Wednesday, August 25, 2010

White Bean Chili

This soup turned out really good!  I didn't miss the chicken at all.....well, what I meant is, from a "non-pregnant food aversion" stand point, I didn't miss the chicken!  LOL  Does that make sense?!  It was fulfilling and just as tasty as I remember it!  I think my Vegetarian friends will really enjoy this soup!

One thing I would do differently is add slightly less liquid and shred the cheese instead of chunking it.  So, I've changed the recipe below to reflect my changes!

Here it is:

White Bean Chili
1 block pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 16 oz. jar Salsa
2 cups Navy beans
2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Soak your Navy beans in a large bowl or pot overnight.  Make sure to cover them with about 4 inches of water.

In the morning, drain  the liquid and rinse your beans.  Pour into your slow cooker.

Add chicken broth, water, salsa, onions, cumin, salt and pepper to slow cooker and stir.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours. 

Add Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack cheese.  Turn on High for 1 hour.  

Stir and serve with crushed tortilla chips on top or on the side.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tomorrow's Dinner

Hello Friends!

So sorry I've been away for so long.  I still have MAJOR food aversions and tomorrow is a big stretch for me lately!  I'm going to make my White Bean Chicken Chili with no Chicken and extra beans.  Chicken and I aren't getting along right now.  So, vegetarian friends, this one's for you!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mjadra, Tabbuli and Arabic Bread

Sorry it has been so long since I posted a recipe.  I'm posting a recipe I've previously posted before, but adding 2 new ones (non-Slow cooker) to it.

Last night, I had my former trainer and his fiance over for dinner.  (John and Sara, thank you SO much for coming!)  Sara is a vegetarian and since meat doesn't really sound very good to me lately, I knew just what to make!  Mjadra is super easy and it tastes SO delicious!  It's good for you and costs so little!

I needed to use up the parsley in my garden, so I decided to make Tabbuli with the Mjadra.  The longest part of this process is cleaning the parsley.  We were in a hurry, so while we would normally food process the parsley to make it nice and fine, my husband gave it a quick rough chop and tossed it in the bowl!  It tasted just as good!

Arabic Bread is not hard to make and it is SO worth the time spent making it.  It's a 3 step process, but they are not hard steps, just takes time.  This would be good to make on a weekend, but not during the week when you're busy.  (Remember, I'm home for the summer still)

I also served my Mjadra with hummus and fresh carrots.  In our family, we have hummus at every family gathering and we always put out fresh carrots to dip in it.  I think this may have been Ella's favorite part of the meal, although it was hard to tell because she had second helpings of everything!  We were all so impressed!

The Arabic Bread recipe and Tabbuli Recipes are from "Lebanese Cuisine," which is a WONDERFUL cookbook to have!

I know Sara is super excited to get these recipes, so here they are Sarah and the rest of my loyal followers!

Mjadra, Tabbuli and Arabic Bread

Mjadra Ingredients:
2 large sweet onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil (or more)
1 cup lentils
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Salt
3 cups water

Mjadra Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet until hot.  Add onions, coat with olive oil then turn way down.  Cover and let cook for an hour stirring occasionally.  You are carmelizing the onions, so they will turn brown and take a long time.

Once onions are carmelized, add lentils and rice and coat them with all the yummy goodness of the onions.  Add to the slow cooker.

Add the water, salt, pepper and lemon juice, give a little stir and then cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with Pita Bread or freshly made Arabic Bread!

Tabbuli Ingredients:
3/4 Cracked Wheat (Bulgar wheat)
2 large bunches of parsley, finely choppd (we rough chopped for lack of time!)
1/2 bunch Green Onions, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
2-3 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2-2/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Tabbuli Directions:
Rinse Cracked Wheat and let soak for about 10 mins.

In the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the onions, green onions, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  
Drain Cracked Wheat and squeeze out any excess water as you place into your mixing bowl.  
Add the remaining ingredients and toss together.  Taste to be sure you have enough lemon juice/olive oil.


Arabic Bread Ingredients:
1 pkg. Quick rising yeast
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Cups warm water
6 Cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk

Arabic Bread Directions:
Dissolve the yeast, sugar in a 1/2 cup of warm water.  Let stand for 5-10 mins.

Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl and make a depression in the center.  Combined the remaining water, milk and dissolved yeast and pour into the depression.  Begin mixing the flour with the liquid making sure all the batter on the sides of the bowl is worked into the dough.  Knead until a smooth dough results and the sides of the bowl are clean.  (You will need to dip your hands into water occasionally while kneading to give it a smooth, elastic finish.)

Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (2-4 hours).  Grab orange-sized balls from the edge of the dough and form into smooth balls until all the dough is used.  Cover the dough balls with a cotton kitchen towel and let rise on another cotton cloth for 30 mins.

Roll theb alls into 1/4 inch-thick circles.  Cover and let rise again on a cloth for 30 mins.  

Heat oven to 475 degrees.  Place dough directly on the oven racks, or on a greased cookie sheet.  as soon as the dough rises into a mound, 2-5 mins, place it under the broiler to brown for a few seconds until lightly browned.  (I skipped the browning).

