Posted by Felicia Thursday, April 8, 2010, under | 11 comments
Ok, so you know that thing in the back of your cabinet, maybe high up on a shelf? It has a cord, and some settings that say Low, High and if you lucky Med and Warm. Some even come with a timer-fancy, huh? Well, it's called a Slow Cooker(or Crock Pot as I call mine) and let me tell you..IT IS YOUR FRIEND!! I have made many a cheap meal in mine and they are so great for busy days when you know you won't have time to mess with dinner. You can really create some great things in there or just a simple dip, virtually anything can be cooked in one-I have even seen a recipe for cake! So, I am going to share a few of my favorite go-to frugal recipes for that fabulous small appliance, so dust it off and give them a try!!
Grandpa's Beans-Total cost estimate $2.50 including pantry items, cornbread and a whole bag of beans-you will only need half :)
1 1/2 C. Great Northern Beans
1tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. white vinegar x 2= 1/2 tsp total
Place beans in a large pot and cover with water, add in the baking soda and 1/4 tsp vinegar
Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and place beans in the crock pot. Put the other 1/4 tsp vinegar in and then cover beans with water, up to an inch above the beans so they can swell. Cook on high 4 hours and serve with warm cornbread and a little salt if desired. The ULTIMATE frugal meal and very high in protein!
Buy a very cheap box of Jiffy Cornmeal or check out a cornmeal recipe here
BBQ Pulled Pork--YUM!!! Total cost estimate- $6-$7 depending on if your meat is on sale along w/ your sauce. Only buy it on sale and freeze extra!
3 lbs cheap pork roast, boneless or ribs-doesn't matter! Buy whatever is on sale that week and freeze extra if you like.
1 bottle of you favorite BBQ sauce--mine is Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown sugar
1.Place your meat in your crock and pour just a little water in to cover the bottom, there is no need to be perfect because it won't matter-it will be SO moist in the end!
2. Cover and cook on low 6 hrs or so, it will keep until you are ready for it.
3. When it is cooked through or when you are ready, take your meat out a little at a time-I usually use two plates.
Grab two forks and start "pulling" your pork apart into pieces. If you have bone-in, just get rid of those bones.
Put your shredded or "pulled" pork on one plate and grab more out of your crock until you have a full plate of pulled pork and an empty crock.
Empty ALL the juice and grease out and rinse your crock in the sink-no need to wash, just get rid of the grease.
4.Put it back in the cooker and throw your meat back in. Pour as much of your BBQ sauce in as you like-I use the whole bottle for that much pork. Heat it up till it's good and warm again, if it's not already.
Serve on buns or with mashed potatoes, green beans and Texas toast-YUM!! Reheats very well, so make sure you have leftovers!
Cheesy Chicken and Rice- Total cost estimate: $6-half a bag of frozen chicken, can of soup and half a box of rice + pantry items-all on sale of course! :)
1-2 lb frozen, boneless skinless chicken breasts-about 4 pieces
1 small can cream of chicken
1/4-1/2 cup of water
1 cube chicken bouillon
2 cups of instant(or regular) rice--cooked at the end
1.Boil water and dissolve the bouillon cube in it.
2.Place chicken breasts, frozen, on the bottom of the crock and pour water mixture over the top.
3.Open the can of cream of chicken and pour out on top.
4.Cover and cook on low about 5-6 hours, till chicken reaches 180 deg and no longer pink. Mix in the cooked rice and keep warm until ready to serve. When serving sprinkle with cheese on top.
Cream Cheese Chicken-YUM!!! Total cost estimate- $8 1/2 bag of frozen chicken, can of soup, 1 packet Italian mix, cream cheese, 1/2 a bag of noodles + pantry items
1-2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen-about 4 pieces
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup water
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 small can cream of chicken, celery or mushroom
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 lb egg noodles-whatever style you like
1.Boil water and dissolve bouillon cube.
2.Pour water in the bottom of the crock and then place the frozen chicken on top.
3.Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken and sprinkle the Italian dressing dry mix over the top.
4.Cook on low 4-5 hrs(depending on your crock) and about a half hour before the chicken is cooked through, mix the cream of chicken and cream cheese in a bowl with a whisk-you can use the microwave to soften the cream cheese a bit if needed to make it easier to blend. Heat on low and just a little at a time till it is smoother.
5.Add to the crock and cook while you follow the directions and cook your noodles. Always check to be sure your chicken is at least 180 deg. and not pink.
Serve with the noodles on the bottom and ladle the wonderful sauce and chicken over the top. You will LOVE the smell of it while it cooks!