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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

WEIGHT WATCHERS NEW ORLEANS RED BEANS AND RICE

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb boneless ham steak, diced
2 tsp Creole seasoning
2 cans (15-oz each) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped
3 cups hot cooked brown rice
6 scallions, sliced thin, for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.  Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently.  Cook about 8-10 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender.  Add the ham and Creole seasoning.  Cook mixture, stirring often, for a minute or two until ham is heated through. 

Transfer mixture to a slow cooker or crockpot and stir in the beans and tomatoes.

Place lid on cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

To serve, divide the rice into serving dishes and top with the cooker mixture.  Sprinkle with the scallions.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving of 1 1/3 cups bean mixture over 1/2 cup rice = 350 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 001 mg sodium, 57 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 20 g protein, 112 mg calcium

WW Points = 7

NOTE: This is a good recipe for diabetics, too, with a good carbs to protein ratio.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SMOKED SAUSAGE GUMBO FROM PAST TASTE OF HOME

Smoked Sausage Gumbo RecipeSmoked Sausage Gumbo Recipe photo by Taste of HomeRating 4

 
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Hot cooked rice
 
In a large skillet, saute the celery, onion, green pepper and carrot in oil until tender.  Stir in flour until blended; graually add broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
 
Transfer mixture to a 3-qt. slow cooker.  Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, and cayenne.  Cover and cook on low for 4 -5 hours or until heated through.  Serve with rice.
 
Yield: 5 servings
 
This is a recipe I got from TOH over a year ago.  Thought it would be a good one to share this time of year.  My grandchildren love smoked sausage so this is a hit with them.

age Gumbo Recipe
             
240 260             Ingre

  

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TOMATILLO-BEAN DIP

2 cans (15-oz each) pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (12-oz) tomatillos, drained & chopped
1 can (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth*
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

In a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot, combine the pinto beans, tomatillos, green chiles, onion, vegetable broth, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne; Stir to blend; place lid on cooker and cook 1 to 2 hours on high or 2 to 4 hours on low until the mixture is slightly thickened.

At the end of the cooking time, stir the cilantro and lime juice into the cooker; allow the mixture to cook in cooker for 5 minutes.  Puree the mixture in a food processor in batches. 

Serve dip warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

APPLE BREAD PUDDING AND IT'S DIABETIC-FRIENDLY

8 slices raisin bread, cubed (whoe-wheat if possible)
2 medium-size Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
3/4 cup granulated sugar (Or Splenda for Diabetics)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten slightly
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp butter, melted

Lightly spray the interior of a slow cooker or crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the bread cubes, apples, and nuts into the prepared cooker; mix together.

In a mixing bowl combine the sugar or Splenda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the egg, egg whites, milk, apple juice, and melted butter; stir to mix together well.  Pour mixture over the bread mixture in the cooker.

Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low 3 to 4 hours or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Delicious served with ice cream!


Monday, September 24, 2012

SLOW COOKER VEGETABLE LASAGNA

3/4 lb zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carton (15-oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 pkg (8-oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 jar (26-oz) prepared pasta sauce with garlic
1/2 cup water
8 lasagna noodles, break into half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly spray the inside of the cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the slliced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, and the diced bell pepper; set aside.

Combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese, parsly, garlic, and pepper; set aside.

Spread a half cup of the pasta sauce over the bottom of the cooker.  Top with 4 of the noodle halves, overlapping if needed.

Blend 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce with the water; set aside.

Stir the rest of the pasta sauce along with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture.  Layer half of the mixture over the lasagna noodles.  Top mixture with the another 4 halves of the lasagna noodles.  Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles and top with 4 more noodle halves. Top with the remaining vegetable mixture and top with the last 4 noodle halves.  Spread the pasta sauce/water mixture over the top.

Place the cover on the cooker and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high about 4 1/2 hours.  During the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, sprinkle the last cup of the mozzarella cheese and the fourth cup of the of the Parmesan cheese over the top.

