Yes, the end of October is rolling around and the colder time of year has approached. So, it’s time to pull out the crockpot (aka slow cooker.) It’s a great way to have dinner ready when you come home from a busy day or from a weekend Autumn walk.
Don’t have a slow cooker? Not sure how to choose one? Well the good news is that they come in a wide range of prices and functions; finding the right one for you depends on what you plan to use it for.
A few tips, first choose a crock that is removable for easy cleaning. Slow cookers with the crock and heating unit fused together just aren't fun or easy to clean. As far as material, whether ceramic, porcelain or metal crocks, they all do a good job of conducting heat. So it's really up to your preference. Lastly get a lid made of glass so you will be less apt to take the lid off to peek inside and thus release the heat and add to cooking time.
Give it a try…here’s a recipe to get you started:
Donna Stanziani, CIHC
Recipe of the Week… Crockpot Tortilla Soup
Ingredients: 4 ½ cup chicken broth 1 can diced tomatoes 1 cup finely chopped onion 4 cloves fresh, crushed garlic 2 ½ tsp chili powder 2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp ground coriander Salt and black pepper to taste 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup cream ½ cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa 1 1/3 cup frozen corn 2 Limes, cut into wedges ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Topping Ideas (optional): Crushed Tortilla Chips, Shredded Cheese (Mexican Blend is perfect) Diced or Sliced Avocado, Diced Roma Tomatoes Sour Cream
Directions: 1) Pour chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, and spices, then add chicken breasts.
2) Cook on low heat for 5 hours, then add cream and quinoa and cook for an additional hour.
3) Using two forks, gently shred the chicken in the pot, then add black beans and corn and stir. Cook until heated through.
4) Add fresh cilantro and stir.
5) Serve warm with tortilla chips, cheese, and other optional toppings, and enjoy.