One of my favorite bloggers, Crazy Aunt Purl, recently rediscovered her crock pot. She wrote an entire post all about it. She experimented with a recipe, and it turned out so well, she asked people to contribute (easy!) recipes in the comments so she could try those too. That post and all the good ideas from the comments prompted me to dust off the slow cooker (I don’t have the name brand crock pot) I inherited from my mom when she moved to Australia. [I got most of her appliances because the power in Australia would have fried them. Basically I lucked out, although my sister got the KitchenAid stand mixer. But I got my own for my birthday a few years ago so I’m not coveting hers anymore.]
OMG dusting that thing off was the best thing ever. Most of my winter lunches, in addition to my piece of fruit and container of yogurt, consist of soups because I want something warm. Usually canned because I frequently don’t have the time to stand over the stove on the weekends and make it from scratch. Cooking on the stove requires attention. Slow cookers don’t. I can throw everything in there, and then walk away and take care of other things and not worry about running back to the kitchen every 10 minutes to stir. I can even run brief errands if needed.
So I’ve been experimenting. Last week for lunch I had a boneless turkey breast that I had stewed all day on low in green salsa with some extra onions. It was spicy, juicy, and tender all at once. I made a cabbage and carrot slaw with a sugar, jalpeno, cilantro, and vinegar dressing as a side, paired it with some corn tortillas, and had YUMMY lunches all week. And to make it even better, it was really healthy.
This week? BBQ pork chops with onions. Put pork chops, onions and a bunch of BBQ sauce (whatever variety, homemade or bottled) into the slow cooker and stew it on low for about 8 to 10 hours. The pork chops literally fall apart and you have a big pile of BBQ pork to have with bread. I can’t wait for lunch!