Category Archives: CrockPot

Crockpot Chicken, Carrots, and Mushrooms with Lentils and Wild Rice

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This a great healthier  week night meal that is easy to set up and can cook in as little as 4 hrs in the crock while you are off at work or running errands.

This is not the greatest photo, but it was late and I was hungry 🙂

Chicken and Lentils

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 4-8 hrs
Serves: 4 ish

Ingredients

  • 6-8 organic chicken thighs, remove fat (the ones I had were small so we had 2 each)
  • 2.5 cups no sodium chicken stock ( I like homemade or Kitchen Basics)
  • 1 cup blend of wild rice and lentils (pick your favorite)
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • .5 cup chopped carrots
  • .5 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon thyme
  • .5 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place stock in pot, add rice, veggies,oil, and herbs: stir.
  2. Add chicken thighs to pot, season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. ( I do 4 on high)
  4. Serve, salt and pepper to taste. 
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Happy New Year from Zestybeandog and Co! Yard Birds with Agave Garlic Citrus Jalapeno Glaze, Black Eyed Peas, and Sun Dried Tomato Bread

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Happy 2012 to Everyone! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but all is well in Zestybeandog Land! We have successfully had Christmas with both families, packed a 1,700 sqft house into a 10×20 storage unit, moved to Lago Vista from Austin to stay at Evan’s  parents home for the next 1-2 years while they’re in Singapore, unpacked some kitchen stuff, had a low key NYE celebration playing poker and enjoying drinks, and of course cooked up a great New Year’s Day meal for everyone. We are so grateful for our families for all of the amazing help we had… or we’d probably still be packing boxes! Here’s to new adventures and good times in 2012. I wish you all the best of everything not only for 2012 but for all the years to come. Cheers!

I’d also like to give a personal shout out to my fellow foodie bloggers: Five Reflections, Rufus’s Food and Spirits Guide, Simple Speedy Snacks, Twistedvines, Talinorfali, Bam’s Kitchen, Saffron and Honey, The Kale Chronicles, The Complete Cook Book, Coffee with Caroline,Pure and Complex, Sports Glutton, Charles with Five Euro Food, Tandy with Lavender and Lime, Sweet Caroline’s Cooking,Hotly Spiced, Edible Substance, Food Diary of a Picky Eater, Adesinsa’s Kitchen AND to all I may have missed, I’m still in a food coma 😉

Yard Birds with Glaze

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 3-4 hours

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Whole chickens 4-4.5 lbs each
  • 1 C. Amber agave nectar
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 Jalapeno, minced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Clementine, juiced
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt, kosher
  • 1 tsp Green peppercorn, finely ground
  • Charcoal
  • Mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for 20 min
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Prep smoker, with about 10-12 lbs of charcoal and wood chips.
  2. Make glaze in small sauce pot. Mix all ingredients besides the chicken, and last 3 items on the list. Bring to a simmer and then cook on low for 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  3. Salt and pepper washed chickens, place on smoker and glaze every 30 min until chicken reached an internal temp of 165 F.

We paired this with a Brooklyn Lager 2, it was great!

Black Eyed Peas

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 3 hrs

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 22 oz Black eyed peas,  like Melissa’s
  • 5 Thick slices of bacon, cut up into chunks
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5 TBS Better than Bullion Paste
  • 5 C. Water
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 TBS. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook for 3 hrs on high.

Bread Recipes coming soon 🙂

Chunky Beef and Vegetable Stew for the Crock Pot

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I should just start calling Tuesdays Manly Meal Tuesday’s. I made this yesterday for dinner in the crock since I’ve got class until late every Tuesday evening. It keeps Evan happy so that makes me happy 🙂 This is a great cooler weather stew that goes great with some homemade cornbread! The best thing about it… when you get home from work all you have to do is eat and enjoy!

Prep: 20 min

Cook Time: Low 8-10 hrs, High 4-5 hrs (I prefer low).

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs stew meat, try to get a quality grass fed organic beef of possible
  • 1/2 C. Flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 C. Beef Broth ( I like Kitchen Basics)
  • 1TBS Worces­ter­shire Sauce
  • 1/2 C. Red Wine
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 TBS ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 C. Carrots, chopped or cubed
  • 4 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 White potatoes, cubed (you can use Russet but I like these).

Instructions:

  1. Place cubed meat in a large plas­tic bag or bowl. Com­bine 1/2 cup flour (you will need it to cover your meat) with 1/2 tea­spoon salt & 1 tea­spoon pep­per; pour into the bag or bowl with the meat, then shake to coat. Then heat 1 table­spoon of butter in a large skil­let over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until evenly browned on the out­side, you want to sear the meat. It takes a few min­utes. Remove your stew meat & place into the crockpot.
  2. Take your finely diced onion and garlic and put it in the same skil­let, with 1 table­spoon butter, and cook so your onions are translu­cent and softened. Then add in your red wine to make sure all the good bits are lifted off the skil­let & pour the con­tents of the skil­let into the crock­pot.  It’s important to get all the good bits from the meat and the onions of the bottom of the pan, so you don’t lose the fla­vor.
  3. Now add the rest: ZBD fine herb blend, bay leaf, paprika, Worces­ter­shire sauce, beef broth, carrots, celery, and potatoes.
  4. Cook for about 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 on high. If you would like it to thicken up a bit cook the last hour with the lid off the crock, or you can add a little bit of flour… Enjoy!
Cheers!

4 STEP Simple Chicken Thigh and Veggie Soup in the Crock Pot

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This is a super easy dish to prepare in the crock pot for busy days! It’s healthy and prepared in four simple steps. Cooking this dish with bone in thighs give it a great flavor and is easier than other methods where you have to cut, cube, brown, pull etc…

Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 7.5 hrs on LOW

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Free-Range chicken thighs, most of fat removed (as much as you can) I just peel it off with my hands and discard.
  • 32 oz Kitchen Basics no sodium chicken broth
  • 32 oz Kitchen Basics regular beef broth
  • 3 Large organic tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups or 1.5 cans).
  • 4 Stalks of celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Can of black beans
  • 1.5 C. Corn, fresh is best (or one can).
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 1 TBS Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, mexican oregano, and chili powder (1 TBS each of these).
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder, freshly ground is always better 🙂
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 TBS Zestybeandog Fine Herb Blend (Coming soon for purchase).

Instructions:

  1. Cut produce that needs to be cut up and place in crock. Empty (drained) can of beans into crock as well.
  2. Skin chicken thighs and place in crock.
  3. Add stock to crock.
  4. Add spices. Cook for 7.5 hrs on LOW or 4 on high. Chicken should come right off the bone.
Serve with a little Monterrey Jack or cheese of your choice and crackers if desired. Watch for the bone. I serve one thigh for each person with the soup, the meat comes off the bone very easily.  You can remove bone from thighs if desired before serving.

Summer Squash and Bison Soup

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Prep Time: 20 min

Serves: 6-8

Cook Time: 2-6 hours (can be done in the crock pot if need be).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Bison, from a reputable source
  • 2 C. Tomatoes, diced (or canned will do).
  • 2 Summer squash or zucchini from the farm, cubed
  • 2 C. Mixed bells, sliced
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Large can of black beans
  • 1 Hot pepper of your choice, minced
  • 2 C. Chicken broth
  • 2 C. Beef broth
  • 1/2 TBS. Cumin
  • 3 TBS Chili powder blend
  • 1/2 TBS Cumin
  • 1 TBS Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 3 Limes, juiced

Instructions

1. Brown meat, onions, and garlic in a large skillet until meat is cooked.

2. Add squash and cook for an additional 3 min.

3. Empty canned goods into crock pot or regular large pot and then empty the skillet full of meat, onions, garlic, and squash into the tomato and bean mixture and stir.

4. Add the chicken and beef broth and seasonings, stir.

5. Cook for 4-5 hours on low in crock pot or 2 hours on low on the stove top. Add lime juice when done.

Serve with cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious Crock Pot Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

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On days that I’m super busy I find that it’s very helpful to throw something in the crock pot for dinner since I know I will be reluctant to cook when I get home…usually resulting in ordering a craptastic pizza or eating out -spending too much $$…  So when I can I usually throw something like this together when I come home for lunch to let the dog out.  It takes about 15 min or so and then all I have to do when I’m off work is serve it up  🙂

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 4.5-8 hours (4.5 high, 8 low)

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken thighs, remove fat if desired (I remove all but one).
  • 1/2 Yellow onion, sliced into thin slices
  • 1 Large sweet potato, sliced into wedges
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1.5 C. Chicken stock
  • 1/4 C. White wine
  • 6 Stems of fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • 1/2 TBS Dried herb blend
  • Wild rice if desired to serve with chicken
Instructions:
  1. Heat medium/large skillet on high, place chicken meat side down and brown thighs (about 5 min). Leave grease in skillet and turn to low.
  2. Place thighs in crock, browned side up.
  3. Cook slivered onions and garlic in the chicken grease, if you didn’t skin your chicken of fat you may want to discard some of that fat with a paper towel (careful it’s hot). By leaving one thigh with the fat I find that it leaves just enough for the onion to cook in, plus my husband likes the skin… so he gets that every once in a while as a treat. Cook onion and garlic until lightly browned.
  4. Add raw sweet potato wedges to crock pot surrounding the thighs, pour stock and wine on top of potatoes and chicken.
  5. Add onions and garlic to the top of chicken and then add seasonings including herb blend.
  6. Cook for 4.5 hour on high or 8 on low in a crock pot.
  7. Serve with rice or noodles if desired.

SIMPLE and HEALTHY – Chicken Vegetable Soup in the Crock Pot

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Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 5 hours (3 on high 2 on low)

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 small can of corn
  • 1 large can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced
  • 1-3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 container (80z) of mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
  • Thyme (1/2 tsp) Pepper (to taste) Celery Salt (1/2 tsp) Oregano (1 tsp) Cayenne Pepper (1/4 tsp) Sea Salt ( to taste)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except chicken, salt, and pepper and cook in crock pot for 5 hrs.  Mix in cooked chicken during the last 5 min to warm.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve with crackers, a salad, or a grilled cheese.

This is a super easy recipe and leftovers are a treat the next day for lunch!

Chicken Breast- صدور الدجاج on FoodistaChicken Breast- صدور الدجاج

Slow Cooked Rosemary and Mushroom Lamb Shanks in a Mustard Wine Sauce with Sweet Potato Puree and Asparagus

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You will be amazed you can make something so awesome and delectable with out slaving over the stove all day.  This is a great one for dinner guests!  Truly a restaurant quality dish for a FRACTION of the price 🙂

Prep: 15-20 min

Cook: 7 hours

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs of lamb shank (about 2 full shanks), bone in (have butcher cut into inch thick slices, you cannot do this at home easily).
  • 1 large carrot, sliced 1 cm thickness slices
  • 15-20 onions, small.  Peel and leave whole.
  • 1 cup red wine (I like to use a Merlot that has been open for a few days, since I’ll probably not drink it any longer).
  • 3 heaping TBS of grainy mustard, I like Maille, Old Style Grain Mustard.
  • 2 TBS quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock (free range, low sodium) Make sure it doesn’t contain MSG (monosodium Glutamate).
  • 1/4 Cup Beef Stock (same as chicken).
  • 1 heaping TBS of fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 container (16 oz) of sliced washed mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the lamb shanks in the hot oil, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. Place the browned lamb shanks in a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker. Add the peeled onions or onion wedges to the slow cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the wine with mustard, vinegar, stocks, salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley, and garlic; set aside.
  3. To the hot skillet, add mushrooms and carrots. Cook the mushrooms and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Spoon the vegetables over the lamb shanks. Pour the wine mixture into the skillet, scraping up the browned bits with a spatula. Bring to a simmer; pour over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. (for the 5th hour I turned my pot to high an then back to low for the 7th hour). This dish can cook all day (10-12 hours) on low and be fine.

Sweet Potato Puree

  • 4 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed (to cook faster), boil and mash VERY well, can be blended/pureed as well.
  • 4 TBS butter or Smart Balance, mix into potatoes.
  • 1/4 Cup sour cream, mix into potatoes.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste, I like to add cayenne pepper, mix into potatoes.

Serve dish with asparagus and yeast rolls!

We paired this dish with a Cupcake Merlot.

Merlot

Easy Slow Cooked Tacos Al Pastor

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Great meal to prep the night before and start in the morning before work, you will come home to a delicious dinner and still have time left to do something fun for the evening!

Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 7 hrs (in crockpot) on low

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs of pork tenderloin
  • 8 pineapple rings (fresh)
  • 1 large white onion, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mango orange juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup guajillo chile powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  • 1 large chipotle chile from adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Corn tortillas
  • Smoky Two-Chile Salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • Hand full of chopped red potatoes (if desired).

Instructions:

  1. Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds, discarding core; cover and chill remaining pineapple. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients; puree marinade until smooth.
  2. Place tenderloins in crock pot on low and pour sauce on top of pork and cover for 7 hours. (add potatoes if you’d like).
  3. For the last 30 min add the remaining pineapple to crock pot.
  4. Remove pork and pineapple and roughly chop into chunks.
  5. Serve on corn tortillas with cilantro, white onion, lime, smokey salsa, and pineapple chunks.
  6. I like to serve with a black bean puree and potatoes.

Pork