Thursday, March 5, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

I have an amazing recipe for fajitas in the oven, but I was going to be gone all afternoon and unable to be coordinate dinner being ready in time.  So I thought, why not try the crockpot?  
Okay, this is so simple, I can't even believe I'm writing any directions!  One step - dump, stir, and turn your slow cooker on. Ha!  But seriously, these were easy and healthy plus I was able to make everybody happy. 

I had all our favorite toppings, lots of salad greens, tortillas, rice and beans.  My son made a burrito, my daughter ate everything in neat little piles on her plate, my hubby built himself a bowl and I made a salad.   For those of you doing the 21 ay Fix or Fix extreme, you can build this easily to fit your container allotment.  My salad was 2 green, 1/2 purple, 1 red, 1/2 yellow.  Be creative and have fun!

Happy Cooking! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
original recipe by Sarah
2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

Toss and cook on high for 3 hours.  Here's the before and after pics. 

And my salad...I forgot to take a pic of any other option cause I was so excited to eat my salad!  For the dressing I mixed together some Greek yogurt, salsa, and hot sauce.

So good!!!  Hope you give it a try!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Clean Crockpot Beef Stew

I grew up eating Beef Stew from a can...yup.  No joke.  I'm not knocking it, but I just can't imagine eating that now, especially because I remember opening up the can and seeing the white dots of hydrogenated oils on top and throughout.  Kind of gross to think about. 

My dad also made amazing beef and venison stews.  So I have a special place in my heart for this warm, comforting dish.  But you know me - I like simplicity and I love my slow cooker!!!  And I'm always looking to make a recipe healthier.  So I began researching and came up with this recipe for clean crockpot beef stew.  The kids helped me make it, and so did my hubby.  My wrist is still not quite right, so he did all the slicing and dicing for me.  The kids love to measure, shake, and stir, so this was definitely a family effort.  And everyone was very proud of their creation - the kids gulped it right up!  My hubby ate his over rice, (something from his childhood), but I'm eating on the 21 day Fix so the potatoes and peas were enough carbs for me.

To add more veggies, serve this along side a simple green salad.  A perfect meal for a cold day!  The meat is so tender it just pulls apart and the flavors are great!  Even better the next day.  So add this to your rotation and comment below if you give it a try!

Happy Cooking!

Clean Crockpot Beef Stew
2 lbs of stew meat, trimmed of all fat
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
sea salt and pepper to taste
2-4 T olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup of frozen pearl onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
4 large carrots, sliced
4 small/medium sized potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large stalk of celery, sliced
4 cups of beef stock
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
more salt and pepper to taste

In a large zip-top bag, place the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Add the Beef and shake until well coated.   Then in a large pan (or dutch oven), brown the beef in olive oil on all sides (you do not need to cook it through, you are only browning to deepen the flavor).   You will do this in shifts, as not to over-crowd the pot.

While you are browning the meat, place all the veggies, broth, and tomato paste into your slow cooker and stir until well combined.   Don't worry if the tomato paste isn't all broken up.  It will dissolve while it cooks.  Add the beef as it is done.   You will have some leftover flour/herb mixture.  I added about 2 T of this to the stew, as a way to add more seasoning and to thicken as it cooked (which it does nicely).

Then the most important and critical step to delivering and developing flavors...while the pan that you used to brown the meat is still hot, add the 1/2 cup of wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the browned bits off the bottom.    allow the wine to simmer for about 3 min to cook out the alcohol.  Then add it to the slow cooker and stir.

Cook on high for 6 hours, stirring every 1-2 hours in you are home.  If not, no worries.   Before you serve, scrape off any oil/fat that floats to the top (mine had only about 1 T).   But why bother eating it if you don't have to, right?

This is sooooooo good!!!  I could eat it without the potatoes!  I would also like to try it with butternut squash instead of while potatoes.   Enjoy!