Showing posts with label slow cooker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slow cooker. Show all posts

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili in a Slow Cooker

Friday, February 1, 2013

As the weather turns colder, I find myself turning more and more to meals like this Turkey Sweet Potato Chili.  It's hearty, filling, tasty, and full of good healthy foods (like pumpkin, sweet potato, peppers, mushrooms, etc).   I've made it several times now and my family has declared it our new go-to not-too-spicy, not-too-sweet chili recipe.  All the chopping makes the prep time a little lengthy, but since it makes such a humongous batch (it filled my 4-quart crockpot), that it's perfect for sharing with a friend or for freezing part for another day, it makes the chopping worth the effort.   See the easy freezer directions below and enjoy! 

Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Lara.

The ingredients:
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 bell peppers, diced  (I used a red and a green pepper)
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (take care NOT to touch the seeds or to include them in the chili, because they will make it very spicy)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 pkg. (12-ounces) chicken Italian sausage, halved and sliced
8-ounces mushrooms, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cans (14.5-ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15-ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2-1/2 cups beef broth
1 can (15-ounces) pumpkin (make sure it is not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 tsp.  cinnamon
1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
Desired toppings:  sour cream, sliced avocado, fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, crumbled crackers


Over medium high heat, in a large skillet add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are soft.    Add to crockpot.
In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine.   When turkey is almost cooked, add in the sliced sausage and saute until the sausage is lightly browned and the turkey is cooked through.  

Sprinkle on cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and  paprika and stir to combine.   Add turkey/sausage mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker. (Your crockpot will be very full) Stir til combined.    Cook in covered crockpot until sweet potatoes are tender, 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.     (I cooked mine over the stovetop for about an hour, then put it into the crockpot to keep it warm. )

Before serving, remove the lid and turn the crockpot off and allow chili to sit for 10-15 minutes.    Season with additional salt to taste before serving.  Serve with desired toppings. Makes about 16 cups.

STOVETOP DIRECTIONS:  If you don't have time for the crockpot, simply follow the directions through adding the seasonings to the meat, then add the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot (instead of the crockpot).  Simmer over medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are tender (about 45-60 minutes)

FREEZER DIRECTIONS:   To freeze, simply pour the chili into a freezer container (I used a square disposable pan). Cover with plastic wrap and  foil and place in the freezer.  When you're ready to thaw it out, just pop it out of the disposable pan and place into a microwaveable bowl.  Heat until hot (or if you prefer to heat it over the stovetop....just heat in the microwave until thawed, then you can place it in a pan on the stovetop).


 Recipe adapted from:  Our Best Bites



Meatball Stroganoff in a crockpot

Friday, June 1, 2012

The other day I realized that I had all the ingredients for Beef Stroganoff, including the beef cubes.  Except that particular day I was feeling a little lazy and I didn't want to thaw the beef, and then take my chances with the beef being more cooked and chewy than I like.  So, I decided to make it with frozen meatballs instead.  There are quite a few recipes online and this is a grouping of a couple different ones plus a couple things of my own.  It was a great meal to have with company on a Sunday evening (cause once the crockpot was on, I could take my Sunday afternoon nap).  My boys asked for seconds, they thought it was quite good. 

Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by: Jen

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth (or use a beef bouillon cube and enough water as called for to make about 2 cups if you didn't have beef broth like me)
1/2 (or whole depending on your taste) onion, finely diced
1 can mushrooms (or 1/2 cup chopped fresh ones)
1-2 tsp garlic powder (depends on your taste_
2 Tbsp A1 sauce
dash(es) of paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
1 c sour cream
1 pkg egg noodles (or boiled potatoes, or cooked rice)
(Like how I crossed out chicken and wrote beef on the can of broth?  I don't want to confuse any readers!)

IF your meatballs are NOT precooked, (like mine) then cook them in the oven according to directions.  (I suppose you could place uncooked ones in the crockpot, but I don't know how long that would take to cook because you can't really brown beef in a crockpot).

IF your meatballs are already precooked, then just add them frozen to your crockpot.

Meanwhile, add the soup, broth, mushrooms (if canned), A1 sauce, and spices to your crockpot.  Mix well.  Turn heat on low.
 Add cooked meatballs. (unless they're already in there because they're precooked)
 Mix it all together well.

IF your meatballs are frozen and precooked, then cook everything on LOW for 8-10 hours (or high for 4-6) until meatballs are all heated through. 

IF your meatballs were cooked in the oven and are therefore already warm, then cook everything on LOW for 3 hours to get all the flavorings well blended.
 3 hours later (after your nap) or 8 or so hours later after you get home from work, then add 1 c sour cream.  Mix in well and your sauce will lighten in color.  Replace the lid and let it continue to cook on low for about 20 minutes. (or until noodles are done)
 Meanwhile boil your water and cook your noodles.
 When the noodles are done, then add to your sauce and mix well so the noodles are covered.  You can skip this step and just let people spoon the sauce over their noodles (potatoes or rice) as they wish.
 Serve with a good green salad and sit back knowing how little work you had to do, but bask in the glory of all the compliments of a job well done.
*Note:  yes, I doubled everything in this recipe to serve with company of 4 extra adults.  If you double it and you use precooked frozen meatballs, then use a bigger (6 qt) crockpot, or even microwave your meatballs for about 5 minutes before putting them in the slow cooker. I'm not sure how much longer it would need to cook with twice the meatballs.  


