backing of Kellogg, Mars Candy, Pepsi, General Mills, Coke, Abbott Labs, etc., etc., etc.

    They are in the last desperate stages of defending the whole Calories In/Calories Out, Hearthealthywholegrains/Arterycloggingsaturatedfat paradigm, and the idea that we need to eat five or six times a day is part of it. It’s not nutritional advice — it’s marketing. Of course, if you’re eating a high carb diet, you may need to eat more often as you become metabolically impaired.

    Cheers!

    • Jerry:

      I don’t understand what the paragraph you put in quotations has to do with the rest of your comment. The paragraph has nothing to do with “the whole Calories In/Calories Out, Hearthealthywholegrains/Arterycloggingsaturatedfat paradigm.” So what if they also suggest several meals instead of 3? There is no intrinsic link between 4+ meals and a junk food diet (and there is also no intrinsic link between 3 meals and a good diet).

      The paragraph in quotations makes a very simple, very unremarkable, very easy-to-defend point: if you eat more smaller meals, it’s easier to put food into your digestive system at rates that it can handle, without bringing down your energy levels.

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