Eating Well While Balancing School and Home Life

Posted by on December 19, 2014

Written by Keli Tischler, Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth student

Almost a year ago I decided to go back to college after hitting the proverbial glass ceiling in my industry. Since I started school at Minnesota School of Business (MSB), I have noticed a great diversity in the student population. Some students are attending MSB right out of high school, some a few years after starting their careers, and others are returning to college after an extended period of time in the workforce. I am one of the latter. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps. I had not set foot in a classroom in almost 14 years before I started at MSB in January.

MSB-Plymouth Student, Keli Tischler

In addition to returning to college, I also became engaged. As many students know, balancing school, work and home life can be very difficult. One of the most difficult aspects my fiancé and I have is balancing time for the two of us in addition to homework and eating healthy when night classes are frequent. I have a few food restrictions and with the wedding approaching, eating junk food is out of the question. Planning and cooking meals is also made more difficult because my fiancé does not know how to cook. I once asked him to cook up a box of dry pasta while I was on my way home from class. When I came home, I checked on the pasta to find the temperature setting on low and the water barely warm! Needless to say, the kitchen is my domain.

Because I am the sole cook in our household, I have had to come up with easy meals that can be made quickly or while I am away. Enter the slow cooker. I will often make chili and beef or pork roasts in the slow cooker and allow them to simmer on low temperature all day so they are ready to eat when I come home after a long day at school. The newest slow cooker meal I have been making is made-from-scratch soups. I recently made a beef and vegetable soup that turned out wonderful. The biggest request for a slow cooker meal from my fiancé is for my chicken and potato soup. The recipe is simple and was created by accident. In this simple, yet filling and healthy dish, follow the recipe and tweak to your preferences for a sure home run for your home. Look like a professional chef while allowing the slow cooker to do all the work!

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Potato Soup

Needed supplies:

  • 5+ quart slow cooker (I use a 6 quart)
  • Large bowl or casserole dish (for stripping the chicken)


  • Whole roaster chicken (thawed)
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, halved and quartered
  • 1 small bag, baby carrots or equivalent
  • 2-3 stalks celery (optional), sliced
  • 4-5 wax potatoes (I use red potatoes, fingerlings work well too, do not use russets), cut into ½” to 1” cubes
  • Garlic pepper
  • Cajun seasoning salt (optional)
  • 4 c. water or broth


  • Remove chicken from bag and remove giblets from the cavity (discard or cook in broth if you like).
  • Rinse chicken under cold running water. Place chicken, skin and all, in your slow cooker, turn temperature to low.
  • Liberally season the cavity of the chicken with garlic pepper, lay chicken flat on the bottom of the slow cooker, breast up. Sprinkle top of the chicken with Cajun seasoning or other salt to taste. This is the only salt that will be used in the recipe. Go easy on the salt at the beginning, you can always add more later.
  • Pour your water around your chicken in the slow cooker. Add onion, carrot and celery to the slow cooker and cover. Let cook for five hours.
  • After five hours, your chicken should be falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and place in your bowl or casserole dish for stripping. The chicken will be HOT! Very carefully remove the wings and legs/thighs of the chicken and let cool for 15 minutes.
  • After the 15 minute cooling period, separate the back of the chicken from the breast and let that part continue to cool.
  • Shred the wings, legs and thighs either by hand or with utensils. Return the shredded meat to the broth mixture. Remove the meat from the back and breast, shred to comfortable eating size and also return to the broth mixture still in the slow cooker.
  • Discard the bones, cartilage and skin.
  • Add your cubed potatoes to the slow cooker and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender, depending on the size of your cubes, it should take 30 minutes to an hour. If you do not have someone at home to add the potatoes before you get home, you can add your potatoes when you start the cooking process.
  • Once potatoes are tender, ladle into bowls and serve. I like to add my favorite garlic bread as a side with the soup. I just make it easy on myself and buy a frozen ciabatta garlic bread found at the grocery store.


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