Category Archives: Crock Pot

Crock Pot Spicy Apple BBQ pulled Chicken

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This stuff is so good, and I’m thrilled that I made so much of it! What I really love about how this came out, is that it has enough flavor to stand on its own, but is subtle enough that you can re-use it for things like tacos, or to stuff inside of an avocado, squash, or potato. Like most crock pot stuff, and with only a few vegetables to chop, it’s beyond easy, and takes all of 10-15 minutes to prepare. I tried something new, and rather than doing this early in the day, and letting it cook on low for 6+ hours, I started it at night, and cooked it on high for only 5.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 lb Chicken Breast
  • 2 Small Apples, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno Peppers, sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 Onion, chopped
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 10 Allspice Berries
  • 4 or 5 Tablespoons Kalustyan’s  Ancho Chili Powder
  • A little salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • A dash coconut aminos ( up to 1 or 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup Tessemae’s paleo BBQ sauce

When adding ingredients to the Crock Pot, I started with the onion and garlic, then I did a layer of chicken thighs, breast, and the rest of the thighs. I finished off with the apples, jalapeno, and seasonings. After adding the BBQ sauce, I mixed it around, just slightly. Once all the ingredients were in, I cooked on high 5 hours. Then, I  shredded the chicken with a fork.

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Crock Pot Spiced Cherry-Fig Beef Roast

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Oh my! I feel like I’ve just been on a steamy kitchen date. This dish is mega dark, rich, and fruity. The Figs and Cherries are poached in red wine and mulling spices to reconstitute, and all the flavors compliment and play off each other in a sultry evening dance. The beefy flavor of the chuck roast intensify the bold flavors, but the sweetness of the fruit balance and subdue the beef flavor. My boyfriend, who normally doesn’t like “beefy” flavors, gave it a thumbs up. A subtle smokey spice from ancho chili powder adds a mild kick to envelope your taste buds a little further.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 3-4 Shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Turnip
  • 1-2 lb Chuck Roast
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder (I use Kalustyan’s)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (For Browning)
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Dried Cherries
  • 7 dried Unsweetened Turkish Figs
  • 2-3 cups Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon ) + and extra 1/4 cup
  • Mulling Spices
  • salt, pepper, thyme
  • 1/2 split Vanilla Bean
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  1. First, Peel and chop your vegetables and add to the slow cooker the carrot, shallots, parsnip, and turnip
  2. Then, rub the ancho powder all over both sides of your meat, and brown in coconut oil for a few minutes20131123-223340.jpg
  3. Then, Add to the crock pot as well
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  4. add 2-3 Cups red wine, leaving about a 1/4 cup reserved to the side, the cherries, the figs, and mulling spices (in a spice bag), to a sauce pan. Simmer until the fruit has soaked in most of the wine and the figs look plump and moist.
  5. Pour over meat into the crock pot.
  6. Add the remaining wine, spices (salt, pepper, thyme, and a little more ancho powder), 1.2 a split vanilla bean, and 1/2 a can of light coconut milk to the crock pot.
  7. Cook on low 8 hours.

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Crock Pot Pulled Balsamic Chicken and Mushroom

Served with baked Cauliflower Polenta (Click for Recipe)

Served with baked Cauliflower Polenta (Click for Recipe)

My poor crock pot is such a work horse. I really should get a few of them. This dish, like pretty much anything I do in the crock pot, is really easy, and yields a lot of shredded chicken so you’ll have Leftovers for sure! I’m always excited to try new experiments with the crock pot, since it makes  dinner after a long day at work, and a busy life, seem a little less overbearing. Give this a try, It’s not too earthy, but comforting and flavorful. It’s lightly spiced, so it can be really versatile, and can be served with almost anything.

In the crock pot, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breast
  • 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, cut into a few chunks
  • 5 small or 3 large shallots, halved
  • 3 medium portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can (14 oz) Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 6 oz vegetable broth
  • Spices: oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, allspice

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then shred the chicken with a fork.

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Crock Pot Cross-Cut Beef Shank

20131020-232318.jpgBeef Shank, I like it. definitely suited for the Crock Pot. It’s a relatively cheap cut, and is basically a hunk of leg, cross-cut, so you get a marrow bone in the middle. Mine was 2 pounds, and the meal fed 3 people. I think it came out really good, and I’ll definitely make it again. Now, I must confess, that I am fighting a cold….so my sense of taste is severely dulled, and my sense of smell is non-existent. This makes judging the outcome of a meal totally impossible, as I couldn’t taste the full flavor and forget about subtle notes.

According to my boyfriend, it was very “beefy”, earthy and meaty tasting, which I love, but my boyfriend isn’t always a fan of. The marrow bone, and fat from the shank definitely provide a richness, so if you are a fan of that, you should like working with cross-cut shank. He tells me today that he’s not really a fan of beef as a flavor, He likes more heavily spiced and marinated dishes that mask the beefy flavor. Maybe next time I’ll try it with chicken and get his reaction then. His brother was over, and loved it. Normally the reaction I get from him is “All you guys have is strange hippy food” or “This is pretty good for hippy food”. It’s so funny to me because I’m just eating real food….real vegetables, real meats. So hippy food  just means – different from the Standard American Diet of soda and convenience…He’s 17, it’s ok. He licked the bowl clean and in a funny voice went “Moooaaaarrrrr!” and proceeded to seconds…..I’m going to go by his judgement on this one. I’ll make it again when I get my senses back….

