Filed under: Appetizer, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, vegetarian
I love when my friends and fans share their recipes… everyone loves a good crock pot dish that is worthy of sharing! So from one crock pot fanatic to another, here is Sarah’s recipe for vegetable chili. It sounds like a great way to use fresh produce and also make a vegetarian dish that will fill everyones’ bellies with happiness. I especially like her tools of measurement. Enjoy!
Chop one metric crap-ton (that’s 1 HUGE zucchini, 3 small bell peppers, 2 big handfuls of green and wax beans and 2 ears of corn, hulled) to bite-sized pieces and drop into crock pot. Add 3 (15 oz) cans of beans (I used pinto, kidney and dark kidney). Stir to combine.
Separately, combine 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce, 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste, 4 cloves minced garlic, 4 T chili powder, 1 T dried mustard powder, 1 t oregano and 1 t ground cumin. Plop over veggies.
Add 1 box (4 C) vegetable stock. (I like wetter chilis, but you can use less if you prefer a chunkier chili). Stir to combine and coat all the veggies with the chili goodness.
Pop on low for …. I think mine was on for about 10 hours, so I’ll go with the 8-10 hours on low. At this point, you can add cooked elbow noodles, sour cream, cheese, fresh onion….whatever you like.
I’m thinking carrots would sweeten it up a bit if that’s what you like. OOH! I bet barley would be good too….Lookie at me, cooking without a complete recipe. My sister would be so proud! Next recipe will be filled with “a pinch of” and “a dash of” and “half an eggshell of”….”
So after the amazing stroganoff last week, somehow I still wanted to make more beef. (I think we had BBQ chicken one too many times over the holiday weekend.) So even though it is summer, I thought some hearty beef stew would satisfy my craving for red meat. The nice part about this meal and the hot weather is that a small serving is enough to satisfy and you can use local produce to really enrich the flavors of the stew. I am adding some extra vegetables to my stew that are in season, ripe and fresh right now. Check out your local farmer’s market and see what vegetables look good to you. Enjoy!
1 lb. beef, cut into stew meat
1 c. baby carrots Read more
“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist —
the problem is entirely the same in both cases.
To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.”
Oscar Wilde 1856-1900, British Author
Dinner was not a crock last night. We grilled out brats and had cold side dishes, drank chilled wine and enjoyed time with friends. Sometimes I really enjoy the contrast of a hot main dish and the refreshment of cold accompaniments. I made a vinaigrette salad last night that everyone seemed to really enjoy, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you too. Tomorrow I’ll use the crock pot, but this was a nice change.
Making a vinaigrette salad takes only a few ingredients, but just the right balance (as Oscar Wilde said in the quote listed above). You want chemistry and harmony and simplicity in the perfect mix. Depending on the potency of your ingredients, you may want to divide the dressing measurements in half and add a bit at a time until you get a good balance. Remember that when the vegetables marinate, they will absorb some oil and vinegar and release some water, so you might want to drain the salad a little bit before serving. Enjoy!
1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into chunks
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can green beans, drained and rinsed
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. extra light olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. coarsely ground pepper
Mix all vegetable together, then drizzle with oil, vinegar and seasonings. Toss salad together and then add parsley and mix one more time. Refrigerate at least an hour and then drain, if needed, before serving.
It’s not the ides of March, but I feel the need to honor our dear friend, Julius. After an intense workout this morning, I feel like an Olympian! I am in need of good, lean protein, so I came home and started a healthy pot of meat and veggies with some great flavor. This recipe is super easy and I promise that you’ll feel full and pleased at dinner tonight.
Frozen chicken can be a little rediculous. I’m not sure where some companies find the Pam Anderson’s of chickens, but the serving size of one frozen breast is much too large for one person. Fresh chicken breasts are usually even a little less reasonable so I prefer to buy fresh, cut them each in half and then freeze them myself. My advice is to picky about your meat; buy the lean kind, fresh or frozen, and accompany your proteins with full flavors from seasonings and vegetables.
If you plan ahead and prep your food, you can have a little more control over your portions and still make your favorite meals. So while this chicken recipe calls for TWO chicken breasts, it actually can usually feed four people. If you have leftovers, put the chicken on a mixed green salad tomorrow for lunch and you’ll be cheering “All hail, Caesar!” all afternoon. Enjoy!
3 medium potatoes, diced
6 oz. frozen green beans
2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. light caesar dressing
Layer ingredients in crock pot in order provided. Cook on high for 4 hours.
I think it’s a wonderful community celebration when a baby is born. Friends and family gather to welcome the sweet little child and help the new parents with meals and errands and extra hands for diaper changes. Tonight, it’s my turn to bring dinner to some friends and I’m pretty sure that they already assume it’s going to be something from the crock pot. The debate begins about what to make— it doesn’t have to be for an occasion, let’s admit that this debate happens practically every day, right?!
Let’s see– vegetarian or dairy is requested and the meal needs to feed two adults and a 2-year-old, too. I’m guessing that pasta dishes and soups have already been dropped off or stocked in the freezer, so I decided to do an Asian tofu dish and serve it with rice. Tofu is a unique protein, but it cooks up nicely and can suck up a whole bunch of flavor from whatever it accompanies. There are different consistencies of tofu sold, but I suggest using an extra firm one, it’s easiest to work with as a substitute for meat.
If you are scared of squishy food, you could make this dish with chicken instead. But give it a try– you might actually like tofu! The toughest thing about cooking it, is that sometimes it can really stick to the pan. Let it cook on each side without moving it around in the pan and then flip it quickly with a thin spatula. Enjoy!
1 brick of tofu, drained
3 T. olive oil
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. honey Read more
We’re going to a BBQ at my brother’s house this weekend and since the assumption is that I’ll bring something from the crockpot, I know I need to come up with something tasty and creative. The catch is that I don’t really want to go grocery shopping today. So, I’m diving into the pantry in the hopes that I will surface with a plan and an amazing side dish. I also want to make this dish over night so that it is ready to go in the morning.
Baked beans are a very typical BBQ side dish, but I would like to make a bean dish that isn’t brown and smokey or looks like it’s was dumped into a bowl and served. Beans are an easily accessible food– even if they look like they were prepared a little different, everyone still usually takes a scoop to eat. This combination is a nice variation because it is more colorful and the light colors are a nice balance for spring. Enjoy!
**NOTE: Assume that each can is about 15 ounces. This recipe works best in a 6-quart pot. Feel free to divide all ingredients in half if you are not cooking for a large gathering of people, a sports team or a small army.**
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans great northern or cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans sweet corn kernels, drained
8 oz. frozen cut green beans Read more
It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to enjoy a side dish that can be a year round favorite. I like to go to restaurants and just order an array of side dishes as my meal— green bean casserole, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and scalloped apples are some of my favorites. Let’s be honest, it’s a good thing Cracker Barrel doesn’t have a buffet.
Side dishes can be dangerous though. All these creamy, cheesy, salty tastes can be brief in moments, but high in fat and calories. This crockpot version of green been cassarole saves some calories by Read more
Last night I used my foodie knowledge to help a friend through a stressful moment. I described my love affair with Trader Joe’s grocery store in such detail that she learned about my secret ongoing shopping list, what each item is that I crave and how I use one dish, three ways. By the end of my “foodologue” I think I had actually BORED her out of her anxiety attack.
It made me start thinking about comfort foods. For many people, it’s what our mommies used to make for us or maybe what we had at favorite holidays. I wonder what my boys will recall as their favorite foods, twenty years from now. Today’s recipe might top the list. The last time I made my beef stew, Read more