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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CHINESE CHICKEN STEW

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14-oz) chicken broth, divided
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 large or 3 medium green onions, cut into half-inch pieces
3 cups hot cooked rice, optional
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, optional

In a bowl, toss the cut-up chicken pieces with the Chinese spice.  Stir in the red pepper flakes. 

In a large skillet, heat the peanut or canola oil and add the onion and chicken; cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until the chicken is browned.  Add the mushrooms and garlic, cooking until the chicken is cooked through.

Combine 1/4 cup chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.  Place the cooked chicken mixture into a slow cooker or crockpot.  Add the remaining broth, bell pepper, and soy sauce; stir to blend.  Place lid on the cooker and cook for 3 1/2 hours or until the bell pepper is tender.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture, sesame oil, and the green onions.  Cook another 30 to 45 minutes until the juices have thickened. 

To serve, ladle into soup bowls and scoop a half cup rice, if using,into center of each bowl.  Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if desired.


Yield: 6 servings.

Monday, January 30, 2012

CHUNKY CHILI

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cans 16-oz each) diced chili-ready tomatoes, do not drain
1 can (15-16-oz) chili beans, do not drain
1/2 cup jarred salsa
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish, if desired
sour cream for garnish, if desired
4 tsp sliced black olives for garnish, if desired

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onion together until the beef is browned and the onion is translucent.  Drain off any excess fat.

Place the beef/onion mixture in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Add the chili powder, tomatoes, beans, salsa, salt and pepper.  Stir to blend well.  Place cover on the cooker and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low setting or until the chili is bubbly. 

Ladle into soup bowls and top with the cheese, sour cream and/or olives, if desired.
                                                      

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, January 29, 2012

CHICKEN STEW WITH DUMPLINGS

2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 cans (approx 14-oz each) chicken broth
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large red potatoes, skin on and cut into bite-size cubes
1 pkg (6-oz) fresh mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream (or 1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk)

Combine the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and celery in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Stir in the chicken broth, saving 1 cup for later.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours.

Stir the flour into the 1 cup of saved chicken broth until smooth.  Slowly stir the mixture into the mixture in the cooker.  Add the chicken, potatoes, mushrooms, peas, and seasonings to the cooker; cover and cook an additional 4 hours until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.  Stir in the cream.

DUMPLINGS:
1 cup biscuit mix
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp dried tarragon
1/3 cup low-fat milk

In a small bowl combine the biscuit mix and herbs.  Stir in the milk to form a soft dough.  Spoon the dough on top of the stew in four large spoonfuls.  Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes then cover and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.  The dumplings should be firm and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.   

Yield: 4 servings.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

MEATLESS SLOPPY JOES

2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 cups chopped green bell peppers
1 can kidney beans, drained and mashed
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tsp chili powder
cider vinegar, optional
4 whole-grain sandwich rolls, split

Combine the onions, bell peppers, beans, tomato sauce, garlic, ketchup, mustard, and chili powder in a crockpot or slow cooker.  Stir in the cider vinegar, if using.  Place lid on cooker and cook approximately 5 hours on low setting. 

Serve on the sandwich rolls with your favorite condiments such as lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, thin avocado slices, etc.

Friday, January 27, 2012

BEAN AND CORNBREAD CASSEROLE

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can red kidney beans, do not drain
1 can pinto beans, do not drain
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 dash of hot sauce
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
3 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 can (8 1/2-oz) cream-style corn

Lightly oil the crockpot or slow cooker.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and bell pepper with the garlic until crisp tender.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared cooker.  Stir in the kidney and pinto beans; add the tomatoes along with their juice, chili powder, pepper, mustard, and hot sauce.  Stir mixture to blend well.  Add lid and cook on high for 1 hour.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Stir in the milk, egg substitute, oil, and cream-style corn.  Spread the corn mixture evenly over the bean mixture.  Depending on the style of cooker you are using, you may have corn mixture left over.  That's okay; bake in oven as cornbread.  Cover the cooker and cook on high 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.

Serves 6 to 8 adults. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND VEGETABLE STEW

1 lb Italian sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pkg (16-oz) frozen vegetable mix of onion, and colorful bell peppers
1 can (14.5-oz) diced Italian-style tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 jar (4.5-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp basil

Brown the sausage in a large skillet; drain.

