Category Archives: Slow Cooker Meals

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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I have had so many people asking for slow cooker recipes. But with the kids moving out and it just being the two of us here,  my slow cooker has been sadly neglected. As a matter of fact when I went into my pantry to get my slow cooker, I couldn’t find it! I hadn’t used it since we moved several months ago. I finally found it down on a bottom shelf, all by it’s self, lonely and neglected. Poor thing! Right then I vowed to try and do a slow cooker recipe at least once a month. 
Wow I sound like a complete nut job right now don’t I? YIKES! Anyway, moving on….
I know I have gone on and one about my love for Mexican food, and the fact that Kevin does not share my affection. So long story short, I love it, he suffers through it for me. End of story. Poor guy had to have it three times this week though. He must really love me!!
I will say that, in my defense, he walked in the door after work and the first words out of his mouth were “What smells so good”….he couldn’t argue with me after that. Chalk one up for Mexican food and me!!

This is a great recipe and can be easily doubled for more people. I used two good sized chicken breasts and Kevin and I agreed that it would have easily fed four people. I also only used one jalapeno (left the seeds in) and it was not hot at all. Next time I will use at least two.
I also love this recipe because it takes 8 hours (can be shorter if you cook on high) so for people that work full time it is great. You don’t have a meal sitting in your slow cooker on warm for three hours. 
You can top the tacos with whatever you like. I used my guacamole, sour cream, and some Chalula hot sauce. 
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 good sized handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin,
1 tablespoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 cup chicken stock
Optional topping:
Sour cream
Hot sauce
Place the chicken in the crock pot. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, lime juice, and chicken stock. 
Cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.
Serves 4
ENJOY!!

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Slow Cooker Asian Style Ribs

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With summer winding down, we know the days on the grill are numbered. So I figured that we need to start working on recipes for our favorite BBQ style food that can be prepared inside. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Mexican flavors, much to Kevin’s dismay, but I figured that I needed to try something different, not just for Kevin but for you as well. I want to give you a lot of different flavors and styles of food to choose from. So I went to one of my next favorite cuisines, Asian. I love Asian food, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, you name it I can find something on the menu that I love. In that I am very lucky living in the Pacific Northwest because we have may wonderful Asian restaurants to chose from in Seattle. 

I decided to keep it simple with this recipe. I mean it is a slow cooker recipe. Slow cooker recipes should be BING BAM BOOM in the pot and out the door you go, right? So the last thing I wanted to do was pile in a bunch of ingredients, or specialty items that you have to search all over town for. This recipe is straight to the point, in the pot and out, and you have some great tasting food on your plate for dinner! 
Kevin again decided to doubt me. When will he learn? He didn’t believe that ribs would be good out of the slow cooker. I mean if it isn’t grilled it isn’t good right? Ppsshhh, oh ye of little faith!! HE had to eat his words, literally, when the meal was on his plate. The ribs were juicy and just fell off the bone. Ha I think this is something like Bobbi – 10 Kevin – 0……go team!!!!
Slow Cooker Asian Style Ribs

3 tablespoons ginger, grated*
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 bunch of green onions, chopped whites and greens (reserve a bit of the chopped green for garnish)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup Sriracha (or other chili sauce)
2 racks baby back ribs
Salt
Cracked pepper
2 tablespoons corn starch

Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the ginger, garlic and green onions for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and 1/2 cup water. Whisk to blend. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker with the meaty side facing out. Pour the sauce over the ribs and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the sauce from the slow cooker and strain. Remove any accumulated grease from the top. Combine 2 tablespoons water with the cornstarch and whisk together in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the sauce until thickened and serve with the ribs.

Serve with white rice and garnish with remaining chopped green onions.

ENJOY!!
*storage tip for ginger, peel the ginger and place in the freezer, in a zipper bag. This prevents it from drying out and when you need to use it you just use your grater and grate off what you need.

