Q: I managed to get my hands on a hand-me-down slow cooker late in the winter from my parents this year and I was wondering if you had any suggestions of lighter spring/summer dishes that could be made using this wonderful time-saver?
Sent by Kayla
Editor: Kayla, personally I use the slow cooker mainly as a convenient way to cook large amounts of inexpensive meat. Think chicken thighs, pork butt, and pot roast. I don't use it for more complicated recipes; I find that the stovetop is more convenient for soups and stews. But if you want to make a bunch of shredded chicken for salads (and for freezing for later) without heating up your kitchen too badly, then the slow cooker is ideal. Try one of these recipes:
• Slow Cookers to the Rescue! Heatwave Carnitas
• Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
Readers, any other favorite spring and summer slow cooker recipes?
Related: Two Slow Cooker Meals for Hot Weather
(Image: Kathryn Hill)