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 30, 2016

CHICKEN, BROCCOLI, AND RICE CASSEROLE

1 small onion, chopped
1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound broccoli, cut into small pieces (4-5 cups)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Combine onion and rice in bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken on top and sprinkle with the garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and water.
Cook on low heat for 6 hours, or on high heat for 3 hours.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and chop into bite-size pieces (or shred it in the slow cooker). Stir chicken back into the rice mixture in the slow cooker.
Place broccoli on top of chicken and rice; do not stir in. (This will steam the broccoli.) Continue cooking on high for about 1 hour, until broccoli is crisp-tender. 
Alternatively, you can steam the broccoli in the microwave and then add it to the casserole. See directions below.*
Turn slow cooker off. Stir in Greek yogurt, Parmesan and cheddar. Serve.
*If you don’t want to have to do the step of adding the broccoli to the slow cooker an hour before the casserole is cooked (or you won’t be home to do so), you can steam the broccoli in the microwave. This will also keep the broccoli a nice bright green color, if that is important to you. 🙂 Here’s what you’ll do:
1. After step 1 in the recipe, cook the chicken and rice for 7-8 hours on low, or 3 ½-4 hours on high, until completely cooked.
2. When the chicken and rice are done, chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and stir it back in to the rice in the slow cooker.
3. Steam the broccoli: place broccoli and 1-2 inches water in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender. Drain. Stir broccoli into the slow cooker mixture, followed by the Greek yogurt and cheeses. Serve.
Note: This recipe is from fellow blogger Kristine's Kitchen. She recommends you do not use white rice or double this recipe as it does not adapt well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

PORK SPARERIBS IN ORANGE SAUCE

4 lbs country-style pork spareribs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 med. white onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tbsp dried ancho chilies, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 can (16-oz) tomatoes, do not drain
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup dry white cooking wine (or chicken broth)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp shredded orange peel
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Trim excess fat from ribs and cut into individual riblets.

Heal oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add ribs and cook 10 minutes until browned on each side. Remove to a plate. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from skillet. Add onions, chilies, cinnamon and cloves. Cook, stirring, 4 minutes or until softened. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker.

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Combine tomato mixture with the orange juice, wine or broth, sugar, orange peel, and salt in slow cooker. Add the ribs and stir to coat. Place lid on cooker and cook on low 5 hours or until fork tender.

Remove ribs to platter and ladle the liquid out into a medium bowl. Allow liquid to stand 5 minutes then skim and discard the fat from the top. Stir the vinegar into the liquid and serve over the ribs.

Yield: 4 to 6

Note: File Photo

Thursday, September 22, 2016

CHICKEN AND STUFFING

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (4-oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 cups day old bread cubes
2 eggs
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
5 to 6 cups cubed cooked chicken

In a saucepan, combine the broth, butter, onion, celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Place the bread cubes in a large heat-resistant bowl.

Combine the eggs with the soup; stir into the broth mixture. Pour over the bread and toss together well.

Spray the interior of a 5-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Layer half the chicken on the bottom and top with half the chicken. Repeat the layers.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low approximately 5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the stuffing.

Yields: 14-16 servings
Note: This picture is a file photo.

Monday, September 12, 2016

SLOW COOKER SWISS STEAK

This is a recipe from my diabetic blog that I have had for a few years. I thought those of you who aren't diabetic would enjoy it, too.

1 1/2 lbs round steak, 3/4-inch thick, trimmed

1 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

Cut steak into 4 to 6 serving-size pieces.

In a pie plate, combine flour, salt, and pepper; dredge meat through the mixture coating both sides.

Place the onion slices in the bottom of a crock pot or slow cooker; top with the meat.

Place the carrot and celery pieces over the meat and pour the tomatoes over all.

Place lid on cooker and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low setting or for 4 to 5 hours on high setting.

Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: 8 g carbs, 22 g protein

Note: File Photo


Saturday, September 10, 2016

STEAK TACOS

1 lb raw lean flank steak
1 packet Taco Seasoning Mix
1 medium onion
4 oz chopped green chilies
½ cup (or more) sliced bell pepper
6 whole-wheat tortillas
shredded cheese for topping
diced tomato for topping
low-fat sour cream for topping, if desired

Spray crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut steaks in half and rub with taco seasoning; place in crock pot. Top with the onion, chilies and bell pepper.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until meat is tender. Remove steaks to a cutting board, allow to cool enough to shred and shred with two forks. Return meat to crock pot and heat through.

Spoon about ½ cup meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with cheese, tomato and sour cream, if using. Fold ends and sides over filling to serve.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PINEAPPLE-COCONUT-PEARL TAPIOCA

Cooking spray
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup regular small pearl tapioca (do not substitute)
(13.5-ounce) cans light coconut milk
large egg
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted


Coat a 4-quart electric slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine sugar, tapioca, and coconut milk in slow cooker, stirring with a whisk. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours or until most of tapioca is transparent. (Pudding will be thin.)
2. Place egg in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup hot tapioca mixture to egg, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir egg mixture into remaining tapioca mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes. Turn off slow cooker. Stir pineapple into tapioca mixture; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Top each serving with toasted coconut.

This is a Cooking Light recipe from a few years ago.
Note: File Photo



Sunday, September 4, 2016

HARVEST PORK CHOPS

I have found over the years that Family Circle always has good recipes. This is one of them.

cups 
3/4-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
  • cup sliced celery
  • large onion, cut into wedges
  • bone-in pork chops (6 oz each)
  • cup apple cider
  • tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • cups cooked brown rice, optional for serving
  1. In a 4-quart slow cooker, layer butternut squash, celery and onion.
  2. Generously coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add chops to skillet; cook 5 minutes, turning once. Place chops on top of vegetables in slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cider, chipotle, basil, salt and garlic powder. Pour over chops. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chops and vegetables to a serving platter. Discard cooking liquid. Spoon yogurt over chops. Serve with brown rice.
  5. Note: Family Circle Photo

Saturday, September 3, 2016

CRANBERRY STUFFED APPLES

  • 5 medium apples
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
  • Core apples, leaving bottoms intact. Peel top third of each apple; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the cranberries, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg; spoon into apples.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until apples are tender. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. 
  • Yield5 servings.
  • NOTE: This recipe and picture are from TOH.