Mexican Style Slow Cooker Beer Chicken

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When it is summertime I am always looking for meals to make that don’t heat up my kitchen. Not that it gets that hot here very often, but once in a while it can sneak up on us so I want to be prepared when it does. So when I ran across a recipe for Beer Crockpot Chicken on My Daily Dish my curiosity was peaked. I mean what is not to like about the idea? Beer + chicken + crockpot + cheap = dang good idea in my book! 
I had it stashed in my “going to make someday” file when I had one of those days. You know what I mean. I call them manic Mondays but really they hit anytime they want. I had been working on blog posts and recipes all day when I looked up at the clock and realized UH OH it is 1:00 and I haven’t planned dinner! I rushed out to the fridge, no meat to be found, thought quickly about a salad but Kevin would shoot me (just kidding folks no need to call 911) if I sat a salad in front of him and called it dinner. The I thought about the beer crockpot chicken recipe. I vaguely remembered something about the fact that you could use frozen chicken and it would still be ready in 4 hours! No way right? Yes way…..I am serious!

I ran to my freezer, OK well maybe I walked briskly, and grabbed the frozen chicken thighs. With chicken in hand I snatched a beer out of the fridge and to my crockpot I went. within a few minutes I had the meal cooking away and I was back to work on the computer, my stress relieved. As I finished my work for the day I realized there was a very pleasant smell coming from my kitchen. I was still a bit skeptical that it was actually going to be done when that timer went off.  Shock of shocks it was! Plus it was so tender it was amazing. Kevin loved it so I knew it would be a keeper. Gotta love low impact cooking hehe
Fast forward to one of my late night, unable to sleep, thinking about food sessions. You know my love for Mexican food so I thought why not use the seasonings I use for my Mexican style chicken recipes. DUH what took me so long to think of that? So I took a trip to the store and picked up a 6 pack of  a dark Mexican beer, a pack of chicken thighs, and some corn to grill for a side dish. I was excited to give my recipe a try. 
Kevin came home after it had been in the cooker for about 2 1/2 hours and immediately asked what smelled so good. Seriously, the smell was amazing! I couldn’t wait for it to finish cooking. Finally 4 hours were up and we dove in to the chicken like we hadn’t eaten in a week. I don’t think we even left the kitchen, we just stood at the island and scarfed it down. Kevin’s only complaint? Was that I hadn’t made more! 
As I said, I used frozen thighs the first time and they were perfectly cooked on high for 4 hours. Depending on your cooker I would say 4 to 6 hours would be fine on high or 8 to 10 hours on low. I cooked the thawed chicken for 4 hours on high and it was falling off the bone, so I would say no more than 4 hours if your chicken is fresh and 7 to 8 at the most on low.
Whether you make the original recipe, or my Mexican version, I know you will love it and keep it as a “go to” recipe for a nice stress free week night meal.
Mexican Style Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
adapted from Beer Crockpot Chicken by My Daily Dish
6 to 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
1 bottle of dark Mexican Beer (I used Modelo Negro)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used roasted ground cumin by McCormicks)
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle each thigh with the seasoning blend and place them in the cooker. Pour in the beer (I pour it down the side so I don’t rinse the seasoning off the top of the chicken. I just think it is pretty with the seasoning on it) cover the cooker and set your time.
Frozen – 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low
Thawed – 3 to 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low
ENJOY!!

Bobbi on a Budget – Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

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I know I haven’t posted a budget meal in a while but it has been a bit difficult for me to make meals for 4 when I never know how many I am going to have here. At any given time it could be 2 or 6 with no warning *sigh* the joys of kids right? This was a meal that I knew could be made and if it wasn’t all eaten I could freeze the rest. Yes, I love soup!!

I actually chose to make this because I was thinking about my Dad. I miss his little comments “What experiment are we having tonight” “I love being a guinea pig” “Can we please have something besides chicken I am going to sprout feathers and cluck” My Dad was a crack up! One of the things I knew I could make any time and he would be happy about it was split pea soup. He LOVED it. I haven’t made it since he passed away last year so this one was for my Daddy.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 8 to 10 parsley stems
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Tie the parsley stems and thyme together with kitchen string and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the split peas, leek, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas are tender 6 hours. Add the cubed ham and cook on low an additional 2 hours.
Discard the herb bundle. Vigorously stir the soup to break up the peas and make the soup smoother. Thin with water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the thawed peas. Serve with bread, if desired.

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

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If you are anything like me you read the name of this recipe and said “Carne what?”

Carne Guisada is a very popular dish in Texas. It is a Tex-Mex favorite. It actually translates into “stewed meat”. The most popular meat used is beef and YAY that was what I had to work with. There are many options with this recipe. You could really do like I did and make it however you want to with the different variations out there. Some use potato, some no tomatoes. It is just like a regular beef stew, all up to the taste of the person preparing the meal.