Add the sausage to a slow cooker or crockpot along with the frozen vegetables, tomatoes with the juice, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for around 4 hours until zucchini is tender.

Stir the basil into the tomato paste; stir mixture into the other ingredients in the cooker.  Replace the lid and cook another 30 to 45 minutes until the juices have thickened.

Yield: 6 cups

Note:  Goes great with Italian or Garlic Bread.
                                                     

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

VEGETABLE RICE PILAF

2 lbs ground beef
2 1/2 cups water
2 cans (8-oz each) tomato sauce
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2/3 cup sliced ripe olives
1 1/3 cups raw long grain rice

Brown the ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink; drain well.

Transfer the drained beef to a crockpot or slow cooker.  Add the water, tomato sauce, bell pepper, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and olives; stir to blend.  Stir in the rice; cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high setting for 3 hours.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TURKEY CHILI MAC

3/4 to 1 lb ground turkey breast
1 can black beans
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup whole-kernel corn (drained, if canned)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup raw elbow macaroni
sour cream, for garnish, if desired

In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook the turkey with the onion until turkey is browned lightly.  Combine the turkey/onion mixture in a slow cooker or crockpot along with the beans, stewed tomatoes including the juice, diced tomatoes including the juice, corn, garlic, and chili powder.  Place lid on cooker and cook 4 to 6 hours on low setting.

Stir the macaroni into the cooker, replace lid and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir the chili well.  Replace lid and cook approximately another half hour or until the macaroni is tender.

To serve, ladle into soup bowl and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Saturday, January 21, 2012

ARROZ CON QUESO

1 can (16-oz) whole tomatoes, mashed
1 can (16-oz) chili beans
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 finely chopped large onion
1 cup large curd cottage cheese
1 can (4-oz) green chili peppers, drained, seeded & chopped
2 tbsp canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 small green pepper, sliced into thin slices for garnish

Lightly spray the interior of crockpot or slow cooker.

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, chili beans, rice, onion, cottage cheese, chili peppers, oil, garlic, and 1 cup of the cheese.  Stir to combine well and pour into the cooker.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 6 to 9 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.  Garnish with the fresh slices of green bell pepper.
                   

Friday, January 20, 2012

GROUND CHICKEN & WHITE BEAN CHILI

1 lb lean ground chicken
3 cups coarsely chopped celery
1 can (16-oz) whole tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
1 can (15.5-oz) Great Northern beans
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 cup chicken broth
4 tsp chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over high hea until hot.  Add the ground chicken and cook, stirring, until browned.  Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker or crockpot; add the remaining ingredients.  Stir the mixture well.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for approximately 6 hours until the chicken is cooked through and the celery is tender.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SPANISH CHICKEN

3 to 4 lb chicken, cup up
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/2 can (6-oz) beer
1 small jar (3/4-cup) stuffed olives with liquid

Wash chicken and cut-up.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic salt.  Place the chicken into the crockpot or slow cooker.

Mix the tomato paste with the beer and pour over the chicken.  Add the olives and liquid.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours.

To serve:  Serve the chicken over hot buttered rice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BEER AND CHEESE SOUP

2 slices rye bread
1/4 cup very fine chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp dried thyme
14-oz chicken broth
1 cup beer
6-oz finely diced American cheese
6-oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup milk
Very thin green onion tops for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the rye bread into 1/2-inch cubes and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once, until crisp.  Remove from oven and set aside to later garnish the soup.

In a slow cooker or crockpot, combine the onion, garlic, thyme, chicken broth, and beer.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 4 hours.  Turn setting to high.  Stir both cheeses, the paprika, and milk into the mixture.  Continue to cook approximately 1 hour until the cheeses are melted.  Stir the soup to blend well before serving.

To serve, ladle soup into individual soup bowls and top with the homemade croutons.  May also top with a few thin slices of green onion tops, if desired.
                                       
Yield: 4 cups
                                                       

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A CLASSIC - FRENCH ONION SOUP

1/4 cup butter
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 cup dry white cooking wine
3 can (approx. 14-oz each) beef (or chicken) broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 thick slicesbFrench bread, toasted
4 oz shredded Swiss cheese
Fresh thyme or parsley for garnish, if desired

In a large skillet, over high heat, melt the butter; add the onions and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.  Stir in the wine.

