slow cooker

Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)

I have a love/hate relationship with my slow cooker.  I love the idea of having dinner waiting for me when I get home, but I’m the worst at actually getting the slow cooker going in the morning before I leave for work. This Chicken Curry is so easy and requires minimal prep. To make it even easier, I like to go ahead and put everything, minus the chicken, in the slow cooker insert the night before, then stick it in the fridge. The next morning, all I have to do is take the insert out of the fridge and add the frozen chicken. We like to eat it with naan, rice, quinoa, or roasted cauliflower.

  Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes- stewed (or diced work fine too!)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Shred the chicken before serving.

 

Recipe slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

slow cooker

Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve tried many chili recipes over the years, but this one has become our favorite. It has great flavor without being spicy, so it’s great for the kiddos (although you can definitely amp up the heat if you want!).

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To make it even easier, I like to spend some time on the weekends to prep and make it into freezer meals so that there’s no work involved on the day I’m going to serve it. To do this, follow the directions in the first step. Then instead of putting the meat mixture in the slow cooker, let it cool a bit, then place it in a freezer bag. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag and stick it in the freezer. Then when you’re ready for it, defrost overnight, and dump in the slow cooker. If you’re taking the time to do this- you might as well make at least a double batch so you’ll have 2 dinners prepped at once!

These are great to keep in the freezer for times when you want to bless another family with dinner.  It seems like when someone has just had a baby, or they’re grieving a loss, they get bombarded with food the first few days. If that’s the case, they can stick this in their freezer and save it for a night they really need it!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl oil
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbl chili powder
  • 1 Tbl cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and brown the meat, onions, and bell peppers. Drain any excess grease if needed. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook a few minutes.
  • Scoop the mixture into a 5-quart (or similar size) slow cooker. Stir in the brown sugar, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.
  • Cover and cook 8-9 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. (The chili will thicken slightly the longer it stands after cooking.) Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  • Serve with your favorite chili toppings- shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos.

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

slow cooker

Refried Beans

Homemade refried beans taste so much better than what you can buy at the store! Serve them in tortillas (our favorite is the Tortilla Land Brand, pictured at the bottom of the post), on top of nachos, or just eat plain out of a bowl! They freeze wonderfully so if you have leftovers, let them cool, place in freezer containers and pop into the freezer!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Place the beans, salt, onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the slow cooker and add enough water to cover (leave enough room for the beans to expand as they cook!). Cover and cook until the beans are tender (all slow cookers seem to cook differently- I cook mine on high 8-10 hours).

When the beans are tender, removed the onion pieces. Ladle out about a cup of the liquid and place aside. Drain the rest of the liquid from the beans, then add the vinegar. Blend with an blender (an immersion blend works great!), or mash with a potato masher. Add some of the reserved liquid if the beans are too dry.  Taste and add additional salt if needed.

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Recipe inspired by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and 100 Days of Real Food