You can use whatever peppers you want in this recipe. I used 1 poblano, 1 Anaheim, and 2 Fresno’s. But you could use any mix you like, from Serrano to sweet bell peppers, depending on the heat level you want. With the mix I used there was a nice heat but not TOO hot. Especially after you add the masa paste. We actually discussed making it spicier next time to please the pepper lovers in this house.

This would even make a great Super Bowl meal. Rev up your slow cooker and by it is time to eat you have a nice hearty healthy stew. Of course I topped mine with sour cream and used tortillas to dip, but even with that it really isn’t too far off the “healthy” path and we ALL love slow cooker recipes right?

Heads up, this recipe requires you to taste at every step and adjust your salt and pepper to taste.

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Slow Cooker Carne Guisada 
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
2 Fresno peppers, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup masa (corn flour)
Hot water
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)
Cilantro (optional)
Flour tortillas (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. In a bowl add the flour, salt, and pepper, combine and dredge the beef in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and brown the pieces in the dutch oven. Once brown place into the slow cooker. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add the canned tomatoes, with their liquid, to the slow cooker and break the tomatoes up with your fingers (I give them a squeeze but, make sure you aren’t wearing a shirt you don’t want messy). Add your beef stock just until the meat is covered. If you need more you can add water.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Mix the masa with enough hot water to make a thin paste. Stir the masa mix into the stew and simmer on low for another 30 minutes or so.

Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and serve with warm flour tortillas.

Slow Cooker Roast Beef and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Kevin and I picked up some beef round tip roasts on sale so I decided I wanted to break out the slow cooker to cook one. I am always on the prowl for good slow cooker recipes. I have tried so many and a lot of them have been just plain awful. But I never give up hope so I keep searching with faith. This recipe rewarded that faith.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on Haute Apple Pie. It looked wonderful and even though it called for beef brisket I chose it for my round tip roast. I mean beef is beef, to a certain extent right? And how can you go wrong with garlic mashed potatoes?!?! I used my Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato recipe for the potatoes in the meal, which complimented the beef beautifully.

I was so happy with how it turned out! This is a recipe that I will go to again and again. I mean I love cooking at night with the family. It is very relaxing for me to share my kitchen with the people I love. But it is nice to have a few recipes in the slow cooker arsenal.

All you might want to do is make a veggie for the side. Sauteing some asparagus or green beans would be super simple and very yummy with this meal. I was just all about the meat and potatoes this time.

This recipe calls for a red lager beer so I jumped at the chance to use one of my favorite beers.
After you brown your roast on all sides to seal in all of those yummy juices deglaze your pan with the beer. Make sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape the pan. You don’t want to miss any of those yummy brown bit!
Mix up your sauce
Put your roast in it’s comfy slow cooker bed and stuff his little celery friends in with him.
Pour the sauce over the beef. And after 8 hours on low…WALA yumminess at it’s best!!
Slow Cooker Roast Beef and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oill
1 3-4 lb. beef round tip roast (or brisket)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 12 oz bottle red lager 
4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil. Salt and pepper the roast and then add to the skillet browning it on all sides. When you are browning the last side add the garlic to the pan. Transfer meat to your slow cooker. Nestle celery around beef.
Pour the beer in skillet, scraping up all of the brown bits. Simmer for one minute. Add to slow cooker. 
In a medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from cooker and allow to sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.


Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast the garlic for 30 to 35 minutes and remove from the oven. Allow to cool.

Remove garlic from the aluminum foil and squeeze each clove out of the skin and mash with a fork until a smooth paste forms.

While you are waiting for the garlic to cool place potatoes in a large saucepan, add enough cold water just to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, Drain well.
While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk, garlic paste and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir the milk mixture into the potatoes until combined. Fold in the mascarpone and season well with salt and pepper and serve.

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Pork with Chili Verde Tacos

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Oh dear, I am going through Halloween withdrawal. I can’t believe it bothered me this much to NOT decorate for Halloween! I am normally the one that has as much cra….eerrr stuff in her front yard as possible. The only time I decorate more is Christmas and I tend to go over the top with that! Although several of my inflatables have passed during the last couple years, God bless there air filled little hearts.

