Crock Pot Crazy

I don’t know about you, but I love an appliance that does the bulk of the work. My Crock Pot is that workhorse.

Crock Pot … slow cooker … Call it what you will. Either way, it simplifies dinnertime. What other appliance lets you throw in veggies, meat and a little liquid, leave the house and come back eight hours later to a ready-to-eat meal?

In fact, Crock Pot cooking is so effortless that I made Thanksgiving dinner (for one) in  mine.

Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving Dinner, uncooked

That’s green beans, sweet potato and chicken breast. I turned on the slow cooker, then drove 45 minutes to Sedona, ran — okay, mostly walked — a 5K race and came home to a meal fit for a not-last-place-finisher. Not coming in dead last was my only goal — and I achieved it.

Especially in the wintertime, I use my Crock Pot at least once a week. This week, I’ve used it twice … in back-to-back meals (hence the “crazy” part of today’s blog post title.)

Here are a few of the slow cooker recipes I’ve been loving on lately.

Crock Pot Lasagna Crock Pot LasagnaBefore Christmas, when I was still doing Atkins, I whipped up a lovely, beefy, cheesy noodle-less lasagna. To. Die. For. Find the Crock Pot Lasagna from Your Lighter Side here.

Like barbecue? You’ll love Hungry Girl’s Slow Cookin’ Pulled Chicken. This was one of the recipes I had to revive when I decided to re-join Weight Watchers. Yes, I remember it that fondly. It’s sweet and tangy — and very versatile. I’ve eaten it on sandwiches, salad greens, even a BBQ chicken pita pizza.HG Pulled Chicken

Chicken and Salsa

Sadly, Crock Pot dishes don’t photograph all that well. They tend to all look alike.

Just this week, I saw an intriguing idea on another blog: Chicken and Salsa. Just 2 ingredients, cooked together. The recipe called for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but I had a bunch of bone-in thighs in my freezer just begging to be used. I pulled off as much skin as possible, threw them in the slow cooker, covered them with a 24-ounce jar of Target brand medium chunky salsa and let my Crock Pot work its magic.

Salsa Chicken over Squash

It cooked overnight. Then I pulled out the bones and let it continue to cook while I went to a movie and to Starbucks to write. Delicious idea! So far, I’ve used it in tacos and as a topping for spaghetti squash. There’s plenty left, because almost 3 pounds of chicken thighs and a 24-oz. jar of salsa made 9 half-cup servings.

That same day, I saw a tweet from Greatist featuring 77 healthy Crock Pot recipes. Since I’m so Crock Pot Crazy right now I clicked right away — and immediately, this Banana Bread Quinoa caught my eye. A protein-packed superfood that tastes “exactly” like banana bread? You bet I wanted to try it.

Banana Bread QuinoaI had the ingredients, so I put a batch in the slow cooker when I woke up and took a serving to work with me as my dessert/after-dinner snack.

Not bad.

I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to Crock Pot Recipes. I can’t vouch for them, since I haven’t tried ’em yet — but I can say they look delicious. That’s why I pinned ’em in the first place.

Do you have a favorite slow cooker recipe? Do tell.

10 thoughts on “Crock Pot Crazy

  1. Thank you so much for the link love. I am so happy you enjoyed the crock pot lasagna. I also love how it makes the house smell like lasagna for hours.

    In bacon,

  2. I love my Crock Pot, too!!! I use it all the time. I can’t wait to do up your chicken/salsa. My guys are always making quesadillas with whatever is in the fridge. I think that will be a perfect go-to for them. 8-D

  3. Attagirl on the 5k! 🙂 I should warn you, races can be addictive. Once you do one, you find yourself wanting better time. Next thing you know, you’re looking at your grocery list, thinking, “I could do without the popcorn. Mama needs registration money.” 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder; I really need to look up some good veggie crock pot recipes. I haven’t used mine in a while but it’s SO convenient to get dinner started in the morning and come home to find it’s ready to eat. Having the house smell delicious is a lovely added bonus, too!

  4. Great post. I wish I had a crock pot right now. I made the mistake of leaving the one I had when I moved out on my own again, so won’t have one for a long time as I can’t afford another yet. I do miss the crockpot meals, though my mom mostly used it to make pot roast. However, she did make the salsa chicken once and it was fantastic. Can use different salsas for it too. mmmm And it’s very moist, not dry, that way.

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