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Posts Tagged ‘slow cooker’

Now that cooler temperatures have begun to set in, it’s time to bust out my mini crockpot and serve up heaping bowls of oatmeal each morning. Oatmeal is such a great food to eat in the morning because it fills you up AND keeps you full. Now, I’ll admit it, I used to be an instant oatmeal kind of girl (mmm maple brown sugary goodness). It’s so easy to just throw a packet in the microwave and BOOM…oatmeal; but trust me, it ain’t got nothin’ on these oats. Besides, 1 packet of instant oatmeal never kept me full! I had to eat 3 packets; otherwise I’d be starving around 10am. Not cool.

This recipe yields 4 HEFTY servings (at around 250 calories…depending on your “add-ins). Trust me, you won’t be hungry in 2 hours after eating this hot cereal!

I love to utilize the slow cooker method for oatmeal because it makes breakfast a breeze. I throw everything into the 3 1/2 quart crockpot, give it a stir, set the temperature to low snd say “nighty night.” When we wake up, we have a wholesome, no brainer, breakfast; piping hot and ready to eat! It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever! Not to mention, any leftovers become lunch for JBird (since she can’t seem to scarf down enough of it!).

Here’s what I use when making my super awesome oatmeal:

-1C Scottish Oatmeal (aka porridge) **I use Bob’s Red Mill brand because it’s the absolute best (taste wise and nutritionally). You could also use Steel Cut Oats, but steer clear of quick oats. You’ll end up with a gummy mess (and no breakfast…wah wah)**

-3C water

-1C unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-1/2 tsp salt

-a few dashes of cinnamon

-a few dashes of nutmeg

-2 tbs ground flax

-some “spray oil” (like Pam) to coat the inside of the crock to prevent sticking.

Set on low for 8-10 hours (however long you sleep for)

wake up and enjoy!

I add 2 tsp of pure maple syrup and a sliced up banana to mine after it’s done cooking. It’s totally boss.

Things to add while it’s cooking:

-raisins

-dried cherries

-chopped apples (yumm! I bet this would taste like apple crisp!)

-pears

-figs

-dates

-dried blueberries

-shredded zucchini (it would totally taste like zucchini bread batter! Oh Em Gee!)

Optional Post-Cooking Toppings:

-fresh blueberries

-honey (but don’t feed this to your babies! thanks.)

-pure maple syrup (none of that maple flavored junk that comes in fun shaped bottles)

-walnuts, pecans, almonds…whatever you like, go nuts! (haha!)

-banana!

The possibilities are endless!

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Camp Cooking

Wow! It has been WEEKS since I last posted anything! I apologize for dropping the ball. Luckily, summer is almost over which means our lives will be slowing down a bit (Actually, that’s a total lie. I’m pretty sure things will never slow down. Life in the fast lane baby!)

We will be leaving EARLY Thursday morning to make a 10 hour journey to Delaware, Ohio. We will be meeting friends from NY at a state park and spending labor day weekend (through Tuesday) together…because we all know that no one should be alone on labor day (Haha, I hope Kim is laughing right now).

To prepare for this 5 day long rustic retreat I decided to assemble and freeze our camp meals before leaving, then I will cook them in our awesome new Lodge dutch oven. This way we won’t have to buy a bunch of food once we get there and we won’t have to lug a bunch of food with us in our already overpacked car.

I was totally inspired to make and freeze our meals after reading an absolutely GENIUS blog post about make-ahead slow cooker meals. You can read it for yourself here:

Freezer Cooking With Slow Cooker Recipes (it seriously blew my mind…this woman should win an award…seriously)

So, I put together 3 meals: plus, I’m marinading a pound of chicken spiedies that I will freeze tomorrow. We will be consuming: Turkey Chili, Vegetarian Southwest Stew, and Tacos (the theme of these meals: cumin…and lots of it).

Here are the (incredibly simple) recipes for these homemade frozen meals:

Turkey Chili: (makes 4-6 servings)

-1/2 a pound of lean turkey meat

-1 green bell pepper: chopped

-1/2 of a large yellow onion: finely chopped

-3 cloves of garlic: minced

-1 15oz can of kidney beans: rinsed and drained

-1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

-1 packet of chili seasoning OR 1tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tbs chili powder

big bag full of uncooked chili. how exotic.


Chili Bag!

Add ingredients to a gallon-sized zip top freezer bag. Freeze. When you’re ready to cook it, empty frozen contents into a slow cooker or dutch oven and add about a cup of water (I’ll be using a cast iron dutch oven over a bed of coals). In the slow cooker: cook for 4 hours on high OR 8 hours on low. In a dutch oven: cook for an hour, give everything a stir, then cook for an additional hour if needed. I like my chili to simmer for several hours so I’m going to do my best to keep my coals at an even, low temperature (and plan on cooking my chili for about 3 hours).

Southwest Stew: (makes 4-6 servings)

-1 cup of frozen (or fresh) corn kernels

-1 jar of salsa

-1/2 of a yellow onion: finely chopped

-1 large sweet potato: peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks

-1 15oz can of chickpeas: rinsed and drained

-1 tbs of cumin (I LOVE cumin…so I add a lot…but if you have a more reserved palate try adding only 1 tsp of cumin at first. You can always add more later if you’d like)

mmm...bag o' stew

by laying the bags flat in the freezer they won't take up as much room

Add your ingredients to a gallon-sized zip top bag. Freeze. Once you’re ready to cook, add the frozen contents to you slow cooker/dutch oven. Add 1 cup of water and 1 tbs of olive oil. If using a slow cooker: cook on low for 8 hours, of high for 4 hours (until the sweet potatoes are tender). If you’re using a dutch oven: cook over medium-high heat for an hour (or until sweet potatoes are tender). Serve with fresh corn bread muffins! Yum!

Tacos: (makes 4 servings)

-1/2 a pound of lean turkey meat

-1 15oz can of black beans: rinsed and drained

-1 packet of taco seasoning OR a combination of garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper (because I totally forgot to buy taco seasoning).

Toss ingredients together in a half-gallon sized freezer bag. Freeze. When you’re ready to cook, add frozen contents to a skillet/slow cooker/dutch oven, add about 2 tbs of water and cook (covered) until the meat is done. Serve with warmed tortillas and all your favorite fixins’.

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