Easy slow cooker recipes for fall

The leaves are turning, the kids are back to school, and it's time to pull out the slow cooker. That big old, plug-in pot makes mealtime manageable when you're running from school to sports and back home to a late dinner. Best of all, it makes meats taste moist, tender and juicy. The key to loving your slow cooker is to keep it simple with recipes that don't require lots of ingredients or prep time. Here are three easy, traditional recipes that I've adapted. Set it, forget it, and eat when you're ready.

Easy Chicken Chili

1 grocery store rotisserie chicken

1 can white beans

1 29-ounce can tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 small can corn

1 small green, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

2 cups chicken broth

Pull apart the rotisserie chicken and place in the slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients, then cover the pot and cook on low heat for 5 to 8 hours.

Easy Swiss Steak

1-½ pounds beef round steak

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 16-ounce can chopped tomatoes

1 small onion, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Hot cooked rice or noodles

Cut meat into serving-size pieces. Pound 2 tablespoons of the flour into the meat. In a 10-inch skillet, brown the meat on both sides in canola oil. Drain off any excess fat. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Stir the remaining flour into the pan drippings in the skillet. Add the undrained tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Pour over the meat in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to ten hours. Season with pepper. Serve with hot cooked rice or noodles.

Old-Fashioned Chili

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion

¾ cup chopped green pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 16-ounce can of tomatoes

1 16-ounce can dark kidney beans

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

In a skillet, cook the ground beef or ground turkey, onion and garlic until the meat is browned. Drain off the fat. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the green pepper, undrained tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil and some black pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.