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.
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.
Before 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.
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.
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.
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.