6 Ingredient Beef Barley Slow Cooker Soup

 

 

 

Here’s a beef and barley soup that is simple to make and little work in the slow cooker!  It’s only six ingredients!  It’s delicious and very easy to throw together in the morning and have dinner steamy and tasty by evening.

If your I.C. bladder is extremely sensitive, you can definitely make your own beef broth and use safe seasoning.  Maybe for you that might be onion flakes or powder, garlic powder, and parsley.  Edit the recipe to make it safe for you! 🙂

For the ground beef I usually use 85-90% lean.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3 (14 oz.) cans beef broth or homemade (approx. 6 cups of broth)
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 3 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced celery (chop up the celery leaves too!)
  • 2 tsp. beef seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In skillet, brown ground beef, drain and transfer to 5 quart slow cooker.
  2. Add beef broth, barley, carrots, celery, and beef seasoning.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours depending on your slow cooker’s past performance.  (For myself, it was 6 hours on low).

 

A Simple Roast Chicken in the Slow Cooker

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I love this recipe because there is barely any work involved and you have a flavorful chicken with the right texture in just a few hours.  I opt for the low setting of 6.5 to 8 hours, and I use an instant read thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached 165 degrees F to be safe.

This isn’t an exact science: you can use the mixture of spices you like, but this is a general recommendation.  Regarding paprika, I like to use mostly if not all SMOKED paprika.  It lends so much unique aroma it’s unbelievable.

Don’t skip for a second on the aluminum foil balls.  Yes, it does use a good amount of foil but it’s worth it and the result will definitely not be the same without those balls to raise the big chicken up.

**I also like to add onion powder, dried oregano, and smoked paprika.  Don’t add liquids.

Pair with brown rice and a salad, as pictured.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (4 LB.) whole chicken, insides removed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika (try the smoked paprika!)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose seasoning (Like Archer Farms House Blend, or make your own like I did)
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • (Optional add onion powder and/or dried oregano per your tastes.)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix together paprika, all purpose seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.  (Add any other optional spices here like onion powder or dried oregano).
  2. Ball up 4 medium-sized balls made from aluminum foil.  Place in bottom of your slow cooker.  These four balls act as a stand for your chicken to keep it from drying out.
  3. Rub seasoning from step #1 over your entire chicken (including pouring some of the seasoning inside the chicken’s cavity).
  4. Place the chicken on top of the foil balls.  Cover and cook on high for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, or on the low setting for 6.5 to 8 hours.
  5. Always check the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it gets to 165* F for food safety.
  6. Let rest 15-20 minutes to seal in the juices before carving.

Crock Pot Cannellini Minestrone Soup

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

This recipe came out of a Crock Pot branded book.  It was fantastic and very healthy.  Don’t be scared of using the escarole.  It looks like lettuce; just rinse and dry it well (or use a salad spinner), and cut into ribbon strips as directed.  It really adds a lot to the appearance and provides healthy vitamins and nutrients.  Make sure you cook on low for at least 6 hours+ as you’re using hard beans.  If you don’t want to do that, get a can of the beans, drain, rinse, put in fridge.  Then add in the 30 mins to one hour of cooking.

Makes 6-8 servings, depending on serving size.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • *(If not homemade broth, make sure the first ingredient is chicken, not salt!  If not making it myself, I buy “Better Than Bouillon”) 
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 oz) tomato-vegetable juice *****
  • 2 cups escarole, cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1/4 cup dried cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I used dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta

*****I didn’t buy the tomato-veg. juice; I used a 1/2 can of 14 oz. tomato sauce and added 1 cup vegetable broth.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients except pasta into slow cooker.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cover, cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
  4. Stir in pasta.  Cover, cook 20 minutes or until pasta is tender.

 

ATK Beginner’s Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker)

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ATK-pulled-pork-12-17-2nd pic

ATK-pulled-pork-12-17-3rdpic

This is a great entree from America’s Test Kitchen via the slow cooker.  It is quick to assemble, but it’s just a waiting game in two stages.  First the spice and refrigerate overnight waiting game and then the slow cooker wait.  Pay attention to trim and quarter the roast.  I bought two 2.5 lb. roasts and halved them, but you can purchase a 5 lb. roast and quarter it – if you can find it.  We could only find 2.5 lb-ers and 8 lb-ers.  I omitted the cayenne pepper and it was just fine.  Enjoy!

