one of my unofficial new year's resolutions is to spend less time cooking. sound counter-intuitive? i'm all for spending hours in the kitchen, on occasion, to make great food, but during the week, i want good food, fast. a typical workday for us means we leave the house at 7:30 and get home by 6:30. and the days we stop at the gym after work, it's more like 7:30. the last thing i want to do is spend 45 minutes cooking on a monday night. which is why i'm on the lookout for shortcuts.
and a slow cooker is one of the best kept secrets (ok, maybe you already know how much of a time saver they are, and i'm finally jumping on the band wagon). i've heard it a million times from friends, family, and coworkers, but it's taken me a couple meals to really understand how great it is to spend 15 or less minutes preparing dinner. i love it. so much so, that i've added a slow cooker tag to my recipes so you can get to all of them even easier. even though there are only a few posted now, i hope to continue using mine about once a week.
have a great slow cooker recipe?? leave a link in the comments!
slow cooker chili
adapted from pass the sushi
20 minutes prep, 6-8 hours slow cook; serves 6
while you can certainly brown the beef the morning you plan to eat this, to make morning prep even faster, prepare all the ingredients the night before.
cover and place your slow cooker insert (or all the ingredients in a large bowl if your insert isn't removable) in the refrigerator. the next morning, simply put the insert in the cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. placing your cold slow cooker insert directly into the cooker might cause it to crack. mix everything in a separate bowl the night before, cover and refrigerate. the next morning, pour everything into your slow cooker & cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
16 ounce can tomato sauce
3 ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
16 ounce can or 2 cups kidney beans, drained and rinsed
your favorite toppings
- brown the ground beef in a saute pan over medium heat. drain and put in the slow cooker.
- while the meat is cooking, dice the onion and pepper and mince the garlic clove. add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.
- cover and cook on low for six to eight hours. remove bay leaf and serve.