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two months ago today my life was consumed with busy mom stuff.  What should I make for dinner tonight?  How many  places do I have to go tonight?   Then on the evening of January 10th we got the phone call that turned our world upside down and in a single instant our priorities shifted in a big way.     After 51 nights in the hospital with my son (and many more to go), I certainly haven't done much in the way of cooking or experimenting with recipes lately, but then I remembered that I do have a bunch of recipes I'd made and hadn't blogged about yet.  I'm taking advantage of a quiet moment tonight and posting about one of those stand-out recipes from BL (Before Leukemia).    

It's been a while since I made this slow cooker meal, but I remember it being super easy--a dump it and forget it type of meal!   I also remember us all enjoying it and thinking that I would definitely make it again.   
Thank you to friends and family who've been taking care of the blog in my absence!    Hopefully you'll see me pop in from time-to-time with some more of these forgotten recipes. :)

Adapted from:  All Recipes
Click here for printable recipe. 

Posted by Lara. 

The ingredients: 

(oops!  The black beans didn't make it into the picture) 

1 pound raw chicken breasts, cubed
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce each) cans chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

For soup:  Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth,  cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn, black beans, and cilantro.

Cover, and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.  Serve hot with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips. 

For tortilla strips:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly brush both sides of corn tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.



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Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes

Friday, January 27, 2012

This is Lara's younger sister, Kristina. It is very rare that I take the opportunity to post recipes on here, but in light of current events I figured I could occasionally come up with a recipe for Lara.

I love easy crockpot meals and this is one of our family favorites. My 4-year-old and 6-year old gobble this up and always ask for seconds, which is highly unusual when we aren't having pizza or hot dogs. I originally found the recipe on, then tweaked it some to fit my family better. (Don't we all do that to our recipes?) Hope you enjoy!
Posted by Kristina. 

The Ingredients:
  • 6-8  boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 potatoes, cubed (with or without skin)
  • Carrots (as many as you want (o:)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
  • Seasoning to taste (I use Montreal Chicken seasoning and lemon pepper)

Put the potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crockpot with the chicken on top. Mix together the cream of chicken soup, water, cornstarch, and the onion soup mix. Pour over the top. Cook on high 4-5 hours. (My chicken was frozen and it took about 5 hours to cook) You also have the option of cooking it on low for 8 hours.

The best thing about crockpot recipes is that you can tweak it any way you want. I happen to love carrots and potatoes, so I add lots.  If you don't love carrots and potatoes, add less of them and a little less water or add other veggies that you love better.  

Lots of love and hugs headed to Spencer, Lara, and the whole family today! We are constantly praying for you!


Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

After a month of posting only goodies (and eating way too many in the process), I guess it's time to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon again and this slow cooker recipe was a  great place to start!  With its cheesy cornbread crust and Mexican meat mixture, this dish got the "7-thumbs'-up" distinction in our family and because it was a slow cooker recipe, it got the busy mommy thumbs' up as well!  If you like your food on the mild side, I recommend substituting a can of plain diced tomatoes  in place of the green chili/diced tomato combination.  We, however, thought it was perfect just the way it was! 

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home

Click here for printable recipe. 

Posted by Lara. 


1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained (for a milder version, substitute a can of plain diced tomatoes)
1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix (I used a Jiffy mix)
2 eggs
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream and additional minced fresh cilantro, optional

In a large skillet, cook beef or turkey over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper.
Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs;

spoon over meat mixture.

Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.

Makes 8 servings.


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Best Crockpot Recipes (of 2011)

Friday, December 30, 2011

I actually only got my first real crockpot  last Christmas, so it was fun for me to discover the joys of slow cooker cooking this year!   We definitely found some keepers along the way and Day 5 of Finding Joy in My Kitchen's countdown to 2012 spotlights our favorites.  If you're interested in seeing a full index of all of our crockpot recipes, click here. 

French Dip Sandwiches in the slow cooker
Chocolate Fudge Cake

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Crockpot recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Apple Butter in a slow cooker

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Autumn is the season for apples. Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case) I bought apples every time I went to the store or market and suddenly I realized that I had a ton of apples. What better way to use up a lot of apples then make homemade apple butter?! I really like the apple butter from the store, but I love making it myself because I know exactly what's in it and I can control the chunky level. I got this recipe from a Better Crocker Slow Cooker magazine from 2001 (modified a little of course). Needless to say I've made this a lot of times. I love how versatile apple butter is. It's great by itself on toast, but also in oatmeal, muffins, or even on top of your pork chops.
Click here for printable recipe. 

Posted by Jen. 

The Ingredients:

12 medium Granny Smith apples (peeled, and cut into 4ths)
1 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

The Directions:
Add chopped and peeled apples to slow cooker. Toss with lemon juice. (today I actually used orange juice because I didn't have lemon juice)
Mix the sugar and spices together in small bowl and toss with apples. (you can experiment with the level of sugar. I think it would still be fine with a little less sugar) Pour apple juice over top.
Cover and cook on LOW heat for 8-10 hours, or until apples are very tender. Mash apples with potato masher.
You can control the chunky level. You can leave it chunky or continue mashing to achieve how you want it. Today I used my immersion blender to see what would happen. I think immersion blenders were made for this. (OK, so I get excited over a new kitchen gadget) If you don't have one you could blend it in the blender. Just be careful as it will be hot!)Let cook on Low, uncovered for about another hour to thicken up.
Once cooled pour into container to store in refrigerator. This made about 6 cups (as seen from my Tupperware picture below). If you're into canning then this would be great to can and save for later. What a great way to end a cold day!


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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