Crockpot Cooking- Slowly Cooking Up a Storm

February 23, 2011

By Annalise Klingbeil

crockpot My life changed the day I purchased a slow cooker How any Canadian can make it through a chilly winter without this miracle appliance is a mystery. Alongside long johns, winter tires and hockey skates, a slow cooker or Crock Pot is a quintessential Canadian winter must-have. There’s nothing quite like a little chopping and measuring in the morning, the flick of a switch and hours later, coming home to a warm meal and comforting smells wafting through your house.

I purchased my slow cooker for around $40.00 and it was worth every penny. Come wintertime, it’s my favourite kitchen appliance. I can spend fifteen minutes in the morning preparing a recipe, bundle up and leave my house all day, and come home to a hearty and warm meal. Slow cookers are easy to use and extremely versatile. From soups and stews to meat and veggie dishes, and even deserts, this magical machine cooks just about any imaginable dish. The majority of slow cooker recipes involve combining ingredients in the pot and cooking on low for six to eight hours, with no checking, mixing or turning in between.

crockpot recipe bookThe internet is full of thousands of recipes, from the simple and comforting (chilli or veggie stew) to the downright unusual (coca-cola chicken or slow cooker cereal.) The internet is also full of people who really, really, love their slow cookers. In 2009, a Utah stay at home mom vowed to use her slow cooker every day and started a blog to document her culinary adventures. Karen Petersen made 365 different recipes in her slow cooker and following her successful year of slow cooking, Petersen created a cookbook, 365 Days of Slow-Cooking, that contains over 250 of her favourite recipes. Whether you want to try slow cooking every day or every now and then, buy a slow cooker, scour the internet for recipes and get ready to fall in love with flicking a switch, leaving your house for the day, and coming home to a warm and hearty meal.

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken

Adapted from www.food.com

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless chicken breast cut into small strips
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
2 tablespoons flour
1 green pepper cut into small strips
1 red pepper cut into small strips
1 small onion cut into small pieces
2 cups salsa
1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup shredded cheese

Directions:
1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray
2. Place chicken in slow cooker
3. Stir in all ingredients, except cheese
4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 hours
5. Stir before serving
6. Top with shredded cheese.

Serving options:
Serve with wraps and make into burritos
or
Serve over rice

For more delicious slow cooker recipes, try searching these websites:
A-crock-cook
Crock-pot.ca/Recipes
Companyscoming.com/slow_cooker-recipes

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About the Author: Annalise Klingbeil is a journalist from Calgary, Alberta. Visit Aklingbeil.com to find out more about Klingbeil’s work.

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