Have I mentioned lately just how much I love cooking with a crock pot?
I was so sad a few months ago when the crock pot I had been using for years died on me. It was called a Chef’s Pot and it had been a wedding present from a wonderful friend. We used to work together back in the early 90′s, and she was a great mentor and an even better friend. We aren’t really in touch now, but I know where to find her…in fact, I might just look her up, now that I am thinking of it! Anyway, I searched and searched, online and in the stores, for an exact replacement, but could not find one anywhere! It seems they stopped making them years ago. So I ended up getting a Hamilton Beach slow cooker. I don’t like it as much as the Chef’s Pot, but, it slow cooks the food and gets the job done, so that is good enough I guess!
Crock pot dinners are great for busy families, especially if the person who is making the dinner works or is otherwise not home during the day. This recipe has the added bonus of a hidden vegetable in the form of cauliflower! I love to use hidden veggies whenever I can, so that I can sneak some extra nutrition into the kids. For example, when I serve this dinner, I also serve a side veggie, and that way they get TWO vegetables without even knowing it. Score!
Crock pot recipes are also great when spring sports and activities are at their height, since sometimes you need to make a meal, serve it, eat it, and clean it up in the space of about 20 minutes between driving kids to games and practices. Crock pot dinners make it possible! That is, unless you forget to turn it on. Not that I ever have done that. Ahem.
Adapted from a Hungry Girl recipe.
- 6 ounces whole grain or fiber-enriched elbow macaroni (I used SmartTaste by Ronzoni)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ½ cup onion
- 24 ounces frozen cauliflower with reduced-fat cheese sauce
- ¾ cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2-3 pickles, chopped
- Cook the pasta until just becoming tender, about ½ the time directed on the box. Drain and set aside.
- Mix the turkey, ketchup, and onion in a large bowl. Add the frozen cauliflower and cheese sauce, shredded cheddar, and pasta, and mix until distributed.
- Place entire mixture into the crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.
- When plating, sprinkle each serving with the chopped tomatoes and pickles, or set out in bowls for self-service.
- Crockpot Beef and Broccoli (kimmiecats.wordpress.com)
- Simple, Easy, Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes (lilsuburbanhomestead.com)
- Crock A Roast (gramceeshouseblog.wordpress.com)