In a slow cooker or crockpot, combine the onion mixture from the skillet with the broth, thyme, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 4 to 5 hours on low setting.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, top with one of the toasted bread slices and the cheese.  Garnish with the thyme or parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings     

Monday, January 16, 2012

BEEF BRISKET DINNER

5 lb brisket, well trimmed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1/2 tsp thyme
1 lb tiny onions, peeled
6 medium-size carrots, cut into strips about 1/4-inch thick

Place about a third of the onion over the bottom of the slow cooker or crockpot.  Cut brisket if half or fit into the cooker over the onion.  Add the remaining onion, chopped carrot, salt, bay leaf, water and thyme.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours.  Gently lift the brisket from the stock supporting with a large spatula; keep warm.  Add the tiny onions and the carrots to the stock in the cooker.  Change setting to high and cook 1 to 2 hours until the carrots are tender.

To serve, remove the veggies from the cooker using a slotted spoon.  Place the brisket on serving platter and place the veggies around the meat.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

PORK AND BEANS CHILI VERDE

3/4 to 1 lb boneless lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (15-oz) Great Northern Beans
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb tomatillos, coarsely chopped
1 can (14 to 15-oz) chicken broth
1 can (4-oz) diced mild green chilies
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Sour cream for serving

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides.

In a slow cooker or crockpot combine the cooked pork with the beans, onion, garlic, tomatillos, chicken broth, green chilies, and ground cumin; place lid on cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Gently press the meat against the side of the cooker with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to shred.  Reduce the heat of the cooker to low.  Stir the cilantro into the cooker and cook for 10 minutes on low.

Serve with the sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

HAM AND SHRIMP JAMBALAYA

2 cups diced boiled ham
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (28-oz) whole tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
2 whole cloves
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined

Set crockpot or slow cooker temperature on low.  Add the ham, onions, celery, and bell pepper to the cooker; stir to mix.  Add the undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, parsley, thyme, and cloves; stir to mix.  Add the  canola oil and rice, again stirring to blend well.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 8 to 10 hours.  One hour before serving, turn the heat to high, stir in the shrimp, replace lid and cook until the shrimp are pink and tender.    

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.        

Friday, January 13, 2012

THICK AND HEARTY CHICKEN CHOWDER

2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
2 small onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cans (10 3/4-oz each) cream of potato soup
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Plain toasted croutons for garnish
Sprigs of fresh dill for garnish, if desired

Melt the butter in a large skillet; add chicken and cook until browned. 

Turn slowcooker or crockpot to low setting.  Add the browned chicken, onions, celery, carrots, corn, potato soup, broth, and dill to the crockpot.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the vegetables are tender.

Turn the heat off the cooker and stir in the half-and-half cream.  Place lid back on the cooker and allow to stand 10 minutes or until heated through.
                                             

Thursday, January 12, 2012

EASY CHEESY FONDUE

1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
dash of ground red pepper
4 to 6 (depends on your heat quotient) drops hot sauce
Assorted fresh vegetables, crusty breads sticks or whole-grain crackers for dipping

In a slow cooker or crockpot combine the butter, onion, garlic, flour, milk, all cheeses, red pepper, and hot sauce; stir to combine well.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 2 to 3 hours, stirring a couple of times during the cooking process.  Fondue is done when the cheeses are melted and smooth.  Increase the temperature to high and cook another 1 to 1 1/2-hours or until heated through. 

To serve, place fondue in a warmed bowl and serve with the vegetables, bread sticks, or crackers.
                                      

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

VIENNESE COFFEE

3 cups freshly brewed strong coffee
3 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup creme de cacao
Whipped cream
chocolate shavings for garnish

In the crockpot or slow cooker combine the coffee, chocolate syrup, and sugar.  Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low setting fo 2 to 3 hours.  Stir in the heavy cream and the creme de cacao.  Replace lid and cook another half hour or until heated through.

To serve, ladle the coffee into cups or mugs and top with the whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Yields 3 to 4 servings    

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

HEALTHY CHUNKY VEGETABLE CHILI

2 cans (15-oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1 can (4-oz) diced mild green chilies, undrained
1 large carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 cup water

In a slow cooker or crockpot combine the beans, corn, onion, celery, green chilies, carrot, garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt, and tomato paste.  Stir to combine well.  Add the water and stir in.  Place lid on cooker, turn setting to low and cook approximately 6 hours.

