WELCOME

Welcome to this slow cooker/crockpot blog. I believe slow cookers are the best thing to happen to modern day cooks. I used mine often when I worked outside the home and continue to do so even in retirement. It is so nice to put food on and forget about it. Slow cookers also allow us to cook many things we would normally have to use the oven for; what a relief in hot Texas weather! Some of these recipes are mine, many are ones I have collected over the years.

Monday, October 31, 2011

HARVEST CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 lb small new red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
2 cups baby carrots, cut into thirds
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

In a medium-size bowl combine the chicken, 2 tablespoons of the flour, half of the salt, and the pepper.  Add the mixture to the slow cooker or crockpot.  Stir in the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme, the sage and chicken broth.  Place lid on cooker and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.

In a small bowl, stir the butter and the remaining tablespoon of flour together until a paste forms.  Push the chicken and veggies to one side in the cooker and whisk the paste, remaining salt and remaining thyme into the cooker.  Cook for 1 more hour to thicken.

Note: This recipe has an equal number of protein and carbs per serving which makes it a good diabetic dish.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

BBQ MEATBALLS SAUCE

Premade Frozen Meatballs
2 cups catsup
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp liquid smoke

Turn the slowcooker or crockpot on high setting.  Place frozen meatballs in the cooker.

In a bowl combine the catsup, brown sugar, garlic powder, chopped onion, and liquid smoke until well combined.  Pour the sauce mixture over the meatballs.  Cook on high for a few minutes then turn the heat setting to low and cook, covered, 3 to 4 hours.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE

4 large chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup minute rice

In a crockpot or slowcooker combine the 3 types of soup, and the rice.  Place the chicken on top of the rice/soup mixture.  Add the celery over the chicken.  Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, October 28, 2011

SOUTHERN ARTICHOKE DIP

2 cans (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 (10-oz) pkg frozen chopped collard greens*, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

Combine artichoke hearts, collard greens, Parmesan, mayonnaise, sour cream, shallots, and pepper sauce in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook untilthe Parmesan melts and the dip is hot, about 1 to 2 hours on high or 3 to 4 hours on low.

After cooking, stir in the lemon zest.

Serve with the bell pepper strips.

*Substitute spinach, if desired.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CROCKPOT SWEDISH MEATBALLS

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Mix above ingredients together well; form into meatballs.  Brown meatballs on all sides in a large nonstick skillet.  Remove from skillet and drain off any excess fat.  Place meatballs in crokpot or slow cooker.  Make the following sauce and pour over meatballs in the cooker:

Sauce
1 cup catsup
2 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

Mix all sauce ingredients together to combine.  Pour over the meatballs in the cooker.  Cover and cook on low 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS PUNCH FOR A CROWD

3 quarts bottled cranberry juice
2 quarts apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
8 cinnamon sticks
3 tsp whle cloves

In a large slow cooker or crockpot, mix the cranberry juice, apple juice, sugar, and salt together until the sugar is dissolved.  Tie the cloves and cinnamon sticks together in cheesecloth and add to the mixture.  Cover and cook for 2to 3 hours on low setting.  Remove spice bag.

Yield: 56 4-ounce servings.

Note: Lower the heat to the 'keep warm' setting if not using at once.

If your crowd isn't that big, reduced the ingredients by half.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

VEGETABLE STUFFED ONIONS

4 (3-lbs) Vidalia onions
1 pkg (12-oz) frozen soy crumbles, thawed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 bag (10-oz) bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
Juice of half a lemon
Grated peel of half a lemon
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Trim the bottom of each onion so it will stand upright.  Be careful to leave bottom intact so it can hold the filling.  Trim a tiny bit from the top of each onion.  Cut out the onions centers leaving an intact onion shell of two layers.  (Save centers for another use or discard.  They are not needed for this recipe.)

In a medium bowl combine the sooy crumbles, rice, 1 cup of the peas and carrots, lemon peel, sage, salt, pepper, and allspice.  Fill the onion cavities with the veggie filling; pack firmly.  Place the onions in the slow cooker and sprinkle the remaining peas and carrots around the onions.

Mix the tomato puree, chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the Worcestershire sauce; pour around (not over) the onions.  Place lid on cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low or until the onions are fork tender.

To serve, sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of fresh dill over the onions.

