Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Slow Cooking- A list of meals for your slow cooker (Crock Pot)

Some people just love their slow cooker (Crock Pot) and can't live without it.  I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with mine.  I do love the convenience it can provide and I have a few standard things I use it for.  But I also think it's not always as simple as it seems to cook with it.  Well, it's simple to just dump ingredients in and turn it on, but it doesn't always yield great results.  I think it's a bit of a science to fill the pot with the right amount and combination of ingredients for the size of the pot.  And sometimes you have a slow cooker that cooks faster than a recipe says it will and you've got burnt food.  So it's frustrating when you want so much to cook a meal with very little effort while you're away from home and yet it doesn't turn out.  My advice is to try to use recipes that tell you the size of the slow cooker and if you have the same size, then the quantities of the ingredients will work. When in doubt, you can double a small recipe for your big slow cooker. Many recipes want you to brown the meat or poultry on the stove before it goes in.  This can be a step that seems like a pain and defeats the ease of a slow cooker, but if the dish is supposed to have the meat still mostly intact, browning or searing it seals in the juices and the flavor.

Now, I know there are a billion blogs and cook books out there devoted entirely to cooking with a Crock Pot.  Some of the recipes I'm sharing are from those sources, but I wanted to put together a list of good recipes that are rather easy, yield good results and aren't filled with processed ingredients.  A bonus is that many of them are very economical and budget friendly.  It's not super long; you could use them all in one month and since several make a good quantity of food, you would have quite a few meals taken care of for a whole month. But even if you just tried several, you will probably find yourself with new favorites to add to your slow cooker arsenal.

Crock Pot Recipes

 I have a Pinterest Board that contains other links besides what is listed here:  Crock Pot Board

Cilantro Lime Chicken- This one is super easy to prep in advance in a freeze bag, then thaw and put in your slow cooker in the morning.  After 6 hours you have something you can eat in tortillas or over rice.  

Carolina Barbecue Pulled Pork- This is the perfect thing to make in your slow cooker.  It’s great to serve a crowd or to provide you with more than one meal. I have many friends who make this pulled pork on a regular basis.  It's really good!

Slow Cooker Chili- I don’t always make chili using the slow cooker, but when I do this is the recipe I use.  It calls for beer in the recipe, which I have used if we have it, or left it out and it’s still good.

Slow Cooker Lasagna- You can have lasagna on a weeknight!  This recipe just has meat, sauce, noodles and cheese, it doesn’t have a ricotta and egg layer.  It’s simple to assemble; you can just break noodles to fit them in the pot.  The recipe includes instructions for making the sauce.  You can always use y our own sauce or use my marinara sauce recipe

Crock Pot Thai Curry- You may have most of these ingredients on hand and simply need coconut milk and chili paste.  Feel free to substitute the eggplant for another squash or use whatever combination of vegetables you like.  Make it healthier by serving with brown rice, I happen to love brown jasmine rice.

Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken- Sweet and spicy chicken you can eat over rice or in lettuce wraps. 

Pasta Fagioli- This is a hearty pasta soup, which is the perfect sort of thing for a slow cooker.  Maybe not ideal in warmer weather, but awesome for the fall and winter.  

Crock Pot Rotisserie Style Chicken- A great way to roast a whole chicken that you can then use in a variety of ways just like when you get a rotisserie chicken at the store.

Shredded Beef Tacos- A very inexpensive chuck roast can give you several meals.  You can use the beef for more than just tacos too.  I love recipes like this. 

Chicken Taco Chili- Taco seasonings plus chili powder with shredded chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes and green chilies.  A delicious low calorie chili. 

Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken- If you really want to keep it simple, this has three ingredients. 

Clean Eating Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken- Another very simple recipe- it’s just chicken and salsa in the crock pot and then you serve it with pineapple and zucchini. 

Vegan Crock Pot Lasagna- This is such a great recipe using lots of veggies plus polenta instead of pasta (which I love) and again, it's easy to have lasagna on a weeknight.

No comments:

Post a Comment