Tag Archives for " crocktoberfest "

CrockTober Fest – Minestrone

This morning Lisa from the 6:15 brought in two beautiful bouquets of Kale. She was sharing her garden's bounty. I am a fan of Kale. After making Kale chips I used the rest to make a double batch of Minestrone Soup. What didn't fit in my crockpot is simmering on the stove- Wow does it smell good. 

Minestrone Soup in the Crockpot

Serves 10-12

  • 2 cups cannelloni beans or other favorite white beans
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomato
  • 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 ½ cups diced zucchini
  • 1 lb. kale (remove the stems and chop coarsely)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place Cannelloni beans and the chicken stock in a crockpot. Heat a large frying pan add the oil, garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Saute until tender and add to the pot. Add the tomato, potatoes, parsley, and the basil. Cook for 4-6 hours on high. Add the zucchini, kale. Cook 30 minutes more or until the soup is nice and thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I can't wait for tonight. 

Happy CrockTober,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Mexican Chicken

This is the busiest time of year for so many people. Sports for our kids have us out 3-4 nights a week, plus special events. Work seems to be winding up to end the year instead of winding down. Of course our extended family and friends have expectations on us as well. I rely heavily on my crockpot when life tends to get busy. When I fail to plan, I spin out of control and my eating is the first to end up in the gutter. If you're like me, you wish it wouldn't happen each year. This year I am going to do the Transform in 4 Challenge in order to stop that from happening. Here's a recipe from the guide book to tempt your tastebuds. 

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1¼ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth, or water
  • 2 limes
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • green onion, sliced, optional garnish
  • chopped cilantro, optional garnish

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, coriander, salt and black pepper. Stir until well mixed. 2. Place the chicken inside the your crock pot. Sprinkle the top of the chicken breasts with half of the seasoning. Then, flip the chicken and sprinkle the other side with the remaining seasoning mixture. 3. Add the chicken broth or water to the crock pot. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the top of the seasoned chicken. 4. Add the cilantro leaves, onion wedges, and jalapeño slices to the crock pot, arranging them in and around the seasoned chicken breasts. 5. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender 6. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Set aside. 7. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Add all of the juices back to the shredded chicken. 8. Stir to distribute them all over the meat. Garnish, if desired, with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.

Enjoy in a variety of ways throughout the week: - taco salad - burrito bowl with rice, beans, salsa, vegetables - fajitas with peppers and onions - in a lettuce wrap

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 5 hours Adapted from Good Life Eats

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the fact that it gives ways to mix it up just a bit with the leftovers. If your intrigued by the recipe, and need to find a way to stay in control as the end of the year approaches check out our Transform in 4 Challenge. You'll want to sign up now as the challenge starts November 1st.  

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Pumpkin Overnight Oats

 Easy, healthy steel cut oats, made in the slow cooker while you sleep! With pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla. This is like eating a pumpkin muffin warm out of the oven. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats.

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I will use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds or hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook 4 hours (on high) or 7 hours (on low) ​Since I am up well before my kids, I can put this together the night before and get the crockpot going at 4:30am. Otherwise just let it cook on low all night long. You'll wake up to all sorts of yummy smells.

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Coconut Lime Chicken

Soccer season, kids working, a busy hubby, homeschooling and keeping myself sane is going to be a challenge this week. That is why I am relying on the crockpot to help serve up meals when my family needs them. We don't all tend to eat at the same time anymore. This is one of those meals that can stay warm and my family can serve themselves when they need to eat. 

Coconut Lime Chicken

I put the meal together the day before so all I had to do was plug in the crockpot the next morning. Win/win.

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice about 1 large lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk from a can or coconut cream
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon arrow root starch 

Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add all the ingredients into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.

 Add the starch and water at this time if you're using it. You may need to raise the heat slightly higher to bring this to a boil to activate the starch. Once the sauce thickens reduce it back down onto low for another hour.

Serve with cauliflower rice with the sauce spooned over the top.

Add an extra sprinkling of cilantro & chili flakes

*I used baby kale and spinach on the bottom of my plate to add some greens to this dish and then topped with cauliflower rice. The greens and rice absorbed all of that good sauce!

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

By the way our newest challenge starts on November 1st. You'll need to sign up before then. Transform in 4 is my plan to get my eating on track before the busiest time of the year strikes.

Crock- Tober Fest – Two Recipe Bonus

I posted this blog a while back. Since its Crock-Tober its time to share all the recipes I can with you. You can see the original posting of these recipes on TheGratefulPlate .org 

"Making and preparing a dinner meal for your own family can be time consuming and taxing. The thought of feeding 15- 20 people can feel like an overwhelming event. I've found two recipes that make a crowd happily fed but its easy on the time budget as well. 

These two dinner meals go in a crockpot and can cook while you're doing other things. Glance over the recipes now, you'll see the time to put them together doesn't take long." 

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (or 1/2 bag of frozen peppers)
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • I cup chopped onion (or ½ bag frozen chopped onion)

Everything goes in the crockpot and you cook it on low for 5-6 hours (or on high 2-3 hours).

This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook about 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low. Shred the chicken with two forks before serving.

Green Chili Pepper Stew

(This recipe came from Hall of Fame peep- Judie who modified the original recipe from the Green Chili Bible Cookbook)

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2 onions chopped (or a bag of frozen chopped onion)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 - 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 4.5 ounce cans of diced green chilis
  • 2 squares of beef bouillon

Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours. 

