Ground Turkey Shepherds Pie in the Crock Pot

Ever since I made my first corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot 10+ years ago, I’ve been hooked on slow cooked St. Patty’s fare.

With limited staples on hand, I decided to try my hand at this Shepherds pie recipe using ground turkey, baby Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots and broccoli. It turned out well! Luck of the Irish perhaps?

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First, prepare mashed potatoes using your preferred technique and scoop into a bowl so you can use the same pot for the meat to cut back on dishes. 

Brown ground turkey and 2 cloves of garlic, and then add the following:

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 generous handfuls of sliced baby carrots (or 2 regular chopped carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli (or peas)
  • 1 cup broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/4 cup wine (I used white)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Generous sprinkling dried thyme

Stir and simmer until liquid is almost fully absorbed. Add to a greased crock pot in an even layer and then spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

After cooking on low for about 3-4 hours, grate cheddar cheese over the top. Slainte!

Broth-Braised Crock Pot Pork and Noodles

New year, new kitchen quandaries! Rather than freezing four separate containers of homemade crab stock, I used it to make a healthy Ramen/Pho-like pulled pork and soba noodles dish. We even had leftover pulled pork at the end of it.

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Pulled Pork: place all ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6 hours.

3 cups broth or stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pork tenderloin

Noodles: once pork is ready, cook noodles of choice separately in their own pot using additional broth. Add kale or other greens once noodles are near al dente.

Serve pork on top of noodles and add condiments of choice. David had his with a little Sriracha sauce.

2014: The Year of the Crock Pot for Dinner with David

From s’mores to crock pots, WordPress uncovers what dominated Dinner with David in 2014…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thai Peanut Crock-Pot Pork and Coconut Milk-Steamed Potatoes

Tonight’s dinner was a Thai spin on slow cooked meat and potatoes, minus the caloric unknowns of takeout. Even with my simplified and somewhat clumsy hybrid of Domestic Superhero’s Crock Pot Thai Peanut Pork and Eats Well with Others’ Coconut Potato Curry, the crock pot generated heavenly smells all afternoon, and the potatoes turned out oh so tender.

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Here’s what to do:

In the crock pot, place a pork tenderloin followed by a jar or so (drained) of roasted red (bell) peppers, 1/2 cup of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Sprinkle 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of peanut butter around the liquid. Set the crock pot on low for 6-7 hours.

Midway through, turn loins over and distribute peppers over the top to keep meat moist.

Towards the end of the cooking time, shred meat in the pot and let it cook in its own juices until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, drizzle about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium to low heat. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cumin, followed by 1/2 cup soaked and chopped cashews, and stir to coat. (Keep heat low so cashews don’t burn.) Add about 1 pound red potatoes and toss to coat. Next, add a mixture of 1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp tomato paste, followed by a can of lite coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/2 bag of frozen peas.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender; turn potatoes from time to time. (If needed, add almond milk to bring the liquid level to the mid point of the potatoes.)

Serve shredded pork in a bowl with the potatoes, peas and coconut milk broth. Enjoy the clearing of your sinuses!

Crock Pot Pulled Pork & Quinoa

Part two of this week’s pre-made meal makeover was pulled pork in the crockpot, served twice (and counting!) with quinoa and veggies. It started with my recipe for taco-ready crock pot pulled pork, which basically consists of a pork tenderloin, a large can of diced tomatoes, frozen corn and taco seasoning in the crock pot.

I served mine two ways with quinoa as a base: accompanied by spinach and tomatoes on the first night…

On the second night, I melted a slice of pepper jack cheese over quinoa in the microwave, then topped it with leftover pork and sliced avocado…

And there is still plenty of leftover pork!

Healthy Crock Pot Bangers & Mash

My favorite part of summer is eating dinner al fresco with the heavenly Delta breeze in effect. In winter and spring, my crockpot became a Sunday ritual, so why I figured why not put it to use for June’s maiden dinner on the patio.

With chicken apple sausage in the fridge, onions from the farmers market, and potatoes in the cupboard, I came up with a healthy, dairy-free version of bangers and mash.

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In the crock pot, pour about 4 cups of broth (I used leftover mushroom broth from soaking dried mushrooms for Wednesday night’s quinoa) and add two sliced onions (I used yellow with 1-2 inches of the light green stems). Then place four chicken apple sausages (or other healthy, all natural brats) in the crockpot, followed by peeled russet potatoes (as many as can fit as a top layer). Sprinkle generously with salt and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Remove potatoes and mash in a separate dish, using spoonfuls of cooked broth and almond milk, until desired consistency. Salt to taste. Serve potatoes, followed by broth and onions, and place a sausage or two on top.

