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Monday, March 26, 2012

Recipe Review from 3/19/12

In addition to the usual yoga classes and the husband's Bull's Eye League on Wed nights, we also did a "Guys and Yoga" social at an acquaintance's house by request.  All this activity meant I needed to have meals prepped on Sunday for the week ahead.  Lunches were a White Chili in the slow cooker, a couple dinners were Sloppy Joes (made with mushrooms and ground chicken) and a slow cooked Chicken and Brown Rice dish.  What?!? You already put your slow cooker away? Tsk! Pull it back out!  One of the best year round kitchen gadgets there is in my opinion. 

Crockpot White Chili (Crockpot 365 blog)
 A good meal doesn't get easier than this.  Add some chicken thighs for a bit of extra protein or do as written for a vegetarian meal.  I kept it vegetarian for this week because our dinners will have meat in them.   I would watch the cooking times, I think mine was done in about three hours.  I used dried pinto beans that I had cooked ahead of time.   I also found I needed to add extra liquid. I'm not sure if the beans soaked up more or what the deal was, but mine came up short.  Very good flavor overall.

--16 oz bag of frozen white corn
--2 cans of White Beans
--1 4 oz can of green chilies
--1/2 chopped white onion
--2 minced cloves garlic
--1 cup vegetable broth
--juice from one lemon
--1 1/2 t cumin
--1/2 t Italian seasoning
--salt and pepper to taste
--mozzarella cheese (optional)

The Directions.
Dump everything into crockpot.

That is it.

Seriously---you need to chop the veggies, but the rest of the stuff can just go in. You don't need to drain and rinse the beans, or drain the chilies.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 4-6. I cooked this for 6 hours on low, and the onions were still too crunchy, so I flipped it to high for another hour.

Serve with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Sloppy Joes with Mushrooms  (Ckng Lght Annual 2012)
My non-mushroom eating readers might go eeewwww at this one, but seriously, even the most discriminating non-shroom consumer would have a hard time actually tasting the fungi in this one.  Texture and taste are spot on to your traditional sloppy joes, and I'm saying that even after substituting ground chicken (couldn't find the ground turkey and I was out of my organic pork).   These have the same texture and taste to what I consider traditional sloppy joes and I would make them again.   This made 3 dinners for us, two sandwiches apiece. 
photo from

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces ground sirloin  ground chicken
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced cremini mushrooms (save $$ and slice yourself.  they just go in the foodprocessor anyway.)
1 cup prechopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, toasted  (I used smaller dinner rolls, ended up using 6)
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add beef; cook for 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

2. While beef cooks, place mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan; cook for 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to pan; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates. Stir in pepper and hot sauce. Spoon about 1 cup beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; top with top halves of buns.

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light
JUNE 2011

Chicken and Rice Casserole  (Crockpot 365 blog)
Sorry, had trouble with the font when I copied and pasted.   This started out being a winner and ended up in the meh department.  I would recommend chicken thighs for this one as they tend to do better in the slowcooker than breasts.  Mine chicken breasts ended up being dried hockey pucks - not appetising at all.  I also ended up with way more rice mixture than meat,  even having one meal vegetarian (rice with some veggies on the side) so I recommend using a full package of chicken thighs.  I did like the idea of home made 'cream of mushroom' soup, but I think the flour content was way to high because it made my rice gummy.  Yet there were little bits that were under cooked.  Couldn't figure that one out.  Anyway, I think this has potential, but it needs a bit of tweeking. 

--1 1/2 cups of brown rice
--1 1/2 cups chicken broth
--1 1/2 cups milk, divided (stick with 2% or lower in fat content. I used soy.)
--3/4 cup flour (I used
--1 small yellow onion, diced
--8 oz sliced mushrooms
--3-4 chicken breast halves or equivalent parts (use 1 pkg of thighs)

--1/2 tsp onion powder
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/4 tsp paprika

The Directions.
Use a 4-quart slow cooker.
You need to use the stove top for one part.
Combine all of the chicken broth (1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 cup of milk in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat on the stove. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of milk with 3/4 cup flour.

When the broth and milk have begun to boil, reduce heat, and slowly stir in the milk and flour mixture. When everything is fully incorporated, set the pot aside to cool.

When you take the lid off of the crockpot, stir the rice. If the rice is fully cooked and you have extra liquid, keep the lid off for about 15 minutes. The liquid will absorb quickly.
Add the rice and seasonings to your crock. Chop up the onion, and add it with the mushrooms. Stir in your broth, flour, and milk mixture. The rice will turn a bit red from the paprika.

Lay the chicken pieces on top.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for about 8.  (My notes - I cooked on low overnight) 
Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray.


Karl A. said...

I wasn't that hungry till I read these recipes. Now I need to head down to the fridge and get my grub on.

Anonymous said...

My crockpot overheated and almost melted the counter --- soooooooooooo, no crockpot for me.

But, it seems that chili recipe would be just as good in a Dutch oven on the stove. How was it?

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