Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crock Pot Saves the Day!

There's no dinner I love to make more than an easy one that tastes like I spent all day cooking it! That's why I love using my Crock-Pot so much. It allows me to get dinner on the table in a hurry without resorting to a frozen meal or drive-through dinner. Crock-Pots are also wonderful because you can set 'em and forget 'em and leave them unattended all day. Just make sure you choose the proper setting for your food or you can end up with something dry and burned. For example, if you have a smaller portion of meat (2-3 pounds), keep it on a low setting for a shorter time. You can always add water to prevent burning if you have to leave it longer. I've made the mistake of putting it on high and ending up with a charred mess!
I've been using the Crock-Pot for years and am always looking for new recipes to use it with. The most obvious dishes to make are tough cuts of meat as you can buy them on the cheap and slow cook them to a meat lover's paradise. But you can do so much more with the Crock-Pot. From desserts to pastas, the possibilities are endless! Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Meatloaf and Veggies:
20 oz. Italian style lean ground turkey, such as Jenny-O (I swear by this in ALL Italian recipes as the flavoring is already done for you!!)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and pepper
3-4 red potatoes, cubed
2 cups peeled and chopped carrots
Mix first three ingredients until well combined. Form in ball and place in slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange carrots and potatoes around the meat and salt and pepper everything. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low up to 8 hours.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
1 2-3 pound pork tenderloin, such as Hormel
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 pkg. King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
Frozen sweet potato fries (optional)
Place pork tenderloin in Crock-Pot sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and pour BBQ sauce over, adding about 1/2 cup water. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low up to 8. Serve on Hawaiian rolls with additional BBQ sauce and sweet potato fries.

Chicken Cacciatore:
3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Italian style stewed tomatoes
2 cups cooked whole grain rice
Cook chicken with tomatoes on low 6-8 hours and serve over whole grain rice. You can use a raw rice, which takes about 30-45 minutes to cook. Or, like I do, buy a frozen or microwavable rice ready in about 5 minutes.

So get that thing out of cobwebs and get using it! Make dinner easy on yourself and delicious for everyone!

Here are a few more recipes for your Crock-Pot:

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