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Food & Recipes
Articles: Food

One Month of Slow Cooking

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Day #9

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 taco seasoning packet (brand of your choice)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound chicken breasts - boneless & skinless

Dissolve taco seasoning into chicken broth. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and pour broth over them. With two forks, shred the chicken meat into bite-size pieces.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 99kcal
Protein 18g (36%)
Total Fat 2g (2%)
Sat. 0g (2%)
Chol. 44mg (15%)
Carb. 2g (1%)
Fiber 0g (0%)
Sugars 0g
Calcium 12mg (1%)
Iron 1mg (4%)

Day #10

Slow Cooker Chicken Italiano

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing

Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 157kcal
Protein 2g (4%)
Total Fat 11g (17%)
Sat. 2g (8%)
Chol. 0mg (0%)
Carb. 13g (4%)
Fiber 2g (8%)
Sugars 9g
Calcium 30mg (3%)
Iron 1mg (6%)

Side Dish Fare:

Serve the chicken over a bed of angel hair pasta with a side of broccoli.

Broccoli

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Trim and wash broccoli. When water has been brought to a boil, then add broccoli to the pot. Cook for three minutes. Drain broccoli. Place broccoli back in the hot pot and put the lid on. By the time the angel hair pasta is cooked, you will have the perfect side of broccoli.

Amy’s Tips:

Use reduced-fat Italian dressing to save on fat & calories.

You can top this dish with mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

Day #11

Slow Cooker Chicken-Lickin' Good Pork Chops

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 lean pork chops - 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup - diluted w/ 1/3 c. water (10 oz can)

Mix dry ingredients. Dredge pork chops in mixture. Brown in oil in large skillet. Place browned pork chops in crockpot. Add can of soup. Cover and cook 6-8 hours

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 214kcal
Protein 21g (43%)
Total Fat 9g (14%)
Sat. 2g (12%)
Chol. 61mg (20%)
Carb. 9g (3%)
Fiber 0g (2%)
Sugars 0g
Calcium 19mg (2%)
Iron 1mg (6%)

Side Dish Fare:

Serve with mashed potatoes & baby peas.

Amy’s Tips:

Don’t forget to trim the fat from your pork chops!

Day #12

Slow Cooker Sour Cream Salsa Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning. Top with salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the pot. Place about 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in a small amount of water. Stir well. Stir the cornstarch mixture into salsa sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup of sour cream.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 132kcal
Protein 18g (35%)
Total Fat 3g (4%)
Sat. 1g (7%)
Chol. 47mg (16%)
Carb. 8g (3%)
Fiber 1g (4%)
Sugars 3g
Calcium 43mg (4%)
Iron 1mg (6%)

Side Dish Fare:

Serve over a bed of white rice and with glasses of cool lemonade.

Amy’s Tips:

This chicken can also be shredded and mixed with the rice for tacos.

Another alternative to this meal would be to shred the meat and serve it over egg noodles.

Day #13

Cheater's Clam Chowder

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 2 cans condensed cream of potato soup - (10.75-ounce)
  • 2 cans New England clam chowder - (10.75 ounce)
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 cans minced clams (6.5 ounce)
  • 1 quart half-and-half cream
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream

Mix cream of potato soup, clam chowder, 1 can undrained clams, 1 can drained clams, half-and-half cream, and whipping cream into a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 477kcal
Protein 13g (26%)
Total Fat 35g (54%)
Sat. 20g (99%)
Chol. 118mg (39%)
Carb. 29g (10%)
Fiber 3g (12%)
Sugars 3g
Calcium 191mg (19%)
Iron 7mg (37%)

Side Dish Fare:

Pair this creamy chowder with garlic-cheese biscuits and a salad..

Easy Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Original Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cup butter or stick margarine melted
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix Bisquick, milk, and cheese until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 30 seconds. Drop dough by ten to twelve spoonfuls about two inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake eight to ten minutes or until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder; brush on warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Amy’s Tips:

I am not a big fan of dumping a bunch of soup in a slow cooker and calling it a meal, but this recipe is too easy & too delicious to resist. Few of us would attempt making“real” homemade chowder, but how about a soup that tastes like homemade? Being a New Englander, I scoff at the chowders served in many places, but you would have to be a seaman to tell the difference between the homemade versions and this canned version.

Obviously the fat content is through the roof on this dish. To make the soup more figure friendly choose reduced-fat soups, fat-free half & half, and you can omit the whipping cream.

For a chunkier soup, use one can of minced clams and one can of whole baby clams.

