Archive | Recipes-Crockpot RSS feed for this section

Homemade Applesauce

17 Jan

I never have really been an applesauce girl so to speak.  However, I’m definitely a “warm apple pie filling poured over a 100 calorie cup of vanilla ice cream” kind of girl.  And I decided to make homemade apple sauce tonight, which turned out really delicious.  But before I put it in the fridge to cool for tomorrow night’s dinner, i snuck a half cup while it was still warm and it was glorious!

Again, I’ll give you both the crock pot and the instant pot versions below.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (if you’re using the crock pot. Not needed for instant pot)

Directions: 

For Crock Pot

  1. Mix all ingredients together in crock pot, and heat on high 3 hrs, or low 6 hrs.
  2. Once time is up, open lid and stir apples until they have broken up and sort of melded together.  Sauce will be chunky.
  3. Use an immersion blender to break up chunks until sauce reaches desired consistency.  You can dump the sauce into a food processor or blender as well, but listen. LISTEN to me.  Do not fill more than 1/2 way at a time with hot apples, or it will blow boiling hot apples all over you when you push the button.  Trust me.  This is why i use the immersion blender.
  4. You can cook the apples down a little longer if you find there’s more juice than you want.

Serve hot or cold in 1/2 cup serving sizes.

For Instant Pot:

  1. Mix all ingredients (except lemon juice) together in instant pot.
  2. Use the manual setting to cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  3. Once cooking is complete, use the pressure dial to release the steam (QR).
  4. Once steam is released, open lid and stir apples until they have broken up and sort of melded together.  Sauce will be chunky.
  5. Use an immersion blender to break up chunks until sauce reaches desired consistency.  You can dump the sauce into a food processor or blender as well, but listen. LISTEN to me.  Do not fill more than 1/2 way at a time with hot apples, or it will blow boiling hot apples all over you when you push the button.  Trust me.  This is why i use the immersion blender.
  6. You can cook the apples down a little longer on the saute or keep warm setting if you find there’s more juice than you want.  If you plan to serve cold, sauce will thicken in some in the fridge.

Serve hot or cold in 1/2 cup serving sizes.

Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings= 150 Calories per serving


Editors Note: This sauce is sweet, and I love it that way. If you wanted to make this unsweetened by omitting the brown sugar, your 8 servings would come out to 124 calories each.

Editors Note: I actually left the peels on half of my apples, but the peels stayed in tact when i blended them all together, which i don’t mind at all… but you know… kids.  So  next time I’ll probably peel them all.  If you’re using the blender or food processor, i wouldn’t even bother peeling them.

Mississippi Pot Roast

16 Jan

This recipe is crazy popular on the internet.  I have seen variations of it all over the web, and nearly everyone gives it 5 stars, so while i thought the combinations of flavors were unique, and I wasn’t sure how it would meld together, I decided to give it a try anyway.  I can’t take credit for the idea of mixing these ingredients together. However, i will take credit for putting a slight spin on it, in that i’m going to make it in the Instant Pot I recently purchased, I’m using pepper rings instead of whole peppercinis (i think they’ll be easier to eat) and I’m going to use light butter and bulk up the recipe with some veggies to make it a little more calorie friendly.  I will give slow cooker (crock pot) instructions below as well, since I know many of you may not have a pressure cooker available.

Editors Note: On second thought…Make the Gravy. This is literally the best brown gravy i’ve ever made in my life.  It is very rich and flavorful!

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb roast (I used lean, top round)
  • 1 envelope of Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 envelope of dry au jus mix
  • half a 16 oz jar of banana pepper rings + 1/2 cup of the juice
  • 2 TBSP oil of your choice
  • 4 TBSP of light butter (50 cal per tbsp)
  • 1 can of beef broth (only if you’re using an Instant Pot. not needed for crock pot)
  • 1 onion, quartered, Baby Carrots and 12 little potatoes (optional, not included in calorie count below. please track calories for veggies separately based on what veggies you use)

Editors Note: Note, I am using whole small potatoes with the skin on.  There is not much liquid starting out in this recipe if you’re using the crock pot, so i’d be afraid to use cut up potatoes with the inside exposed, as they might oxidize and turn black during cooking. If using the Instant pot, cut up potatoes or even turnips or radishes would work.

Instructions:

If using a Crock pot:

  1. Use paper towels to dry the meat well.  Salt and pepper meat to taste.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the meat on all sides to seal in the flavor once it begins to cook.
  3. If you’re using the veggies, toss them into the bottom of the crockpot here.
  4. Place meat in crockpot, and pour envelops of au jus and ranch directly on top of the meat.  Rub spices into the top and sides of the meat the best you can. Place peppers (but not juice yet) on top of the meat along with the butter.
  5. Pour the pepper juice around the sides of the meat.
  6. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  7. Shred or slice the beef.  Remove the veggies for serving. Serve with or without peppers.  You can use corn starch to thicken the remaining juices into a gravy if you like (calories for corn starch not included here).  If this is something you want to do, remove your meat and veggies, pour the juice from the crockpot into a small pan. Disolve the cornstarch into about 1/2 cup of water. Pour cornstarch slurry into your pan drippings and whisk until thickened.

