Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day is coming, so it’s time for a great corned beef recipe.  This one is so easy it’s insane.  Seriously.  It is full of flavor, you have all of the sides in the same slow cooker (potatoes, carrots, onion, and cabbage), and it’s a must have for St. Patrick’s Day.  I adapted my recipe from a recipe from foodiecrush.com.  Check out the original here!  There is even an Instant Pot option included at foodiecrush.com.  I tend to fill my Crock Pot to the brim, so I’m not even attempting the Instant Pot option, but if you’re cooking a smaller amount, it might be worth a shot!

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 pound small potatoes halved
  • 1 corned beef brisket about 3 pounds, plus pickling spice packet or 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 16 oz beef broth
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons prepared horseradish to taste

Directions

  1. In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place the carrots, onion and potatoes. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice. Pour the beef broth over the vegetables and brisket. Sprinkle with the sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 5-6 hours, or 10-12 hours on low.
  2. Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover, and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, 45 min to 1 hour (or 1 1/2 to 2 hours on low). Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain and serve with the vegetables and cooking liquid with the horseradish sauce.

Corned beef is something I only tend to cook in March since that’s when it’s available in most stores, so I always forget what cut is the best to use in the slow cooker.  The Point Cut tends to be fattier, more full of flavor, and juicier to cook while the Flat Cut is a leaner cut of beef.  Head on over to foodiecrush.com For a better description of how to choose the best cut for your taste and how to prepare the corned beef before cooking in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Crispy Garlic Parmesan Salmon

Crispy Garlic Parmesan Salmon

salmon
Photo Credit: Cafe Delites

Salmon is definitely my favorite fish.  Partially because all recipes I have happen to be mix some ingredients, cover the salmon, bake, and voila!  Delicious salmon dinner.  Well, this one is pretty much the same, so it works for me!  I typically make a mustard-maple salmon, so I was excited to try a more crusted salmon recipe.  This one didn’t disappoint!  I found this recipe from Cafe Delites.  Check out their original recipe here!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds wild salmon fillet
  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges , to serve

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray / sheet with a large piece of foil. Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, on the baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic in a small bowl. Pour in the melted butter; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Using your hands (it’s easier than using a wooden spoon), mix the ingredients together until the breadcrumbs absorb the butter (about 40 seconds).
  3. Pour the mixture over the salmon, pressing it into the top until the fillet is completely covered. Lightly spray salmon with cooking oil spray for a golden crumb.

  4. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet), until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked and flakes easily with fork.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and a squeeze of lemon (optional).

This is a great salmon recipe if you’re looking for something with a little extra crunch.  I hope you enjoy it!

One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta

One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta

cheesy pasta
Photo Credit: RiverBender.com

Cheese.  Sausage.  Pasta.  All in one pot. Ingredients I usually have on hand at all times.  Easy weeknight meal with no prep whatsoever.  Yeah… we eat this quite a bit.  Good thing it’s delicious 😉   This is also a flexible recipe.  I’ve used all shapes and kinds of pasta from farfalle to rotini to whole grain pasta-it all works.  Out of shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese?  No problem!  Use whatever shredded cheese you happen to have on hand.  I adapted my recipe from one I found from RiverBender.com.  You can check out the original here!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen diced onion (fresh is fine, too-I use frozen to save time)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Chicken Broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta will do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions

1. Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
3. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.

I typically use a lot more cheese than a cup, because… cheese!  This is a recipe everyone loves.  You can customize it to your taste by using your pasta and cheese of choice, omitting chopped scallions or using green onion, and the list goes on.  I hope you enjoy this one!

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

crock-pot-zuppa-toscana-7-1
Photo Credit: Homemade Hooplah

More soup for the cold winter months!  This Olive Garden copycat soup is hearty and can stand on its own as a meal.  It has it all-meat, potatoes, kale… shhhhh… hang with me, kale haters!  I promise you’ll love it.  I adapted my recipe from the Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana recipe at Homemade Hooplah.  My version has cut quite a few corners.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 cup frozen diced onion
  • 1 package Ore Ida diced hashbrown potatoes
  • 2-4 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper to taste
  • 4 cup chicken broth (32 oz)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (for topping)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble hot Italian sausage, about 5-8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until some of the onion begins to turn opaque (no need to cook onion completely at this point). Drain grease from skillet.
  2. In a 6 quart crock pot (or bigger), add cooked sausage & veggies plus the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour chicken broth on top. There should be enough broth to cover the tops of the potatoes; if there isn’t, add up to 2 cups water so potatoes are covered.