Remove lasagna from the heat (if that is possible with your cooker) and let set for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

MUSHROOM BEEF STEW

1 dozen new potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion or 1 cup frozen baby onions
1/2 lb baby carrots
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 can (16-oz) tomatoes
1 can (14.5-oz) beef stock
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb beef for stew, trimmed and cubed into bite-size pieces
1/2 tsp salt

In a slow cooker or crockpot combine the potatoes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, beef stock, flour, Worcestershire, sugar, marjoram, and pepper; stir to mix.

Spinkle the beef cubes with the salt and place in cooker over the vegetable mixture.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.  Stir well before ladling into serving bowls.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Note: This is a DIABETIC-FRIENDLY recipe, too!

Note: Stock photo

Friday, September 21, 2012

ITALIAN SAUSAGE STEW

nonstick cooking spray
1 pkg (20-oz) Italian sausage
1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh green beans, broken into bite-size pieces
2 lbs tomatoes, chunked
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 cups whole-kernel corn, drained if canned
1 tbsp instant polenta for thickener, if desired

Brown the sausages on all sides in a large nonstick skillet that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; remove to a slow cooker or crock pot.

Layer the green beans, tomatoes, and rosemary over the sausages.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and water together; pour over the ingredients in the cooker.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low 8 hours.

Carefully remove the sausages from the cooker and place on a cutting board.  Add the corn to the cooker; replace lid.

Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces and return to the cooker.  Stir in the polenta if you wish to thicken the stew.  Cook until thickened or corn is heated through.


Serve with a crusty Italian bread, if desired.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

BAVARIAN-STYLE CHUCK ROAST

3 lb boneless beef chuck roast
1 tbsp canola oil
3 cups sliced yellow onions
3 cups thick-sliced carrots
3 large potatoes, sliced thick
2 large kosher dill pickles, drained, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup beef broth
1/3 cup German-style or brown mustard
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup tap water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet; add roast and brown on both sides.  Remove roast to a slow cooker or crock pot (at least 4-quart size).

Add the onions, carrots, potatoes, pickles, celery, broth, mustard, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, and water.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low approximately 7 hours until meat and vegetables are tender.

Remove the roast and the vegetables to serving platter. Turn cooker to high setting.

Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid and whisk in the flour until smooth.  Return broth to the cooker and cook on high, stirring, until the broth is smooth and thick.  Serve the broth over the roast.


My favorite slow cooker.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BROWNIE BOTTOM DESSERT

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup tap water
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups packaged brownie mix
1 pkg (2 3/4-oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup tap water

Lightly spray the interior of a crockpot or slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the brown sugar, the 3/4 cup of water, and the cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. 

Combine the brownie mix, pudding mix, chocolate chips, eggs, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl; stir to form a batter.  Spread the batter into the bottom of the stoneware cooker and pour the boiling mix over all.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 1 1/2 hours.  Turn heat off and let stand for half an hour then serve while warm.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: Delicious served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

RED BEANS AND RICE SOUP BY ROBIN HAAS

 
 Red Beans & Rice Soup
A healthy vegetarian soup loaded with beans, veggies and brown rice--just combine all the ingredients in your crock pot and top with green onions and tomatoes.
Servings: 6
Ingredients:

2× 15 oz cans Small Red Beans, rinsed and drained well
¾ cup Brown Rice
1 Medium Onion, finely diced
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped
1 tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cumin
6 cups Low Fat Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
3-4 Green Onions, chopped
1 Medium Tomato, chopped and drained

Directions:
Mash one can of beans with a fork and combine all ingredients, except the green onions and tomato, into a crock pot. Cover, cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the rice is tender. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with green onions and chopped tomato.

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

CITRUSY PORK SLIDERS

4 lb boneless pork shoulder - cut off most fat
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
12 slices Swiss cheese, halved
24 slider sandwich buns

Lightly spray interior of slow cooker or crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.  Turn cooker on low setting.

