2014, along with being the year that I blog more than two times, will be the year of the slow cooker.
The supreme vehicle for all things good and tasty in this world.
I had my first dance with the slow cooker this fall and it inspired a truly revelatory moment…
Why had I allowed its marvelous powers to evade me for so long?
Requiring minimal skill, minimal labor and just a scant amount of attention, the slow cooker is ideal for the cooking-averse and/or cooking-challenged among us.
Two camps I definitely belong to.
Toss in some meat, spices, other stuff. Crank up the heat. Put a lid on it. Do whatever your heart desires for the next 6, 8, 10 hours.
Come back to discover that a legit meal of food has manifested itself from what were mere raw materials only hours before.
This epic uncovering of deliciousness will likely occur against a backdrop of clouds parting and rays of light beaming down from the sun. You might even hear a chorus of angels singing from on high.
But if not, at least you’ll have a bomb-ass meal to eat. And eat and eat, because crockpot cooking allows for vast quantities of edibles to be made at once.
Crockpotting on a Sunday’s morn, in fact, is a new favorite activity of mine. I love being able to parcel out a week’s worth of lunches that I can grab from the fridge on my way to school on busy weekdays.
This week, I made a version of Crockpot Salsa Chicken from PeanutButterRunner. With a twist.
A bacon-y twist.
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I actually used 3 and felt the ratio of meat to other stuff was optimal)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 1 jar of salsa (any type, at least 12 ounces)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 can chopped green chiles
- Struggle Muffins Additions:
- 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
- Blue corn chippies
(And yes, that is a struggle muffin paw, getting grabby with the bacon.)
Place chicken breasts in crockpot.
Add cumin, salt, pepper.
Pour salsa over chicken.
Next up, the black beans, corn and chiles dive in, weeeeeeeeeeee! (you know you’ve got good quality ingredients if they sing on their way into the crockpot)
Cook on low for 6ish hours or until chicken gets fall-y apart-y.
Use two forks to shred the chicken and mix everything together.
Scoop into a bowl and garnish with guac and chippies.
Or whatever suits your fancy.
Cheese and sour cream need not be strangers here, but as a lifelong hater of sour cream, I stayed away. Notsomuch doing the dairy thing these days as I feel better without it, but if dairy’s your bag, I don’t doubt that some melty cheese on top would warm the stomach and the soul on a cold winter’s day.
Easy, breezy, beautiful.
Maybe not beautiful.
But the taste quotient was solid. Solid to quite solid, even.
And as a sidenote/ reflection: having eschewed animal products in nearly all forms (except for dairy and its ever-addicting dairydorphins) and suffered from poor digestion for years, I finally acknowledged that the former might have had something to do with the latter and adopted a more meat-centric diet in the past year.
Result? The change in energy and digestive capacity is palpable. I recognize that a paleo-ish diet isn’t for everyone, and the point of this post is not to extol the virtues of a diet heavy on animal products and produce, but there is a lot of value in experimenting with food to figure out what jives with your bod.
I used to be the party pooper who would turn down bacon at a bacon festival but I’ve since seen the light.
And it is glorious.