Crock Pot Vegetable Soup For Men


I am fortunate to have a husband that loves my cooking and loves to eat.  He tries everything I make and is very agreeable about most of it. But today, I had the privilege of watching my husband cook his first crock pot meal. And it turned out great!

Today’s soup includes a lot of produce, but unlike my normal vegetarian vegetable soup which has small bits of lots of vegetables, my hubby’s recipe includes chunkier cuts of vegetables and not as much variety. The real kicker of this soup is the topping– add a few jalapeno peppers and you’ve got a treat to eat without any meat! ūüôā

I definitely encourage you to offer the crock pot up for family cooking adventures. It’s great to take with you on road trips to save money instead of eating out. It’s a great way to teach kids about cooking because there’s less risk of burning food or fingers. It’s also a great way to add healthier meals into your busy lives.

So kudos to my husband for coming up with this great recipe. Maybe he’ll do the dishes, too. Enjoy!

2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 15 oz. can sweet kernel corn, drained

1 zucchini, chopped

4 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium potatoes, skins left on and diced

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 t. celery seed

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1 T. dried parsley

TOPPING: jar of jalapeno pepper slices

Add all ingredients (except jalapeno slices) to pot and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours. When serving, add a few chilled jalapeno pepper slices straight from the jar, to each bowl. If your man likes it hotter, try a few shakes of Tabasco sauce, too!




Crock Pot Nacho Fries


I remember as a kid going to diners and¬†cute little restaurants with good homecooking and a little grease on everything.¬† It was always a treat to get something smothered or covered or dipped or drizzled. I don’t usually eat a lot of¬†fried and greasy, especially not in the crock pot, but today it just sounded good. I’m serving my crock pot dish with a side salad and low-cal dressing. Maybe if I wash it down with a Diet Coke it will just cancel out the bad stuff.

One of my favorite appetizers from my youth was “not-so-fries”–¬†it was¬†cheese and bacon and sour cream on top of silver dollar shaped french fries. The fried coins were coated in toppings and best when shared with friends! I also really like bar food like nachos— again with the cheese covered goodness! My other favorite food isn’t as unhealthy, but I really like pita and tzatziki sauce. There is something about the cold, creamy cucumber that becomes highly addictive.¬† As you can probably conclude,¬†I am completely¬†food-oriented, so most¬†of my memories include visual and culinary associations.

So, it is now my intention to combine three of my favorite snack foods in one amazing crock pot side dish. Enjoy!

1 lb. bag frozen french fries

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. frozen corn kernels

2 oz. jarred jalapeno slices

4 oz. salsa

toppings:

sour cream

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered

Coat crock pot with non-stick spray. Spread frozen french fries in bottom of pot, layer with ingredients. Cook on high for 2 hours. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some cucumber. Feel free to use a fork or your fingers to consume!




Crock Pot Enchiladas


Happy Cinco de Mayo!¬† This is a really easy recipe for enchiladas– you buy the sauce already made and a handful of other ingredients. When you put it all together it tastes authentic and just the right balance of flavors and spice. I always keep a bag of flour tortillas in the refrigerator, so even though enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas, I’m going to use the ones I already have.¬†

Enchiladas are pretty much a corn (maize) tortilla wrapped around any variety of fillings, including meats, potato, seafood, vegetables, cheese, beans or any combination of these, covered in a red chili sauce. The Spanish word “enchilado” means spicy or hot, but that doesn’t mean that your taste needs to be extreme. You can add intensity with jalapenos or Tabasco if you’d like to crank it up a bit.¬† This dish is also a¬†great way to get your family to fill up on protein and you can use shredded beef or chicken if you prefer it over ground meat.

I suggest serving this dish with some Spanish rice or refried beans¬†and some shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a dollop of sour scream.¬† And if you serve dinner and request “dos cervezas, por favor”, I say cheers to you and enjoy your celebration!

1 lb ground turkey

1 medium onion, sliced thin

1 can diced green chiles

1/2 c. salsa

3 T. olive oil

10 tortillas (corn is traditional, flour ones still work)

1 can enchilada sauce

1 c. shredded colby jack cheese

2 T.  jalapenos (from the jar)

Heat olive oil in a separate pan and brown meat until crumbled and cooked throughout. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add green chiles and salsa to mixture and stir, turn off heat. Pour a little enchilada sauce into the crock pot, just enough to coat the bottom. Roll 2-3 T of meat mixture in each tortilla and then place each one in separately, seam-side down (this works easiest in an oval shaped crock pot). Cover tortillas with remaining enchilada sauce, then the cheese and then sprinkle with the jalapenos. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Ole!!




Crock Pot Creamy Corn


Not to be too corny, but I’m a big fan of corn. I love fresh local corn on the cob in the summer, corn chowder soup in the winter, corn muffins, popcorn at the movies, canned cream corn, kettle corn at the apple festival, even cooking with corn oil.

I’ve got some great leftover meat from this weekend, but I really want a yummy side dish to go with it to make it seem like a whole new meal. It’s already the middle of the afternoon, so I’m short on time, but this is a perfect time to make a delicious corn side dish as an accompaniment.

The contrast of the sweet corn and creamy cheese to the sting of the jalapenos is a great chemistry. When you make this dish and someone tells you how much they love it, just smile and say, “awww shucks!”

1 32 oz. bag of frozen corn

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 T. butter, melted

1/2 c. milk

1 T. parsley

1/2 t. salt

1 t. black pepper

3 T. chopped jalapeno slices (from the jar, not fresh)

8 oz. whipped cream cheese

Put corn and onion in crock pot first, then stir in melted butter and milk. Add in all the seasonings and the jalapenos and stir again. Scoop the cream cheese onto mixture, leaving scoops all over. Cook on high for 2 hours, stir cream cheese into mixture and then heat for half an hour more.




Crock Pot Vegetarian Bean Dip


We’re going to a party this weekend and everyone is supposed to bring a side dish to go with a taco bar main course. It sounds like lots of fun (hoping for margaritas, good music¬†and salty lime tortilla chips) and I figured I’d make something in the crock pot that would be hot and spicy, just like the crowd! While other people might bring chips or cold dips, this¬†dish is really easy and yummy and a little unique. It’s nice to have a hot dip that doesn’t get crusty and weird from sitting out. Feel free to serve this with¬†some additional jalapenos, salsa and sour cream.¬†

1 15 oz. can of vegetarian refried beans

1 c. chunky salsa (mild, medium or hot)

1 c. sliced black olives

1 c. shredded colby jack cheese

1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 t. cumin

1 t. chili powder

1/2 c. sour cream

Mix all ingredients together in crock pot, except for sour cream. Cook on low for 3 hours, then add sour cream, mix and heat for 1 more hour on low. Serve with tortilla chips meant for scooping. 

(If you have leftovers, try putting a hearty serving into a soft taco shell tomorrow with some shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes, it makes a great second meal!)