Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Week of Crockpot Cooking

We are officially in fall here. The nights are coming earlier and earlier, and C and I's training runs are getting longer and longer. This is not a good combination. Last Wednesday, we didn't eat dinner until 8:30 due to a combination of getting home a little late, going on a run, and then cooking dinner. We were pretty hungry by 8:30.

Enter this week. We can't stop running (at least not for about 3 more weeks) so we needed a better way to get dinner on the table faster. I'll be making dinner every night this week in the slow cooker. My slow cooker is rarely used. I frequently find recipes that sound delicious, but usually require too much preperatory work or mid-cooking steps. These recipes go against everything I see the slow cooker to be. A slow cooker is a turn it on and forget it kind of cooking method. It's a way for me to throw a bunch of stuff into the pot and let it go. The extent of my prep work for a slow cooker meal is chopping some vegetables or browning hamburger. That's all. If the recipe requiers more than that, I'm out.

Tonight I made chili. This is the first chili we've had this season and of course it's a beautful sunny day outside. Not exactly the perfect "Chili Day". However, since we refuse to turn our heat on until we absolutely have to, it's a little cool in our house and chili will warm us right up.

Turkey Chili
serves 6-8
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion
1 bell pepper
2 cans of chili beans, with juice
1 can red kidney beans, drained
2 cans tomato sauce
1 packet McCormicks Chili Seasoning
Extra chili powder for taste
Brown the ground turkey on the stovetop. Drain if necessary and put in the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Top with shredded cheese, onions, sour cream, whatever you like!
This can also be made on the stovetop by putting all ingredients in a stockpot and simmering for about 30-45 minutes. The slow cooker just gives it more time for the flavors to develop.

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