Doable and Passable Meals: Crockpot Edition

Oh right! This is what it’s like staying home with a baby (and a toddler!). Without fail, every time you pick up your laptop, one of them makes a mess, cries, or wants a snack! I know some of it is because M is all so “new” and so there is a lot of adjustments to be made, but I feel like I have less time now that I’m not working!

Which brings me to my point: I feel an overwhelming need to rock this mat leave, balancing two kids, and making sure that when Scott gets home, he’s not always having to clean up a disaster (literally or metaphorically. I think there were plenty of both last time). Now before ya’ll go thinking I’m going to burn myself out trying to do it all, remember that my motto is “doable and passable”

I hadn’t quite figured out how “doable and passable” was going to translate into meals once my family’s freezer meals ran out until a friend texted me:

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Oh right… crockpots! The device that makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together when really I don’t!

Now to be honest, I don’t use a lot of recipes. I just throw stuff in and hope for the best. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I put everything into the crockpot, turn it on and come home at the end the day and realize that I never plugged it in (which is part of the reason I bought a new digital crockpot… much harder to forget that step!). But here are my top 7 crockpot recipes, from easiest to most involved

Coconut Curry

1 can coconut milk
2 TBSP red curry paste
Sliced carrots, bell peppers, etc
Chicken breasts or thighs (sliced)

Throw all ingredients into the crockpot. Stir. Cook for roughly 8 hours on low. Serve with rice noodles because they take no time to cook up.

Pulled pork

Seriously, this started from a recipe? Maybe if I followed the recipe, C might actually eat it. For the original: http://genxfinance.com/crock-pot-bbq-pulled-pork-recipe-for-under-15-easy-and-frugal/

My take:

1 pork shoulder
Random rub mixture (salt and pepper when I’m lazy)
Half a bottle BBQ sauce
Buns
Coleslaw (from a bag. No judgement)

Apply the rub on the shoulder and place in crockpot in fridge overnight. In the morning, fill with water until almost covering the shoulder. Cook on low for 8ish hours. Drain water (a good Mennonite would say to save the broth for…something). Using 2 forks, shred pork. Add BBQ sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw (on or beside, depending on your opinions of coleslaw and pulled pork).

Salsa chicken

I know the original recipe came from the Kraft website. But I can’t find it, and it was 5+ years ago so maybe they pulled it in favour of something else. Dear Kraft, please don’t sue me.

Chicken breasts
1 smallish Salsa
1ish cups Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Taco chips
Corn, peppers, whatever you feel it needs to round out your meal

Dice raw chicken. Add to crockpot. Mix salsa and sour cream and top chicken. Crush a generous handful of taco chips on top. Cook for 8ish hours on low. When you get home, add about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Serve on top of more taco chips, in wraps, or on top of a salad.

Chicken Gyros

I’ve made these once so I haven’t adapted the recipe yet, but I know the allspice was a little overpowering. We also made the tzatziki sauce the night before. It was a little runny but still good (oh right! Scott didn’t like the allspice in the meat nor the tzatziki sauce. That’s why I only made it once! But I liked it, so it made the list)

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/03/slow-cooker-chicken-gyros.html

Vegetarian Quinoa chili

Another recipe I only made once, but that is because I just made it a couple weeks ago! Chili is a tough sell around this place because C isn’t in to “spicy” (except when she loves spicy. Sigh. Toddlers). Scott doesn’t like beans. And you know what? I don’t like quinoa. But nonetheless, it’s so easy and filling that even if we each pick at it to avoid different parts, we still get a full belly.

http://www.almostsupermom.com/2015/10/vegetarian-slow-cooker-quinoa-chili.html

Anything soup

This is one part potato soup, one part autumn vegetable soup, and a whole lot of “cleaning out the fridge” soup.

Carrots
Celery
Potatoes
Onions
Garlic
Any other vegetables in season or in your fridge
Broth
Milk (optional)
Cheese (optional)
Bacon or sausage (optional)

Chop all vegetables. Put in crockpot. Add broth to about the top of vegetables. Cook on low for – you guessed it – 8ish hours. Blend with immersion blender to desired consistency (unblended for Scott, fully puréed for me). Add optional ingredients.

Crockpot Lasagna

(aka: oh crap! People are coming over! We need a lot of food without a lot of work!)

This is not a quick weeknight meal. You’ll notice that this is the only ground beef recipe on here. Ground beef is our go-to meat in this house EXCEPT when it comes to crockpot meals. In my mind, having to brown the beef ahead of time seems counterproductive for how I view my slow cooker. But it is a great “make ahead” meal for when you’re hosting (particularly as part of an event – we piloted this recipe to eat after C’s baptism).

http://weelicious.com/2014/01/24/slow-cooker-12-layer-lasagna/

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Categories: The new identity | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Doable and Passable Meals: Crockpot Edition

  1. Crockpots are a godsend, seriously. Pulled pork is one of my favorites. You are already rocking this Mat leave if you got a post this long posted!!

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