Archive for Slow Cooker Recipes

Hot and Sour Soup

Jan 21 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Hot and Sour Soup

I think I eat some type of mushrooms at least once every day. They are one of my favorite foods and can be so versatile. Sometimes they are in the background and sometimes the star as in this Hot and Sour Soup. Rich broth with contrasting flavors of hot and sour, swimming with mushrooms and ending with a bite of the clean cool crunch of daikon to balance it all out.

No need to get take out that is probably loaded with ingredients you don’t want to know about. This soup is so quick and easy you will probably have it done in less time than it would take to go out and get some anyway, so stay inside where it’s warm and enjoy.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (remove stems first)
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, if frozen thaw first
  • 4 cups mushroom broth
  • 4 tbsp Chicken-less Bouillon and Seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp chili paste (use your favorite brand or you can make your own – see notes below)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced matchsticks of daikon
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced chives or green onions, green part only

Preparation:

  1. Place all of the ingredients except the daikon and chives in a large soup pot. Heat to a simmer, cover and cook 25-30 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. You could also make this soup in a slow cooker set on low for 4-6 hours.
  2. Place 1/4 of the daikon in each bowl and pour the hot soup over the top. Garnish with chives or green onions.

Yield:

Makes 4 servings

Notes:

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To make your own chili paste soak 5-6 ancho chilies (stems and seeds removed, 14-16 arbol chilies (stems and seeds removed) in 2-3 cups boiling water for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the liquid and place the chilies and reserved liquid into a blender with 2-3 cloves garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend until smooth. Chili paste can be spooned into ice cube trays and frozen. Remove from the trays and store in a zip top freezer bag in the freezer for later use.

Jerk Seasoned Baked Beans

Jun 17 2013 by | Comments (0)
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Jerk Seasoned Baked Beans

For me a cookout or potluck wouldn’t be complete without homemade baked beans. I love them! I also love bold spicy flavors like jerk seasoning. Put the two together and what do you get? Baked beans so flavorful they’ll make your tastebuds explode like 4th of July fireworks.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced  (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (not distilled vinegar) or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut crystals
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • hot sauce to taste – I use 1 tbsp Arizona Pepper’s Organic Harvest Foods Chipotle Habanero Pepper Sauce
  • 3-4 cups cooked pinto beans

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an oven proof dutch oven heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and salt. Sauté until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add the remaining ingredients. Cook about 10 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
  4. Add the beans and stir to combine. Place in the oven and bake 45 minutes or longer if you prefer a less saucy consistency.
  5. Serve with your favorite burger, tortilla chips or your favorite grain.

Yield:

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Follow steps 1-3 and then combine with the beans in the bowl of a slow cooker and cook according to the manufactures instructions.

 

Homemade Refried Beans

May 10 2012 by | Comments (4)
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Years and years ago I used to waitress at a Mexican restaurant.  A lot of the food was made fresh daily inside the kitchen.  The customers always used to say that we served the best refried beans they had ever tasted – if only they knew how easy they were to make!  I don’t know why I waited to so long to share this recipe with you but better late than never!  Once you eat homemade refried beans you’ll never go back to canned again.  There are so many yummy uses for refried beans – tacos, burritos or one of my favorites – dip!  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 5 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup safflower or olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker making sure that you have enough water or broth to cover your beans by a few inches.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
  3. Once the beans are fully cooked and tender you can mash the mixture (a potato masher works great) to your desired consistency.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or whip up some of our favorite bean inspired dishes –  Baked Nachos, Layered Bean Dip, Taco Salad and Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 290.5, Cal. from Fat: 87, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 39g, Fiber: 12.5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 12.5g, Sodium: 84.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Slow Cooker Lentils and Rice

Jan 17 2012 by | Comments (21)
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I like to do most of my cooking on the weekend so I can put meals together during the week without too much effort. This recipe is perfect for that since it really cooks itself and I can be preparing other things while it simmers away filling the house with it’s delicious aroma. Another plus is that it’s one of the most versatile recipes I have. With a change in seasoning and vegetables it can become a whole different dish. It’s also budget friendly because what’s more economical than lentils and rice? By combining legumes and grains you get a complete protein so this can be a main dish or as a side dish with another protein if you prefer.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown long grain rice
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped or frozen, but thaw and drain first
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 package (8 ounces) non dairy cheese (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place the rice and lentils in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight or at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain and place in the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients except the cheese if using.
  3. Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 8 hours depending on your specific slow cooker. It’s done when the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been cooked down.
  4. If using the cheese add it individually to each serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving (without cheese):  Calories: 180, Cal. from Fat: 6, Total Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 9.5g, Sodium: 343mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

To change the flavor of this dish substitute the oregano and basil for cumin and chili powder and add some frozen corn (thaw and drain first). To make an Indian inspired dish substitute the oregano and basil for curry powder, cumin and garam masala and add carrots and cauliflower.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You may want to add a little broth when warming up.

One Pot Stew

Oct 13 2011 by | Comments (0)
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Last week when most of Southern California was complaining because it was a gloomy, rainy and overcast day I was actually enjoying every second of it.  It totally felt like Fall and I was loving it!  I wasted no time throwing together this stew so that I could enjoy a bowl of it for lunch with some whole wheat bread.  I made this in my slow cooker but you can also make it on the stove top.  Feel free to mix and match your favorite veggies to make this stew your own.  It freezes really well too so store the leftovers in freezer safe containers and you’ll be able to enjoy this meal all winter long!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced into small pieces (I used some small red potatoes I had on hand)
  • 1 can (5 ounces) sliced water chestnuts
  • 16 ounces sauerkraut
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups lentils *see notes
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp parley
  • 1 can (6 ounces) no salt added tomato paste

Preparation:

  1. In a large soup pot sauté the onions in a tiny bit of vegetable broth over medium high heat.  Once the onions are translucent add in the rest of the ingredients.

    Saute onions until they are translucent. I sautéed mine right in my slow cooker but if you don't have that ability, sauté them first on the stove top.

  2. Stir well and then bring the stew to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for about 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

    Toss all the ingredients in your soup pot or slow cooker

  3. You can also make this in your slow cooker.  Add the sautéed onions (if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to sauté your onions just add them directly to your slow cooker without sautéing first) along with the other ingredients, cover and cook on low for 4 hour or until the potatoes are tender.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 13 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 214.5, Cal. from Fat: 11, Total Fat: .5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 40.5g, Fiber: 10.5g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 9.5g, Sodium: 211.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Black Beluga Lentils

I used a Black Beluga lentil in this recipe (although you can use any type of lentil in this recipe that you like).  This particular type of lentil holds it shape really well when cooked and is a bit firmer than other types of lentils.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.  Stew can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Onion and Apple Confit

Oct 12 2011 by | Comments (0)
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What is confit you might ask? Well, I asked the same thing and being the queen of Googling I learned this; “Confit (French, pronounced [kɔ̃fi] or in English “con-fee”) is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food, and is a speciality of southwestern France.” (Wikipedia)

In other words, this onion and apple confit is like a jam or marmalade, tastes similar to caramelized onions and can be used for so many delicious things like a topping for burgers and toasted sandwiches. It’s great with pasta or on a pizza with roasted vegetables. Mix it in with meat, bean or lentil loaves as a quick flavor enhancer. I love it on toast that’s been rubbed with a garlic clove. It’s great to have on hand when in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Be creative. I bet you can think up many more delicious ways to use this magical mixture. I recently used it in my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie and it was amazing!

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 pounds sweet onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (a mixture of green and red apples gives a nice flavor)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp raw coconut crystals (depending on how sweet you like it, start with 2 tbsp and add more to the finished confit if desired)
  • 1 tsp thyme

Preparation:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Turn cooker to high. Cooking time will vary depending on your cooker. Cook time will be anywhere from 6-10 hours. My older cooker that cooked at a lower temperature took 8-10 hours but my newer cooker takes about 6-8 hours. The onions and apples will start to release their juices in the first couple hours of cooking. Your confit will be done once the juices have all been cooked off and you are left with soft and syrupy onions.
  4. You are now ready to use your caramelized onions and apples in any number of delicious recipes.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 cups.

Serving size 1/4 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 85, Cal. from Fat: 31, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 13.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: .5g, Sodium: 123mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

For a tasty variation add 2 tbsp Barbecue Sauce to 1 cup of the confit.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I like to divide the confit into 1/2 cup portions, place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months. To use, remove from the bag and defrost in the microwave or in a covered sauté pan before using.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Oct 03 2011 by | Comments (4)
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My in-laws recently flew over from South Africa and will be spending the next few months visiting with us.  To help make their stay a little easier I’ve been making some meals that freeze well so that they can pop dinner in the microwave and have a meal without needing to cook anything.  I recently got a new slow cooker that can brown, saute, steam and slow cook all in one.  I thought this recipe would be prefect for a test drive.  I set the slow cooker to brown and was able to brown the meat in the slow cooker which means I didn’t have to dirty a separate pan for this meal!  I did have to remove the sauce once it was done cooking and place it in another container.  But even so, I can’t say enough good things about this slow cooker.  While on the pricey side it is WAY worth the cost!  Next up I’m going to try roasting veggies in it.  Hopefully they’ll taste as good as my in-laws said the lasagna tasted!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic grass fed lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (6-8 ounces) no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 6 uncooked whole grain lasagna noodles (you do not need no-boil noodles)

 Preparation:

  1. In a large skillet brown the ground beef and then drain.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and paste along with the parsley, onion, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 2 tbsp parmesan in a large bowl.
  4. Pour 1 cup of sauce into a 4 to 6 quart sized slow cooker. Place half of the noodles and half of the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles (If the noodles don’t fit exactly break them to fit), cheese mixture and meat sauce.  Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  5. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until noodles are soft.
  6. Do not overcook and don’t try to speed up the process by cooking it on high.
  7. Optional step – remove slow cooker bowl and place under your broiler on high for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is crispy and golden brown on top.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 10 servings.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 327, Cal. from Fat: 146.5, Total Fat: 18g, Sat. Fat: 7.5g, Carbs: 20.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 22.5g, Sodium: 128.5mg, Chol: 52mg

Notes:

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You can also freezer individual servings in freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Homemade Pear Sauce

Oct 01 2011 by | Comments (1)
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Living in Southern California is awesome EXCEPT when your Facebook feed is filled with stories of apple orchard trips, pumpkins, cool crisp weather and hot apple cider.  We don’t have fall here.  No leaves changing colors, no fall air.  I decided a trip to an apple orchard would help put a little fall into my California days.  My Mom (Kristy) and I took the kids to an organic apple and pear orchard in Julian, CA.

Kristy and the kids picking organic apples and pears

We ended up with a TON of apples and pears.  Kristy used the major part of our apples to make a DELICIOUS apple pie for me and my hubby’s 7 year anniversary.  Best. pie. EVER.  But what to do with the mountain of pears that we had left?  Well, of course make pear sauce!  It’s just as delicious as apple sauce and SUPER easy to make.  I put this in my slow cooker before I went to bed and in the morning I swear I was back in the Midwest!  The air was crisp (the mornings here are quite cool) and the smell had me in heaven!  This recipe also freezes really well so I can enjoy it all winter long.  YUM!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • pears (any kind will do)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • nutmeg (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Peel and core your pears.

    Place pears in the crock pot and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired

  2. Place in the slow cooker and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired.  (I peeled 6 medium sized pears and sprinkled with 2 tbsp cinnamon and 2 dashes of nutmeg.  You can do as little or as much spice as you like.)
  3. Cover and cook on low until pears lose their shape and are soft and mushy – about 4-6 hours.  Let cool until it reaches room temperature.
  4. Using a fork or immersion blender, process pears until you have the desired consistency.  You can also transfer the pears to a blender and process until smooth.
  5. To make pear butter, transfer the processed mixture back to the slow cooker and cook on low until all the liquid has been cooked out and you have a thick, rich mixture.  This can take anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on how juicy your pears were.

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional info not available.

Notes:

Pear sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.  Place leftover sauce in individual freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Slow Cooker Shrimp Jambalaya

Sep 28 2011 by | Comments (0)
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I used to work at a company that took it’s potlucks as seriously as it did it’s business. We made up more excuses to have a potluck than Hallmark has holidays or Heinz has varieties or….well, you get the picture. My Shrimp Jambalaya was often requested and that was ok with me because no one had to know how easy it was to make. It cooked itself in the slow cooker and I had only one pot to deal with cleaning up after it was all done. Now that’s as good a reason to have a potluck as any. Want to join in too?

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely sliced (omit for a vegetarian meal)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp no salt added tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 12 – 16 ounces fresh or frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation:

  1. If you have time you can brown the pancetta in a skillet for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic and saute until tender about 4-5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (start with 3 cups of broth) except the shrimp and cook on low 4-8 hours.
  2. If you don’t have time you can just add all of the ingredients (start with 3 cups of broth) except the shrimp into the slow cooker and cook on low 4-8 hours. Adjust cooking time according to your specific manufacturers instructions. I found that my old model slow cooker cooks at a lower temperature and needs more time but my newer one cooks much faster and was done in 4:30 hours. You will know when it’s done when the rice is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add additional chicken broth if it seems too dry before the rice is done.
  3. An hour before serving turn your cooker to high and add the shrimp. Put the lid back on and cook until the shrimp are pink.
  4. Spoon into bowls and serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze over the Jambalaya.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 158, Cal. from Fat: 31, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 14g, Sodium: 486mg, Chol: 69.5mg

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days.

Pork Carnitas

Sep 23 2011 by | Comments (10)
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I like double duty meals. Make one protein and get two meals from it. One of my favorite double duty meats is a boneless pork butt that is slow cooked, shredded and then used in bbq pork sandwiches and later as pork carnitas. This carnitas recipe is so easy it hardly counts as a recipe but it sure is good. Besides the spicy good taste of the pork, I love the way one side gets fried all crispy and brown before serving. So get your slow cooker out and let it do the work but you must certainly take all the credit for 2 great meals this week.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Anaheim chili (mild) or 1 jalapeno chili (hot), ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • whole grain tortillas of your choice
  • diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese (optional toppings)

Preparation:

  1. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and coriander together and rub evenly all over the pork.
  2. Place in a slow cooker and add the onion, garlic and chili pepper.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top.
  4. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4 hours. Adjust cooking time according of your slow cooker if necessary.
  5. Once the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork, remove from the cooker and cool 10-15 minutes.
  6. Pull apart with a fork.
  7. When ready to serve the carnitas heat the remaining oil on high in a large skillet. Once the oil is very hot place about 2 cups of the shredded meat into the pan. Press down with a spatula or a sandwich/grill press (a brick wrapped in foil works too) and sear one side of the meat until it is a crispy golden brown.
  8. Serve on tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Nutritional Info:

2 cups of pork makes approximately 8 carnitas served in a tortilla.

Serving size 1 carnita.

Nutrients per serving (pork only):  Calories: 170, Cal. from Fat: 72, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 4g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 19g, Sodium: 280mg, Chol: 51mg

Notes:

With the remaining pork add some Homemade BBQ Sauce and serve over whole grain buns. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.