Crock Pot Broccoli and Rice

This dish is so easy, so tasty and so complete that I started it while I drank my morning coffee and we ate it for lunch. You could use this decorated-vegetable-and-carbohydrate with pretty much any protein and it would be the perfect complement.  Even my kids like it! Try this next time you want a simple side. Enjoy!

1 lb frozen broccoli spears

1 c. white rice, uncooked

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can-full of water

1/2  t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

Put all ingredients in crock pot and stir. Make sure the rice is mixed into the water and soup and isn’t just sitting on top of the broccoli spears. Cook on low for three hours.

Crock Pot Tuna Casserole

OK, so this one might seem a little like “school lunch”, but I like the combination of creamy noodles and easy protein. Anytime I make this in the oven, I always wind up burning the edges. When I make it in the crock pot, it keeps the meal warm and creamy and doesn’t get crispy crusts.  (Although, if the crispy crusts are your favorite part, feel free to use this recipe and just shove it in the oven for an hour instead.)

One of the things that is really unique about my tuna casserole is that I used diced water chestnuts. I like the surprise burst of these moist, crunchy morsels. They keep to the neutral color of the dish and add a little bit of jazz that is pleasing to the palate.  I also suggest using tuna from a foil packet, not from a can. The canned fish is great for tuna salad, but I like that the foiled fish has better texture and bigger chunks.  If you are not a fan of peas, you can try any frozen vegetable– corn, green beans and mixed veggies are good ones to try, too.

One last big difference in my version is that most tuna casseroles call for cheddar cheese and mine adds something extra. While I think melted cheddar cheese adds to the creaminess, I think including something like feta actually gives the whole dish more flavor and an overall better success. With these modifications, we are taking “school lunch” into the adult world. You could serve this to family or friends on real plates.

The only thing that could be better than this tuna casserole would be if the school lunch ladies could be here to serve and clean everything up. Enjoy!

1 lb. broad egg noodles, cooked and drained

1 6 oz. foil packet of albacore tuna

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 c. milk

8 oz. frozen peas

1 8 oz. can of diced water chestnuts, drained

1 c. crumbled feta cheese

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 t. salt

1.2 t. black pepper

1 T. parsley

1/2 t. celery seed

1/4 t. ground mustard

Cook noodles according to directions on package. Combine all ingredients in crock pot and stir until well mixed. Warm on low for 2-3 hours.

Crock Pot Turkey A La King

Hear ye, hear ye…. thy dinner is potting! Thy royal family shall enjoy a delicious banquet of wild bird prepared in a lavish sauce that is truly fit for a king. Only, I don’t have a royal chef, a housekeeping staff, a castle moat or a dragon. I think the term “a la king” actually refers to the “richness” of the sauce on the meat. But instead of doing shredded or cubed chicken, I’ve decided to continue the royal renaissance theme to the meal and use whole turkey legs instead. 

You don’t need to be savage in eating the turkey legs, simply serve them over pasta or rice or even biscuits and use a fork and knife instead of your hands.  Enjoy this tender meat and please realize that you don’t need to be royalty to enjoy a divine meal.

3-4 turkey legs (2-3 lbs)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 can condensed cream of celery soup

1/2 c. milk

3 T. flour

1 t. black pepper

1 t. paprika

1 t. celery seed

1 medium onion, diced

1 stalks celery, diced

1 roasted red pepper, sliced

Place turkey legs in crock pot laying flat (it’s best to use an oval shaped crock pot). Add onion and celery. Mix flour, seasonings, milk and soups in a separate bowl and then pour on top of meat and vegetables. Cook on low 6 hours. Add sliced roasted red pepper as garnish when serving.

Crock Pot Green Bean Casserole

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 using fresh onions instead of fried ones and also adds water chestnuts for the crunchy texture.

Try this crockpot cassarole with any of your favorite meals. And if you eat it as a main course… I’m ok with that too.

1 28 oz. can green beans

1 can diced water chestnuts

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 c. milk

1 t. soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 medium onion, sliced thin

1/2 t. pepper

Mix together soup, milk  and soy sauce. Put green beans, water chestnuts and onion in crockpot and then dump liquid mixture and mix through once. Don’t overmix it or else the canned green beans will fall apart. Cook 4 hours on low.