Place the pork shoulder in the cooker and sprinkle with half the garlic, half the cumin and half the oregano.

Combine the remaining garlic, cumin, and oregano with the lime and orange juices; pour over the meat in the cooker.

Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low about 5 hours until pork is fork tender and thoroughly cooked.

Remove meat to a cutting board and let rest about 5 minutes; break into pieces.

Skim the fat off the juices in the cooker; reserve juice.

To make the sandwiches, place a half slice of cheese on the top of bun and broil until melted.  Pile meat on the bottom of the buns, garnish with pickles or other garnishes as desired.  Top with the cheese top of the bun.

Yield: 24 sliders


Sunday, September 16, 2012

BBQ BRISKET WITH BEANS

4 medium onions, sliced
5 lb brisket, trimmed of excess fat
1 1/4 cups your favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup water
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 cans (15-oz each) cannellini beans, rinsed

Lightly oil the inside of the slow cooker or crockpot.

Place 3 of the onions in the bottom of the cooker; top with the brisket then the remaining onion.

Mix barbecue sauce with the water and pour over all.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low about 7 hours or until fork tender.  Remove from the cooker and let stand 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

While brisket rests, skim fat from the cooker and reserve the sauce.  Combine the beans, rosemary, and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved sauce in a saucepan.  Cook to warm through.

Slice the brisket, top with more sauce and serve with the heated beans.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

FRENCH ONION BEEF STEW

8 springs fresh thyme, tied together
1 can (14 1/2-oz) low-sodium beef broth
1 cup apple juice
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 lb lean beef stew meat
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 tbsp flour
4 thick slices French bread
1 cup grated Gruyere* cheese
1 tsp crushed thyme

Place the broth, apple juice, carrots, and onions in slow cooker or crockpot and stir to combine well.

Season the beef with salt and pepper; roll in the flour to coat and place in cooker.  Cover and cook 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.  Vegetables and beef should be tender.

Ten minutes before soup is done, place bread on a foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle the cheese and crushed thyme over the bread and broil 1 to 2 minutes until cheese starts to brown.


To serve, spoon stew into 4 serving bowls and top each with a slice of the toast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

USDA GUIDELINES ON COOKING TEMPERATURES

Sometimes I get questions regarding slow cooking, temperatures, and food safety.  First let me say I have never heard of anyone getting sick from food cooked in a slow cooker.  I'm sure someone somewhere has; people get sick all the time from improperly prepared foods.  The fact is, cooking in a crockpot and/or slow cooker is perfectly safe.

The United States Department of Agriculture guidelines say that bacteria in food is killed at a temperature of 165 degrees.  Meats cooked in a slow cooker/crockpot reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees in beef and as high as 190 degrees in poultry.

If you follow the cooker and/or recipe guidelines and keep the lid on during cooking, your food is perfectly safe!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

EASY SLOW-COOKER JAMBALAYA

Since I don't like Jambalaya and never make it, I borrowed this recipe for you today.

Easy Slow-Cooker Jambalaya


Servings:8 Servings Prep Time:20 minutes Cook Time:5 hours

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
  • Parsley, optional
Amount Per Serving
  • sodium:621 mg
  • fiber:2 g
  • calories:457
  • cholesterol:216 mg
  • protein:43 g
  • saturated fat:7 g
  • fat:22 g
  • carbohydrate:19 g

directions

    Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.
    Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
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Monday, September 10, 2012

EASY PARTY MEATBALLS

1 bag (2-lb) frozen, precooked small size meatballs
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 bottle (12-oz) chili sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried onion flakes

Place the meatballs into a slow cooker or crockpot.

In a small mixing bowl combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, garlic powder, and onion flakes until well combined.  Pour mixture over the meatballs. 

