Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My crockpot love affair

Sick babies and blogging don't mix...sorry for the delayed post....

the temperatures are dropping here in in the Northeast and with a toddler (a clingy one at that!), meal prep has been challenging. Most of the year, we grill up over the weekend to minimize cooking after work.  The winter doesn't always afford us that luxury.  In fact, we currently have 4+ inches of snow on the deck and more falling from the sky - we're due a foot tonight!

its days like this where i remember that funky appliance that was all the rage years ago and I think (hope) is making a comeback. My crockpot :-)

I make lots of things even on hot summer days when I don't want to have to stand in front of the stove for hours.  We tried beef stew last week and it turned out great!  Again we got a great meal that had lots of leftovers and could control the ingredients to meet our allergy needs.  I'll share some other recipes in future posts.

Here what we did - this is modified from a slow cooker recipe that I found in a book i have

Beef Stew
1lb beef stew meat (literally this is what my grocery called it, but you can use chuck roast, etc)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and cubed (i used baby carrots roughly chopped - around 12)
1 large handful (about a cup) of frozen green beans
1+ cup celery (i say plus because I like celery, so I went heavy on this measurement)
1 tbsp quick cook tapioca - sounds weird but trust me
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

put meat in the crockpot, followed by vegetables and seasoning.  top with chicken broth and tomatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 11hours.

A few notes: In theory, you could do this on high for half the time.  I've never had success with that as the flavors just don't blend as well and the beef needs that "low and slow" approach to get tender and pull apart.  Also, our "cubes" were larger than an inch but needed only the side of a fork to cut.
One of the modifications I did was to double the guide recipe - we like leftovers - so it can definitely be halved.
The first night's servings were a little "thinner" than I am used to, but the leftovers thickened up over night perfectly.
This has fed the 2 of us for about 2-3 nights.  If you're family is larger, you can adjust the recipe if you are looking for leftovers

Enjoy!!!  I'm off to find something to cook in the crockpot for our impending snow day tomorrow


  1. I found a tortilla soup crock-pot recipe that I made last week. Yummy! Let me know if you want the recipe.

  2. Hillary- Yes, please! I'll modify as needed and repost my experience

  3. I'll send it soon. Isaac's been sick.