How the slow cooker saves my week

Until very recently, I didn't understand the concept of slow cookers. I judged slow cooker preachers for being lazy chefs. Then I caved and tried it, who seriously wouldn't love a machine that will have dinner ready for you after work?

I've experienced with some recipes that will not be repeated at our place (bland chili and dull chicken). However, I've made two that seem to be fan favourites! Below are the recipes:

1) General Tso Chicken

I love Chinese food but I haven't discovered a place equally as good as Red Chilis in Oakville. I decided to experiment on my own one Sunday. I mean, how hard can it be to make Chinese food? This recipe only takes about 3-4hrs to prepare and cook so I suggest making it on a weekend. 

PREP TIME: 15 mins COOK TIME: 3.5 hours TOTAL TIME: 3 hours and 45 mins SERVES: 2

Ingredients: 

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped red onion 

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of Bragg liquid seasoning (instead of soy sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of agava or stevia
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

cooked quinoa or brown rice for serving

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat coconut oil in a nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Whisk together corn starch, salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ground pepper.
  2. Add corn starch mixture and chicken pieces to a large zip lock bag. Seal and shake to coat chicken.
  3. Add coated chicken pieces to pan. Saute 1-2 minutes until browned. (It chicken will still be raw in the middle at this point, that's okay) 
  4. In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Add half to the crockpot along with chicken pieces. Cook on low for 3.5 hours.
  5. Saute red pepper, green pepper and red onion right before 3.5 hours of cook time is finished.
  6. Add remaining sauce to slow cooker. Immediately serve with quinoa or brown rice.

2) Tortilla Chicken Soup

Such a great winter meal. It is filling and filled with vegetables and protein. Perfect for any picky eater that you have coming over for dinner or to freeze for another busy week.

PREP TIME: 15 mins COOK TIME: 8.5 hours TOTAL TIME: 8 hours and 45 mins SERVES: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes or shredded 
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I use organic to bring out the flavours)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped medium red onion
  • 1/2 sliced green jalapeno
  • 3/4 small can of sweet corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1.5 cups of homemade chicken broth (or can use organic)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • Handful of corn tortilla chips
  • Fresh or organic salsa
  • Grated cheese for garnish 

Instructions:

  1. Cook chicken breasts in a skillet or bake
  2. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
  3. Place in fridge overnight 
  4. In the morning, put the slow cooker on low for 8.5hrs
  5. After 8.5hrs, serve with grated tex mex cheese, corn chips & salsa