Day #14

Paris Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 lb whole chicken cut up - or 3 whole chicken breasts, halved
  • 1/4 cup white wine- can substitute with chicken broth
  • 10 -3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup flour

Place chicken in slow cooker. Season with salt & pepper. Mix wine & soup; pour over chicken. Add mushrooms. Cover and cook on low seven to nine hours or on high for three to four hours. Remove cooked chicken pieces to warm serving platter. Stir together sour cream & flour, stir mixture into mushroom gravy in slow cooker. Heat for thirty minutes on low.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 634kcal
Protein 76g (153%)
Total Fat 27g (42%)
Sat. 12g (58%)
Chol. 261mg (87%)
Carb. 14g (5%)
Fiber 1g (3%)
Sugars 1g
Calcium 127mg (13%)
Iron 4mg (21%)

Side Dish Fare:

Serve sauce over chicken with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Amy’s Tips:

To lower the fat on this recipe, choose low (or nonfat) sour cream & reduced fat soups.

Day #15

Italian Beef Au Jus in Slow Cooker

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds rump roast - trimmed
  • 2 packages au jus gravy packets
  • 2 packages dry Italian dressing mix
  • 2 cans of beef broth

Place meat in crock pot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef. Cook on low for six to eight hours.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 527kcal
Protein 89g (178%)
Total Fat 16g (25%)
Sat. 6g (31%)
Chol. 156mg (52%)
Carb. 0g (0%)
Fiber 0g (0%)
Sugars 0g
Calcium 43mg (4%)
Iron 8mg (42%)

Side Dish Fare:

A side of oven steak fries & carrot sticks.

Oven Steak Fries

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • russet potatoes - cut into thin wedges
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend - such as Montreal Steak Seasoning or, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to high. Cut potatoes and spread out on a cookie sheet. Coat potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, dried herbs and steak seasoning or, salt and pepper. Spread potatoes to the corners of the cookie sheet. Cook potatoes in very hot oven 25 minutes. Turn potatoes once, half way in the cooking process. Serve fries hot from the oven.

Amy’s Tips:

For a different variation on the oven steak fries, use an Italian seasoning blend (instead of the steak seasoning, thyme, & oregano). During the last five minutes of cooking time, sprinkle the fries with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Pop the fries back in the oven for two more minutes and you will have Italian Cheesy Fries.

Buy the cheapest cut of meat possible for this dish. The meat will cook a long time and the slow cooker will tenderize even the toughest of meats.

Use a slotted spoon to serve meat on large buns or rolls to keep the juice from making buns soggy. Serve the juice in a small ramekin, on the side, for dipping your sandwich.

Day #16

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 pound broiler-fryer chicken - whole or pieces
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • garlic cloves - minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup sherry wine or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Wash chicken; pat dry; season chicken generously with salt and pepper; sprinkle half of oregano, rosemary and garlic inside cavity of chicken; melt butter in frying pan and brown chicken; transfer to slow cooker or crockpot; sprinkle with remaining oregano, rosemary and garlic; add sherry to frying pan and stir to loosen brown bits; pour into slow cooker. Cover, cook on low for 7 hours; add lemon juice and cook 1 more hour (total of 8); transfer chicken to cutting board; skim fat from juices and serve over chicken.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 254kcal
Protein 32g (64%)
Total Fat 10g (16%)
Sat. 5g (24%)
Chol. 119mg (40%)
Carb. 3g (1%)
Fiber 0g (0%)
Sugars 2g
Calcium 24mg (2%)
Iron 1mg (8%)

Side Dish Fare:

Serve with a side of rice & a loaf of crusty bread.

Lemon Rice Pilaf

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (approximately one tablespoon)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested

Heat a medium saucepan or pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter and shallots to the pan. Saute shallots 2 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups rice. Lightly brown rice 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to evaporate entirely, 1 to 2 minutes. Add thyme and chicken broth to the rice. Fill broth can half-again with water or, measure 1 cup water and add to pot. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover rice and reduce heat. Cook rice 20 minutes, until tender. Stir the zest of 1 lemon and parsley into rice. Transfer lemon rice to dinner plates or warm serving dish. Serve next to the lemon chicken.

Amy’s Tips:

Cooking times may vary and I find that poultry has a tendency to overcook in my slow cooker. The newer models of slow cookers seem to heat much more quickly. It is a lot of trial and error, in the beginning, getting acquainted with your slow cooker. If the chicken seems overdone, reduce the cooking time the next time you make the dish. Older models may require a longer amount of cooking.