It’s officially summer over here. When it gets over 100 degrees I don’t want to do anything but lay under the ceiling fan and melt until the air conditioner gets going. Needless to say, I sure don’t want to be cooking in a hot kitchen. That’s where my crock pot comes in handy. Let it do all the work and I get all the credit. I’d say that’s a big win.
- 3-4 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
- 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce (found in your grocery store international aisle)
- 1 cup fresh or canned pineapple, mashed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Place pork roast in crock pot. Cover roast in the Hoisin sauce and 1/2 of the mashed pineapple. Save the other half of mashed pineapple to serve on shredded pork.
- Pour in chicken stock.
- Set crock pot to High and set timer for 5 hours.
- Once pork is done, shred pork with two forks.
- Serve on Hawaiian bread rolls, or regular dinner rolls or tortillas.
What’s that? I’m posting a vegetarian dish? Yes, believe it or not, I actually like a lot of vegetarian dishes. It’s just hard to find a vegetarian dish that my picky “meat and potatoes” son will enjoy as well. So I have to take baby steps with him and made a vegetarian soup. And slow cooker recipes are the best. Just prep your ingredients, put into your slow cooker and let it do all the work! Hopefully, my friend, Sue T. will approve. This recipe makes 6-8 servings.
- 1 1/2 cups lentils (green or red)
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 6 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- salt to taste
- Place all ingredients but the baby spinach, in your slow cooker. And pour in the vegetable stock.
- Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Stir a few times throughout the cooking.
- Add the baby spinach during the last 10 minutes of cooking cycle.
- If you like a more brothy soup, add in 1-2 cups additional stock.
- If you like a more creamy soup, carefully ladle out 1/3 of the soup into your blender and puree. Add back blended soup to slow cooker and mix well.
- Salt to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.
I haven’t jumped into the Instant pot craze yet. I think it is probably because most my recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less anyway. But I do love having a crock pot! All you have to do is put all the ingredients in and set your temperature to either high or low and then set the timer and go about your day. My crock pot will even keep the ingredients warm after the timer has completed. So if you have other things going on or say, maybe you forget you had something cooking, (um, not speaking from experience) the “keep warm” feature will not make all your hard effort get cold and go bad.
I bought another one of those organic chicken packs that come with two breasts and four drumsticks. (Those organic chickens must look funny.) So I thought I’d pull out the crock pot and put it to use. If you do not have a crock pot, that’s quite okay. You can still use this recipe and put everything in a baking dish and bake at 350 F degrees for 50-60 minutes.
- 1 whole cut up chicken (or all thighs, all drumsticks or two breasts and four drumsticks pack like I used.)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
- 1/4 cup ketchup (low sodium if you have)
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro (whichever taste you prefer)
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Arrange chicken on the bottom of your crock pot. Do not season chicken with salt as there is plenty of sodium in the other ingredients. You can season chicken with pepper if you would like though. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, honey, lite soy sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, sriracha and parsley or cilantro. Whisk until mixed well.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.
- Close with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on LOW, or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
- Remove lid and transfer chicken to a serving plate.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve with rice or salad.
Everyday is taco day in my house. But how about a little sweet and spicy kick? Tex Mex meets Hawaiian and this is the end result. The slow cooker does most of the work, you get all the credit. Can’t beat that!
- 4 pounds pork shoulder
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (3 limes)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks or fresh if available
- 1 small white or red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 20 small corn tortillas
- In a 6 quart slow cooker add pork shoulder.
- In a large bowl, add barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lime juice (reserve 1 tablespoon for the pineapple pico de gallo), cayenne pepper, chili powder and garlic powder. Mix together to form a paste and spread evenly over pork shoulder.
- Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours; or you can cook on high for 5 to 6 hours. Shred when done cooking.
- When your pork is ready, assemble the pineapple pico de gallo.
- Slice the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces and place in large bowl. Add the diced onions, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, cilantro and reserved 1 tablespoon of lime juice. If you can handle the extra heat, add the crushed red peppers to the bowl.
- Top your tortillas with pulled pork, pineapple pico de gallo and shredded cabbage.
- Garnish with lime wedges.
You can also change this recipe into pulled pork sliders by substituting Hawaiian bread rolls for the corn tortillas.
Finally! The weather is cooling down enough to break out my trusty crock pot and make the first batch of fall soup. Actually, you can make this soup any time you want as potatoes are available year round. I generally like soup during the colder months, but my dad can eat soup year round. Whatever floats your boat, right?
- 4-6 russet potatoes, diced into small cubes (2 pounds)
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- bacon pieces for garnish (optional)
- sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- Use cooking spray to coat your crock pot bowl or use a slow cooker liner bag.
- Mix potatoes, onions, celery, poultry seasoning, chicken stock and water in your crock pot bowl.
- Cover, cook on high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
- After 3 to 4 hours, mix flour and milk in a small bowl and add to potato mixture in crock pot until mixture thickens.
- Stir in shredded cheese until melted.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with bacon bits and green onions.
Now this may not be the healthiest recipe, so I am not encouraging you to eat this casserole all by yourself. As with everything in life, serve in moderation. But are you looking for a side dish for an office pot luck or your family dinner? With just a few ingredients and your crock pot you can put out a tasty, cheesy side dish that can feed 10 people easily. And if you want to kick up this recipe even more, try adding some cut up cooked bacon pieces and some green onions or chives to make this a fully loaded cheesy potato casserole. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bacon handy when I made this, so I stuck to the basics.
- 1 30 ounce bag frozen, shredded hash browns
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, 10.75 ounces
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Spray the sides of your crock pot with cooking spray. (You will thank me later for reminding you.)
- Add sour cream, cream of chicken and cheese to your crock pot and mix well.
- Next add frozen hash browns and combine with sauce mixture. (I loosened the hash browns by squeezing them in the bag because mine were frozen solid.)
- Cook on High for 3 hours; or on Low for 6-8 hours.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy!