I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately which means I have not been cooking all that much, but when I do cook, I want it to be healthy and this Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken fits that bill.
I wasn’t sure what to call this actually. There are probably a million variations of this recipe because it’s not at all complicated. I’ve made something similar before and the recipe I followed called it Santa Fe chicken. I thought about calling it Mexican chicken because the dish does utilize Mexican flavors, but it’s not authentically Mexican. The recipe felt more like a Tex Mex recipe to me. It calls for flavors like fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Hence, the name slow cooker Tex Mex chicken. (more…)
Sometimes, after a long day at work, when I’m watching TV (most likely Food Network or The Real Housewives of somewhere), I like to pick a cookbook off my bookshelf and just flip through it. I do this, one, because I find it immensely relaxing, and, two, because it often inspires me to come up with new recipes of my own.
A few nights ago, I was looking through Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Make it Ahead. All of her recipes look absolutely mouth watering, but I found I kept flipping back to one in particular, her Moroccan lamb tagine. This recipe stuck out to me because I love Moroccan food and tagines (although I don’t actually have a tagine), and also because it looked simple to make. As I thought about it more, I wondered if I could make it even simpler by making a slow cooker version. Ina’s Moroccan lamb tagine is definitely a party dish. It’s a show stopper, and although the recipe is easy enough to follow, it takes a bit of time to assemble and 3 hours to cook in the oven. It happened to be the middle of the week, I hadn’t planned on having company over, and I didn’t want to wait 3 hours after work for dinner to be ready. So, I brainstormed a bit and came up with my own slow cooker version of her recipe. I swapped out a few ingredients and traded lamb shanks for beef stew meat, but it still resembles her recipe and it definitely is reminiscent of those famous Moroccan tagines I love so much. Think of it as the weeknight version of Moroccan lamb tagine. It’s just as delicious, just a little less fancy. (more…)
I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again, I love my slow cooker. I broke mine out this week, after neglecting it for several months, to make spicy slow cooker pulled pork with salsa verde. I was watching an old episode of Mexican Made Easy, and Marcela Valladolid was making cochinita pibil, a slow roasted pork dish that combines onions, citrus flavors, achiote paste and pork shoulder. She made it in the slow cooker and it looked absolutely delicious when it was finished. It inspired me to make my own version of slow cooked pulled pork.
Cooking confession: Sometimes, giant cuts of meat are intimidating to me. But I promise you, this is so easy and delicious and it makes a ton. We had pulled pork tacos the first night and bbq pork sandwiches the second night and I still have enough for a 3rd meal. Not sure what I’ll do with the leftovers yet. Maybe some tostados or nachos. Anyway, don’t let the big cut of pork shoulder intimidate you. By the way, a pork “butt” is actually the same thing as a pork shoulder. Another cooking confession: For years I did not know this. I’m still not sure why they call a shoulder a butt, but whatever, it’s the same thing. A nice, fatty piece of pork that is perfect for slow cooking and pulled pork dishes.
On busy days the slow cooker, aka crock pot, is my life saver. Yesterday was one of those busy days for me and I knew I would not feel like cooking dinner from scratch when I got home. Thankfully, I have a slow cooker. Here are just a few of the things I LOVE about the slow cooker:
1. Easy clean up. One pot.
2. Cooking food slowly (especially meat) makes it incredibly tender.
3. It makes your house smell amazing.
4. It does all the work for you. There is very little cooking involved.
5. It’s pretty much fool proof. (more…)
I feel like my recent posts have been recipes for spicy meat dishes. I guess I’ve been cooking a lot more meat lately? Sorry, not trying to be redundant. Anyway, this recipe is especially easy because it utilizes the slow cooker. Gosh I really love the slow cooker. You just throw a bunch of ingredients into it, turn a switch or press a button (depending on what kind of slow cooker you have) and walk away. Then, when you come home you are greeted by this delicious aroma and dinner is ready for you! It’s amazing. Plus any meat you cook in the slow cooker always comes out incredibly tender.
This pork can be shredded easily and will look like pulled pork when it’s done. Serve with rice or make tacos, like I did (see below). You could also use a cheaper cut of pork, like pork shoulder. I just chose the loin because it’s nice and lean. (more…)
This recipe is so so easy AND it involves the slow cooker/crock pot. Win, win. It all started with Andouille sausage. This was my first time cooking with Andouille sausage so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I usually cook with hot or sweet Italian sausage. I decided instead of just making my usual go to recipe of sausage and peppers, I’d give it more of a Creole style flair (I think of Creole flavored food when I think of Andouille) with some beans, corn, cilantro and hot sauce. This dish can be eaten plain as sort of a sausage gumbo, or served with rice, pasta or crusty bread. (more…)
I am finally done with Daniel. I’ve completed the fast. I feel relieved, healthier, and lighter. I didn’t lose as much weight as I expected, but 7.5 lbs in 3 weeks is not bad. Honestly, the first 2 weeks were easier than the 3rd week. This last week was a challenge. I found myself craving bread and meat, tempted to reach for the tortilla chips, and getting lazier in my cooking. It’s hard to cook from scratch every night, and after 2 failed dinner attempts, I almost called it quits. I’ve decided that I should stick to eating Indian food, and avoid cooking it. I still can’t figure out what I did wrong, and I’m blaming it on the Garam Masala I bought at the store. (more…)