This is a healthy dish.  Serve with an assortment of whole-grain crackers to keep it healthy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BEAN STEW WITH DUMPLINGS

1 can (28-oz) tomatoes, undrained & chopped
2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1 can (15-oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (15-oz) pinto beans, rinsed & drained
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 cup sliced celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all the above ingredients in the slow cooker or crockpot; stir to blend.  Place lid on cooker and cook 4 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are tender.  During that last half hour, prepare the dumplings.

Dumplings
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 cup milk

In a medium mixing bowl combine the salt, flour cornmeal, baking powder, and sugar.  Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the cheese and the cilantro.  Pour the milk into the mixture and blend with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until the flour mixture is just moistened.  Drop the dumpling dough, approximately 1/6 at a time, onto the top of the stew.  Replace the lid and cook another 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the toothpick inserted into the dumplings comes out clean.

Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

EASY SMOKED SAUSAGE GUMBO

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
3/4 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inh pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

Combine the chicken broth and the tomatoes in a slowcooker or crockpot.

Sprinkle the flour over the bottom of a small skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, for approximately 3 minutes or until the flour begins to brown (not burn).  Reduce the heat to medium, continue to cook flour while stirring for about 4 minutes.  Stir in the oil until smooth.  Carefully whisk the flour into the mixture in the cooker.

Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, carrot, oregano, thyme, and red pepper to the cooker; stir well.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours until the juices are thickened.

Prepare the rice, according to the package directions, to be ready when the gumbo is do.

Place rice into individual serving bowls and top with the gumbo.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings       

Friday, January 6, 2012

CHICKEN CURRY

1 small onion, sliced
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped unpeeled apple, divided
1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 green onion, thinly sliced, optional

Combine the onion, chicken, garlic, curry powder, ginger, raisins, and 3/4 cup of the apple in the slow cooker or crockpot.

In a small bowl, cmbine the chicken bouillon, flour, and water stirring until dissolved and smooth.  Pour mixture into the cooker and stir to blend.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

In a large bowl combine the sour cream and cornstarch.  Turn of the cooker and remove pan or insert to a surface that is heatproof.  Drain all the cooking liquid from the pot and stir the liquid into the cornstarch mixture, blending well.   Return insert or pan to the heat base of the cooker and allow to stand for about 10 minutes until mixture is heated through.

Cook rice according to the package directions.  Serve the chicken over the rice using the remaining apple as garnish.  Also garnsh with the green onion, if desired.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

SOUTHWESTERN-STYLE 3-BEAN CHILI

1 can (15-oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chicken broth
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 medium or 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can (16-oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5-oz) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, do not drain
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Hot cooked brown rice (to serve chili over)
Optional garnishes: shredded cheese, ripe olives, sour cream, avocado slices, sliced green onion

Combine the beans, chicken broth, garlic, corn, bell pepper, tomato sauce, tomatoes with their juice, chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin and salt in the slow cooker or crockpot.  Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 6 to 7 hours.

To serve, spoon the hot rice into bowls and top with chili.  Top with condiments as desired.


Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CRANBERRY-BARBECUE TURKEY MEATBALLS

1 can (16-oz) jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
1 egg white
1 lb ground turkey*
1 green onion with top, sliced
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the cranberry sauce and the barbecue sauce.  Pour the mixture into the slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook on high setting for approximately half an hour until the cranberry sauce melts and the mixture is hot.  Stir about every 10 minutes during this time.

While sauce cooks, beat the egg white lightly in a medium-size bowl.  Add the turkey, green onion, orange peel, soy sauce, and the two peppers.  Using your hands, mix well to blend.  Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs. 

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the meatballs and cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes until no longer pink in centers.  Turn during cooking to brown all sides.  Add the meatballs to the heated sauce in the cooker; stir to coat meatballs. 

Reduce the heat on the cooker to low, cover, and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  To serve, remove to a serving plate, garnish with fresh cilantro or rosemary, if desired.  Serve with decorative picks or tiny forks.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SPICED APPLE TEA

3 bags cinnamon herbal tea
3 cups boiling water
2 cups unsweetened apple juice
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Place the tea bags in the slow cooker or crockpot.  Pour the boiling water over the tea, place lid on cooker and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  Remove the tea bags.

Add the apple juice, cloves, and cinnamon to the cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 2 to 3 hours.

Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick before serving the tea in warmed mugs.

Yield: 4 servings (for more servings, double or triple the ingredients)