Tag: Crock Pot meal

Slow Cooker “Potluck” Party

A roundup of tried and true crock pot recipes from around the web.

What I love about pot lucks is tasting other people’s recipes.  We definitely have our own tried and true crock pot recipes we will continue to share on the blog … but we are always seeking new inspiration.  So this week we gathered some tried and true recipes from readers and blogger friends in honor of one of our favorite kitchen appliances (Laura has three of them, ranging in size from the 3 qt version to a 6 qt big momma).

VirtualParty

Pictured above are Laura’s bean-free version of crock pot chili (stay tuned for recipe), overnight steel cut oats, and Emily’s Texas Shredded Chicken.

Just like at a real pot luck, there’s plenty to go around, so you can steer clear of what you don’t like, and try what sounds good!

So, the next time you’re ready to “set it and forget it,” here’s a few thought starters.

  1. Kristen from Live Simply loves this Poor Man’s Chicken Noodle Soup. This technique is awesome – we promise you homemade chicken noodle soup is unlike anything you’ve ever had out of a can.
  2. The Skinny Kitchen’s Skinny Nacho Cheese Chicken Stew – She loves this high fiber, low fat, hearty stew.
  3. Pinch of Yum’s Veggie Crockpot Lasagna – she threw this in the crock pot (with Kale!) this weekend and went to the movies.  Came back to a delicious mess.
  4. All Recipes – Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (may I recommend you use Emily’s enchilada sauce recipe instead of canned) – Nicole, a reader, suggests you add a cup of rice with a can of black beans.
  5. Grumpy’s Honeybunch’s Crockpot Stuffing – the stuffing Shelby’s mom always made. A good idea to free up that oven on a big holiday, or maybe to “dress up” some chicken on a regular weeknight!
  6. 100 Days of Real Food’s Pork Carnitas – Lisa has tried these on many dinner guests and they get rave reviews!  She thinks if you don’t have a crock pot, this one recipe alone is worth the $25 investment.
  7. Uh-oh – it’s a whole chicken taste-off (doesn’t that always happen at potlucks?)!  You can try either Jess from Scratch Mommy’s or Cristina from An Organic Wife’s version next time you get a chance.  They both look pretty good to me.  And don’t forget my cardinal rule of any crock pot meat – SAVE THE BONES FOR BROTH. 
  8. Looking for a veggie option?  Amuse Your Bouche (totally awesome blog name for an awesome vegetarian blog, by the way) stands by the Veggie Packed Black Bean Soup 
  9. It wouldn’t be a crockpot list without some chili!  Here is KC from Kitchen Chopped’s recipe for Crock Chili Chopped.
  10. Did you know you could use it to bring yogurt to the right temperature?  Annemarie from Real Food Real Deals uses it for homemade yogurt weekly!  More proof it’s a versatile tool.
  11. My sister-in-law loves to make these easy chicken cordon bleu rollups in her slow cooker (may we recommend Trader Joe’s cream of portobello mushroom soup – no MSG or odd-sounding preservatives).  They are impressive!  I like to add a bit of extra white wine and a generous sprinkle of herbs de provence when I make it.
  12. Ally from Sweet and Savory Eats shared this Spicy Pulled Pork recipe that has been a hit on her blog forever!
  13. This delicious and sophisticated Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon from Anyonita Nibbles.

**We are HUGE fans of the whole chicken in a crock pot because you use the entire chicken and get broth as well … all for the same price or less than the cost of a pack of boneless skinless breasts.

Bottom line, from lasagna to yogurt to stuffing to a classic roast, the slow cooker is more versatile than we often recognize.

Some of the recipes above are right up our alley “as is” … and others we may want to make a few swaps to “real foodinize.” :) Whatever your style, hopefully one of these tickles your fancy and inspires you.

Happy cooking!

Laura Emily sig

 

 

 

Join the potluck!  Share your favorite tried and true slow cooker recipe in the comments below!

