We have a treat for our die-hard regular readers. First, a big thank you for your loyalty and support and second we are going to share recipes with you that we shared at a conference we spoke at this weekend.
We were thrilled to present the workshop The Healthy Slow Cooker at the Church of the Resurrection Women’s Conference. It was great to meet so many of you and we loved talking about family dinners and sharing tips on how to use your slow cooker to make healthy meals. (Here is the tip sheet we shared at the workshop on healthy slow cooking.)
Everyday meals can be scrumptious and healthy, and if you use your slow cooker, it can be especially easy. You can come home after a busy day to a fantastic meal—and avoid those higher calorie restaurant meals. These three recipes are a great start toward delicious family meals.
Mediterranean Smothered Beef on Couscous
2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef top round roast or rump roast
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon dry minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1/4 cup red wine, beef broth or water
Hot cooked couscous, rice or noodles
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown roast well, turning to brown on each side. Place onion in slow cooker, then place roast over onions. Top with red pepper strips, carrots, mushrooms, seasonings, tomatoes and wine. Cover and cook on Low setting 7 to 9 hours or until meat is tender.
Serve meat and vegetables over couscous.
Makes 8 servings
Browning the beef adds depth of flavor and makes an even more attractive roast to serve. Should the roast have additional fat, trim visible fat from roast then brown as directed. If you desire, or if you are short on time, omit the browning step and place the roast over the onions and proceed as recipe directs.
Substitute 1 cup sliced button mushrooms for canned mushrooms. Cook fresh mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil until just tender, then spoon over roast and proceed as recipe directs.
To thicken juices, lift meat and vegetables from slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Pour liquids into a saucepan. Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons cold water then blend into liquids. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Pour over meat and vegetables.
Family Favorite Turkey Chili
2 pounds ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with liquid
3/4 cup medium salsa
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans (15 oz each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Spray a Dutch oven with nonstick spray. Cook ground turkey, onion and garlic in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until turkey is browned. Drain and place in a large slow cooker.
Stir remaining ingredients, except beans, into turkey and onions. Cover and cook on Low setting 5 to 7 hours (or on High setting 2 1/2 to 3 hours.) Stir in beans and cook on Low setting 60 minutes (or on High setting 30 minutes.)
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Adjust seasoning to create the flavor you enjoy. If desired, stir in an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin and/or an additional 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.
Use the variety of beans you enjoy. Substitute pinto beans or black beans for the red kidney beans, if desired.
Light and Lively Chicken – Spinach Quesadillas
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
4 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves, trimmed of stems
1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers, drained
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
2/3 cup reduced fat shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
6 low-fat flour tortillas
Pico De Gallo, below, or salsa
Fresh, sliced avocado
Place chicken breasts, jalapeno pepper and garlic in a slow cooker. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth over chicken. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours, or until chicken is tender and fully – cooked.
Remove chicken. Drain and reserve liquids from slow cooker. Place spinach and roasted red pepper in slow cooker. Shred chicken and return to slow cooker.
Skim fat from collected liquids. Pour about 1/2 cup liquids over chicken. Add green chilies, cheese, salsa, sour cream and cilantro; stir well. Cover and cook on low 30 minutes.
Spray the flour tortillas lightly with nonstick spray. Place tortilla on a preheated grill or in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken and vegetable mixture over the tortilla. Top with a second tortilla. Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden. Repeat with 5 other quesadillas.
Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Top each with Pico De Gallo and avocado.
Makes 6 servings
Summer Pico De Gallo
2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and very finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Allow to stand about 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Refrigerate leftovers.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Tip: For a spicier flavor, use the entire jalapeno pepper.
Don’t forget, we will share new recipes at our class, Slow Cooker Secrets that Make Sensational Suppers, Monday, March 25 at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. For those of you that live in the Kansas City area, be sure to register now so you don’t miss out.