Serve and enjoy!!!

TIPS:  Even though the last two recipes are not Slow Cooker recipes, when you have the time, try them.  They are worth it!  If you don't have the time, buy store bought Tabbuli and some Pita bread.  It will still give you the same feel!
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some News from Hope

Well, it's about time I announce this........

We're expecting a baby March 27!  We couldn't be more excited!  My daughter Ella was born March 29, so March will be a busy month for us! 

Unfortunately, my early pregnancy nausea is getting in my way of my Crock Pot Inspirations!  I have zero appetite and nothing sounds good!  I keep telling my husband just to pick something and make it so I don't have to think about it!  So, now more than ever, I need your suggestions on what to make.  Hopefully in about 4 more weeks, I'll start feeling better and will be back to my old hungry self!!! (If not hungrier!!!)

I will have to have surgery at 12 weeks and will be off work for 2 weeks minimum.  You may not get any recipes during that time.  At some point, I will be put on full bed rest until delivery, so I may have to take a hiatus from my Crock Pot cooking for a while.  I just wanted to prepare you!  LOL  You'll survive without me!  LOL

So, I hope this finds you all well and I'm happy to share my news with all of you!  Keep your food suggestions coming!  Lord knows, I need them!!!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hope's Meatloaf

Thank goodness I've got some good news to report tonight!  Phew!!!  I was getting worried I was losing my Slow Cooker touch!

Justin, Ella and I ate a delicious Meatloaf dinner tonight and EVERYONE ate it!  Justin and I both had seconds, and Ella, well, let's be happy she actually tried it, liked it and ate most of her helping!

Justin couldn't stop talking about how delicious this meatloaf was.  It was kind of sweet from the onions and the Slow Cooker kept the meat tender and moist.  It really was the perfect Meatloaf!  I simply served this with some freshly steamed green beans and mashed potatoes!

I'm excited to share this recipe with you, so here it is!

Hope's Meatloaf

(4 servings, so adjust according to the size of your family!)
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 cup Onion, chopped
2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3-4 dashes Hot Sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or 1 extra large egg)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
AND if you have it, add 1/2 tsp. of Tastefully Simple's Onion Onion (YUMMY!!!)
To make it easier to get the meatloaf our of your Slow Cooker, you can construct foil handles.  These are not completely necessary, but they really do make it super easy to lift that meatloaf right out of that Slow Cooker when it's serving time!

I tore off 4 pieces of foil and folded them into 1" strips.  I then connected them together to make somewhat of an "H"..........As you're doing this, be mindful of the size of your Slow Cooker insert.

Then, lay your foil contraption into your Slow Cooker insert like so.....

Mix all of the Meatloaf ingredients together and form  into the shape of Meatloaf you desire.  Place into the bottom of your insert like so.......

Then, cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.  Pull out of the slow cooker you're using with your lovely foil handles.


TIPS:  You can make this same Meatloaf with Turkey as well.  If you don't care for onions as much as we do, add less.  I always eat my Meatloaf with Open Pit BBQ sauce, but that's because I have an unnatural obsession with Open Pit and will put it on just about anything and everything! 
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Citrus Chicken

I would first like to apologize to poor Collen, Ava, my husband and daughter for having to try and eat the worst Slow Cooker dish I've made to date!  How embarrassing!  You know, when I told my husband I was making this, he said "Are you sure you want to try something new for our company tonight?!" and I said, very confidently, "Yes, of course I do!  It will be fine!"

This chicken turned out SOOOOO dry!  Oh my gosh!  I guess I just cooked the heck out of it.  I don't even know.  They all said the flavor was good, but I didn't even care for that.  I'm so disappointed!    I will try Citrus Chicken again, but I have some ideas on how to change the recipe.  First and foremost, I will use bone-in chicken.  Secondly, not quite so much lime juice.  Thirdly, I will add more sugar or honey.

Sorry to disappoint all of you who came for the recipe :(  I promise some good meatloaf in a day or two!  I swear!

Sad Slow-Cooker.....
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This week's Plan 8-1-10

It's been a great week!  Ella's potty training is going AMAZINGLY well!  We've been to ride Sandy the pony at Meijer 3 times in the past week and she gets to go again tomorrow!  We're so proud!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S AUGUST ALREADY?!!!  Ahhhhhh!!  That means work (school) is just around the corner.  I refuse to get into that mode yet, so I'm still in FULL swing SUMMER mode!

I've got a couple of things planned this week in the Crock Pot.  Tomorrow, we're having my friend and Ella's daycare provider over for dinner with Ella's best friend Ava.  We're going to have Citrus Chicken.  Sounds good, so let's hope it turns out good!  LOL

A couple of our faithful blog followers asked about Meatloaf in the Crock Pot, so I'm going to make a Turkey Loaf in the Crock Pot and I'll take lots of pictures to show you how to make the little foil handles and everything! 

There may be a third recipe that sneaks its way in there this week, but I'm not sure yet.....I'm kind of on a pasta salad craze!  LOL  If anyone's interested, I make a mean Tuna Pasta Salad and a Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad!  Maybe I'll post those this week as bonus recipes!

Have a great week!
Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF