Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up

Another slow cooker recipe…I know, I know, you’re all shocked! In fact in honor of the fact I seem to love my slow cooker lately I’ve added an entirely new category dedicated to just that! Now all of those fabulous slow cooker ideas will be in one place. I don’t know about you, but I likes me some organization! ;o)

This dish was inspired by an advertisement I saw in Taste of Home for a slow cooker Mexican lasagna type deal. The picture looked so yummy that my mind went into overdrive and the very next night I set out to create my own version of Mexican stacked heaven! So sit back and relax and let’s talk a little spicy slow cooker goodness!

What You’ll Need:
Corn tortillas
1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1 – 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed (Note: You can use red beans if you prefer or a mix of the two.)
1 – 16 ounce jar of taco sauce (Note: Whatever heat level you want will be fine. I used hot.)
Chili powder
Onion powder
Paprika
Sea salt
Textured Vegetable Protein
Frozen corn
Cheddar, shredded (Note: You can use Monterrey Jack instead of or mixed with the cheddar.)
Sour cream for topping (optional)

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick spray and layer in corn tortillas to cover to bottom. (Note: In my slow cooker the first few layers take 2 tortillas and then as it expands as the cooker goes up you need 3 or 4.)

Once the bottom is covered with tortillas cover them with a layer of diced tomatoes:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Diced Tomatoes

Then add some chopped onion:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Red Onion

Next add a layer of beans:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Beans

After the beans add some taco sauce:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Taco Sauce

Now you want to add a generous sprinkling of seasonings and a tiny bit of salt:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Seasoning

Now sprinkle on some textured vegetable protein:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Textured Vegetable Protein

Next add some corn kernels:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Corn

Sprinkle on some shredded cheese:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Cheese

Then top with more tortillas:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Stack It Again

And repeat to process until you run out of tomatoes.

For the top of the stack up you want to top the corn tortillas with taco sauce:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Taco Sauce

And then cover generously with cheese:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Ready to Cook

Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 2-3 hours or on low for 3-4 and you’ll have this:

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up: Cooked

Turn off the slow cooker and let sit for 15-20 minutes and then serve!

Slow Cooker Mexican Stack Up

Notes: If you wanted you could add shredded chicken, ground beef or even shrimp instead of the textured vegetable protein. You could also top this with avocado and/or additional taco sauce.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

This is going to be another quick and easy post and recipe. My finger is finally feeling well enough to type without wincing, but I’ve got a ton of things to catch up on! Tomorrow things should get back to normal! So pull out your slow cookers and get ready for some fabulous Cheesy Potato Soup!

What You’ll Need:
1 large potato, cubed
1 small red onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
A pinch of sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper
1 quart of broth (Note: I like to use chicken broth for potato soup, but what ever type of broth you prefer will work.)
1 cup of half and half
2 cups of Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (Note: This is the perfect way to use up left over mashed potatoes! You can use plain potatoes too, but the cheesy version give the soup the cheesy aspect.)
Cheddar, shredded for topping (optional)
Bacon, chopped for topping (optional)
Scallions, chopped for topping (optional)

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup: The Veggies

Place chopped veggies in the bowl of your slow cooker and toss to mix. Add a pinch of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper, broth and half and half and stir to mix. Next stir in mashed potatoes and stir to mix.

Set slow cooker on high and cook for 4-5 hours until soup has thickened slightly and potatoes are tender. Serve immediately with toppings or plain.

Notes: If you wanted to add in mushrooms and/or corn you could. Leeks would also be fabulous.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

As we progress on Jamison’s gluten free journey we often come back to pre-Celiac favorites such as pasta. We finally found some spaghetti noodles that are very good in terms of gluten free products, but at first I wasn’t able to find any gluten free lasagna noodles in stores locally. Finally however My Organic Market started carrying a rice lasagna noodle from DeBoles that really is comparable to a version made with wheat! With this discovery lasagna was back on the menu!

Jamison and Alexis LOVE pasta. Seriously, they could eat it at every meal! While I like pasta too, I would tend to be this way more with Mexican food than Italian, but that is neither here nor there. This past weekend Alexis and Jamison both had asked for lasagna and I had fully intended to make it for them, but we had a crazy/busy weekend (which I might add hasn’t seemed to stop!) so it just never happened.

On Saturday the day slowly got away from us as we did things that needed to be done and ran errands. Soon it was time for dinner and there wasn’t time to put together lasagna so I bumped it to Sunday. On Sunday I ended up spending the majority of the day lesson planning and getting things ready for this week’s classes. Dinner time rolled around and again no time for lasagna. On Monday I was determined we were actually going to have lasagna for dinner even if I had to get creative!

For a while now I’ve wanted to try to make lasagna in the slow cooker, but I just had never gotten around to actually trying it out. When Alexis and I ventured back down stairs from the school room for lunch on Monday I decided this would be the perfect time to test out my theory!

What I ended up making was gluten and dairy free, but given it was for Jamison it did have ground beef, but you could just as easily make it a vegetable version as well. The lasagna turned out perfectly! If you haven’t tried this method I highly recommend giving it a whirl…I think you’d be impressed!

