One Crockpot, Three Days of Dinner

The thing I love most about my crockpot is the ability, in one swell foop, to make several days worth of adaptable and varied meals. We just did meal two of yesterday’s Crockpot Green Chili…and I’m looking forward to number three.

Here’s how it shakes down:

The Master Meal: Crockpot Green Chili

Into a crockpot, throw the following:

  • 1 bag frozen bell peppers and onions (or 1-2 cut up bell peppers and 1 large onion, or however much you want)
  • 2 cans white beans, drained (0r 3-4 cups cooked beans, if you do it yourself)
  • 2-ish lbs frozen chicken pieces
  • 3-6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Over this, pour:

  • 1 large jar green salsa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (note that prepared salsa and broth have a lot of salt in them, and your final result could be too salty if you’re not careful)

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice. (If you’d like, make a slurry out of a few tbs. cornstarch or flour and enough water to make a smooth liquid, and dump into the crock, stirring well as you add it, about 10 minutes before stirring; this gives you a more gravy-like consistency.)

*****

Okay, so that’s the basic recipe. You can totally mess around with ingredients, and there’s not really any need to measure anything.  If you like more meat and less veggies, do that. If you want to leave the chicken out all together–hey, why not?

*****

Day Two: Tortilla Soup

Additional Ingredients: veggie broth, crushed tortilla chips, optional grated cheese and sour cream/yogurt cheese

We did this for lunch instead of dinner; easy-peasy!

  • In a saucepan heat about 2 cups leftover chili with 1 cup low sodium veggie or chicken broth, till hot.
  • Place a small handful of crumbled tortilla chips in a bowl. Ladle soup over chips.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt cheese)

It’s a nasty rainy day, and this really hit the spot. How filling it is depends on how thick your soup is and how much chips-and-cheese you add…

*****

Day Three: Chicken Enchiladas

Additional ingredients: corn tortillas, grated cheese, optional sour cream or yogurt cheese

And by now we’re on the last day…this is easier if you sort of ladle out the “solid” leftovers (the chicken, beans, and veggies) from the sauce before you start.

  • Roll a ladleful of beans-and-chicken in each corn tortilla, place in baking dish
  • Over top of rolls, pour the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so, or until cheese is melted and inside of enchiladas is hot. (If you warm the filling before you start, you can cut this to probably 20 minutes in the oven.)

If you don’t feel like doing the enchiladas, you could probably get another batch of soup out of this, and make chicken tacos or burritos out of the leftover solid fillings…

*****

Think of the possibilities here–almost any sauce-and-veggie-and-maybe-meat crockpot offering can get repurposed as soup the second day by adding the appropriate broth type, and then the third by turning into a casserole with some form of starch–noodle or spaghetti casserole, stuffed into pasta shells, rice or barley, even a pot pie kind of thing. This way you don’t get bored eating the same thing for a week…

Bon appetit! Please, if you have any other one-cooking-time-multiple-meals tricks, leave ’em in the comments!

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Posted on March 20, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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