Monday, October 24, 2011

MEATLESS SPAGHETTI SAUCE

1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (28-oz each) whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 pkg (12-oz) soy crumbles
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12-oz uncooked spaghetti, broken into halves or thirds
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In the crockpot or slow cooker stir together the bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomatoes with puree, soy crumbles, vinegar, dried basil, sugar, and salt breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden or large plastic spoon.  Place lid on the cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Stir in the spaghetti, boiling water, fresh basil and fresh parsley.  Replace lid and cook for another hour or until the pasta is tender.

Yield: 8 servings

NOTE:  This recipe is diabetic friendly with 279 calories, 49 g carbs, and 17 g protein per serving putting it in the acceptable carb/protein ratio.  Use whole-grain pasta for an even better diabetic dish.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

PORK AND BLACK BEANS WITH RICE

1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized cubes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans (15-oz each) black beans
1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 cup cooked brown rice

In a slow cooker or crockpot, toss together the pork, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper; stir in the onion, beans, tomatoes and water.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Stir in the cilantro.  Using a potato masher or the back of a large plastic or wooden spoon, mash the beans slightly until the mixture thickens. 

To serve, per serving, place rice in a shallow bowl and top with bean mixture.

Yield: 6 servings

Saturday, October 22, 2011

OLD SETTLERS BEANS

1/2 lb bacon, fried, drained on paper towels, crumbled in large pieces
1 1/2 lb hamburger, browned and drained
1/2 bag frozen onion and peppers
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 ketchup
1 can pork & beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can butter beans
2 tbsp mustard
1/2 cup hot sauce, optional

Combine all the above ingredients in a crockpot or slowcooker.  Place lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 6 hours. 

Note: The hot sauce is optional, according to your taste.  If you want just a little heat cut the hot sauce back to a couple of tablespoons.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LARIPIN' SOUP

This is a recipe from the area where I grew up in Indiana.
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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PORK AND PEPPER STEW

3 tbsp flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into cubes of approx. 1-inch
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat broiler.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, garlic, marjoram, sage, salt, and black pepper; add the cubed pork and toss to coat. Shake pork cubes to remove excess flour and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Reserve the flour. Drizzle the oil over the pork and broil 5-inches from the heat, turning frequently, until light brown (about 10 minutes).

Place the browned pork along with any juices to the slow cooker or crockpot. Stir in the bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken broth, and the reserved flour mixture until smooth. Place lid on the cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low, until the meat is tender.

VEGGIE AND BEAN CHIPOTLE CHILI

1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 pkg (8-oz) fresh mushrooms, large chopped
2 large yellow bell peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb zucchini, chunked
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt), if desired
In a 5 or 6-quart slowcooker or crockpot combine the beans, tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, chile powder, brown sugar, and salt. Press the vegetables down into the mixture to form a layer; Top with the zucchini. Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Approximately 20 minutes before serving, gradually stir in the cornmeal until well blended. Replace lid and and cook on high setting until the chili simmers and thickens. This will take about 15 miutes.
To serve, top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
NOTE: This is good as a topping over a baked potato, too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PIMIENTO CHEESE FONDUE

1 pkg* (16-oz) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 jar (7-oz) diced pimiento, drained well
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Combine the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream in a 3 to 4 -quart slow cooker or crockpot.  Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 1 hour.  Remove lid and stir the mixture to combine.  Replace the lid and continue cooking for 30 more minutes. 

Add the pimiento, onions and red pepper to the cheese mixture stirring to blend.  Replace the lid and and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot through. 

Serve the fondue with fresh vegetables, tortilla chips, or lightly toasted French or Italian bread cubes.

Yield: 4 cups of fondue

Saturday, October 15, 2011

CIDER CHICKEN WITH ROOT VEGETABLES AND FRUIT

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
3 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise then sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 1-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, quartered then sliced thin
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tbsp whole-grain (or Dijon) mustard
2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 Gala apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 Bosc pear, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup sour cream, optional

In a 5 to 6-quart slowcooker or crockpot, combine the parsnips, sweet potatoes, onion, cider, mustard, garlic, thyme, and salt.  Place the chicken over the top of the mixture; cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low 6 to 8 hours.

Approximately 25 to 30 minutes before the chicken dish is done, mix the cold water with the cornstarch until smooth.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooker.  Add the apple and pear, gently stirring into the pot.  Replace the cover and cook on high approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until the mixture simmers and thickens and the fruit is just tender.  Do not overcook the fruit.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut each breast in half crossways.  Transfer chicken to a serving platter with sides and pour the vegetable/fruit mixture and sauce over the chicken.  Top with the sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

NOTE: This is a good diabetic dish as the protein to carb ration is good.  Per serving: Approximately 31 grams protein to 45 grams carbohydrates.