What You’ll Need:
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Note: You can use any type of lasagna noodle that you want if gluten is not an issue for you. If I were making this for Alexis and I alone I would use whole wheat.)
A large jar of spaghetti sauce (Note: Again this is up to you. Jamison is extremely picky as I’ve mentioned before so I use Ragu Traditional Organic sauce, but any type of sauce will work. I like some of the other organic sauces that are heavy on garlic and/or mushrooms.)
Rice mozzarella, shredded (Note: I used a block of this type of cheese. Again had I been making this for Alexis and I would have used regular mozzarella, some Parmesan and perhaps some goat cheese. What you use is up to you.)
1 pound beef, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. I didn’t do this, but next time I will. It wasn’t a huge issue, but there was some sticking.

Next you use your basic layering process that you would use for regular lasagna. I didn’t get a picture of the layering of the noodles, but just put a layer of noodles in the bottom of your slow cooker. Don’t worry if they aren’t whole or anything, just make sure the bottom is covered and if you have to break them up that’s ok too!

Next add a layer of ground beef:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Second Layer

(Note: You could also use ground turkey or if you wanted a completely meat free option you could add in textured vegetable or soy protein. You could also add onions, mushrooms and peppers if you liked.)

Next add a layer of sauce:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Third Layer

If you wanted to get really creative you could make your own sauce using tomato sauce, some garlic, oregano, basil, etc.

Next top with a little cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Fourth Layer

Now keep repeating that process until you run out of sauce.

Next completely cover the top generously with cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Ready to Cook

Now place the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours on low and voilà you have lasagna for dinner!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Dinner is served!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Notes: I was really surprised how fast this cooked on low so watch it and make sure it doesn’t go too far!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Slow Cooker Turkey: Ready to Slice

If you’ve been a reader of Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ve seen me talk a lot about not heating up the oven that much during the summer. But not heating up your oven doesn’t mean you have to give up foods you would normally cook there, it just means you find a different way to cook them and a slow cooker is a perfect way to do just that!

The other day I got a turkey breast from South Mountain Creamery and I decided to see how it would turn out in the slow cooker. I mean you can cook chicken quite well in a slow cooker so why not turkey? I must say even though in theory I thought it would work I was very pleased with the result! The breast was tender, juicy and overall just very delicious and the whole process was beyond simple! I’ll most definitely be trying this again!

Another good thing about turkey is that you can do many things with the leftovers too! How about Turkey Avocado Salad or Turkey Noodle Soup or Turkey Salad…You can also use turkey in just about any recipe you would use chicken instead. How is that for versatile?

Slow Cooker Turkey

What You’ll Need:
1 turkey breast (Note: I used one that had the bone.)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried rosemary

Place turkey breast into the bowl of your slow cooker. Drizzle with olive oil. (Note: You want a few tablespoons max.) Flip the breast over to make sure you get olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and dried rosemary. Place lid on slow cooker and turn heat to high. Cook for 6-7 hours.

Slow Cooker Turkey: Sliced

Halfway through the cooking process flip the breast once. Once cooked bring out of the slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Turkey: Leftovers!

Notes: Any dried herb you like will work. Thyme would be fabulous!

The Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Roast Beef

Pot Roast is one of, if not the, quintessential comfort food of all time. When you cook a pot roast in a slow cooker you end up with a tender, moist roast that literally falls apart. You can cook it alone and make some mashed potatoes and a side salad to accompany the meal, or you can throw in some cut up potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc to make a wonderful one dish meal.

Any way you make it, this is bound to become a family favorite! And the best part is this is simple and easy to throw on in the morning and have a hot, hearty dinner ready for the evening. Pot roast isn’t just for Sunday dinner anymore!

What You’ll Need:
1 roast (Note: You can chose shoulder, rump, whatever you like.)
Water
Sea salt
Black pepper

Place roast in the bottom of you slow cooker and cover with water until just covered. Add a very generous pinch of sea salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper and believe it or not that’s it!

Now for cooking. You can do it one of two ways. You can cook it on high for 5-6 hours or you can cook it on low all day long. You’ll know it’s done when you stick the roast with a fork and it sort of shreds.

Once the pot roast is cooked remove it from the slow cooker and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing. I usually let it rest on a cutting board or in a glass dish. When you start to slice the roast it will normally just sort of fall apart. Once in a blue moon you may get a roast that does not, but it’s very rare. 9.9 times out of 10 when a roast is cooked like this it just falls apart and is very tender.

Slow Cooker Roast Beef

If you want to add in vegetables then layer them on the bottom of the slow cooker and then lay the roast on top. After that follow the same directions as above.

If you want you can make gravy with the broth that forms from the cooking of the roast by taking 2 cups of the broth and placing them in a stock pot. Take about 1/4 a cup of broth and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of flour until smooth and add to the pot. Stir the broth/flour mixture in to mix and then cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. There is no need to add salt or pepper as the broth already has both. You can also reserve the left over broth for soup.

Notes: If you want you can add in a sliced onion on top of the meat or throw in 6-8 garlic cloves, but it’s not necessary unless you just want to. The salt and pepper bring out wonderful aspects of the meat itself. You could also add in some rosemary and/or thyme.