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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SUCCULENT LAMB SHANKS

4 lamb shanks
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 tbsp grated ginger
6 roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup black olives
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Brown the lamb shanks in a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; remove from the skillet and place in a crockpot or slow cooker.

In the same skillet, saute the carrots, onions, ginger, and garlic.  Add the cumin and cinnamon.  Add the mixture to the shanks in the cooker.  Stir in the raisins, olives, broth, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. 

Cover the cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ZESTY SAUSAGE AND TOMATO

1 lb hot Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes with roasted garlic
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste with Italian seasonings
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp sugar (I suggest Splenda Granulated instead)
1/4 tsp black pepper
24 whole wheat pita chips

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, carrot, onion, and bell pepper; cook breaking up sausage with large wooden spoon or silicon spatula.  Cook until the sausage is browned, approximately 8 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot.  Stir n the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and sugar.  Cover and cook 2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 6 hours on low, until the mixture simmers and thickens.

Serve with the pita chips.

NOTE:  This is a WW recipe.  Per a serving of 1/3 cup with 2 pita chips: 149 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 0 trans fat, 16 mg chol, 593 mg sod, 12 g carb, 2 g fiber, 7 g pro, 40 mg calcium  POINTS = 3.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WW's Pork-Pineapple Skewers

This is a Weight Watcher's Recipe.

1 lb boneless pork loin, timmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
2 cans (8-oz) pineapple chunks in juice
1 red onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Mix pork and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in large bowl.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook, turning frequently, until browned, 3 - 4 minutes.

Drain pineapple, reserving juice from 1 can. (Refrigerate juice from other can for another use.)  Combine remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, pineapple and reserved juice, onion, bell pepper, ketchup, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in 5 - 6 quart slow cooker.  Stir in the pork.  Cover and cook until pork is fork-tender, 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

At the end of the cooking time, stir cilantro into slow cooker.  Thread pork and pineapple evenly on 8 12-inch skewers.  Serve with the sauce.


Per 1 skewer and 2 tablespoons sauce: 159 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 32 mg chol, 379 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 12 g protein, 12 mg calc  POINTS value: 3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PULLED PORK BARBECUE SANDWICHES

2 medium yellow onions, cut into wedges
1/2 cup water
1 (2 - 2 1/2-lb) boneless pork sirloin roast
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger
10 whole-grain hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

In a slow cooker or crockpot (about 4-qt size) combine the onions, and 1/2 cup water; set aside.

Trim excess fat from the roast and cut if necessary to fit in cooker.

In a small bowl combine the black pepper, chili powder, half the cumin, and the garlic powder.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the meat and rub in with your hands.  Place the pork into the cooker.  Cover and cook on low setting 8 to 9 hours or on high setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Using a large slotted spoon, remove the meat and onions from the cooker.  Using two forks, shred the meat.

In a large bowl combine the barbecue sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, and the other half of the cumin.  Add the meat and toss gently to coat thoroughly.  Fill each bun with approximately 1/3 cup of the mixture and about a tablespoon of the onions.


Yield: 10 sandwiches

Saturday, March 17, 2012

PORK RIBS AND SPICY NOODLES

1 can (14-oz) beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & grated
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 full racks (approximately 4 lbs) pork ribs
3/4 cup hoisin sauce, divided
16-oz thin spaghetti, cooked according to pkg directions
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Stir the broth, water, vinegar, grated ginger, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes together in a 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot.

Combine the 5-spice powder, ground ginger, chili powder, and sesame oil together in a small bowl to form a paste.

Blot the ribs dry using paper toweling.  Brush the dried ribs with half the hoisin sauce and place in the cooker with the liquid but do not stir!  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high setting 5 to 6 hours.  Remove ribs to a platter or cutting board and brush with the remaining hoisin sauce.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

Skim any fat from the cooking sauce.

Place the hot spahetti into a shallow bowl.  Spread some of the cooking broth over the spaghetti and sprinkle with green onion and cilantro.  Cut the ribs apart and serve over the spaghetti.


Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CARIBBEAN SHRIMP WITH RICE

1 pkg (12-oz) frozn shrimp, thawed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups long-grain or yellow rice, cooked

In a 4 1/2-quart crockpot or slow cooker, combine the shrimp, broth, garlic, chili powder, salt, and oregano.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours.

