Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

 My sister-in-law Olga introduced me to the Year of Slow Cooking blog (which has a lot more than just one year) and I'm a little addicted.  I bookmarked about 15 different recipes. Although a lot of them only require cooking time of 4-5 hours which doesn't work for me since I'm gone all day, so I may have to adjust some.

This recipe is a mix of my new love for Crock Pot meals and an my ever present love for Mexican food! With this recipe, all you have to do when you get home is cook up some rice - or not, if you want to make it low carb or are just too lazy to cook up rice!  I also served it with sour cream, additional salsa, and tortillas in case anyone wanted to make a taco.

I really liked that I could use frozen chicken for this recipe since I hardly ever think so far ahead as to defrost the chicken ahead of time.  In my case it was almost better that it was frozen because it cooked for closer to 10 1/2 hours since I'm was at work all day.  Also, if you use chicken breast (like I did) make sure to add extra salsa (at least 1/2 cup) so the chicken doesn't dry out. 

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken
From: A Year of Slow Cooking

6-9 Chicken thighs or 2-3 chicken breasts
1 can rinsed black beans
1 1/2 - 2 cups chunky salsa
1 cup frozen corn

1. Put your chicken in the crock pot, Top with black beans, salsa, and corn.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.  Cooking time will vary depending on whether or not your chicken is frozen, and how big the pieces are.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vegetarian Black Bean Burritos


I saw this recipe on Ashley's Blog a while back and knew I wanted to try it because I love anything with black beans. Also, I like to find recipes that are vegetarian but will be enough that Bill will be satisfied with it as a full meal. These are definitely filling, have great flavor and they make a LOT, but they were a little heavy for me even using 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I think next time I might try using less cream cheese to lighten it up a little.

Vegetarian Black Bean Burritos
From: Ashley and All Recipes

6 (10 inch) Tortillas
Olive Oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
3 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp jalapeno peppers, minced
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1. Heat olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat.  Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour beans into the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.

2. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir cilantro into mixture.

3. Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and garnish as desired with salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese or avocado.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes but Bill doesn't love them as much as I do so when he was gone for a couple weeks this winter I mainly had meals of all vegetables and tried out this recipe.  I really enjoyed the sweetness of the potatoes with the mix of spices.  I also didn't think I would like the honey on them but it really added a nice flavor.  I liked these a lot and they are so simple, I pretty much have all the ingredients in the house.  I will have to make them again and see if I can get Bill to like them  as much as I do.

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
From: the country cook via Tasty Kitchen

2 Whole Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 Inch Rounds
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1//2 tsp Chili Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1. In a bowl, toss all ingredients together until well coated.  Place sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet covered in foil and coated with cooking spray.  Place in cold oven. Turn oven to 425 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.

2. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and remove the top layer of foil. Place it back in the oven and cook for 10-25 more minutes, or until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden.

3. Serve drizzled with honey if desired.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 When we had a blizzard here in Chicago back in February I wanted to make cookies but I was hoping to make them at least a little healthy so I tried out this recipe.  They were really good, although I'm convinced my oven cooks hotter than it reads and my cookies ended up a little over done, but were still really good especially on a snowy day.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
From: All Recipes

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (6oz) package Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or Chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, mixing well.

3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken

I've been venturing into the world of slow cooking and this one caught my eye.  I really liked how it turned out and it was great on tacos.  Bill thought it was a little too sweet for him, and while I didn't mind the sweetness I will probably cut back a little on the brown sugar and maybe use diced tomatoes with Jalapenos to mix it up a bit.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken
From: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14oz) can petite or regular diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.  Pour over the chicken.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.

4. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker and mix the chicken with the juices from the tomato/brown sugar sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with tortillas with toppings of choice: lettuce, sour cream, cheese, avocados, etc.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shredded and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Parmesan

I've made several Brussels Sprout recipes this winter, and when I saw this one I thought it would be another good one.  I think I may have liked this one the best so far, but probably because it includes Parmesan cheese and everything is better with Parmesan Cheese! 

Shredded and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Parmesan
From: Kalyns Kitchen

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp toasted slivered almonds (toasted if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim stem end from brussels sprouts, then cut them crosswise into thin strips about 3/8 inch wide. Place in a bowl.  Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then toss the brussels sprouts with oil-vinegar mixture and season with a generous amount of fresh ground pepper and some salt.

2. Spray pan with cooking spray or cover with aluminum foil and arrange the brussels sprouts on the pan in a single layer.  Roast until the brussels sprouts are nicely browned on the edges and tender, about 25 minutes shaking them every 7-10 minutes.

3. When brussels sprouts are cooked through and browned as much as you'd like, toss the hot sprouts with coarsely grated Parmesan.  Sprinkle almonds over and serve.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arroz Con Leche

I have always wanted to try Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding) but thought it would be too hard. But this recipe was really easy and turned out delicious!  I liked it warm and cold.

Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

2 c cooked white rice
1 c sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c sweet condensed milk

2 quarts whole milk

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tbsp vanilla

cinnamon for tops

1. Bring whole milk to a boil and add cinnamon sticks. Stir in rice and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 

2. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon sticks then add condensed milk and sugar. Stir until well incorporated. Return to heat and simmer for another 5 minutes or so until it starts to thicken (mine took about 10 minutes).

3. Remove from heat and add your vanilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon and eat or chill to eat later.   

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slow Cooker Black Beans


I love black beans, and when I saw this recipe for Crock Pot Black beans with cilantro I couldn't pass it up.  Her recipe made a lot of beans so I cut it in half (the halved recipe is below).  Next time I think I will use fresh garlic and maybe add some chopped onion, but it turned out great!

Slow Cooker Black Beans
From: Kalyns Kitchen

1 pkg dried black beans (
3 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried cilantro
2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. The night before you plan to cook this, rinse beans and pick out broken pieces.  Place beans in a large pot, cover with cold water by several inches and soak overnight.

2. The next morning, drain beans, then place beans, chicken stock, dried cilantro, and garlic powder in slow cooker.  Cook all day on low, 8-10 hrs.

3. When beans are well softened, turn off Crock Pot and stir in fresh cilantro.  Serve Immediately, garnish with additional chopped cilantro if desired. I served it over brown rice.

Friday, April 1, 2011

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

When I saw this salad it kind of reminded me of the Southwest Chicken Salad I used to get form New Holland Brewery in Holland.  It was really delicious!

BBQ Chicken Salad
From: Mels Kitchen Cafe

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups BBQ Sauce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 red onion diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 -8 oz shredded cheese

Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1. Combine all the ingredients for dressing together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Combine cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans and cheese. Toss the mixed salad with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing, if desired.  Or serve dressing on the side.  Place salad on plates and top with BBQ chicken and additional dressing.


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