Mexican Pulled Chicken

This week’s post features one of the easiest recipes you can make in a crockpot…Mexican Pulled Chicken. Well that’s what I call it anyways. Its the consistency and form of pulled pork, except its a spicy chicken dish. It only has three ingredients: a pack of chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, and a packet of taco seasoning. Dump it all in, let it cook, and then shred it with a fork. You can add other spices and what not to your own taste. Myself, I chose the spicy taco seasoning.

Its a super convenient recipe because you can do a lot with it. I’ve been putting it in sandwiches and taking it for lunch. And for dinner tonight I made some tortillas and made quesadillas with it. Its also good over rice. And did I mention its ridiculously easy to make? WIth a pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts the recipe yields about 8 servings of 1/4-1/2 cup.

On an unrelated note: I’m building my kitchen one utensil/appliance at a time. This past week or so I’ve made some serious headway. I mentioned last post I got a fondue pot. I also got a sweet hand-mixer. On a trip to Walmart I picked up some pots (I didn’t have a single one at my place, weird right?) and a magic-bullet type blender. Needless to say I’m pretty PUMPED. This blog may occasionally be a Crocket and Friends type deal.

This weekend is the Super Bowl and I’m breaking out the Fondue Pot. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

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So I’m a dumby and forgot to take a photo BEFORE I took it out of Crocket. This is Mexican Pulled Chicken.

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Back in Action…with a dish that has no name

So those of you in the Boston area probably remember that last week was absurdly cold. The arctic temperatures kept me from the grocery store…and by a trickle down effect kept me from Crocket. But good news! It warmed up and I made it to the grocery store. This weeks chronicle is about a mystery beef, sweet potato, and apple dish. Recipe courtesy of my mom..who pulled it from one of the million cookbooks at my Gram’s house. 

I was looking to try something different this week. I wasn’t really in the “stew” kinda mood and I already did the whole lasagna thing. So this recipe appealed to me. Its also real easy to put together. Here’s what’cha need:

about 2 lbs stew beef
2-3 sweet potates cut in large chunks
2 apples cored and sliced (leave skin on)
1 onion sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup beef broth
tyme, salt, pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbl corn starch
2 tbl cold water

I suck at cutting vegetables. FACT. I always manage to cut myself. You don’t have to mince everything with this one…so win for me…and my fingers. You legit just throw it all in the crockpot (minus the last 3 ingredients) and go about your business. Then when you get home you take the apples, beef, potatoes, and onions out and put’em to the side. Here’s the part I did WRONG. You mix the cornstarch, cinnamon, and water together BEFORE you add it to the broth. The end game here is a kind of gravy. But when you just throw the corn starch in it clumps and is weird. So avoid that. Cook the gravy on high for like 15 mins and then add the other biz back in and ENJOY.

It makes a BUNCH of food so you’ll be set for the week.

Today was a big day. I just got 3 new stellar cookbooks (CAN NOT WAIT to try some of the recipes) AND I bought a fondue pot. So get ready for some fondue action in the future…especially with Super Bowl Sunday coming up!!

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This is what it looks like BEFORE cooking…lots of good stuff in there.

 

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The AFTER shot…it cooks down nice and it hearty and filling.

Crockpot Lasgana?! Vegetarian Style

So it turns out that you can totally make lasagna in a crockpot! This was news to me. I was searching the interweb for my next crocket adventure when I came across a recipe for vegetable lasagna. I was a bit skeptical at first because it seemed a bit too good to be true…but in the end it all worked out for the best.

I love this recipe because its full of great veggies and cheese at a super manageable calorie count. You can also alter it to suit your own tastes…example: the original recipe calls for spinach (not really my cup’a tea) so I swapped it for broccoli.

I put the whole thing together last night after work…it probably took me like 30-45 mins total. Nothing too severe. There’s lots of chopping involved. As a side-note: make sure you have a decent can opener. I’ve had a mini war going on with mine for weeks and it finally made its way to my trash can last night. Suck it IKEA, you sell crappy can openers.

Long story short: for a healthy, easy lasagna that’ll last you a week try this guy:

15 (12oz) whole-wheat lasagna noodles uncooked
1 15 oz container fat free ricotta
3 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 onion and 1 green pepper chopped
2 cups broccoli
1 medium zucchini thinly sliced
1 egg
5 cloves garlic, minced
spice to taste with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, etc.

Instructions
In a large bowl, combine egg, ricotta. Mix both kinds of tomatoes and their juice, basil and garlic,onion and pepper in a medium bowl.
Coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with non-fat cooking spray.
Spread 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture in the slow cooker.
Arrange 5 noodles over the sauce, overlapping them slightly and breaking into pieces to cover as much of the sauce as possible.
Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and firmly pat down, layer on half your veggies, then spoon on 1 1/2 cups sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella.
Repeat the layering one more time, starting with noodles. Top with a third layer of noodles. Evenly spread the remaining tomato sauce over the noodles.
Set aside the remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on High for 2 hours or on Low for 4 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, sprinkle the reserved mozzarella on the lasagna, cover and let stand for 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2-4 hour(s)—-this is really just a guideline…I cooked mine for 6

Enjoy!

Italian Beef and Lentil Stew

As this is the first post of this newly created blog I’ll provide some background information. All I wanted for Christmas this year was a crockpot. I got one. I call him Crocket. As a young working girl on a budget, preparing the week’s dinners in advance is ideal. I generally pick one meal that will serve as dinner for the week. This blog will chronicle my adventures with Crocket.

My first adventure with Crocket was Italian Beef and Lentil Stew. The weather is getting colder and colder so stew seemed like a solid option. I saw this recipe online and it sounded delicious so I trucked to the grocery store recipe card in hand.

This recipe is great because it has really great things in it: it obviously has beef, but also lentils and you can pack it with veggies. Healthy and hearty all at once.

I altered it a little by adding a potato, more onion and garlic, and more spices. You can also add green beans and carrots too.

Here is the recipe:

1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped

1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced

1 large uncooked zucchini, diced

16 oz uncooked lean beef round, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 1 pound

1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed

14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 Tbsp canned tomato paste

3/4 cup(s) dry lentils

4 cup(s) canned beef broth

1 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Put everything in your crockpot and cook for 7 hours on low, then ENJOY!