Add peas and tomatoes; replace cover and cook on low 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir in the cooked rice.  Replace cover and cook on low for 5 minutes or until the rice is heated through.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, March 10, 2012

CRAB BRUSCHETTA

4 cups diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup diced white onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp sugar
1 lb lump blue crabmeat, be sure all shells are removed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground coarse black pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
2 baguettes, sliced, toasted

In crockpot or slow cooker combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, and sugar; place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours.  Gently stir in the crab, salt, and pepper.  Cook on low for another hour.  Fold in the basil.

Top the toasted baguette slices with the warm bruschetta for serving.

Note:  If you prefer, you can serve on whole-grain crackers for a healthier touch!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

MUSHROOM BEEF STEW

1 1/2 lb beef stew meat
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp canola or soy oil
1 can French onion soup
1 cup dry red wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 cups white mushrooms, halved
3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup whole frozen white onions
1/4 cup water
flour for thickening

Season the beef with salt and pepper to suit your taste; coat in the flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot add the beef, shaking off execss flour, and cook until browned on all sides.

In a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker or crockpot, stir together the beef, soup, wine, garlic, Italian seasoning, mushrooms, carrots, and onions.  Cover the cooker and cook on low for 10 hours until the beef is tender, or on high for 5 hours.

Stir a small amount of flour into the water until smooth.  Stir mixture into the stew in the cooker until blended.  Cook on high until mixture boils and thickens.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ADIRONDACK BEANS

1/2 lb ground beef
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 lb bulk sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 can pork & beans
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans, drained

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, crumble the ground beef and sausage together with the bacon and cook until done.  Remove from pan and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.  Saute the onion in the drippings until softened. 

Combine all the ingredients together in a crockpot or slow cooker; cover and cook on high setting for 2 to 3 hours or on low setting for 5 to 6 hours.

Note:  May be baked at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a casserole dish or bean pot.

Monday, March 5, 2012

CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH MUSHROOMS & CHEESE

2 tsp olive oil
1/4 lb cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp dry vermouth
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese with herbs
4 (1 lb total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

To make the stuffing: Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, half the salt, and half the pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes until the mushrooms are browned.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about a minute.  Add the vermouth and cook until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and let mushroom mixture cool about 10 minutes; stir in the cheese.

With the tip of a sharp knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest part of the chicken breasts to for a pocket.  Fill each pocket with 2 tablespoons of the stuffing.  Close the pockets and secure with wooden toothpicks.

Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper over the chicken.  Heat the remaining oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker or crockpot.

Add the broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Pour the broth mixture into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high setting for 2 to 3 hours or low setting for 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and fork tender.

Yield: 4 servings

This is a Weight Watchers recipe.  The following is the nutritional information they provided.
Per serving of 1 chicken breast with about 2 1/2 tablespoons broth: 196 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g sat, 0 g trans fat, 71 mg chol, 580 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 27 g prot, 75 mg calc.  POINTS value: 5.

Friday, March 2, 2012

YELLOW-CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE

1 box (2-la;yer size) yellow cake mix
1 cup water
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola or soy oil
1 cup mini chocolate chips (semisweet)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Whipped cream, optional

Spray a 6-quart crock-pot or slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a large mixer bowl combine the cake mix, water, eggs, sour cream, and oil; mix until smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared cooker.  Place lid on cooker and cook on High setting for 2 hours or until the batter is almost set.

Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips and the chopped hazelnuts over the cake.  Cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean  or the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the cooker.

Remove cake from base, lift out stoneware, however your cooker works remove from the heat but let stand until cool.  Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CROCKPOT ITALIAN EGGPLANT

1 1/4 lbs eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, sliced thin
2 ribs of celery, coarse chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can (1-lb) diced tomatoes with juice
3 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Combine the eggplant, onions, celery, olive oil, tomatoes and tomato sauce in a slow cooker or crockpot; cover and cook on low 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the eggplant is tender.  Stir in the olives, balsamic vinegar, sugar, capers, and seasonings.  Replace lid and cook for another hour to blend the flavors and heat through.


Yield: 6 serings