  3. Gently stir ingredients, cover crock pot, and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove lid from crock pot and add kale and heavy whipping cream, then stir to combine.
  5. Cover crock pot and cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
  6. Serve zuppa toscana immediately with shredded parmesan cheese as garnish.

Simple enough!  I usually brown the sausage, onion, and garlic the night before to make for a dump and go meal in the morning.  It’s chilly outside-hibernate and enjoy!

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

img_6036Ignore my horrible photo… I promise this is a delicious recipe.  And yes… that is half of an avocado.  Don’t judge.  I was just so hungry by the time I was able to eat the dinner I prepared at 8:30 pm that I snapped the quickest photo I could.  Anyway, enough with the reasoning for my horribly unappetizing photo…

This black bean soup is both delicious and healthy.  I will warn you that it might not make a great main course, since it is basically, well… beans.  It’s enough for me, but most people might like something a little heavier to go with it.  Don’t let the “Instant Pot” title fool you-it is definitely anything but instant.  This recipe requires the pressure cooker to naturally release, which takes a little longer than a manual release would.  It took well over an hour and a half for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, cook on high, then naturally release, so be aware before you make this for the evening!  If you want to see the original recipe, check it out at A Pinch of Healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced (save some time and use frozen chopped onion!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (14.5 ounce)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 pound dry black beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used a little less… tiny people in the house)
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (again… a little less for us-tiny people)
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Toppings: avocado, sour cream, lime, green onion, tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients (except toppings) to the Instant Pot, and place the lid on top, with the vent set to “sealing.”

  2. Cook the soup on manual high pressure for 40 minutes, and let the pressure naturally release.

  3. After the pot is depressurized, remove the lid, and carefully remove the bay leaves.  Soup will thicken after sitting.

  4. Serve with desired toppings.

     

Enjoy!

Healthy Crock Pot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Healthy Crock Pot Spinach Artichoke Dip

spinach dip
Photo Credit: Prevention

I love spinach artichoke dip, but somehow always have the mindset that it’s a recipe that would be far too complicated for me to even attempt.  That is, until I found this simple (and healthy!) recipe from Prevention.  The prep is easy, the ingredients are much healthier than most spinach artichoke dip recipes, and… it’s delicious!  Check out the original here!

Ingredients

  • 2 c shredded reduced-fat mozzarella
  • 1 container (8 oz) reduced-fat onion and chive cream cheese
  • ¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ large onion, chopped (or frozen chopped onion, thawed)
  • 1 bag (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 can (13.75 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Baked tortilla chips, pita chips, carrots, or celery for serving

Directions

  1. Combine and stir together the mozzarella, cream cheese, Parmesan, onion, spinach, artichokes, garlic powder, and red pepper in a 3- to 5-quart slow cooker.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips or celery and carrot sticks.

So simple!  Pour ingredients, stir, let heat through, and chow down!

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

Cheesy-Cheddar-Broccoli-Casserole_EXPS_SDFM17_28900_C09_30_6b-696x696.jpgI’m mainly a green bean casserole person.  That’s pretty much the extent of my casserole tolerance, so I rarely venture out.  Well, I have ventured out.  Ok, not very far, but it’s still a tiny venture, so give me some credit!  This broccoli casserole has all the good stuff-french fried onions, cheese, and oh yeah… I guess there is some broccoli.  This recipe comes from Taste of Home.  Check out the original recipe here!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 can (6 ounces) french-fried onions, divided
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen broccoli florets, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large saucepan, combine soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese and 1-1/4 cups onions; heat through over medium heat, stirring until blended, 4-5 minutes. Stir in broccoli. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish.
  2. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and onions. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.

Vegetables are much better when smothered in cheese, sour cream, and french fried onions.  Don’t you agree?