One of my resolutions for 2008 was to use my crock pot more for meals during the work week. As I get older (and more feeble minded) I am getting a wee bit tired of having to come up with something to make for dinner every night.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to have someone else figure out, execute and present your meals to you every night. (I also can’t imagine what it must be like to open your underwear drawer everyday and find it full of clean undies, "oh look, the underwear fairy has been here again!")
Wait, I was talking about crock pots, yes. SO, I purchased a new crockpot for myself, a fine cadillac of a crock pot too. (if there is a tool out there that is going to make my housework easier, then I deserve it)
I have also been very inspired by Stephanie’s blog, "A Year of Crockpotting". She is using her crock pot everyday for one year and writing a blog about it. She has come up with some wonderful recipes already. Even if the creation doesn’t work out, she writes about it with humor. Her blog is one of my must reads every day.
Here is my fabulous, cadillac of crock pots.
It has a timer and a warm cycle. If you set it for 8 hours on low, after the 8 hours it kicks over to the warm cycle.
But the best feature of this crock pot is the liner. You can put it directly onto your stovetop. So for those recipes that require some pre-cooking or browning you do it in the crock pot liner on your stove, then just pop it into the cooker base. Snap!
I have always been put off by recipes for the crock pot that require any precooking. I mean, that kinda defeats the purpose, don’t ya think?
This crock pot solves that problem. Yep.
Tonights dinner is one of my favorite dishes and I usually make it in the microwave. But it translated beautifully to the crock pot.
Scrumptious Chicken Vegetable Stew
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, chopped into 1 inch chunks( I always use thighs)
1.5 cups carrots, in 1/2 inch chunks
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup dry lentils
1.5 cups low fat chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried italian herbs
8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (I buy the big jug of chopped garlic and throw in 2 big heaping spoonfulls)
salt & pepper to taste
1 bag baby spinach
Combine all ingredients except spinach in crockpot and give it a good stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (I did give it another good stir about halfway through, but only because I happened to be around)
10 minutes before serving stir in the bag of spinach.
(I doubled this recipe because we love leftovers)(I didn’t double the spinach though, just one bag)
This is one of those dishes that just gets better every time you reheat it!
per serving (using thighs)
330 calories, 41g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 6.7g fat (1.6g sat), 6g fiber, 353 mg sodium Glycemic load 5
This is a very healthy, good carb, low fat dish. One of my absolute favorites.