If using the Instant Pot (IP) electric pressure cooker

  1. Use paper towels to dry the meat well.  Salt and pepper meat to taste.
  2. Turn your IP on saute and wait for it to become hot. Heat oil in the IP and brown the meat on all sides to seal in the flavor once it begins to cook.
  3. Remove meat from IP and pour in pepper juice and broth. Deglaze the pan by scraping off all the bits of meat that stuck to it during browning.
  4. Place meat inside the IP, and pour envelops of au jus and ranch directly on top of the meat.  Rub spices into meat the best you can. Place peppers on top of the meat along with the butter. Don’t put your veggies in at this point or they will turn to mush.Leave them out. We will get to those later 🙂
  5. Using the Manual setting on your IP, set the timer to 60 minutes at high pressure.  Make sure your steam vent is in the closed position.
  6. Once your 60 minutes is up, allow the IP to depressurize naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes before Quick releasing (QR) the remaining pressure.
  7. At this time, open the IP up and check your meat for doneness.  If the meat is tender, and at 180 degrees in center, you’re good to go.  If not you might try bringing it back to pressure in 10 min intervals using QR until it reaches the texture you like.
  8. Once meat is a good texture, add veggies into the pot around the meat.
  9. Use the manual setting again, with the pressure valve closed, and set the IP for 6 minutes.
  10. Cook for 6 min and then Quick Release.
  11. Cut or shred your meat, and remove veggies.  Serve with or without the peppers. You can mix about 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch with some water, and add into the broth if you wish to make gravy.  Just use the saute feature on the IP and wisk the mixture together until it thickens.  Note that corn starch* and veggies are not counted in the calories shown below.

Makes 6 Servings.  Calories reflect meat only. Calculate Veggies separately based on what veggies you choose to use.

6 Servings= 343 Calories per serving

*If you use 3 TBS of cornstarch to thicken the gravy, and still have 6 servings, calories are slightly increased to 358.

White Chicken Chili (Crock Pot)

20 Oct

This recipe is nice and hearty, and a great winter staple in any house.  My version is a little on the spicy side (for example, my youngest won’t eat it, but my 2 older kids love it).  I suppose you could make it milder by using plain tomatoes instead of rotel, or a “mild” version of the green chiles and verde sauce. You could also reduce the Cayenne by half.  You can also mix in some reduced fat sour cream to cut the heat.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.  Best part?  It’s another great crock pot recipe for those busy nights.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 Cans of Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Can Original Rotel
  • 1 can of green enchilada sauce (Enchlidada Verde)
  • 1 Can of reduced fat chicken broth
  • 1 small can of roasted green chiles (or regular diced green chilis if you can’t find roasted)
  • 1 Cup of Corn (frozen or canned)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt

Directions:

  1. Drain the liquid from your Rotel, and Corn if you’re using canned. Also drain 2 of the 3 cans of beans.
  2. Place Chicken in the crock pot, and pour contents of all the cans on top of it.
  3. Place Chopped onion and 1 TBSP water in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Then dump it into the crockpot.
  4. Add Cumin, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper into the Crock Pot.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. Remove Chicken, shred it with a fork, and return it to the pot.
  7. Stir the soup, and enjoy.  Serve with low fat sour cream and shredded cheese. (not calculated in this calorie count)

Makes 10 (1 Cup) Servings= 188 Calories per serving

Appx 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus per cup

Pork Guinness Stew

13 Oct

This is a hearty Irish stew made easily in the crock pot. It turned out very filling and delicious, and the calorie count was much lower than I expected. I call this guiness stew because you use a dark beer (like guinness) in the stew. It doesn’t have to be guiness. Any dark beer will do.  In fact, the one I used wasn’t actually guinness. One thing I love about crock pot recipes is how easy they are the day of.  For this one, I cut the meat, salt and peppered it and stored it in the crock pot insert in the fridge overnight.  I cut the onion/carrot/celery and stored them together in a ziplock bag in the fridge, and measured out all my spices and set them aside.  So on the morning that I put this together I just peeled and chopped a potato, and put everything in the crock pot.  This made life easy on one of those busy days, and the house smelled fantastic when I got home from work 🙂  One thing… don’t cut the potato the night before… it could oxidize in the fridge which is bad news.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 lb lean pork loin
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 25 baby carrots
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1 in slices
  • 1 can low fat chicken broth
  • 8 oz of dark beer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch

Directions:

1. Cut your pork loin into cubes, about 1 inch x 1 inch, and place pork in the bottom of crock pot. Salt and pepper the pork to taste.

Note:  I find cutting the pork is easier if you freeze the meat about halfway first. If the meat is already frozen, thaw it halfway before attempting to cut (I just set a frozen pork loin in the fridge Sunday night, and I prepped this Monday evening to cook Tues morning).

2. Peel potato and chop into about 1×1 inch pieces as well. Spread evenly over meat. It’s important that potatoes are directly on top of meat so they will be covered with liquid while cooking. If they are not covered they will not cook through and they may oxidize and turn black (you don’t want that)

3.  Place carrots, onion and celery on top of potatoes.

4.  Mix broth, beer, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic powder, and caraway seeds together and pour over the items in the pot.

