Monday, July 30, 2012

Crockpot Chili Mac

You can tell I've been really busy. I've been using my crockpot so often! Well, I love chili mac and it's one of my favorite foods. So I decided to make it in a crockpot, busy mom that I am. Super yummy!!! Serves 6.

1 pound pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 onions, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less)
1 packet chili powder mix
1 cup sugar
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
Parmesan cheese to taste

Prepare pasta according to box directions. Set aside.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray and saute 1 onion and the garlic for a couple minutes. Add the beef and brown. Add half of the chili mix packet, the red pepper flakes and half of the sugar. Brown for about 5 more minutes, letting everything incorporate and mixing well. Put the beef in the crock when done.

Pour in all the tomatoes, the rest of the sugar and chili packet. Mix together well. Cook for 6 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

Serve on top of the pasta and, if you so desire, top with some of the reserved chopped onions and some Parmesan cheese. Super good! I totally love this, really. And it is only 10 points a serving. Really!

I like to serve it with Garlic Bread on the side!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

Pretty good Chicken Teriyaki, if you'll ask me. Easy to make, and fuss-free to serve. Serve over plain white rice and some steamed veggies on the side. Serves 6.

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsps sesame oil
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsps corn starch dissolved

Spray your crock with nonstick spray. 

Lay the chicken in the crock. Throw in 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the black pepper and the red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add the sesame seeds, and mix everything together.

In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil and remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar. Make sure sugar is dissolved. Pour over the chicken in the crock. Cook for 6 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

When done, pour in the dissolved corn starch and stir around the chicken to thicken the sauce a bit. Try to loosen up the chicken a bit if it has stuck together some, as it sometimes happens in crockpots. Replace lid and let sit for 10 minutes to set.

Easy and delicious! Mommies can always appreciate a meal that requires not a lot of prep time, and the crockpot literally makes the food cook itself. that is why I love it so much! 5 points per serving! Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Homestyle Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This is so good and simple. It will knock your socks off! You can use your favorite brand of Barbecue sauce or use my family version. A nice meal to round out a busy day. Serves 6.

1.5 to 2 pounds lean pork loin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 onions, sliced

For my Barbecue Sauce:

1 small can tomato paste + 1 can water
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps liquid smoke
1 cup strained pork drippings from crockpot

Spray crock with nonstick spray. Cover bottom of crock with 1 of the sliced onions.

Mix together the brown sugar, black pepper and paprika. Rub all over the pork loin, making sure to coat evenly. Now you lay your coated pork loin on the onions in the crock and cover the top with the other onion. Cover and set to cook for 6-7 hours low and 4 hours high.

When done, strain onions from the pork drippings and return to the crock. Place cooked pork loin on a plate and, with 2 forks, pull pork to shred. So that's why it's called pulled pork!

If you decide to use my Barbecue sauce recipe, just put the tomato paste and the can of water in a saucepan  and heat till no lumps, stirring it. Add the mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne red pepper, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Stir well to make sure everything is incorporated. Now lastly, add the strained pork drippings from the crockpot, stir in, bring to a milk boil and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Return the pork into the crock with the onions in it, and pour your barbecue sauce in over the pork. Mix everything together well, cover and cook on high for another hour.

Yum yum yum! I like to serve this with coleslaw and pickles on the side, gherkins in particular. Complements the taste very well! We had it with plain white bread with it too, instead of buns, and that is OK, that's what we had in the cupboard. Be bad and serve some Diet Sprite or 7-Up with it too! But that is just my own taste. Do your own thing! About 9 points per sandwich. Not bad at all! Serve it up!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

Of course I had time and practicality on my mind when I threw this together. This is a twist on the old standby, Brown Sugar Chicken. It is delicious and I promise your kids will like it's savory sweet taste. Serves 6.

1 pound chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed in

Spray crock with nonstick spray. 

Lay the chicken, onions and garlic on the bottom. Dump in the brown sugar and mix together well. Add in the black pepper, red pepper flakes and ginger powder. Mix well, making sure everything is coated well. Lastly, add the soy sauce and vinegar, mix, and put lid on. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. When done, add the water and cornstarch mixture, stir well, and replace lid to let sit and thicken for about 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! I personally serve with rice and a side of steamed veggies. About 5 points per serving.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

I made this tonight and it came out pretty well. I have to say, if you have small children, take it easy on the Red Pepper Flakes, or serve it on the side. But it is good, filling and nutritious! And easy to make, of course. Serves 6.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp conrstarch dissolved into it
3 cups broccoli, chopped
3 cups carrots, chopped

In a deep frying pan or wok, heat up the vegetable and sesame oil together, and throw in your garlic and onion. Fry that up for a minute or two, and add your chicken. At this point, I like to add my spices. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger powder, parsley, salt and allspice. Cook till chicken is an opaque white and make sure to mix the spices well into everything. Add the broccoli and carrots, and pour in your soy sauce. Stir fry till everything is incorporated. Cover, set heat on medium and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over rice. It's fast, delicious and only 5 points per serving! Enjoy it now!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finally Got To Oklahoma

Yes folks, we are here, we made it down in one piece. It took us about 4 days to drive down here - no easy feat with 3 kids under 5! LOL! We got to see a lot of nice scenery though. Our first day we set out and drove from Washington to Billings, Montana, and we spent the night there.

Montana Scenery

Billings, MT street scene

On Day 2, we set out to go to Denver, Colorado. We cut through Wyoming to get there. I must say, even though Wyoming doesn't have a lot of towns or people, I like it there. I like the scenery and people seemed friendly. 

Wyoming Scenery

Beautiful Wyoming Skies

When we got to Denver, I had the good fortune to meet one of my friends from Facebook, Donna. She is such a warm and wonderful person! Her little girl is so cute! She has a lovely little family. I am so happy to have met you Donna! 

Donna and I with our babies

We originally planned to drive straight to Oklahoma City from there,  but it suddenly seemed so overwhelming (13 hours!) so we decided to split it up over 2 days. We spent the night in Salina, Kansas.

Our Family at a Salina, KS Ihop

And we made it to Oklahoma City on the 4th day. Awesome! We are doing pretty good, settled in fairly well. It is HOT down here, but I can see the sun, and that is all good to me. Kids are doing well, and my husband S. is doing great at his new job. Jobs are plentiful here, it's awesome! All in all, we like it down here, and are grateful we got to move. Yep! So that's my update on our family for now! Cheerio!

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Pasta

This is an easy meal you can prep in 5 minutes flat, and it will cook itself in the crock. The family loved it! My husband likes to add a little hot sauce to it. I like it plain myself. Serves 6.

8 oz pasta of your choice (I use spaghetti)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans of 4-oz mushrooms
1 tsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp parsley

Spray the crock with some nonstick spray. Pour in the chicken soup, mushrooms (do not drain, include liquid!), minced garlic, onion and parsley. With a wire whisk, blend everything together. Add the softened cream cheese (to soften cream cheese, simply leave out on the counter till room temperature). Whisk cheese into the mixture. It may be a little lumpy, that is ok.

Now add your chicken, and using a spatula or a big spoon, mix everything together. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 4. Halfway through cooking, use your wire whisk to blend the cream cheese right in. It should blend in smooth by now.

When you are about to serve, prepare the pasta according to box directions. Drain, and add into the sauce in the crock. Mix well, and serve.

Delicious and filling. About 12 points a serving!

Baked Dill Tilapia

I made this for dinner tonight and my husband actually liked it a lot! And he is not that into fish at all. Even the kids cleaned their plates out LOL! Yummy and simple. Serves 4.

1 pound boneless Tilapia fillet
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pat the fish dry with some paper towels, and drizzle the olive oil over both sides. Now sprinkle the dill weed, paprika, salt and pepper over both sides of the fish. Lay fish in an ovenproof dish. Personally, I like to line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with some nonstick spray. Much easier with the cleanup.

Pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

You are then ready to eat. Simple and deee-lish! Try, try, try it! About 4 points a serving too!