One of the greatest of modern inventions is the crock pot. You toss some ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning (I actually like to get my pot ready the night before, and keep it in the fridge) and let it simmer all day. The food tastes great and your busy day does not fall to pieces as you frantically try to conjure up time to make dinner. A crock pot recipe that calls for common, inexpensive ingredients can also be a cheap way to feed your family healthy, home cooked meals.
Here are a few tasty and easy crock pot recipes that you can easily incorporate into your weekly dinner menu.
1 frying chicken (cut it up). You can also use just chicken breasts or just thighs as well.
1 can condensed tomato soup
¼ c. vinegar
1 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
¾ c. chopped onion
3 tbl. brown sugar
¼ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. sweet basil
½ tsp. salt
Put the chicken pieces in the crock pot. The mix all the other ingredients together and pour into the pot over the top of the chicken. Cover with the crock pot’s lid and set the cooker to low. Let cook six to eight hours, using a meat thermometer to determine when the chicken is done (180 degrees for poultry).
Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin (I like to get this on sale – it goes on sale regularly): 1 ½ to 2 pounds
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt
½ c. balsamic vinegar
1 tbl. Dijon mustard
3 tbl. honey
½ tsp. thyme (dried leaf – like from a spice jar)
A dash of garlic powder
Rub pork tenderloin with sprinkled salt and pepper, then put it into the crock pot. Put the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the tenderloin. Turning the pork to cover all sides will add to a more consistent flavor. Cook on low for 7 or 8 hours or on high for 3 ½ to 4 hours, depending on how much time you need it to cook while you run your errands or while you are at work.
Beef Casserole in the Crock Pot
2 pounds beef cut into one-inch chunks (stew meat or round steak-you could even substitute ground beef, but you wouldn’t cut it).
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix (using a “beefy” onion soup mix can enhance the meat flavor of the casserole)
Sliced mushrooms (half a cup fresh, or a four ounce can)
½ c. red wine
Put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and stir, mixing thoroughly. Put the cover on and cook for 8 to 11 hours on low (low only!). Is great to pour over noodles or rice.
This recipe is easier to double and very easy to freeze. You can even reheat it in your crock pot. Simply let the concoction thaw to room temperature and then put it in on low for about an hour and a half to reheat.