Day 4 and 5 – Crockpot Ideas

Day 3 and day 4 of my menu went exactly as planned. However, I do have to admit that my husband’s lunches and our snacks are getting sparse. Hoping a Monday run to the grocery store comes quickly! It is not unusual for snacks to be what sends me grocery shopping, but this time I may have to whip something up for my kids to get through. I will probably make some sort of cookie. Cookies, you say? I don’t mind serving up cookies as a snack to my kids because I know exactly what goes in them and I usually hide something healthy inside of them. I am guilty of dipping into my “The Sneaky Ch*f” book on a regular basis!

Because we have soccer practice on Thursday nights, I have been using my crockpot on a weekly basis. We don’t get home until late and it helps to have dinner already cooked when we walk in the door. Any kind of soup is an easy thing to do in the crockpot. I usually just throw in whatever ingredients I have around, but here is the recipe for what was on our menu this week:

Hamburger Soup

1 lb organic ground beef, cooked
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1/2-3/4 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
6 cups organic beef broth
diced carrots
diced celery
diced onions
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Let cook 2-3 hours on high. This can also be done on the stove, letting the ingredients simmer for about an hour, but the pearl barley must be pre-cooked for this method.

Every time I make this recipe it is slightly different. I have been known to replace the barley with already cooked rice that I have leftover in the refrigerator. I just add it towards the end of the cook time so it doesn’t become over cooked. I also add in a varying amount of vegetables based on what I have around. I even throw in frozen vegetables if the need arises.

For this week, our soup had pearl barley, frozen vegetables, and a bit of zucchini and kale I had in the refrigerator.

Another recipe that I do in the crockpot that is NOT soup is chicken for tacos. When it’s time for dinner, I just dice up the other items we like on tacos and warm the tortillas.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

chicken (I usually throw in some frozen chicken breasts–maybe 3-4)
1/4 cup water
1 package of taco seasoning

Combine ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. When ready, take two forks and shred meat. I have also used this for feeding a crowd. I dumped in as much chicken as my crockpot would hold, doubled the water and then dumped in a bunch of seasoning. This did require more cook time though, more like 4 hours.

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