 

Pork Hock and Cabbage Stew

Pork Hock Stew

It all started with a mysterious paper-wrapped package from my CSA.  Simply labeled “Pork Hock.”

And it ended with this delicious bowl of stew.

Pork Hock Stew

Last month my CSA bag had lots of basics – ground beef, steaks, pork chops … and then something new to me.  The label said “Pork Hock.”  I didn’t even know what part of the pig that was, let alone have a recipe for it.  So, naturally, I googled it (FYI it’s the ankle/shin area).  Anyway, I got roughly 8,452 variations of pork and bean recipes.  Oh, and there were also hundreds of split pea soup recipes.  Hmm … neither sounded particularly exciting since I just had ham and bean soup as part of our lunch share.  Plus, we have a legume allergy in our house.

Undeterred, I did a bit more research.  My frequent babysitters (both Eastern European) are quite familiar with this cut of meat, “Golonka,” which is a national dish of Poland.  Now we’re getting somewhere.  When I took that approach, I saw much more variety.  They usually cook Golonka in a stew.  Sometimes with cabbage.

I knew I wanted to utilize my slow cooker so I could throw everything in and leave for work (plus, it’s a tough, sinewy meat).  Thank God for the current Paleo craze (Paleo = no beans = handy timing for our allergy).  I came across this inspiration from Nourish Paleo.  I now had a bean-free place to start.  I looked up a few more recipes and decided thyme and cayenne would compliment it well.  And I decided I would use my homemade chicken stock instead of beef broth and add some celery.

Sold.

Pork Hock and Cabbage Stew
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb pork hock
  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 stalks celery (~1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups broth (homemade recommended)
  • Salt to taste (you may not need any, particularly if pork or broth is salted)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove bones and enjoy!

This was one of those meals that caught me off guard.  Sort of like a twist on the pork and sauerkraut my friend’s mom used to make frequently growing up (and I happily ate, always with a side of mashed potatoes).  The recipe is very healthy (cabbage is one of those “super foods”), extremely easy, and the flavor profile was such a change of pace from a typical stew.  And it’s a bargain – the pork hock is one of the ugliest, cheapest cuts out there (while my CSA meat is naturally a bit more since it’s uncured and pastured meat, the regular grocery store has them for $2.99/lb).

The result?  The whole house smelled like New Year’s day.  The meat was melt-in-your-mouth.  The cabbage and celery played nicely with the saltiness of the ham.  I told my husband I thought the broth tasted like French Onion soup even though there’s not a single onion in the recipe.  He thought I was crazy, but I’m sticking to it.

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I am sad to report one pitfall.  It didn’t make as much as I would have liked.  So, next time I’m doubling the recipe for leftovers.

Complete cost?  It runs ~$5.50 for the 1.75 lb of pork hock, plus $1 for cabbage, and let’s say ~$0.50 for a few stalks of celery and 2-3 carrots.  Add some broth and that gets you to ~$8.50 if you bought everything individually.  That’s $2.13/person for a satisfying meal.  But, in this case I had made my own broth (free bonus after cooking with bone-in chicken thighs), and I buy carrots and celery in bulk (always in my pantry).  So mine was a bit cheaper.

Now, run and find yourself a butcher who will sell you an ugly but delicious pork hock for cheap.  And grab a head of cabbage while you’re out.  Then let me know what you think.

Laura Sig

 

 

 

Want some more inspiration to help with the never ending quandary of “What’s for dinner“?  Click on the thumbnails below for links to some of our most popular recipes.  If that’s not enough, you can always bookmark our “Recipe” drop down above!

Thai Inspired Kale Salad | Good Not Perfect

Real ingredient crescent rolls | goodnotperfect.com

Hidden Spinach Meatballs | Goodnotperfect.com

Chicken Enchiladas | goodnotperfect.com

P.S. This post contributed to 125+ Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Recipes.  For more gluten free slow cooker recipes see Divine Health from the Inside Out’s Slow Cooker Pinterest Board.
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