Crock-Pot Chronicles: 5-Ingredient Easy White
Yes, you read right! You only need 5 ingredients for this easy, yummy chili! But before I delve into it, here’s the back story. You know there had to be one!
While working as a PreK teacher at a private school, teacher appreciation week rolled around, and our wonderful parents and students showered us with gifts. One of those gifts was a complete dinner that one of our student’s mother made. Incidentally, she used to be a teacher as well. Maybe she simply understood that after a day of teaching, it’s nice not having to worry about what’s for dinner!
Not only did she supply us with the chili, but she gave each of us a container of sour cream, a bag of tortilla chips, two avocados, shredded cheese and graham crackers for dessert! This chili was SO delicious, that I asked the parent for the recipe. She sent me a link in email, which led me to the food blog Gimme Some Oven. That’s where I discovered that the recipe for 5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker! And you know how I feel about that! Enjoy!
Crock-Pot Chronicles: Stuff Peppers
Recently I was feeling a little adventurous and opted for a break from my everyday dinner fare, you know, Slow Cooker Lasagna, Taco Soup, baked chicken, salmon croquettes, etc. In fact, I was feeling SO adventurous, that I decided to cook Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Ground Turkey and Rice! Why is that so exciting to me? Well, I’m from the South Carolina Lowcountry and grew up eating rice on a regular basis. We ate green beans on rice, collard greens on rice, lima beans on rice, stewed tomatoes on rice, smothered ANYTHING on rice, gravy on rice, eggs on rice, pork and beans with hot dogs on rice and even butter on rice. I mean, really, I would eat rice every day if my waist line would let me! Nowadays, I don’t eat green beans, collard greens and lima beans on rice, but when I happened upon the Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Ground Turkey and Rice recipe via Weight Watchers, I’m pretty sure I experienced a pure moment of bliss. Just the thought of eating rice and something, even peppers, which I don’t eat, was a source of joy. It was even more so when I saw that I could eat the pepper, turkey and rice cooked together for just 6 pts! It turned out to be a hearty filling meal, and I loved the thought of being able to eat the container! In this case the pepper itself. In another case, a taco salad tossed into an edible bowl-size-taco-like shell! Just the thought of that ignited a hankering for taco salad. There’s a recipe for that – coming soon in a future post! Back to the peppers recipe – add your own favorite savory seasonings to make it your own.
So what’s with the “Crock-Pot Chronicles” headline you might ask? Recently, I posted about my endless love for slow cookers. While writing that post, I came across a recipe for stuffed peppers cooked in a Crock-Pot at crockpot.com. No, really, I did, and the moment I found it, I knew I had to put it in a post! If you’re not a finatical rice fan like me, you’ll be happy to know that the Crock-Pot recipe, Stuffed Green Peppers, doesn’t contain any. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, so please let me know how it turns out when you do. Enjoy!
Slow cookers slay all day!
As I told you in a recent post, I LOVE slow cookers. I love them, because they slay all day or night, so I don’t have to! (My nod to comedienne and actress Leslie Jones and to the Olympics) True there are many slow cooker recipes that require some cooking before adding them to a slow cooker, setting it and forgetting it, but that’s a small price to pay to gain the following:
- Freedom to complete other tasks like writing this post and living my life
- Fewer dirty dishes to clean
- Having someone walk into the house and saying, “Something smells good!” and simply replying, “Thank you,” when I know my trusty slow cooker is doing the cooking.
So what do I cook in my slow cookers? Please note that I wrote slow “cookers,” because I have another. It’s my Crock-Pot that I’ve had for what seems like forever – 20 years to be exact. AND it still works, so I still use it! The company’s slogan is “If it doesn’t say Crock-Pot, it’s not the original slow cooker.” I think I might have one of the original slow cookers, because it predates the slow cookers that feature a removable food container as do the Crock-Pots the company makes now for easier cleaning. BUT that’s OK. I use both of my slow cookers to make lasagna, pot roast and beef stew. I also use my slow cookers to make oatmeal as I sleep, and awake to creamy, yummy oatmeal in the morning!
AND I make mac and cheese using my slow cookers. Yes, you read that right – mac and cheese! After years of my doing this, my mom still can’t understand it, because we use practically the same ingredients, but she cooks hers using her oven, and I cook mine using either of my slow cookers.
So what do I end up with. The result is cheesy, creamy mac and cheese that my husband and children devour!
The recipe is from the cook book, Twice Treasured Recipes: A Collection of Recipes with a Low Country Accent from Hilton Head Island. The Bargain Box, a nonprofit thrift store on Hilton Head that has donated $13.9 million over 50 years to area nonprofit organizations, published the cookbook back in 2000 back when I was working as a features writer for the local newspaper. I wrote a story about the cookbook and about the Bargain box, and I was happy to do so. My grandmother Daisy Bell Ferguson, was a Bargain Box customer for decades, and I still want the buffet she bought from there when I was a kid! Back to the scrumptious Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Here it is:
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (I use butter).
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk (I only use 1/2 cup of milk).
3-4 cups (12 to 16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use 4 cups)!
Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Combine macaroni, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, milk, cheese, salt and pepper in a Crock-Pot, stirring to blend. Cook on LOW for 2 hours.
OK, so now I want this mac and cheese! Anyway, anyone who knows me knows that I like simple recipes – the fewer the ingredients the better. I just found some 5 ingredient or less recipes at the Crock-Pot site. YAY! You can get them here.
De-Light Slow Cooker Lasagna
Let me just say right now that I Love slow cookers! I love them so much, that I’m thinking of writing a post just about them! Anyway, approximately a year ago, I discovered a recipe for Slow Cooker Lasagna. My husband and children love it!
When I began dieting via Weight Watchers, I thought Slow Cooker Lasagna was out of my life! Well, I was wrong. I recently discovered through the Weight Watchers’ app that Weight Watchers has a lighter version of my Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe! While my original recipe called for store-bought spaghetti sauce, the Weight Watchers recipe calls for crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. That means when you’re making it, you get closer to making a homemade sauce. Yay!
What makes this recipe diet-friendly is the use of reduced-fat ricotta and reduced-fat mozzarella cheeses. I reduced the calorie count or Weight Watchers point value even further by substituting the ground beef with ground turkey. Whichever meat you use, you end up with a hearty yummy meal for 10 points or less. Here’s the Weight Watchers recipe. Enjoy!