Place the lid on cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.  May be kept warm for serving by turning cooker to the keep warm setting.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

APPLE STREUSEL CAKE

1 (16-oz) pkg pound cake mix
1 can (14-oz chunky apple pie filling
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon

Grease well and lightly flour the stoneware of a crockpot or slow cooker; set aside.

Prepare pound cake according to the package directions.  Pour the batter into the prepared stoneware.

In a medium bowl combine the apple pie filling, brown sugar, flour, walnuts, and cinnamon; pour over the batter.

Place the lid on the cooker and cook on high 3 to 4 hours.

May be served warm or cold.

Yield: 10 servings

Note: File Photo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER HOT CHOCOLATE

6 cans (12-oz each) evaporated milk (may use low-fat, if desired)
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Mexican vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
2 pkg (12-oz each) chocolate chips
whipped cream for serving
unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish

Uses a 4-quart slow cooker or crockpot turned on low.

Whish together the evaporated milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg in the cooker.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 2 to 3 hours.  Stir every 15 to 20 minutes during cooking.  May be placed on warm setting to keep warm for serving.

To serve, ladle into mugs and top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

TURKEY CUTLETS WITH TOMATOES

1 1/2 lbs turkey cutlets
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, sliced thin

Sprinkle the turkey cutlets with the salt and pepper; set aside.

Place half the sliced onions in the bottom of a crockpot or slow cooker.  Top with half the turkey.

Combine the tomatoes and tomato paste with the oregano and basil; in a small bowl.  Spoon half the tomato mixture over the turkey.  Repeat layers ending with the tomato mixture.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 3 to 4 hours.


Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CHUNKY PORK CHILI

2 lbs pork stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15-oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15-oz) chili beans, do not drain
2 cans (14-oz each) chili-ready diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
2 pkts (1 1/4-oz each) mild chili seasoning
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp brown sugar

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper to season; place in slow cooker or crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to blend well.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 4 to 6 hours.
Yield: 8 servings

Monday, September 3, 2012

CHICKPEAS AND ESCAROLE SOUP

1 slice bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
1 bunch escarole, sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
freshly ground black pepper
shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

Cook bacon in a stockpot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add garlic and cook until the bacon is browned.  Add the chicken broth and Italian seasoning.  Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Add the escarole, tomatoes, and chickpeas.  Cook another 10 minutes or until escarole is tender.  Season with black pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and top with a sprinkling of the shredded Parmesan.

HOT 3-BEAN SALAD

4 slices bacon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mild taco sauce
1 can (16-oz) chili beans
1 can (16-oz) grean beans, drained
1 can (16-oz) garganzo beans, drained

Fry the bacon until crisp and remove from skillet.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings in the skillet.  Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and taco sauce.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbling and thick.

Place the 3 types of beans in the crockpot or slow cooker; add the crumbled bacon.  Pour the thickened sauce overall.  Stir mixture thoroughly .  Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 2 hours.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

RAVIOLI STEW

2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) chicken broth
2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 can (19-oz) cannellini beans, drained
2 tsp basil
1 pkg (9-oz) refrigerated ravioli (your choice of type)

Combine the carrots, onions, broth, tomatoes with juice, beans, and basil in crockpot or slow cooker; stir to mix well.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low 6 hours or until carrots are tender.

10-12 minutes before serving time increase the heat to high.  Let cook on high 2 to 4 minutes then add the ravioli.  Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the ravioli are tender.


Yield: 8 servings of 1 1/3 cup each.
Per serving: 4 g (2 sat) fat, 15 mg chol, 790 mg sod, 34 (6g-fiber, 6g-sugar) carbs, 10 g protein
Note to diabetics - This carbs to protein ratio is okay for diabetics.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

PORK CHOPS AND SAUERKRAUT

4 pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
1 tbsp canola oil
1 can sauerkraut with caraway seeds, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp paprika

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; brown the pork chops on both sides. 

Remove chops from skillet and place in slow cooker or crockpot.  Top with the sauerkraut and sprinkle paprika over all.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

About 30 minutes before end of cooking time, add the sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings