Time to CEE Change: Crock-Pot Meals

 

If you’re anything like me, your heart is completely shattered after watching the most recent episode of “This Is Us.” As much as I want to curse that damn crock-pot, in it’s defense, it was like 17+ years old, and when it was given to Jack and Rebecca, the sweet old man informed them that it was fidgety.

 Crock-Pot released a technical statement that read:

“Crock-Pot understands the concerns brought up by last night’s episode of This Is Us, and we too are heartbroken by the latest development in Jack’s storyline. However, it is important that our consumers understand and have confidence that all Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs. For nearly 50 years, with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”  With all of that said, I am by no means responsible if something happens with your Crock-Pot while preparing any of the meals I have listed for you.

I love Jack as much as I love my Crock-Pot. Coach and I use it at least one to two times a week. I work forty minutes from our home, but Coach is  only thirty seconds so he’ll come home for a hot second, and throw everything in the Crock-Pot. It’s so convenient to be able to come home, and dinner basically be ready to serve!

Southwest Chili

(Recipe given to me by my Minot BFF aka top 3 best cook I know)

1 lb ground turkey
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion chopped
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 small can tomato paste
2-3 c chicken or beef broth (depending on consistency)
1 can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook the ground turkey meat

Dump everything else into Crock-Pot

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Add additional toppings such as green onions, tortilla chips, plain greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute, cheese or cilantro

Chicken and Dumplings

(Not exactly “healthy,” but better than spending money and eating at a restaurant where you are unsure of what is going into your meal. Portion control is key here!)

4 boneless/skinless chicken breast

1 onion, finely diced

2 cans of cream of chicken soup (unhealthy part-try to get low sodium or fat free)

2 small packages of biscuits

Add as many vegetables as desired-celery, carrots, peas, green beans, corn

Directions:

Place chicken in Crock-Pot with soup, onion, vegetables and enough water to cover the chicken

Cook for 5-6 hours on high

About 30 minutes prior to serving, break up biscuits and drop them into Crock-Pot

Allow those to sit in Crock-Pot with the lid secured for the remaining time

*I did see some recipes with chicken broth and ways to make the biscuits homemade with wheat flour. This may be an even better option, but on a cold day, this is one of my favorite meals.

Zucchini Lasagna

(Recipe found on slowcookergourmet.net)

2-3 zucchini’s depending on size

1-2 teaspoons of salt

24 oz of marinara sauce (no sugar added or homemade preferred)

15 oz ricotta cheese (when I make any kind of lasagna, I like to do half ricotta and half cottage cheese)

8 oz provolone, shredded

8 oz mozzarella, shredded

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

fresh basil for garnish

Directions:

Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips

Place zucchini in a large colander over a bowl or over the sink and sprinkle well with 1 teaspoon of salt

Let sit for at least 20-30 minutes and then cover with a paper towel and gently press out at much water as you can and pat them dry

If they still seem to have a lot of water, add a little more salt and repeat

Add about 1/2 cup marinara in bottom of slow cooker, then layer about 1/3 of the noodles, cheeses (except parmesan) and more sauce until you have 3 layers

Top with remaining sauce, cheese and and parmesan cheese

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 until “noodles” are tender

Remove cover and let sit for about 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving with fresh basil

Chicken Salsa

4 chicken breast

jar of salsa (I try to buy an organic kind or one made fresh)

can of corn

can of black beans

2 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of cumin

*If you want an extra kick, add hot green chilies

Directions:

Place chicken into the Crock-Pot

Drain corn and black beans

Add corn and black beans to Crock-Pot

Pour Salsa and seasonings over the chicken, corn and beans

Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 on low

Before serving shred chicken with a fork

Serve over rice, on a tortilla, or on lettuce

Random things we do with our Crock-Pot…

Spaghetti Squash

Cut in half (like a hamburger)

Pour a very thin layer of olive oil into the Crock-Pot

Place spaghetti squash face down

Cook four 4 hours on high or 6 on low

Once cooked, take the squash out and with a fork scrap out the squash

Serve with a homemade or low in sugar pasta sauce

Turkey Breast Tenderloin

Aldi’s has a turkey breast tenderloin or even lean pork tenderloins that are already seasoned. All you have to do is place a small amount of olive oil in the Crock-Pot then place the tenderloin into the Crock-Pot. Cook on high for 5 hours. Serve with rice and vegetables.

#teamJack #RIPyouperfectmanyou

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