Easy peasy crock pot meal today!!! With low carb and family-friendly options! I have this thing about crock pot meals (besides loving how easy they are!). I first look at every crock pot recipe and see how much “precooking” I will need to do. For example, I don’t mind tossing some potatoes (or turnips!) and carrots in the micro or Instant Pot to precook them before adding to the crock pot, but when a meat needs precooked (like ground beef for chili or pasta casseroles), I think “there has to be an easier way than all that precooking before I ever assemble the actual dish!” I think this goes back to the days of precooking 20 pounds of ground beef for freezer entrees when we still had all seven kids at home. (That much precooking will do it to you!)

But this recipe….and sausage stir fry and kielbasa foil packets and kielbasa & soup beans and….and…. you get the idea. I know kielbasa isn’t the healthiest meat in the world. But oh the ease of cooking with it. (Okay, it’s like using cold meat except my family really likes it in dishes!) So I use it at least a couple of times a month for the fastest dinner entrees you can possibly create. Seriously…slice and use!

 

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I have a HUGE crock pot. It is actually an amazing one that has three sizes of inserts, so you can do super large, kind of big, and smaller {for dips, small roasts, etc.}. I have had it for over a dozen years, and every few years I get a new one, and they all fit together, and everything is wonderful. Except this week when I went searching for it, I see that Bed, Bath, and Beyond is no longer carrying it. AND everyplace else who listed “Hamilton Beach Three in One” had a new version with oval inserts rather than round. (Interpretation: no more ease of replacing a bottom every few years and having all of the inserts fit in it! Agghh…)

 

So I guess my new favorite crock pot is this one!

 

 

 

Regardless of the type of crock pot you use, be sure it is HUGE for this recipe (see pictures) or half the recipe for smaller crock pot or slow cooker.

Here are some “adaptation” tips for this recipe:

 

Low Carb

If you are trying to stay under forty carbs per day, potatoes, even in a combination dish such as this, would likely take you over your limit for the day. Red radishes, precooked in the microwave in some broth are good subs for red potatoes. They lose their bright red color and actually look like cooked little red potatoes. We had to give these up, however, because even fully cooked, they were giving us heartburn. My next best option for low carb potato substitute (cauliflower, notwithstanding…my husband prefers to have cauliflower roasted or lightly stir-fried, not as a substitute for everything carby! Lol) is turnips. (See my “6 Low Carb Potato Substitute Experiments” here.) I would still cube them like potatoes and precook in a little broth. I doubt anyone would know they weren’t potatoes in this dish (okay, except for ten year olds).

 

Healthier

Okay, I admit the truth about processed cold meats, even kielbasa, but there’s that convenience factor also! 😊 So….another good meat option for this (and one I have done when I didn’t have kielbasa and did have my homemade meatballs on hand) is homemade meatballs. I would think that if they are lean enough, you could cook them right in the crock—or you could cook them in the crock half way then add the veggies and finish cooking it all together (some people don’t like raw ground beef or turkey against veggies—I always precook my meatballs before using them).

 

Family-Friendly

As it is, this is a pretty family-friendly recipe. Kids usually like potatoes and meat, and green beans are a good veggie for pickier little ones (compare to broccoli or Brussel sprouts!). Using skinless kielbasa makes it a little easier for little ones to chew.

 

Even more convenient

What’s more convenient than a one pot meal that you don’t have to watch that contains pre-cooked, store-bought meat? You guessed it….precooked potatoes. Hear me out on this. Yes, they are more expensive than buying and peeling and cutting up potatoes. But…this blog is about “living well” (besides feeling great—which would be amazing to combine the two as often as possible). But in case this isn’t a “healthier’ night and living well for you on a certain Monday facing a night of homework is putting a warm meal together quickly, I invite you to buy a bag of “Simply Potatoes” in the refrigerated sections-toss it with the sausage rounds, green beans, broth, and seasoning—and…wait for it….put it all it the microwave for 45 minutes or so until everything is fully heated. You are welcome! 😊

 

Crock Pot Sausage, "Potatoes," and Beans (With Family Friendly and Low Carb Options!)
Author: 
Serves: 14-16
 
Net Carbs: 25 grams
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs of turkey, skinless kielbasa sausage, cut into rounds
  • 4 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cubed approximately the same size as sausage rounds (or turnips or radishes or store bought, pre-cooked potatoes)
  • 2 lbs of frozen green beans
  • 1 or 2 large onions, cut into chunks (I like to stir fry them before adding them or soften them in a little broth in the micro.)
  • Pork/smokehouse/ham base (to make “broth”)
  • All Purpose Seasoning Mix or other seasoning combination
Instructions
  1. Precook potatoes by steaming in micro or boiling on stove top. (I like to precook my potatoes if I am making a dish where the other ingredients are nearly cooked or fully cooked.)
  2. Mix all spices into 3 cups of hot water. Use the amount of base you like for your “broth.”
  3. Toss half of the meat and veggies into the crock pot and pour half of the liquid over.
  4. Toss second half of the meat and veggies into the crock pot and pour rest of liquid over.
  5. Cook–since mine needs to be done in three or four hours, I put it on high for an hour and low for two. You could put it on low for a long time. My crock pot has a WARM setting, so I move into that fairly quickly.
Notes
If you do not have the largest crock pot, cut this in half! It makes a full large crock!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 302 Fat: 8 Carbohydrates: 25 Sugar: 2 Protein: 27

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P.S. What is your favorite, go-to, super easy, ‘I’ve got this” dinner to throw together quickly? I’d love more ideas!

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