Crock Pot Love

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.

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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!

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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

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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!

Serves 6

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.

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18 thoughts on “Crock Pot Love

  1. oh… I want that crock pot! Mine was a wedding gift in…. drum roll… 1980!!!!! YIKES!!!!!! I think I deserve a new one.
    And letting me cook on the stove first.. sweetness!
    Thanks so much… I enjoy your blog.. found it through Elizabeth!

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  2. Wow! That is the Cadillac of crockpots! I have a great chicken tortilla soup recipe that I make in the crockpot. I haven’t made it in over a year because Ryan adores it and it makes so much we never get it all eaten with him gone. I’ll have to see if I can find the recipe and post it. πŸ™‚

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  3. Pat and I probably have the same crockpot. I’ve never seen that snazzy model you have. Thanks for the healthful, yummy recipe and the blog link. I made the same resolution, but I sort of fell off the wagon already.

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  4. OH that is a mighty fine caddie of a crock pot you got yourself there Suzy! Might fine! I love that you can stovetop cook in it too! Now, if only I had a whole ‘nother half a cabinet to store one in! πŸ˜€

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  5. Thank you, suzy, for your kind words and for the link!
    I’m having an absoulte ball, and am learning an awful lot. I haven’t ever cooked this much before!
    Dude. I am totally going to try your chicken stew. I have all those ingredients in the house, and just bought a big bag of chicken thighs.
    LOVE the new crockpot. I’m hoping at some point during the year mine peters out and I am “forced” to buy a new one. But so far, so good.
    xoxo
    steph

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  6. WOWZER that’s a crockpot. And a fancy one at that. I love my crockpot and use it all the time. I have tons of cookbooks just for the crockpot.

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  7. OK, I have a very old school crock pot, but it suits our needs. I love the 365 Crockpotting site! Thanks for telling us about it. I made the crockpost chicken enchilladas and there wasn’t one bit left!~~~XXOO, Beth

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  8. WOW, that recipe sounds mighty yummy, and the not-having-to-precook sounds super great too!!! Now I can use my crockpot for more than just pot roast and keeping soup warm! Thanks for the link to the blog too!

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  9. That stew looks wonderful.
    I just got rid of my crock pot because I just didn’t use it much. Now, if I had one like your fancy model…that may be a different story.
    I love the removeable (stovetop-able) insert.
    I’m off to read that crockpot blog.
    Kimberly πŸ™‚

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  10. That is indeed an awesome crock of pots! I love it! Your recipe sounds yummy! I get tired of making the dinner decision too! Last night Fred decided he wasn’t too fond of leeks, actually, but even though the scalloped potatoes with leeks was delicious, he doesn’t “really like leeks”. OK. So, why doesn’t he cook dinner then? I just don’t understand. What’s really funny is that my 2nd husband was a chef and it was much worse not to be allowed in to the kitchen at all!! He was so temperamental- or maybe just mental! teehee!

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  11. It is hard to say which looked better. The sleek crock-pot or the delicious looking stew. My pot is so old I just may have to spring for a new one.

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  12. OH, yum! This sounds great. I am going to try it out this week. Love that there’s no pre-cooking to be done. Thank you for sharing.
    πŸ™‚
    Kimberly

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  13. I never precook anything before putting it in the crockpot…Kind of defeats the idea of throwing everything in and forgetting it…I have 4 crockpots and on several occasions have had all going at once…The one thing that really blows people away is baking bread in it…So good and so easy…I am going to try your recipe as it sounds yummy..I hope you enjoy your new crock pot and make many a delicious meal….

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