Your slowcooker/crockpot is the perfect way to make family-friendly economical meals.  Try this Larpin' Good Soup that adds ground beef, tomatoes, and cheese to canned minestrone soup for a tasty, warm-you-from-the-inside-out meal.  The Beef, Carrots, and Cabbage dish provides a tasty dish that uses a less-expensive cut of roast with tasty, healthy veggies for a good family meal.  For a different chili try this recipe for Bean and Salsa Turkey Chili.

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LARIPIN' SOUP 
4 cans Campbell's minestrone soup
4 soup cans of water
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chilies
2 lb ground beef, browned to remove fat
1 block (16-oz) Mexican-style Velveeta cheese
Combine all the ingredients together in a crockpot or slowcooker. Place lid on cooker and cook the mixture on low setting for approximately 8 hours.
Delicious served with cornbread.

BEEF WITH CARROTS AND CABBAGE 
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck pot roast
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
6 medium carrots, cut into 2 to 2 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
4 cups coarse shredded cabbage

Trim the fat from the beef. Combine the oregano, cumin, paprika, pepper and half the salt in a small bowl; sprinkle over the beef and gently rub in.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet and brown the meat over medium heat.


 
While meat browns, combine the carrots and garlic in the slow cooker and pour the broth over all.  Top with the browned meat.

Cover the cooker and cook on low setting for 7 to 8 hours or 4 hours on high setting.  At the end of this cooking time, be sure to have setting on high, add cabbage and replace cover.  Cook for 30 minutes until cabbage is tender.

Note:  The carb to protein ration for this dish is good for diabetics, too.

BEAN AND SALSA TURKEY CHILI 
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 lb ground turkey*
1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jar (16-oz) chunky salsa
1 can (15-oz) black beans
1 can (15-oz) kidney beans
1 can (15-oz) chili beans
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Heat canola oil in a medium skillet, add turkey and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink.  This will probably take about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally during the cooking process.

Transfer the turkey to a crockpot or slow cooker and add the tomatoes, salsa, black beans, kidney beans, chili beans, chili powder, and cumin.  Stir to blend well.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high setting 3 to 4 hours or on low setting approximately 6 hours.

To serve, ladle into individual bowls and top with cheddar cheese as desired.

*Be aware if buying the ground turkey (or chicken).  Read the label and be sure mixture does not contain skin which really ups the fat in the meat.