Incorporating your crockpot into your weekly meal planning is an excellent way to make sure you stay within budget. By using a slow cooker, you can easily prep meals on the weekend or cook ahead and split out food for lunches.
Steel cut oats are delicious in the slow cooker. Add a bit of butter, sugar, raisins, apples, or whatever appeals and start the cooker on low before you go to bed. When you arise, it will be to the aroma of sugary, warm deliciousness.Read More »
Eggs are high in water content and you may notice water around the edge of your breakfast casserole when you take off the lid. No need to worry, the eggs are fine. Just leave the lid off for 20 to 30 minutes so the liquid can evaporate off. If there’s still liquid along the edge of your egg dish after 20 minutes, leave the lid off and turn the crockpot to high until the water is gone.
You can easily make the fixings for a pulled pork sandwich in your slow cooker. Onions, garlic, pork shoulder and barbecue sauce will mean that your house will smell amazing as it cooks for 5 to six hours. Toss a salad, toast the buns and you’re all set!
There’s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup or beef stew for lunch. Keep the veggies in uniform size and shape for even cooking and enjoy this yummy dish on a cold day. One of the nicest things about a slow cooker is that it turns tough cuts of meat into lush, melt-in-your-mouth treats. If the recipe calls for you to brown the meat, know that heat and time will remove any strong chewiness.
If you like to make a nice big sit down meal for dinner but struggle to find the time and inspiration, use your slow cooker! These lush pork chops can easily be paired with a baked potato from the microwave and a tossed, bagged salad. This dish can be cooked on high or low, so if you’re running around on the weekends and know when you plan to serve, you can schedule your day accordingly and let the slow cooker make the meal.
By making chicken and dumplings in your slow cooker, you’ve turned it into a mini-oven, and good for you! This delicious dish needs little accompaniment; simply dish this up in big bowls and put out a side of steamed veggies or a chopped cabbage salad.
Slow Cooker All Year Around
Once your slow cooker has served as a countertop oven once, you’ll never put it away. This hearty tool can be used for simple dishes all year long.
1) Bean prep: Rinse a cup of beans and layer them in the bottom of your slow cooker. Cover them with at least two inches of water and add a teaspoon of salt. Turn the slow cooker to low and let it cook overnight or while you’re at work, then let it cool and drain the beans. You can add beans to pasta salads, chili, soups, or grind them up for veggie burgers.
If you’re not crazy about beans but have only had a few varieties, take a trip to the closest Asian market and treat yourself to some you’ve never seen before. Beans are actually quite flavorful, nutritious, high in fiber and cheap. If budget is a concern, getting better at cooking with beans can really stretch your food dollar.
Your slow cooker liner may build up scale or protein on the walls. Water, heat and time can clean it up, or you can scrub the liner with a water and baking soda paste. Finally, cooking something starchy will often break down this film.
2) Oven Uses: Using your slow cooker as an oven will take some getting used to; you’re not adding liquid, and that may make your anxious. However, you can turn your slow cooker into a summertime oven, reduce heat build-up in your home, and create wonderful meals.
Sweet corn and salmon: Clean and rinse two ears of sweet corn. Wrap them in foil with butter, salt and pepper. Lay them side by side in the bottom of the crockpot. The take two frozen salmon fillets and wrap them in foil. Add a bit of butter to the bottom of the packet and lay the salmon skin-side down. If you like, add a bit of salt, pepper or dill to the bottom of the foil. Layer the wrapped frozen salmon fillets on top of the corn and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
Baked potatoes and tuna steaks: Scrub two large baking potatoes and lay them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Wrap frozen tuna steaks in foil with a bit of salt, pepper and butter. Lay them on top of the potatoes and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
It should be noted that neither of these cooking choices will brown the meat; it will have the consistency of fish cooked en papillote. However, if you don’t have a grill and don’t want to heat up the whole house, this use of your slow cooker will become a summertime favorite.
If you love sweet potatoes, you can bake them in the slow cooker but you will have to wrap them in foil. These yummy treats can exude sugar and may burn to the liner, leaving a stain that’s nearly impossible to remove.
There are many casseroles that you usually make in the oven that can be cooked in your slow cooker. Again, the top won’t brown as it will in the oven. Moisture may build up along the edge; simply remove the lid and let it cook off for 10 to 15 minutes before turning off the slow cooker and serving.
A slow cooker can serve a lot of purposes over the course of the year. You can make hot apple cider around the holidays or brownies for dessert. Once you start to explore the uses of this remarkable tool, you’ll quickly come up with some favorites.
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