Ah yes, winter is here! The temperature is dropping and we have a lot less daylight. This is usually about the time that I pull out my slow-cooker for some quick and easy recipes.
How often do you use your slow cooker?
I have to admit that I probably don’t use my slow cooker as often as I would like to – but it’s definitely been a great weekend tool on Saturday or Sunday. In the winter time, I enjoy throwing soups and stews together in my slow cooker.
My favorite slow-cooker soup is “Chicken Taco Soup” and I’ve made it in several different varieties. It depends on what kind of fresh veggies are on hand and what is left in my pantry.
When I’m not cooking soups, my other favorite slow-cooker meal is “Apple Braised Pork”. Yum! I’ve used several different cuts of pork and just add a few simple ingredients. All you need is pork, veggie stock, apple sauce and liquid smoke. It’s definitely a hit in my house.
There are a ton of recipes that cater to certain diets or dietary preferences. Eating gluten-free isn’t as difficult as some might think. All you need to do in most cases is omit the flour and use natural ingredients. How hard is that?
Using creativity in the kitchen doesn’t always come naturally – which is why I am sharing a few recipes with you. Please let us know if you have other recipes to add and whether or not you’ve tried these recipes.
Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes:
Kayln’s Kitchen: Turkey and Wild Rice Soup with Cabbage, Parsley and Sage – I am going to guess that you have some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. This recipe is absolutely ideal for creating a healthy, hearty soup with your leftovers. Thankfully this recipe can be made gluten-free and it won’t take all day to simmer.
Gluten Free Homemaker: Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe’s – I cannot even tell you the last time that I was able to enjoy a sloppy Joe. Most recipes use standard Worcestershire or soy sauce! Apparently replacing this one wheat-filled ingredient with gluten-free soy sauce is all you need. This recipe would be great for Saturday or Sunday afternoon while you’re out running errands or doing your holiday shopping. Your kids will love it! I might have to take my own advice on that.
Crockpot 365: Crockpot Tortilla Soup – Oh my yum! This recipe looks so easy and delicious that I cannot wait to try it. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can allow it to simmer while you are at work. Most of these ingredients can be substituted for whatever you might have on hand. You can also make it mild or spicy depending on how much heat you can handle.
Kayln’s Kitchen: African Inspired Vegetarian Soup with Peanut Butter, Chiles, Brown Rice and Lentils – Did you say peanut butter? Yes, yes I did. This recipe is thick, robust and packed with protein – despite missing the meat. The good news is that this soup fits a vegetarian diet, but can also be made with vegan ingredients.
And finally… I would like to share my own personal recipe for “Chicken Taco Soup”.
Mara’s Chicken Taco Soup:
- 12 ounce jar of corn salsa
- 1 small can of organic black beans
- 28 ounce can of fire-roasted organic tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 3 raw chicken breast (free-range)
- 1-1/2 TBSP smoked paprika
- 2 TBSP dried parsley
- 1-1/2 TBSP fresh cilantro (to be added at the end)
- 2 TBSP taco seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 32 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Toppings: Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese & crushed gluten-free tortilla chips.
Instructions: Add all the above ingredients to the slow cooker. You may add 3 chicken breasts in raw. Cook on HIGH 4 hours and remove the chicken. Place the chicken in a bowl or on a plate. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken by pulling them apart in opposite directions. The pieces do not have to be a particular size. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot and cook on LOW for an additional hour. Remove the bay leaf and serve.
All ingredients can be substituted for whatever you have on hand. I always recommend using organic ingredients –though it is not required.
Please leave a comment and let us know if you enjoyed these recipes.