Whole30, Day 9: Crock Pots are your friend

My grandmother raised nine children, started her first real job in her 40s, survived the loss of her husband and recently underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery.

I just found out she did all that without a Crock Pot or a microwave, and my respect for her increased immensely.

Grandma Mary is kind of a BAMF.

Which brings me to Day 9 of my Whole30 experience.

When I first started cooking for myself, I thanked sweet baby Jesus for Crock Pots. There’s something about coming home from a long day at work, opening your front door and smelling a fully-prepared dinner that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

Now that I have to prepare pretty much every meal myself, that feeling has increased tenfold.

My first Whole30 Crock Pot recipe comes from Emily at One Lovely Life. (It feels weird name dropping like that, because I have never met Emily and don’t intend to, but this is how all the other bloggers do it, so…)

I went with the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili because a) I found it on one of those Buzzfeed “best of” lists, and b) It looked pretty hard to mess up. Thank god that turned out to be true.

The only thing I will say about this recipe and many others: Perhaps don’t wait to start prepping it until 30 minutes before you leave for work. It will not go well for you.

The process of cutting the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic took me about 20 minutes, and a couple near-misses involving my appendages, but then came my favorite part: the “dump and go.”

So as it turns out, chili is REALLY hard to photograph without it looking like vomit. Go figure.

There is something highly satisfying about dumping a bunch of raw meat, vegetables and broth into a slow cooker and then just bailing.

After work, I got a massage (I recently caved and purchased a Massage Envy monthly membership – more on that later), and when I came home, my apartment smelled heavenly.

I paired it with a bunch of greens I already had on hand, some tomatoes and onions, and an olive oil-lemon juice salad dressing.

Morgan loves when I make him clear tables so I can take photos of food with my iPhone.

I was so proud, I even texted my boyfriend about my delicious chili experiment, and (no surprise here) he came right over. In his words: “I would totally eat this even if you weren’t doing Whole30.”


And this might be the best part: Once we were finished with dinner, I still had about five meals’ worth of leftovers. Usually I spoon it into separate Tupperware containers so I can grab-and-go, but tonight I had errands to run, so I literally just put the entire Crock Pot into my fridge.

Hello you beautiful friend, you.

So there you have it: My first Whole30 Crock Pot win. Next up: Trying to survive a weekend at the lake without grill food and beer.