Who says you can’t have nutritious, gourmet meals on-the-go? I have found my biggest ally in the time vs. nutritional dinners struggle is my slow cooker. Since slow cooker cooking is typically a throw-and-go task, a couple of minutes gathering the non-perishable ingredients at night and a couple of minutes throwing the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning is all it takes. Here are some great recipes that are easy, nutritional and delicious for you and your young athlete:

Chicken Stroganoff - 2 chicken breasts per family member, 1 large can of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, 1 large container of fat free sour cream, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 bag of egg noodles. Combine the soup, sour cream and onion soup mix in a medium bowl until soup mix is fully dissolved. Place a slow cooker liner in the slow cooker. Pour in soup mixture. Place chicken breasts on top of soup mixture. Use spoon to cover chicken with soup. Place slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Five minutes before serving prepare egg noodles as package directs. To serve, place 1 cup of egg noodles on a plate. Spoon one chicken breast and soup mix over noodles. (By using 2 chicken breasts per family member there should be plenty of leftovers to pack for a healthy lunch the next day or enjoy again the next evening.)

Whole Chicken - 1 whole roasted chicken, 4 baking potatoes, seasoning salt. Scrub potatoes and wrap them individually in aluminum foil. Place them on the bottom of a lined slow cooker. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the chicken. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Place chicken breast-side down on top of potatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Because the chicken is breast-side down the breast will stay nice and juicy.

Pork Chops - 2 pork chops per family member, 1 container of chicken or beef broth (whichever flavor you prefer), 1 package of onion soup mix. Place liner in slow cooker. Pour in broth and soup mix. Combine with whisk until soup mix is dissolved. Place pork chops in liquid. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with your favorite veggies and a side salad.

Salsa Chicken - 2 chicken breasts for each family member, 2 C salsa, 1 package of taco seasoning, 1 C fat free sour cream, 2 C brown rice cooked according to package directions. Place chicken in lined slow cooker. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. Pour salsa over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and place in serving dish. Add fat free sour cream to salsa in slow cooker. Mix until completely combined. Pour over chicken. Serve over brown rice.

You will notice in each of these recipes I added a slow cooker liner. If you want to talk about saving time, this little ingenious invention makes clean-up a snap. No more soaking overnight and scrubbing your slow cooker until your hands hurt. A simple rinse with dish soap and it is ready for the next use.

Betcha didn’t think you could have a whole chicken on a weeknight. By using your slow cooker slow cooker you can have these meals and many more. In my last post on this topic we will look at “Make-Ahead” meals, which will save you precious weeknight cooking time.

See ya real soon!

Sue is a member of the 2014 Disney Parks Moms Panel representing ESPN Wide World of Sports. She is here to answer your questions and help you plan your team’s next trip.