Summer Challenge Healthy Recipes: Crockpot Edition

It feels like we're all in a time crunch these days. Anything that will help us save time is a blessing, and that's where the crockpot comes in to save the day. There's nothing much easier than throwing everything in the pot and leaving it to cook while you check-off boxes on the days to-do list. 

Check out this link ( https://www.laurengreutman.com/15-things-i-learned-by-using-my-crockpot-for-100-days-straight/ ) for some helpful tips when cooking with a crockpot, and then start trying the tasty, easy recipes below!

 

exps72304_ESC3139121D04_05_5b_WEB.jpg

Breakfast: Crockpot Overnight Breakfast Casserole

https://www.thegraciouswife.com/crockpot-overnight-breakfast-casserole/

Ingredients:

  • 1 30 oz package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2 lb ground sausage I used Italian sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 lb bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar

 

Instructions:

1.     Grease a large 6 quart slow cooker (or bigger) with cooking spray or butter.

2.     Layer half the hash browns in the bottom of the slow cooker.

3.     Top with half the sausage, bacon, cheese, onions, green pepper, and red pepper. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients.

4.     Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and sugar.

5.     Pour egg mixture over hash brown and cheese layers.

6.     Cook on low for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

 

cilantro-lime-chicken-tacos.jpg

 

Lunch: Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

https://belleofthekitchen.com/2016/08/30/slow-cooker-cilantro-lime-chicken-tacos/

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (I use low sodium)
  • 1 16 oz jar salsa (use your favorite; I used a local Texas brand)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from two limes

 

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top, then cover with salsa, lime juice, and cilantro.
  2. Place lid on top and cook for four hours on high, or 6-7 hours on low. Remove chicken from crockpot to a separate bowl and shred with two forks. Moisten chicken with small amounts of juice left over from the crockpot until you get the amount of moisture that you like. I used about 1/2 - 3/4 cup juice.
  3. Serve with taco shells or tortillas, adding on your favorite toppings. I like to use shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, cheese, sour cream, and even a drizzle of ranch dressing.

 

slow-cooker-cuban-shredded-beef-ropa-vieja-feature.jpg

 

Dinner: Cuban Shredded Beef

http://littlespicejar.com/cuban-shredded-beef-slow-cooker/

Ingredients:

FOR SEARING THE MEAT:

  • 6 whole cloves garlic
  • 2-2 1/2 lbs. beef chuck roast or flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon oil

FOR THE ROPA VIEJA:

  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons EACH dried oregano AND salt
  • 1 tablespoon EACH ground cumin AND white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro + more for serving

FOR SERVING:

  • white rice and cuban-style black beans

 

Instructions: 

  • SEARING THE MEAT: Take the beef chuck roast and using a small paring knife, make 3 small ‘x’ marks into the meat. Take 3 cloves of garlic and insert them into the 3 ‘x’ marks so that the clove is completely inserted into the thickness of roast. Season both sides of the meat with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the beef in one piece and fry on each side for 5 minutes, turning only when the exterior is browned. This will splatter a bit but don’t cover the pan as the meat will end up steaming rather than searing.
  • FOR THE ROPA VIEJA: Chop the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into thin slices and add to the slow cooker along with all the remaining ropa vieja ingredients. I used a 6-quart slow cooker but a 3-quart slow cooker will work too. Cover and let cook on the low setting for 7-8 hours. When the beef falls apart easily when pulled with two forks, it’s done. Shred the beef with the forks and give it a stir. Taste for seasonings, season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
  • TO SERVE: Serve over a bed of rice with cuban-style black beans on the side topped with additional cilantro and a few lime wedges. You can also use the shredded beef for burritos, breakfast quesadillas, or tacos!

 

 

Tasty-Kitchen-Blog-Blackberry-Cobbler-Bars-00.jpg

 

Dessert: Crockpot Blackberry Cobbler

http://momswithcrockpots.com/crockpot-blackberry-cobbler/

 

Ingredients:

·      2 cups Blackberries (washed)

·      1 cup flour

·      1 cup milk

·      1 ¼ cup sugar, divided

·      ¼ cup melted butter

 

Instructions:

·      In a bowl mix together flour, milk, 1 cup sugar and butter until batter forms. Pour into a greased crockpot. Sprinkle in the washed blackberries. Top with final ¼ cup of sugar.

·      Cover and cook on high for 2-2 ½ hours.

·      Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Gluten Free:

·      Use a gluten free flour mix.

Dairy Free:

·      Use a milk substitute like almond milk and coconut oil or vegetable oil in the place of butter.

 

 

Image Credits:

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/slow-cooker-breakfast-casserole/

https://www.foxvalleyfoodie.com/slow-cooker-cuban-shredded-beef-ropa-vieja/

http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2013/09/blackberry-cobbler-bars/

https://www.foxvalleyfoodie.com/cilantro-lime-chicken-tacos-recipe/