Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Well, I’m back.  Obviously, I’ve taken time off, from blogging & from trying out new recipes.  My health isn’t the greatest, although it had been improving, so I’ve been kind of distracted. I had a Crohn’s flare up & surgery on my deviated septum, plus my normal  dose of not feeling good.  But- I have been cooking some. And resting a lot.  I definitely don’t feel great, but I think having something to focus on will help.  So blogging, cooking and photography will be priorities, even if I have to force it.

Anyways, I thought my first recipe of 2013 should be comfort food.  After the holidays, it’s hard to put a lot of effort into meal planning & preparation, so here’s my solution: a whole chicken roasted in a crockpot.  At my local Albertson’s grocery store, a whole chicken is usually $1.09/lb.  That means this main dish is fairly cheap, easy to prepare, AND super tasty.  I recently served it to 4 adults for dinner, with enough leftovers for 2 lunches.

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Slightly adapted from Budget Savvy Diva

crockpot roasted chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • If your chicken comes with “extra” pieces in the abdominal cavity, make sure to remove them first
  • Mix all the spices together in a bowl; rub spice mixture onto the chicken
  • Cook chicken on high for 4-5 hours.  Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.  The chicken will make its own juices & fall off the bone when done.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Although the ingredient list is really long, this meal came together pretty quickly.  Yeah, you have to be home, because the veggies are added partway through, but it’s definitely worth the hassle!  I added the veggies, but if you just want chicken head over to the original recipe.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Adapted from Six Sisters’

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb chicken breast or thighs, diced
  • 1/4 c flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tb ketcup
  • 2 tb brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 c broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 3/4 c cashews

Directions:

  • Combine chicken, flour & pepper in a gallon size baggie.  Shake to coat chicken with flour.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; brown chicken, about 3 minutes per side. Place chicken in crockpot
  • Combine soy sauce, water, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger & pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Dump 1/2 the sauce mixture over chicken in slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours
  • Add veggies & remaining sauce to crockpot & stir to combine everything; cook on high for another 1- 1 1/2 hours
  • Add cashews & stir, then serve over rice

Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Soup

Even after eating this soup, I still can’t tell you what a leek tastes like.  It looks like a giant green onion… and that’s all I know.  But this soup is good- it pretty much tastes like creamy potato soup.  And it would be a good way to get veggies into kids, or even adults who don’t like cauliflower 😉

Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Soup

Adapted from Clean Eating magazine, October 2012 issue

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c thinly sliced leeks (the white & light green parts, not the leaf-ish parts)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 3 1/4 c chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 slices bacon

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-low. Cook leeks, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes
  • Add garlic & cook for another minute, stirring frequently
  • Add potato, cauliflower, broth, water, salt & pepper. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover & simmer for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower & potatoes are soft.
  • While that simmers, cook the bacon in a small skillet.  Remove from pan & allow to cool before crumbling
  • Blend the soup mixture, with an immersion blender or by running batches through a regular blender.  Stir in bacon bits & serve
  • Optional: top with shredded cheddar cheese

Broccoli Beef

Here’s a super tasty broccoli recipe for you- the sauce is perfect for the broccoli & the beef.  It’s not really difficult, but it looks & tastes impressive 🙂 I modified the sauce, because the original called for oyster sauce.  My rule is to never buy a new ingredient, unless I’ll use it at least twice.

I’ll definitely be making this recipe again- Cody also approved & has already requested a repeat.

Broccoli Beef

Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 3 tb low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak (I used mule deer back-straps & it turned out fine)
  • 1 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tb low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tb light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c rice

Directions:

  • Cut the steak into 2 inch wide strips, 1/2 inch thick.  Combine with soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover & place in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes
  • Cook rice according to package directions (or, boil 2 cups of water.  Add 2 cups of rice & remove from heat.  Cover & allow to sit for 5 minutes)
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl: vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch
  • In another bowl combine garlic, ginger & 1 tsp olive oil
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat; add marinated beef to pan.  Brown steak pieces, then remove from pan
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in the same pan.  Add broccoli & water.  Cover pan & cook on medium heat until broccoli is steamed tender-crisp, about 2 minutes
  • Push the broccoli to the side.  Add the ginger-garlic to the pan & cook for about 30 seconds, smashing with a spoon. Stir into the broccoli
  • Add beef back to the skillet & combine with broccoli.  Whisk the sauce again & add to the skillet
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes).  Serve over rice

Quinoa Strawberry Rhubarb Bake

Since I’m attempting to reduce my dairy and gluten intake, I modified my strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe to meet those requirements.  When I told Cody I was using quinoa instead of oatmeal, he wisely left the kitchen, rather than show his skepticism 😉

Once he actually tasted my creation, he admitted it was pretty good.  The quinoa doesn’t crisp like oatmeal does, but it does taste pretty good. It turned out more like a pudding or custard (I’ve never actually had custard, so take that opinion with a grain of salt)… it was really supposed to be a crisp instead.  If you’re ok with dairy, replace the coconut oil below with the same amount of melted butter.

Quinoa Strawberry Rhubarb Bake

Heavily adapted from Whole Living, via Cooking Sugar

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (1 cup) strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 8 oz (1 cup) rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c + 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tb cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c quinoa
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c flour (use Better Batter to make it gluten free)
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  • Heat water to boiling in medium saucepan
  • Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve (rinse it really well- the hulls are bitter).  Add quinoa and cinnamon to boiling water.  Reduce heat & simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed
  • In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 c sugar, cornstarch & salt. Pour into an 8 inch baking dish
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, flour, coconut oil, and 1/4 c sugar.  Stir until combined- it’ll make a thick paste.  Spread over fruit
  • Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until juices are bubbling & topping is golden brown

Saucy Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

We still of tons of zucchini to use up… since zucchini is really all we can grown in our garden.  And they grow big.  In the photo below, that’s 1/4 of a zucchini- on a dinner plate, not a salad plate.

These zucchini boats are good!  Spicy & filling, plus fairly healthy.  I used Jimmy Dean’s original breakfast sausage- the flavors of the sausage blended so well with the added spices.

Saucy Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Adapted from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  • Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.  Scoop out an seeds, or enough of the flesh to make a hollow
  • Heat a large pot of water to boiling; drop each zucchini half into the water (one at a time) and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from water
  • Spread 1/4 c tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Put zucchini halves in the dish, cut side up
  • In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking into smaller pieces.  When the sausage is almost done, add the onion & garlic.  Cook until the onion is translucent
  • Add tomato sauce & spices; cook a few more minutes.  Fill each zucchini half with sausage mixture (go ahead & heap them)
  • Cover with foil & bake at 400 for 35 minutes, or until zucchini is soft
  • Optional: top with shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

Cody really, really wanted goulash.  In my mind, goulash was gross… but I love him, so I dug up a recipe.  I wanted a crockpot version too, since we joined a Monday night bowling league & we needed something quick for dinner.  And then I forgot to actually start the crockpot.  So we ate this a day late 🙂

Apparently, this is what Cody thinks goulash should taste like.  And it wasn’t gross like I imagined- it was actually pretty good.  I think we’ll be eating this again over the winter.

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

Slightly adapted from Kraft Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tb paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c cold water
  • 3 tb flour (I used GF Better Batter)

Directions:

  • Brown the beef in a medium skillet.  Add the beef & onion to a 3.5-6 quart crockpot
  • In a small bowl, mix the broth, tomato paste, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Stir into beef mixture.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours
  • Mix flour & water; gradually stir into beef.  Cover & cook on high for 30 more minutes
  • Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes