Minestrone is an Italian soup made from beans, vegetables, and pasta! Throw all of those ingredients into the crock pot and in a few hours you will have an easy, delicious dinner. Or in my case, 6 jars of soup for lunches! Read the rest of this entry
Crock Pot lentil chili is an easy way to introduce your family to lentils if they have never tried them. This chili recipe has 1 cup of lentils which are a great meat substitute and their flavor is very mild. Chili is great this time of year and is especially wonderful in the Crock Pot! Read the rest of this entry
Why cook dried beans you ask? Several reasons come to mind:
- You know what is in them
- The beans are not filled with sodium
- Better taste and texture
Here is how to cook dried beans…
Sort: I started with 2 cups of dried beans and I pull out every dried bean that is broken or discolored and throw away.
Boil: Boiling removes toxins that can be in dried beans. Put the 2 cups of sorted beans in a pot and add 4 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Tilt the lid on your pot to allow steam to escape so that the beans do not boil over. After five minutes of boiling, return the beans to the colander. and drain. Draining the water helps the beans to cause less gas when you eat them (very important!).
Crock Pot: Put beans in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Put salt in to taste after the beans are cooked.
Freezer: Store beans in freezer. I used glass mason jars. Thaw beans ahead of time or defrost on stove top or microwave if you forget (Never happens to me…).
The dried beans in this post are white beans but any type of dried bean will work. For faster cooking, beans can be placed in a pan on your stove top and cooked for 1-2 hours until tender. Add water as necessary.
Here is a great link to different types of beans from Whole Foods Market.
Growing up, my mom cooked pinto beans all the time. She would sort through the beans and pull out the ones that looked bad and any small rocks that she found. She would soak them for a few hours and then cook them with a some type of pork fat. Eating pinto beans and cornbread for dinner was a common occurrence at my house.
Recently, I saw something on Pinterest about cooking dried beans in the crock-pot. In my effort to eat healthier in 2014, I was interested in learning about this method. When I cook dried beans on the stove-top, the consistency is not right and they seem mushy. The other night I tried the crock-pot method and loved the way the beans turned out. I will freeze the beans to be used later for recipes.
The following works for any kinds of beans:
1. Sort beans and pull out any that look funny or are broken. Many types of beans have small rocks so pull those out.
2. Soak beans for at least six hours. I put the beans in water after lunch and soaked them until bed-time.
3. Pour beans in colander, pouring out soaking water, and rinse with cool tap water.
4. Put beans in pan on stove and cover with water and boil for at least 10 minutes to remove toxins. See link about why boiling is necessary.
5. Put beans in crock-pot with water, add more if necessary to cover by at least one inch. Cook on low overnight
6. Allow the beans to cool and add salt before freezing (optional). I add 1 teaspoon.
7. Freeze beans in serving size portions. I freeze in two cup portions because that is about the amount of 1 can.
This method is cheaper and definitely easier than stove-top cooking!
What is on your Thanksgiving menu? We are not huge turkey fans around here so a few years ago I started making crock-pot chicken and dressing from my Aunt June’s recipe (No, not the honey boo boo June!) This recipe makes a big batch and there are usually leftovers.
If you want people to think you are a culinary rock star, make the cranberry orange relish too. This recipe is so easy and it tastes AMAZING, especially with the crock pot chicken and dressing. Great for Christmas meals also! For the best flavor, make the night before. But, you know, I have made it last-minute too and it works!
This year my three girls are making 2 dishes each to help with the Thanksgiving meal. Three times two equals six….YIPEE!! I hope this catches on and becomes our new tradition! After our meal, we will hopefully make our Christmas card photo! Then, the madness of the shopping season begins!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
- 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 (9x9 inch) pan cornbread, cooled and crumbled. I use Jiffy. (See note below)
- 8 slices day-old bread, torn into small pieces
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried sage (or more if desired)
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- Place chicken in a pot with water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Boil 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Cool, and cut into pieces.
- In a slow cooker, stir together chicken, cornbread, bread, eggs, onion, salt, pepper, sage, chicken broth, and chicken soup.
- Stir until well blended.
- Dot with butter
- Cover, and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.
- Remove lid, and fluff with fork.
- Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
- When I cook the cornbread, I add the sage and onion to the cornbread mix. I think it gives it a good flavor.This is optional!
- 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
- 1 medium orange, washed,quartered (Remove seeds and do use the peels, too!)
- 1 cup sugar
- Wash and drain cranberries.
- Wash and quarter one orange and remove any seeds.
- Place everything in a food processor and chop.
- Add sugar.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Make the night before for the best flavor...or last minute works too.