The Benefits of Slow Cooking: CrockPot Harvest Stew Recipe

Photo: Stephanie O'Dea

One of my favourite cookbooks - Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea - is used throughout the year in our house, especially the winter months when comfort foods such as stew, chilli and soup are a staple.

Slow cooking in a crock pot is an easy way to create nutritious and delicious meals when you're short on time.

In fact, the simple acquisition of a slow cooker can have a big impact on keeping your new year's resolutions about healthy eating. Think about it: what could be easier than emptying a bunch of healthy ingredients into a pot in the morning, and returning to a ready-made and nutritious dinner, with leftovers for lunch? 

I highly recommend you pick up a copy of her book, but in the meantime you can test the theory with this Harvest Stew recipe. It's a good one!


Harvest Stew


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken 
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole can tomatoes and chilies 
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Use a big crockpot for this stew (6.5 quart).

No need to brown the meat if you use chicken or turkey, but if you prefer beef or pork, brown on the stove top and drain before adding to the stew. 

Microwave the squash it on high for 2 minutes. Use a paring knife to cut away the skin. 

Peel and chop all of the vegetables, and add to the crockpot.

Break up the ground meat with your fingers and add it in.

Dump in the kidney beans and the can of tomatoes and chilies.

Add the broth and the seasonings. Stir well. 

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.