Corned Pork & Colcannon in the Crock Pot

I love a good Irish meal, but don’t love picking over the leftover processed and packaged corned beef in the grocery aisle. So I decided to try seasoning pork tenderloin with the same flavors as the traditional St. Patty’s meal. With potatoes, carrots and broccoli near expiration, I was in a decent position to emulate Colcannon to round out the meal.

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Here’s how:

Use a peppercorn grinder to coat all sides of each loin in the crock pot.

Make a paste of about 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and garlic cloves (I used 2 cloves, but feel free to go big). Spread the paste on all sides of each loin. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Shred the pork in the crock pot. Then, add a layer of peeled potatoes, baby carrots and broccoli florets. Cook for 2+ hours on low (at 2 hours in, the potatoes and carrots were still somewhat firm). Separate and mash the potatoes, carrots and broccoli with 1 cube of melted butter and 1 cup of heated almond milk. Salt as desired.

This Irish girl was happy with the flavors of the dish, but my non-Irish husband added BBQ sauce. Slainte!

Oscar Remix: Crock Pot Almond Milk Pulled Pork

In 2009, it was raining on Oscar Sunday, so I whipped up a milk-braised pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes dinner using ingredients on hand in our tiny SF apartment. Last year, same occasion, I swapped in almond milk and added pappardelle. Today, it’s act III, but the crock pot is now playing a lead role in my kitchen.

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To the crock pot, add pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add about 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 cups of almond milk. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8), or until pork can be easily separated with forks.

Optional mashed potatoes:

Midway through cooking the pork, place 4 peeled russet potatoes around or on top of the pork. Cook for 2 hours, and flip halfway through. Remove potatoes and mash with melted butter and almond milk. Season with salt & pepper, and stir in green onions. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees, as needed.

Served pulled pork over a bed of mashed potatoes; ladle juices over the top.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Crock Pot Pork & Mashed Potatoes

2014 is the year of the crock pot, in my book. But finding recipes that use my favorite staples, like pork tenderloin, without delving into canned this or processed that, can be difficult. So this morning, I borrowed from some basic crock pot concepts and added my own healthy spin, to attempt pork tenderloin and carrot stew with mashed potatoes. Fortunately, it worked!

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You will need:
– 1 onion
– Pork tenderloin
– Baby carrots (1 package)
– Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
– Salt & pepper
– Optional: green onions, butter for mashed potatoes; flour for gravy

Slice a whole onion and spread evenly to create a layer on the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add two pork loins (from one package) on top of onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour one small package of baby carrots on top of the pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

For the final layer, add as many freshly peeled potatoes as you can fit on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Cook on low for 6 hours, and then keep on warm while you prepare the potatoes (or as long as needed).

For the mashed potatoes, remove the cooked potatoes one by one with a spoon from the crock pot (they will be soft). Then mash in an oven-safe casserole dish with desired ingredients. I used 1 cube of melted butter, 1 cup of almond milk, 1-2 chopped green onions, and salt & pepper to taste. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees until ready to serve.

For gravy, I ladled some of the juice from the crock pot into a small saucepan and whisked in about 1/8 cup of flour slowly. My gravy turned out pretty lumpy, so this part will require further refinement.

I may also add more liquid next go around, so there’s even more juicy goodness. But all in all, this was a hearty and health home style meal without a parade of dishes!

Crock Pot Short Ribs for Dummies

I desperately needed to find a new meat technique to take me out of my weeknight rut. So when I came across slow cooked Asian-style short ribs on Pinterest, I decided to give it a whirl. But there was a catch: all I had to go off of was a list of ingredients, and a leap of faith. As hoped, the meat fell off the bone about 5 hours in. And the results were deceivingly decadent!

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In the crock pot goes:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 cloves of garlic, diced or thinly sliced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sake
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together in the crock pot, and then arrange 4 pounds’ worth of beef short ribs in the sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours. Flip about half way through cooking, and then again towards the end if you plan to leave it on warm for extra time like I did. I served the ribs over salad that had been mixed with Asian vinaigrette, but rice or noodles would work well too.

I’m a convert and just pinned about 20 new recipes for my new weekly staple. Welcome to the family, short ribs!