5. Cook on low for 10 hours. Don’t open the lid. Seriously. Don’t open it until it’s done.

6. After cooking 10 hours, mix contents with a spoon and remove 1/2 cup of broth. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup broth with corn starch until a smooth cream is formed.

7. Pour cornstarch mixture into crock pot and stir to mix well with the stew. Turn crock pot up to high and leave uncovered for 10 min, stirring periodically. This will thicken your sauce.

Serve with rice, bread, noodles, or as is. Makes 9 1/2 cups of stew.

1 cup= 182 calories

Appx 4 weight watchers points per cup

Beef and Barley Soup

14 Sep

This is a soup that I’ve only experienced from a can.  Nobody in my family ever made anything with “Barley” in it.  I wasn’t even sure what barley was until probably college… I knew it came in a can of vegetable beef soup, and that was about it.  But for some reason the other day I thought to myself… self… “i’m gonna make beef and barley soup, and I already know what i want in the broth!”  So, I set out throwing together ingredients, and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  Best part? This all cooked in the crock pot while I was 2 hours away at a baseball game.  It’s about as low maintenance as you can get.  My husband doesn’t enjoy soup, so I often share what I make with my neighbors.  They gave it their official seal of approval, so here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of cubed stew meat (beef)
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced (fresh or canned) mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 40 oz of beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 can of condensed french onion soup (i used campbells)
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked pearl barley

Directions:

  1. The first thing I did was take the stew meat, which is already cubed into about 1 inch cubes, and i cut the pieces into 4’s.  I wanted this soup to have lots of pieces of easy to chew beef, vs having big hunks of beef like a stew.
  2. Once you’ve cut your beef, place it in the bottom of the crock pot, and throw everything else right in on top of it.
  3. Stir the mixture around a couple times and then cook the whole thing for 8-10 hours on low.
  4. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Makes 9 (1 cup) servings= 185 Calories per serving

Appx 4 weight watchers points plus per serving

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

7 Sep

This one is a great meal for those days when you have folks coming over for dinner, and you want to have as much done ahead of time as possible.  There’s not much fuss involved with this delicious crockpot concoction, and Pulled Pork is a delicious staple in the South.  My husband doesn’t like barbecue sauce, so i left a little out just for him, with only the rub, and it also went over very well.   Traditionally made with a fattier piece of pork, this slimmer version, in my opinion, really benefits from cooking in the liquid low and slow.  Try for yourself, and let me know what you think 😉

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 lbs- 4 lbs pork loin (i picked one that was 160 cal per 4 oz serving)
  • 1/2 a large yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 can (12 oz) diet Dr Pepper (you could use regular diet soda, or diet cherry soda too)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

The Rub: 

  • 1 1/2 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP Black pepper
  • 1 TBSP Dry Mustard
  • 1 TBSP Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 TBSP Crushed red pepper

Directions: 

  1. Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Pat your pork loin dry, and apply rub liberally to all sides.  Press the rub into the loin so that as much rub as possible is used to cover the meat.
  3. Place your rubbed pork loin into a large crock pot, along with chopped onions.
  4. Pour diet soda on both sides of the pork loin, and gently life loin up with a fork so some soda gets underneath.
  5. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  6. After 10 hours on low, meat should be easy to shred with a fork.  Remove meat and set aside on a platter.
  7. Measure out 1 cup of the juice from the crock pot.  This is what you’ll use for the sauce.  The rest of the juice can be discarded.
  8. In your crock pot, mix your 1 cup of cooking liquid, along with 1 cup of ketchup and 1 1/2 TBSP vinegar.  Mix well until ketchup is well incorporated.
  9. Shred the pork and return to the crock pot with the sauce.  Stir the sauce and meat together well, and allow to sit on warm until you’re ready to serve.
  10. Makes 12-15 servings (depending on how much meat you started with) of about 1/2 cup each.

I served each serving with a “lite” hamburger bun, which was 80 calories.  Those calories are not included in the count below.

1 serving= 229 Calories per serving

Appx 6 weight watchers points plus per serving

IMG_0761

Beef and Mushrooms

29 Jul

It’s funny that this recipe happened to coincidentally be posted right after a very similar chicken recipe. Regardless, I thought this was yummy, and sort of reminded me of beef stroganoff. I liked this dish over rice, and will make it again. It could easily be “beefed up” (Pun intended) to be a real stew by adding your favorite veggies (I’m thinking celery, carrots…) Anyway, enjoy.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of stew meat

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (12 oz) can of clear diet soda (sprite zero, diet 7 up, etc)

1 envelope lipton onion soup mix

1 small-medium onion, chopped

1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, ¼ tsp-1/2 tsp)

 

Directions:

  1. Place everything except mushrooms into a crockpot and cook on low 4-6 hours.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook an additional hour, stirring periodically.

Serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, etc…

 

Makes 4 servings

350 Calories per serving

Appx 11 weight watchers points plus per serving