Archive for the ‘Slow Cooker’ category

Recession Special: Bulk Bin Bean Soup – Dressed Up

January 17, 2010

Occasionally, I’ll try a multi-bean soup mix.  This time, I had a beans & barley mixture from the bulk section of one of my local stores.  My friend Wendy and I put together an impromptu 4-course meal with things we had in our respective fridges instead of going out to eat one evening. This was the first course, followed by some Trader Joe’s multigrain pasta & TJ’s Organic Vodka pasta sauce.  Then stir-fried onions, zucchini, and shrimp (seasoned with garlic & lemon pepper), and some of the leftover thumbprint cookies for dessert, washed down with a $3.49 bottle of Malbec.

Here are my guesses on proportions & spices I used:

Bulk Bin Bean Soup
1-1/2 cup bean and barley veggie soup mixture
2 cups of different vegetable stocks (I use Trader Joe’s broth packets & some powdered stuff)
3 cups of water
About 1/2 teaspoons each:  garlic granules, onion powder, marjoram and basil
Plenty of salt & pepper

Cook in slow cooker around 8-10 hours on low. Garnish with carmelized onions and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  *Voila*  A cheap, but sort of elegant, little bowl of soup.

Chicken Salad / Navy Bean Soup

December 23, 2009

Yesterday, I remembered I had cooked chicken breast in the fridge that was still good.  So, Chicken Salad it was.  I’ll share two ways to do this.

Basic Curry Chicken Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts or the equivalent amount of meat – cut into cubes
1-2 rib(s) celery finely chopped
2-3 T. minced red onion
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
1-2 t. curry powder
1/2-1 t. salt
Black pepper to taste
(optional:  about 10 grapes, cut in half)

Whisk together: mayonnaise, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, curry powder, salt & pepper.
Add chicken, celery, onion, (and grapes).

Chicken Curry Salad From The Pantry
1 Costco can of chicken breast
1 can mandarin oranges in juice, drained
make dressing above – about 2/3 the amount – do not add grapes.  Add some unsweetened flaked coconut if you’ve got some.

I also remembered that I made a simple navy bean soup for a party last week.  This made a full pot of soup that fed about 10 people.

Navy Bean Soup

1 lb. navy beans, rinsed and picked over to remove non-beans and other scary looking pieces
Lots of water

2 medium onions, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 T. canola margarine or unsalted butter
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (I find that peeling them prevents souring later)
5 celery ribs, chopped
1 1/2 t. thyme
1 1/2 t. marjoram
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
4-5 cups vegetable stock

Soak the beans overnight.  Saute onions in olive oil & margarine or butter until transluscent.  Add thyme, marjoram, salt & pepper and saute another minute.

Add beans, carrots, celery, and onion mixture  to a slow cooker.  Add vegetable stock.  Cook 8 hours on low.  Ideally, refrigerate the soup a day ahead of serving.  Something really good happens to the flavors in that day.