Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

You will notice a trend this week in those recipes that earned the title keeper.  All three (yes, three this week!) have a similar flavor profile, and in addition all were time savers when it came to putting dinner together.  2 of the keepers are slow cooker dishes, and the other is a quick stove top skillet meal. Between school classes, soccer practices, cross country meets, and everything else, having dinner either going in the crock pot or easy to toss together was a life saver in the evenings.  Looks like this pace is going to keep up well into October, so don't be surprised if there are more slow cooker meals coming your way!

New Recipes
Slow Cooker Lime Chicken Tacos
Weeknight Beef Skillet
Slow Cooker Fiesta Cheese Chicken

Slow Cooker Lime Chicken Tacos

* 1 - 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken
* juice of 2 limes (about 1/3 cup)
* 1 tbso chili powder
* 1 cup frozen corn
* 1 cup chunky salsa
* flour tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, sour cream - typical taco fixins'

1. Place the chicken in a 3 qt slow cooker. Combine the lime juice and chili powder, and pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.
2. Remove the chicken and shred.  Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker.  Stir in salsa and corn.  Set slow cooker on low for 30 additional minutes.  Once everything is heated through serve with tortillas and taco toppings!

I had strips of chicken, so I only needed about 3.5-4 hours.  But the chicken didn't shred quite as easily so next time I will leave use whole pieces.  I don't have a 3 qt slow cooker, so I put a round Corningware bowl inside the slow cooker, and used that as the cooking vessel.  It worked out great!!!

Weeknight Beef Skillet

* 3 cups uncooked egg noodles
* 1 lb ground beef
* 1 medium pepper, diced (your choice of color)
* 8 oz frozen peas, thawed and drained
* 8 oz frozen corn, thawed and drained
* (2) 8z cans tomato sauce
* 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
* 2 tsp sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
2. While the noodles cook, cook the meat and peppers in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through.  Drain if needed.
3. Stir in the veggies and everything else except the parsley.  Cook and stir until well combined and hot.
4. Drain the noodles and combine with the meat sauce. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Gotta love a quick one pot meal!  A step above "hamburger helper" but the same sort of idea.  This is very easy to toss together.  You can substitute one 15 oz can of tomato sauce if you had that on hand, and feel free to add 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies if you don't want to do separate corn and peas.  Everyone loved this, and we had a little bit of leftovers which heated up well later in the week.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Cheese Chicken

* 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken cut into chunks
* 3 medium peppers, diced (your choice of colors)
* 1 can condensed Fiesta Cheese soup, undiluted
* 1/2 cup chunky salsa
* 1 tbs chili powder
* hot cooked rice

1. In a 3 qt slow cooker, combine all the ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
2. Stir, and serve with rice.

My slow cooker was too big, but I put all the ingredients in a smaller Corningware dish that fit into my slow cooker so that I could make this dinner.  That worked like a charm.  We all really enjoyed this and will definitely be making it again.  It isn't an all day-long cooking crock pot meal, but if in the late morning you are home and have lots going on in the afternoon this just might fit your needs!  I put it on at noon and we ate around 5:45.  We served it with brown rice and it was a hit.