Slow Cooker Meals in a Crock Pot
Crock Pot Meals
We bought our Crock Pot on a whim at Walmart one weekend afternoon. It cost less than my groceries. It is one of the best kitchen investments I have made.
After a day's work, when I come in tired and hungry, one of the last things I feel like doing is cooking. I usually cook something very simple and very fast so I can eat quickly and still have some time to do other things I want to finish before the day ends. I always pay attention to nutrition, but find that the range of foods I cook is limited--lots of pasta, salad, boneless chicken breast, fish, and steamed vegetables. These foods cook quickly and taste good.
Slow Cooker Meals Are Easy
One of the best things about the slow cooker is that I can chop food in the morning, when I am not tired, and put it to cook while I am away at work. Then when I walk in the door, I smell dinner ready, and I just need to wash my hands and eat. My life has become a lot simpler.
There are a variety of sizes to choose from. I got a 2 1/2 quart size, which is great for two or three people. It is large enough to cook a small pot roast, spare ribs, or a batch of soup that will last three days. It is small enough to fit on the carousel in the cabinet under my counter, and is light enough to lift easily.
The stoneware cooking dish is smooth so food does not stick while cooking. There is no need to stir. In fact, the directions advise not lifting the lid to stir at all during cooking, for the loss of heat will delay cooking times. After the meal, it is easy to wash the cooking dish and return it to the heater for storage.
There are two levels of heat--the lowest setting is the one we use most often. Setting the temperature to 1 means the food will take about eight hours to cook. This is great for a work day evening meal that I start in the morning and leave cooking all day. Using the 2 setting means the food will cook in about four hours. i use this sometimes on the weekend, when I can plan on being home then.
A slow cooker is easy to clean, and easy to serve from.
Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
Soups made in the slow cooker are simple. They don't spill over onto the stove top and they don't stick to the pot. Most of your favourite soup recipes can be made this way. Milk-based soup recipes need to be adjusted to cook with broth or water, then add the milk just before serving. Directions for several delicious soups come with the Crock Pot, and no doubt you will soon be experimenting with your own favourites.
Home Made Green Pea Soup with Ham in the Slow Cooker
Here is a simple, nutritious recipe for green pea soup with ham made in the Crock Pot slow cooker.
- Rinse about two cups of split green peas and add them to the Crock Pot.
- Chop half an onion, two peeled carrots, and three thick slices of ham diced or cubed, and add them to the Crock Pot.
- Add about a teaspoon of salt and three bay leaves, and any other seasonings you prefer.
- Add water to cover, about 12 cups.
- Place the lid on the Crock Pot, plug it in, set the temperature to the desired setting, and leave it to cook. Come back in 8 hours and eat.
- 2 to 3 cups split green peas
- 1/2 large onion, white cooks transparent, but red looks attractive with green peas
- 2-3 diced carrots
- 2-3 thick slices, about 1 cup diced cooked ham
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
A slow cooker is a great gift for a student leaving home, a young couple furnishing their kitchen, or a seasoned cook who is starting work outside the home. In almost any kitchen it will quickly become a tool that proves its worth.
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