By Denise Swogetinsky

Special to The Messenger

With spring coming, who wants to be stuck inside cooking. This makes us question eating low carb. Well, never fear, we can use our crock pot to keep away from the kitchen, and still serve healthy meals. Remember, planning and moderation is the key to healthy living.



 2 cups mild or medium salsa, simmered to reduce to 1 cup

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

salt and black pepper, for seasoning chicken

2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 cup grated low-fat Mozzarella


Put 2 cups of salsa into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until enough liquid has evaporated that the salsa has reduced to 1 cup.

Trim all visible fat and undesirable parts from the chicken breasts and cut each one in half lengthwise.

Put the chicken in a single layer in a slow cooker that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. When the salsa has reduced to 1 cup, stir in the lime juice and pour the mixture over the chicken. Cook on high for 60-90 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, preheat the broiler and spray a small glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. Use a slotted turner to lift out chicken pieces with whatever salsa clings to the chicken and arrange in a single layer in the casserole dish. Then use a slotted spoon to scoop out the chunkier parts of the salsa and spoon it over the chicken. Sprinkle 1 cup grated low-fat Mozzarella over the chicken and put the dish under the broiler until the cheese is melted and starting to lightly brown. (This will be about 5 minutes with most broilers, but watch it carefully!) Serve hot, with a little low-fat sour cream to add at the table if desired.This will keep for a day or two in the fridge. For best results when reheating, put it in a small glass dish covered with foil and reheat in a toaster oven. (If you must reheat it in the microwave, use lower heat so the chicken doesn’t dry out.)




1 lb fish

 1 bell pepper, diced

 1 small onion, diced

 1 garlic cloves, minced

 15 ounces diced tomatoes

 1 tsp dried herbs

 1/3 cup low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)

 1/2 tsp salt

 1/4 tsp pepper


Add onion, bell pepper, broth, tomatoes, garlic to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.Add fish on top of tomato mixture. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and herbs on top of fish. Pour broth on top.Cook HIGH 1-2 hours or 2-4.



 2 lbs beef sirloin, sliced

 6–8 slices provolone cheese

 1 large onion, sliced

 2 bell peppers, sliced

 4 ounces mushrooms

 1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth

 1  tsp steak seasoning

 1/2 tsp garlic powder

 1/4 tsp pepper

 1/4 tsp parsley

 1/4 tsp salt if your steak seasoning doesn’t include it*


 Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker EXCEPT the provolone cheese. Stir to mix well.Cook high 2-3 hours, low 4-6.Stir to mix again and add provolone cheese slices in a thin layer across the top of the mixture.Cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.



 2 tsp celery salt

 1 tsp paprika

 1 tsp mustard powder

 1/2 tsp allspice

 1/2 tsp black pepper

 1/2 tsp cardamon

 1/4 tsp nutmeg

 1/4 tsp cloves

 1/4 tsp cinnamon

 1/4 tsp ginger


Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.Cook HIGH 1 hour, LOW 2.Remove shrimp from the slow cooker.