Due to the neglect of my duties as chief holiday decorator, no trick or treaters showed up at my house last night *sigh* so now I am not only going through Halloween decorating withdrawals, but I have a TON of candy here to be eaten!! YIKES! My next giveaway winner might be getting a big bag of candy along with their gifts! If you would like to relive my Halloween gone by memories (I did) you can go to my personal blog and see some fun pictures.
Anyway, on to the food, which makes me smile. I mentioned a while back (when I made the chicken enchiladas in Chile Verde sauce) that I was determined to make  my own Chili Verde instead of using the jarred kind. Well, I finally did it, YAY ME!! And what is awesome is that it really isn’t very hard to make. The toughest part is roasting and peeling the chilies and that isn’t really that tough either. I can tell you though that whatever work you put into it will be welllllllllllll worth the results! I told Kevin that I want to make a big batch of this so I can can it and have it to use throughout the year. I think I am going to do that one weekend. Make a huge batch of Marinara sauce and Chili Verde so I have them. Hmmmm sounds like a plan to me!
Let’s see how to make this yummy goodness!
Roast your peppers under the broiler until they are charred and black on the outside. Turning them as needed.
Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
I covered my bowl with a plate to make sure it kept the steam inside.
Once they have cooled enough to touch, peel and seed the peppers and chop them.
They smell amazing already!
Chop your garlic, jalapeno, and onions.
Saute your onions
Add your garlic, jalapenos, and spices
Get those wonderful flavors rockin’ and rollin’ together
Add your roasted chilies yummmmmmmmmmmm
Get them all playing nicely together
In goes the chicken stock and away it cooks…..
Oh by the way, I did find Mexican Oregano. Who knew it was different than regular oregano??
Get your pork all tucked in with it’s friends.
Once it has cooked and cooled, shred it with two forks
Toss it in to the hot tub with the other kids
The result? Epic yumminess!!!
Pork with Chili Verde Tacos

  • 1 pound pork butt, trimmed of fat
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Chile Verde, recipe follows
Place pork butt, yellow onions, cumin, bay leaves, Mexican oregano, salt, black peppercorns and cayenne in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes, skimming the surface to remove any scum that forms. Drain in a colander.
Shred the drained pork and return to the pot. Add the Chile Verde and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until heated through. Serve hot with tortillas and other desired condiments.
Chili Verde
  • 1 pound fresh Anaheim chilies
  • 1 pound fresh poblano chilies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Coat the Anaheim and poblano peppers with a bit of olive oil. Roast the peppers by placing them on a baking sheet under the broiler in the oven. turning them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, about 7 to 10 minutes. Place the blackened peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, and remove the seeds and the stems. Chop the peppers and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapenos, oregano, salt, and cumin, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, without allowing to color, for 2 minutes. Add the chopped peppers, and stir well to combine. Add the chicken stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Remove the chile verde from the heat, add the cilantro, and adjust seasoning, to taste.
To serve on corn tortillas topped with sour cream.

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Portuguese Stew

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I had some linguica sausage and really wanted to do something new with it rather than just grill it. After finding some great veggies in my fridge, and doing a quick search on Google about Portuguese seasoning, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Jessi, my daughter, labeled the left over stew “The stew of my people” since she is part Portuguese she takes the credit for the inspiration that created this recipe. Gotta love her!! 

This stew does well in the freezer. I always use the gallon freezer bags and lay them flat to freeze. Then you can stack the soups and stews or store them vertically. Make sure you label the bag or you will end up playing “Name That Leftover”! 

This stew will take a large slow cooker.

PORTUGUESE STEW

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound linguica sausage, sliced
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed
4 small zucchinis, sliced
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 28 ounce can of tomato puree
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
crusty bread for dipping


Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and then add the chopped bacon, cook for about 3 minutes, just until the bacon begins to render fat. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon and reserve. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sliced linguica and continue to cook another 3 minutes or so. Add cooked bacon, onions, garlic, and linguica to the slow cooker. 

In a bowl mix the tomatoes with all of the spices and red wine. Pour tomato mixture into the slow cooker. Add the potatoes, zucchini, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper to the cooker and give it a good mix.

Cover and cook 3 hours on high, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.

Ladle into bowls top with a couple slices of bread and ENJOY!!