Crockpot recipes and other adventures in dual-earning

So with both of us working and having hefty commutes, we have tried to use our crockpot as often as possible. With this crazy experience has come a few lessons.

1) Generally, 11-12 hours cook time is too long. You are bound to come home to burnt something.

2) When a recipe says 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low, that doesn’t mean that you can do 11-12 hours on low and hope for the best. Exhibit A: thoroughly blackened, nearly unrecognizable Honey Sesame Chicken. (once I made it properly, this dish came out great!)

3) Chicken generally doesn’t do well in the crockpot after 3 hours. It gets dry. It gets gross.

4) When you find a good recipe, you better put it on your blog so you never lose that bad boy.

So, here’s my favorite crockpot recipe from our repertoire: Black Bean Taco Soup Chili (the recipe I found was called “taco soup” – the way I make it is more like a hearty chili. Also, my apologies to the blogger who originally posted the recipe. In poor form, I didn’t save your information on the recipe. So props to you, unknown blogger!)

1 lb ground beef (I imagine ground turkey would work too)
1 medium onion
1 can of black beans (or kidney or pinto), drained and rinsed
2 cans of stewed tomatoes (I don’t like tomatoes that much so 1 can works for us)
1-8oz can of tomato sauce
1-16oz bag of corn (I think this is an excessive amount of corn so I use less)
1 can diced green chilis
1 packet of taco seasoning (or use your own)

Cook beef and onion in a skillet. Once cooked, combine well with other ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and guacamole. I like mine with Tufutti Sour Supreme and crunched up tortilla chips mixed in. Evan mixes in some Hidden Valley Ranch and The Spice and Tea Exchange’s Pirate’s Bite. I served this on a family Sunday dinner and almost everyone had seconds – not because they were hungry (because it’s really hearty) but because they wanted the flavor.

When we’re having it during the week, I make it the night before and we heat up individual servings the next day. It’s worked well. If you make it like I do, it really does come out like a chili. I suppose you could make it with more liquid if having a soup was meaningful to you.


3 thoughts on “Crockpot recipes and other adventures in dual-earning

  1. Pingback: Another crockpot fave | Beyond Inspired

  2. Great idea slow cooking night before and reheating. We too haved experienced the dreaded dry stringy chicken from slow cooker hades. Not pretty. Thanks for sharing! We’ve become a slow cooker family as well.

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