Monday, June 17, 2013

My New BFF - My Crockpot

I've been trying to cook more because it's healthier and cheaper,  and when you use a crockpot, it doesn't heat up the kitchen. (More about that later.) I know, I know -  News flash, right?!


Last night we had a Pinterest recipe - 
Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken.  
Scroll down for the recipe below.
 I'm not the best cook, and it may be because I'm a little ADD.  I get distracted and things get burned or over done.  Sometimes when something is going wrong, and I can tell that it's going wrong, I don't know how to fix it.   Sometimes I don't know it's going wrong until it's way too late.  

Colorful salad from another day.  I'm all about the presentation!  No cooking or crockpot required. 

I need to follow a recipe.  I'm not one of those who can add a pinch of this or that to make something delicious.  I do make substitutions on ingredients sometimes because I don't have what I need, but it's never an exciting adventure waiting to see if it's going to be edible.  Give me a recipe, how much, how long, and what it's supposed to look like when it's done, and I'll do much better!  

Here's my Mom's recipe for Chinese Chicken Casserole.  I'll write about that someday.  Even following her recipe produced a surprise.

And I need more practice, I know.  Right now I'm only cooking for 2 which creates it's own challenges.  I have to divide the recipe and only cook half portions or freeze a half portion.  That's a bit risky! 
Pinterest has been good for me in my cooking adventures.  I like to see the finished product so I know what I'm aiming for.  I've had a couple of successes recently, and it does make me look forward to trying more!  You can follow me on Pinterest to see what I'm planning for future dinners, and to see what else I'm up to. 

Here's what we had the other night:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken.  As I said, I found it on Pinterest, and it's a Six Sisters recipe.  Have you checked out Six Sisters yet?  They have amazing recipes! 
Here is what mine looked like pre-assembly.

I will be working on my photo shoot food design.  I was in a bit of a hurry to snap a pic before my hubby dove in.  He has been laughing at me for taking pictures of our food.  ; )  Are you wondering what those black spots are on the chicken in the right-hand side of the divided dish?  I was when I took the chicken out of the crockpot.  (Oh no!  What did I do THIS time?!)  It's some of the black beans!  Whew!

We added our favorite toppings:  tomatoes, black olives, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, avocado (for me), sour cream, salsa.  

 Here is my soft taco.  Notice I had to add some blue corn chips for crunch.  My hubby suggested using large tortillas next time to wrap all the goodness in because these smaller ones allowed 
the fillings to escape and it became a bit messy. 
Here's the recipe.  I cut quantities in half, and we only consumed half of that.  My hubby doesn't really care for leftovers, so half of the recipe was just about right for us. 

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
4-5 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup water
Put beans, corn, taco seasoning, and water in crock pot and mix together until seasoning is dissolved. Place chicken breasts on top and spread salsa on chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred meat and serve however you want (over rice or in a tortilla). Garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce.  (I don't like things too spicy, so no hot sauce for us.)

SIx Sisters says:
"This is such an easy freezer meal to make! I just made it with 5 chicken breasts and ate half of it for dinner and froze the other half (in a gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag) for another night. Make sure you let the food cool before freezing it. On the day that you are ready to eat it, let it thaw and then cook on low in your crock pot for 2-3 hours."

I'll have to try freezing half next time
Cook once, eat twice (or four times for us)!

Six Sisters also has a Slow Cooker Mexican Haystacks recipe where the meat is prepared similarly then served on rice and you can top it with whatever you like.  I guess the pile ends up looking like a haystack. Get that recipe here.

  Let me know if you try the recipe and what you thought!
Happy cooking!