Anyway, here are the ingredients:

  • 2 lb beef cross-cut shank
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut milk
  • 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, Sliced
  • 2 large caps (4 small caps) Portobello mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 pint Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Turnips
  • 4 stalks Celery
  • Salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, allspice

Chop vegetables and put carrots, onion, and some of the turnip and celery on bottom. Brown meat, and place in crock pot. Season, and add in the remaining vegetables, mushrooms, garlic, and liquids. Cook on low. for 10 hours. Don’t forget to eat (or mix into the stew/soup) the lovely marrow from the bone.  When it’s done you should be able to easily shred the meat with a fork.


Crock Pot Chicken Soup

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There is something so comforting about a good bowl of chicken soup! In the past, I’ve always made it in a big pot on the stove, but when I wanted to make a batch of it (due to the boyfriend potentially coming down with something), I decided to try it in the crock pot. Let me just say, stop the presses, crock pot chicken soup is SO EASY! You don’t even have to cut the chicken into chunks, because after cooking for 6-10 hours it pulls apart with a fork! I ate chicken soup every day this week, and it was so good. Oh and he didn’t get sick….I totally think the mega awesome, soul warming, homemade goodness, of the chicken soup helped.

Chicken soup doesn’t have to be crazy, in fact, I think simple is better. That’s why this chicken soup had all the essentials and nothing more.

  • (2) Carrots
  • (2) Parsnips
  • (2) Turnips
  • (3-4 stalks) Celery
  • (1)Onion
  • (4 Cloves) Garlic
  • (2 Cups) Duck Broth
  • (2 lbs) Chicken Breast

I know, I know, duck broth? I happened  to have some in the fridge, and it added a nice richness, but chicken broth is fine too. If you have it, use home-made, it’s hard finding chicken broth without sugar and crap in it. Anyway, I chopped everything up nice and big.

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I threw about half the vegetables, put the chicken breast in, and then added the rest . It came awfully close to the top, but I just made it. I put 2 cups of duck broth in and then just filled the rest of the pot with water. But that’s it! Throw in a couple of Bay Leaves, and some allspice berries, and let the crock pot take over.

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Cook on Low for 8-10 Hours. After it is done, and before serving, use a fork to break up the chicken. This is a hearty, meat and veggie filled chicken soup, and is just totally comfort food on a chilly day!


Slow Cooker Autumn Stew

So I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it was good, so I decided to post it anyway. It was a great weekend meal, without being tied down cooking all day.

Ingredients:

•Eye of round roast
•1/2 a pumpkin cubed [i used a cheese pumkin, but kabocha would be amazing. Butternut squash would work too.
•1-1/2 cups strained tomato
•1 apple
•1 ladle chicken broth
•1 yellow onion
•1 pattypan squash
•3 cloves garlic
•Salt, pepper, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, paprika, thyme, nutmeg, a small shake of cumin and coriander, 1 clove seed and 2-3 allspice berries whole, 2 bay leaves

1. Quarter the onion and chop the apple into large chunks.
2. Place the onion on the bottom of the crock pot along with some pumpkin.
3. Then add the roast on top, and throw the rest of the vegetables in.
4. Add the seasonings, then the tomato and broth.
5. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove the roast and cut into chunks and add pack to the pot.
6. Enjoy!


Crock Pot Picadillo Stew

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So, since learning of the sumptuous flavors of Cuban Picadillo, I’ve enjoyed playing around with some inspired variations, such as my Picadillo Stuffed Peppers [Click the Picture below to go to the recipe]

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This time, I wanted to try to adapt it for the crock pot, so I made more of a stew. I added a beef shank along with the ground bison, and a bit more water than usual, so it came out more  like a pot roast or stew, and less like a taco meat/chili consistancy….so it’s not a true picadillo….but I really wasn’t trying to make it to any standard since I was slow cooking it. It WAS an experiment [ a very tasty one ] after all!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lb Beef Shank [ Grass- Fed ]
  • 1 lb Ground Bison
  • I can Trader Joe’s pitted green olives
  • 1-1.5 cups unsulfered, unsweetened raisins
  • I cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 28 oz can Cento Brand crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion [chopped]
  • 4-5 cloves garlic [chopped]
  • 1 each of Red, yellow, and Orange bell peppers [chopped]
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano to taste

If you haven’t pre chopped your ingredients, then start off by chopping all your vegetables. Then add some of the onions and peppers to the bottom of the crock pot. Season the beef shank on both sides and brown in a skillet over medium-high heat in a little coconut oil. Transfer it over to the crock pot. Do the same with the chopped meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Shown garnished with a few plantain chips....yummy!

Shown garnished with a few plantain chips….yummy!


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