Slow Food Cooking: It’s Fast, Easy & Affordable

slow cooker crop new

I had never used a slow cooker until a few years ago when someone gave me one as a sort-of joke. To tell the truth, I’ve come to love it! You throw in a few ingredients in the morning, you come home in the evening and dinner’s ready. The Crock-Pot debuted for home cooks over 40 years ago as a method to cook dried beans. It became an efficient way for homemakers and busy people to serve affordable, tender, delicious meals using inexpensive cuts of meat, making it easy for moms and dads to prepare wholesome meals every day. Crockpots and other slow cookers are typically available from 2-7 quart capacity with a range in price from about $15- $300+ and much higher, depending on the size and features.

In the cookbook, this dish calls for tilapia fillets. For the slow cooker version, halibut or any firm, 1-inch thick white fish fillet will work. The anti-inflammatory properties of fresh cilantro, ginger, and olive oil help keep skin looking young. Of course, the fish is loaded with lean protein and Omega-3s.

Halibut Fillets with Cilantro

TS-506494611 Halibut


4 halibut fillets
2 lemons
3/4 cup seeded and sliced tomato

¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
2 Tbs. peeled and thinly sliced gingerroot
1/2 cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped scallions
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Sea salt and ground pepper to taste


1. Slice one of the lemons in about 10 thin rings and place on the bottom of a 5-to-6 quart slow cooker.
2. Place the halibut fillets in a single layer on top of the lemon slices.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker.

4. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
5. Cover; cook on Low for 2-to-3 hours or until the internal temperature of the halibut is at 145˚F.
6. To serve, place each halibut fillet on a plate and garnish with a lemon wedge.

In the cookbook, this dish is called Mama’s Chicken Sauté, but it adapts well to crockpot cooking. My mother made this dish whenever we craved comfort food. It calls for hard boiled eggs, but you can leave those out, because long, slow cooking can make them rubbery. For this version, I cook the potatoes in the slow cooker with the chicken. The chicken provides selenium, and the tomatoes offer lycopene. The garlic contributes healthy allicin compounds, while the olive oil adds natural anti-inflammatory compounds (oleocanthal and oleuropein).

Mama’s Chicken

Mamas Chicken Saute238


2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups diced tomatoes
12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips

4 medium-sized red potatoes, cut into halves
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground pepper


  1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker
  2. Cover and cook on Low for 6-to-8 hours or on High for 2-to-3 hours.
  3. Serve with a fresh green salad

Inexpensive cuts of beef are taken to new heights with low, slow cooking. The lysine in the beef repairs tissues and helps the skin build collagen. Try to buy grass-fed beef, because it contains Omega-3s and other healthy fats. The carrots provide beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A, which boosts immune function. Carrots also contain lutein, which is beneficial to eye health. The natural red pigments of the cabbage (betalains) are said to lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production. Betalains have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Asian Short Ribs

TS-467817003 Asian Short Ribs



3 to 4 lbs. beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbs. peeled and thinly sliced gingerroot
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup carrots cut into 1-inch chunks
½ head of red cabbage, cut into quarters
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup green onions for garnish, chopped


  1. Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper.
  2. Pour over ribs in a slow cooker. Place carrots and cabbage on top. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Transfer the cabbage, short ribs, and carrots to plate and cover with foil. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard.
  4. Turn the slow cooker to high. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water until smooth.
  5. Whisk into the cooking liquid and cook in the slow cooker until thickened. Spoon the sauce over the short ribs and vegetables and sprinkle with the green onions.

I hope these healthful recipes will make your life a little easier and more delicious this winter!

About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that.
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.