This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook 7-8 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, and then 5-6 hours on low. 

Happy Crock -tober,

Coach Nancy

Crock-Tober Fest – Applesauce

Fall is apple picking time in New England. Since we planted trees a few years back, I find myself with an abundance of apples. Making Applesauce in the crockpot has been a life savor on the time I spend in the kitchen. While I am trying to put the applesauce in the freezer to use in the middle of winter, often we dig right into the warm sauce for dinner. You'll find it is quick and easier than watching a stove top. 

Applesauce in the Slow Cooker

  • 3 pounds large apples, any variety (about 6)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Peel and chop the apples. Peel the apples. Quarter them through the stem, then cut out out the cores. Coarsely chop the apples into 1- to 2-inch pieces, depending on how chunky you prefer your applesauce. I have purchased an apple peeler that does all of this in one step.

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Place the apples in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the water, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt, and stir to combine.

Cook the applesauce for 4 hours. Cover and cook on the HIGH setting for 4 hours, stirring twice during cooking. I have also set it on low and let it cook while I am sleeping. 

Purée the applesauce (optional). If you like chunky applesauce, you can skip this step altogether. But if you prefer a smooth texture, remove the cinnamon stick, then use an immersion blender to pureé the applesauce.

Cool and store. Let the applesauce cool to room temperature. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

For all those using an Instant Pot here is how you can make applesauce: Set your machine to Slow Cooker once the ingredients have been added, increase the heat level to "More," adjust the cook time to 4 hours, then seal the lid.

Happy Crock-tober,

Coach Nancy

Crock- Tober Fest

With working full time, having three children to homeschool, and trying to get into a new house, I need quick and easy. This is one meal that fits that category. Not much on the prep side of the meal so it goes in the crockpot quick. As it cooks I can be out doing my thing and come back into a meal that taste amazing. 

Asian Pork in the Crock Pot

  • 2 pounds boneless Pork loin 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos 
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger 
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced 

 Garnishes after cooking: (optional of course but definitely adds to the whole dish)

  • 1/4 cup of scallions 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro 

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet on medium. Melt the coconut oil and brown the pork on all sides. 

In the crock pot combine the broth, coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic, and ginger. Add the pork. Set the crock pot to 8 hours on low. 

Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork. Set aside to rest. Add the mushrooms to the pot and continue to cook for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile shred the pork with two forks. When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup broth and reserve if needed. Add the pork back to the pot and mix well. (you can add baby spinach to the pot too and let it set until it wilts.) Add more liquid if needed. 

I like to serve this over cauliflower rice

Happy Crock-tober!

Coach Nancy

Crock -Tober Fest- Breakfast Style

This is a hit at my house with my kids and it’s also a hit for me as it’s so quick to prepare. In fact, I prepare it the night before, and then pull the crockpot out of the refrigerator at 4:30am. Its ready to eat when I am. It’s a great medley of sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, veggies, and bacon – all in one.

Breakfast Casserole in the Crockpot

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 30-ounce bag sweet potato cubes (or fresh sweet potato cubes cut in chunks)
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, roughly chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, mustard, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly grease the bottom of the crockpot. Place half the potatoes on the bottom. Layer with half the bacon, onion, bell peppers, and broccoli. Add the other half of the potatoes, then top with the rest of the veggies. Pour the egg mixture on top. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Serve it hot!

Quick tip: Riced sweet potatoes and broccoli can also be used. Frozen pepper and onions make for a faster prep time.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest- Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a festive soup. The spice compliments the variety of different veggies and meats. A bright Coleslaw or steamed Collard Greens go great alongside a bowl of Jambalaya. 


  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 can 28- ounce diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the garlic flavored)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth 
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3-4 chicken breasts cut into strips (about 1.5-2 pounds)
  • 2 cups brown rice or wild rice

*Optional: Add a few drops of tabasco before you add chicken and stir.

Layer your crockpot with the sausage on the bottom. Next add the onions, celery, peppers, tomatoes, broth and bay leaves and sprinkle with about half your seasonings and stir. Top that with your chicken and pour the rest of the seasoning mixture on top. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. (Until chicken is cooked through.)

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Beef Stew

Beef Stew is a classic meal in the Fall and Winter. Making it in the crockpot saves time and allows the whole house to smell as delicious as your meal is going to taste. This recipe has several options on how to prepare it. Check out how you can pull this meal from your freezer to the crockpot to your dinner table with ease. 

Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat or deer meat
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 ½ c tomato juice
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 bunch celery chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

To make this meal right away, add the stew meat into your crockpot first. Add the rest of the ingredients. Don't forget to add 3-4 sweet potatoes, cubed (optional) if you want at this time too. Cook on low 8-9 hours. Enjoy how awesome this meal is.

To prepare this meal ahead of time add all ingredients to a ziplock bag or freezer container. Write on bag: "Add 3-4 sweet potatoes, cubed (optional) and cook on low 8-9 hours". Now your bag is ready to be frozen. The day before you're going to cook this meal, it works easiest if you thaw the meal in the bag the night before. Then the meal quickly slides out of the Ziplock bag into your slow cooker. What happens if you forget to thaw it the night before? No worries. It'll take a bit of doing but work the Ziplock bag from your frozen meal. Once you're sure the entire bag is off the frozen chunk that will be your meal, add it to the crockpot. Cook on low 8- 9 hours. No one will ever know your secret. 

Happy CrockTober Fest,

Coach Nancy