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Slow Cooker Dinners

July 30, 2012 | Alliant Credit Union

We aren't sure how you're feeling, but at our Headquarters in Chicago, it feels like we have been melting all summer long. As temperatures set new records, we feel a gust of humidity every time we step out of the office.

While grilling is most popular in typical summer weather, this record heat has caused many to reconsider. Why would we stand in front of a hot grill, dripping with sweat? This is where slow cooker dinners come in handy.

Some may consider the slow cooker a fall/winter tool, however in the hot summer months when standing outside is a health hazard, why not use one tiny appliance to cook your whole meal? It's efficient and keeps the kitchen cool. Win/win!

Here are some of our favorite slow cooker recipes. Prep these before you leave for a day at the office and when you come home, you have a tasty meal waiting for you.

Gone for longer than 6-8 hours? Pick up a lamp timer and use it for your slow cooker! The timer will turn the slow cooker off at the programmed time, and can turn it back on again so your food is warm and smelling great when you walk in the door.

Healthy Santa Fe Chicken Tacos (Recipe originally Skinny Taste)
Makes 4 servings

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies 
  • 15 oz can black beans 
  • 8 oz frozen corn 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth 
  • 3 green onions, chopped 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken into the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Season chicken breasts with some salt and lay them on the top of the mixture.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. A half an hour before dinner time, remove the chicken, shred it (this will just take a second) and place it back in the crock pot. (If you are serving this as tacos, you may want to remove some of the liquid before placing the shredded chicken back inside. 
  3.  Taste it and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve over rice, or in a tortilla. Enjoy!

 

Greek Chicken Pita Folds (Recipe from LDS Living)
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 pita pocket breads
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips

Directions:

  1. In slow-cooker, combine onion, garlic, chicken, lemon pepper, oregano, and allspice; mix to coat chicken with seasoning.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
  3. Heat pita bread as directed on package. Meanwhile, remove chicken from slow-cooker; place on cutting board. Using two forks, shred chicken.
  4. To serve, stir yogurt into onion mixture in slow-cooker. Spoon chicken onto warm pita bread. With slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture onto chicken; top with tomato, cucumber, and red pepper strips.

Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches (Recipe from FoodNetwork)
Makes 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 5-to-6-pound first-cut or flat-cut brisket, cut into 3 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 brioche or other rolls, split open and toasted
  • Coleslaw, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last 2 minutes. 
  2. Transfer the meat and garlic to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Pour the beer into the skillet and simmer 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the pan; add the beer mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Nestle the celery around the meat and add the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika. Stir, then cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  4. Serve on brioche halves with coleslaw; drizzle with the cooking liquid.

SOURCES: sorumblyinmytumbly.blogspot.com, ldsliving.com, foodnetwork.com, skinnytaste.com


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