Crave: Hearty Crockpot Meals
I admit it.
In the heart of winter I sometimes lose my motivation to cook the warm, comforting meals that I crave because it just takes too much darn work at the end of a long day.
Well, the other night, the answer to my problems hit me in the head. Literally. Well, almost.
As I was putting away some pots and pans, I bumped the rack and the lid from my crockpot came falling down from the top shelf where it had sat too long neglected.
I decided to get it down, dust it off, and get cooking.
After all, what could be better than adding the ingredients in the morning and then returning home to a warm and delicious meal? Not much.
I also plan to use it to whip up a big batch of something delicious for watching the Super Bowl this weekend (see Buffalo Chicken Wraps)!
With that in mind here is a roundup of a few amazing slow cooker recipes that are good and, of course, good for you…
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Wraps:
This brilliant little recipe gives you all the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings with a super healthy twist! Recipe thanks to skinnytaste.com.
24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
1 celery stalk
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank’s)
For the wraps:
6 large lettuce leaves, Bibb or Iceberg
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn’t enough). Cover and cook on high 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 3 cups chicken.
To prepare lettuce cups, place 1/2 cup buffalo chicken in each leaf, top with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, celery and dressing of your choice.
Wrap up and start eating!
Turkey Sloppy Joes:
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned sloppy Joe every now and then? This recipe is a healthier version that will satisfy that craving perfectly. Recipe thanks to tasteofhome.com
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
whole wheat bread or hamburger buns
In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the turkey, onion, celery and bell pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and pepper.
Transfer to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve on toasted bread or hamburger buns.
Crockpot Black Bean Chili:
A delicious and satisfying vegetarian black bean chili. Just a little bit of prep, and then let the slow cooker work it’s magic. Recipe from about.com.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
10 oz. pkg. frozen corn
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa or taco sauce
In a heavy skillet, sauté onions in the olive oil until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add cumin and cayenne pepper, and whatever other spices you might like. Cook for two minutes longer.
Mix all ingredients into a 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low about 10 hours. If you have a newer, hotter cooking crock pot, cook on low for 6-7 hours.