Tag Archives: crock pot cooking

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Chicken tacos…the dinner that kept on giving

18 Sep
Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Just the other day I talked in my post about how I love meals that I can cook enough of to last more than one day or night.

Well, last Thursday’s dinner, a crock pot meal of Chicken Tacos was amazing in every department: It was fast and easy, delicious, everyone loved it, and I got four people’s lunches plus another whole dinner out of it.

“That’s amazing!” You must be saying.

“I wonder how she did that!!” You’re probably wondering.

Well here’s how it all went down:

As you know, we’ve been in need of some heavy duty crock pot cooking with the advent of the new school year. I figured that if I can do crock pot recipes four nights a week, we will be in good shape with our dinners. My friend Gina sent me this link with more than a dozen recipes for crock pot cooking. I talked about it last week in my What’s for Dinner Wednesday post as well.

So far we’re up to six crock pot meals and we’re pretty much six for six. Everyone’s liked everything.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

Last Thursday I tried the Chicken Taco recipe, which you can find here. It called for Pico de Gallo, which I didn’t have but I had two large tomatoes and a regular onion so I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com to make my own, fresh batch, and I threw it on there.

Amazing.

We served it with a choice of hard or soft taco shells and we had toppings of nonfat refried beans, nonfat sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Those toppings are an important detail.

The reason they matter is that forever, Elizabeth has been asking for a seven layer dip type of recipe that she saw in her lunchbox cookbook, as her lunch. I had actually seen something similar, called Burrito in a Jar on Skinnyms.com and I thought she’d like that. I kept saying that the next time we had tacos I’d do the dip for her lunch the next day.

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

Additionally, Alex had been asking for a Taco Salad ever since we had it at our annual Labor Day cookout. Someone brings it every year, and Alex declared it to be so fabulous that she wanted it for lunch asap. I had been giving her the same answer; next taco meal, she’d have Taco Salad for lunch.

Well, the leftovers for this meal provided all the fixings for both the dip and the salad. I prepped everything for everyone’s lunches as I cleaned up from dinner, basically using the leftover toppings from the tacos to make the dips and salad. I put some multigrain tortilla chips into ziploc bags and four lunches went into the fridge, all made for the next morning, when dinner was cleaned up. Done and done.

You’d think that there was no place else to go with this meal, that we’d used it and used it again, so it was done, but it wasn’t! I actually had not yet used the leftover chicken and Pico de Gallo that had cooked for the hot portion of the tacos. I’d only used the leftover toppings. So I saved them, on the advice of my friend Gina, who said that I should consider making Tortilla Soup with the leftovers, on another night. Coincidentally, my other friend, Paula, just happened to post a recipe for Tortilla Soup on her soup blog, My Soup For You, the very next day. Gotta love friends like that! They work together and don’t even know it. One’s in Florida, one’s in Maryland, and I’m here! But we all got my dinner for Monday night, prepped and planned!!

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

To make my own Tortilla soup, I used Paula’s recipe as a guide. I threw in the leftover chicken and pico, with a 32 oz. container of chicken broth plus two cups of water with two boullion cubes dissolved in it (I had run out of the containers of broth, but would’ve just used two if I had them.)

In addition, I threw in a can of black beans (rinsed), about a half bag of frozen corn, and at the last minute I decided to saute half a green and half a red pepper and throw that in near the end of the cooking time.

I served the soup with nonfat sour cream, nonfat shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips that you could crush up and put into the soup if you wanted to.

It was amazing. I loved it, Liz loved it, Don loved it. Alex and Caroline did not love it. But they are the pickiest of the five of us, so I wasn’t surprised at all that it wasn’t up their alley.

I’d totally make it again.

And the best part…..there was leftover soup.

For my lunch for my lunch the next day.

This was by far the furthest I have ever stretched a meal of ours. It was inexpensive to make too. Nothing in it cost very much and every part of it was delicious.

If you’re looking to stretch your budget and your meals, I highly recommend you try this out!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Sweet Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

15 May
This was a great crock pot recipe, and I'd definitely make it again!

This was a great crock pot recipe, and I’d definitely make it again!

I will apologize in advance that I do not know where this recipe originated. Don saw it online and sent it to me in an email. I later also saw it online on a friend’s page, she was sharing it from a recipe exchange page called Renee’s Exchange.

What I do know is that we tried the recipe and liked the recipe and I’d make it again. I had to do mine on high for less time because I got a late start, but it still came out great. We had enough leftover to serve a second night and it was just as good the second time around.

We served ours with couscous and sauteed zucchini the first time and over brown rice with a side of green beans the second time.

The only thing I cannot figure out is that the original picture that I saw showed the chicken very glazed and crispy, with the glaze sticking to the chicken. Ours was very juicy rather than a glaze. Still very tasty, but different than what I expected.

The ingredients are simple and the directions…even more simple! Give it a try on your next crock pot night!

Sweet Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken:
Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins  (**I used an entire 2.5 pound bag of frozen tenderloins.)

Directions:
Add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hrs and they should just fall apart. Enjoy!

Calling all Crock Pot Cooks!

19 Jan
Crock pot

Shhh.....all's quiet on the appliance shelf in my closet. My crock pot is ready and waiting for your recipes!

I have had a crock pot since I had my bridal shower in 1995. I love it, or should I say I love the IDEA of it.

I love the IDEA of my house smelling fabulous all day long.

I love the IDEA of dinner cooking without me while I’m at work.

On occasion, those wonderful ideas actually come to fruition. For example, yesterday’s crock pot oatmeal, that’s a good one and in the winter we have that a few times a month for breakfast on a school day. I’ve made a crock pot applesauce but other than the fact that it cooked while I was gone, it’s faster to cook it on top of the stove. The Hanukkah brisket, always delicious when we make it…every once in a while. We make a great pulled pork in the crock pot for our birthday party feasts, and next week during Superbowl Recipe Week (gasp…. I told!!!!) you’ll see that Don makes a great crock pot chili.

I have several crock pot cook books, but I just haven’t found “the” recipe or recipes for a regular night’s dinner, something I could do on a regular basis once or twice a month. First off, I hate the ones where you have to cook it all first on the stove and then just throw it all in to the crock pot to cook for 3 hours. That doesn’t seem all that helpful to me really. Second, I hate beef stew. Third, how many cream of mushroom soup recipes are there? Tons. And, I’m not knocking them because I happen to like cream of mushroom soup recipes (I posted one today, non-crock pot, but still…) And last….I hate my food to touch, so that presents a problem. Some foods are supposed to go together, others, not so much. Very tricky….ever see on my dinner plate photos just how far apart my foods are from each other? Uh huh.

So. Where does that leave me? It leaves me asking you for your help. I’ve been providing you with tons of recipes as the days and weeks have gone by on this blog, and I’ve got TONS more that I haven’t even touched yet. But, they aren’t crock pot recipes.

Where do you get your best recipes for the crock pot?

What good ones have you tried and loved?

Send them to me at jenniferlcowart@gmail.com and if I try them and like them, I’ll feature them on my blog in the future.

In fact, let’s make this worth your while. I’ll throw in a little prize for one lucky person who sends me a recipe. On February 2 I’ll use a random name generator to pull one name from all of the people who email me their favorite crock pot recipe(s) between now and the end of the day on February 1, and send one lucky winner a treat. I won’t say what that treat is, but it’ll be a little treat from me. (Don’t go crazy it’s not going to be a brand new crock pot or even a crock pot from 1995.)

Thanks for your help and good luck!!