Oct 9, 2013

Fear of the Crockpot


People freak out about the damn crock pot, and I just have never gotten it.  All the recipes I run into seem like they are full of processed goop, or are for fake barbecue type stuff, (which is completely unnecessary since there are probably 6 barbecue joint with real smoked pulled meat within a three mile radius), or require so much prep that I don't understand the appeal.

Okay.  Glad to get that out.  Anyway, I saw something on Pinterest about no-processed slow cooker recipes, and I was intrigued.  I decided to jump on the Crocktober bandwagon.

I started with the Chicken Quinoa Stew.

I added a bit more chicken broth than it calls for, because I prefer a soup to a stew.  Served with warm faoccacia bread, it was a hearty and delicious dinner.

Slower Cooker Chicken and Quinoa

1 cup quinoa 
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup white wine 
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons of sea salt 
4 carrots, sliced (peeled if you do not buy organic)
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 chicken (uncooked) breasts (I recommend bone in for a juicier chicken, but boneless makes for easier shredding later)
3 tablespoons of butter
Throw everything in the crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours (high for 4). Remove chicken, shred and mix back into stew.

It was really, really good.  There was no prep besides chopping veggies.  The stew was delicious and wholesome- the wine adds depth and a richness that distinguishes it from bland fare that I associate with crock pot fare.  
I finally get the appeal of the crock pot.  Prep it with breakfast, then rake some leaves, hit up the pumpkin patch, plant some pansies, and come home to this warm and tasty stew for a perfect fall day.
Further weekly experiments with the slow cooker to follow. . .


  1. I got a slow cooker after my son was born and quickly became enamored with it. Here is the slow cooker meal I'm making for tonight,chicken tortilla soup http://furiouslywriting.blogspot.com/2013/01/slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup.html. I eat a pretty low sodium diet and am also not interested in recipes that include a packet of taco mix or ranch dressing or Velveeta.

  2. I'm not into it either. Everything I have ever cooked in it sucks and is gross.

  3. I know what you mean about the crock pot. I just love how easy it makes the witching hour before my husband gets home. I make a lot of the same recipe in my slow cooker that I know are good and try to not make whole meals in it, but just the main dish and then I do add-ons to "jazz" it up a bit.

  4. I got a crock pot as a shower gift and also was pretty disappointed that everyone basically told me to make pulled pork or nacho dip. I felt I had to get creative with my recipe searches, and actually came up with some great ones! I did a shredded Asian-ish sesame chicken that was a huge hit and I also have made applesauce in the crock pot -- apples, lemon juice, spices, six hours on low. Nothing processed there :)

    Oh and you will also NEVER see me try to bake a gd cake in a crock pot. Overall, you are correct - bshes be cray with the crockpot sometimes.

  5. Love this! I too question the crockpot craze. I'm just not into any recipe that calls for a can of cream of whatever or a packet of taco seasoning. But this chicken quinoa soup sounds really good. I'd love to hear about some of other recipes you try.

  6. I like to make chicken fajitas in it. Real spices though. It shreds perfectly.

  7. Sounds yummy! And congrats on baby #2! I'm catching up on blogs, so I'm a little late to the party. My kids are two years apart as well and they are good buds. It's a great bond. Hope you are feeling well!

  8. Once you find love for your crock pot, you'll also find love for crock pot liners. Makes cooking even easier! Little to no clean up. :-)
    Congrats on the new bebe! I'm due in March with my first and so excited.

  9. Love your blog! I'm a crockpot lover...but I agree that too many recipes are full of processed stuff. Have you tried cooking chicken (for fajitas, wraps etc) in a little salsa


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