To un-carb-ify it, I didn’t opt for a bun.  It would have looked better in the photo, but it is what it is.

–Honestly, I didn’t go through the braising liquid step.  Maybe next time!  I was tired and didn’t want another step.  It was just fine without doing that process, but next time I’ll try it.    

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra as needed
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 5LB. boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, (plus extra for serving if desired)
  • Cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl.
  2. Using fork, prick pork all over.  Rub sugar mixture over pork, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  3. Unwrap pork and place in slow cooker.
  4. Spread BBQ sauce evenly over pork, cover, and cook until pork is tender 9-11 hours on low OR 5-7 hours on high.  (Mine took about 8 hours on low in my Crock Pot).
  5. Transfer pork to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite size pieces, discarding excess fat.  Cover to keep warm.
  6. Let braising liquid settle for 5 mins, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon.  Season with salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar to taste (if desired).
  7. Toss shredded pork with one cup of the braising liquid, add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist.  Serve with BBQ sauce.

 

Food.com Crock Pot Lasagna

Foodcom Crockpot Lasagna 9-2015

I have only a few requirements for a good lasagna: savory, not too dry and definitely not too oily (gross!), and it has to reheat well on leftover day.  This one is our new “go to” recipe and I threw out my other recipes!  Usually I use 85% ground beef for a mix of fat and flavor.  Sometimes I even mix 85% with 90% for hamburgers.  Usually I would not use such a low fat ground beef as it can really get dried out, but there are so many other ingredients that keep the meat moist and flavorful in this crockpot – and the worst thing in the world is oily lasagna in my opinion!  And with it being in a crockpot, oily is a definite possibility – BUT, this recipe turned out beautifully!  Add a salad and call it a day!  Enjoy! 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 LB. lean ground beef (I used 90% to avoid an oily crockpot, usually I use higher fat ground beef for other tasks like hamburgers etc).
  • 1 onion chopped**
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed**
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste (I used the one with basil and added spices)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 12 oz. cottage cheese (I used Breakstone’s 2%, again to avoid an overly-fatty, oily mess)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or 1/2 cup Asiago cheese (I used the grated cheese in the bag)
  • 12 oz. lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (I used slightly less)

**Because of allergies, I used onion and garlic powder as replacements, not onion salt and garlic salt, that would be overkill in the salt dept.!  The powders worked fine; I just used a few dashes of each.  You can also do this if you want to save money or feel lazy! 🙂
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic (or powders), in frying pan.
  2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and oregano.
  3. Cook long enough to warm ingredients.
  4. Spoon a layer of meat sauce onto bottom of the slow cooker.
  5. Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break them to fit) and top with cheeses.
  6. Repeat with sauce, noodles, and cheese until all are used up.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  (Mine took about 4 hours.)

Kate Gosselin’s Two-Meat Chili

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Update: We decided to throw out our other chili recipes.  This is a KEEPER and the sauce/broth is wonderful and thick!

I am very happy with this chili out of Kate Gosselin’s book “Love Is In The Mix”.  There’s a lot of people that hate her, but ‘haters gonna hate’.  I’m just looking for another rendition of a quality chili, and I don’t care who it comes from.  (I like her and give her the benefit of the doubt, btw).  I really like this one, it mixes low fat ground turkey with higher fat ground beef.  I used 85% fat ground beef and drained off some of the fat.  The only confusing part was if the meat should be browned first.  It didn’t say, I lightly browned both the ground turkey and beef first for safety reasons and I don’t like putting raw ground products into the slow cooker.  I didn’t overcook the meats on the stove though, just enough to brown it and get it safe.

Corn: It wasn’t part of the recipe but I had some to use up.  It was the only change I made.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 LB. ground beef
  • 1 LB. ground turkey
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (29 oz) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (29 oz) can pinto beans with liquid
  • 1 cup diced onion (I used onion powder, but I have issues)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup diced green pepper (I used one cup)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 4 T. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 T. garlic powder or salt (I just used a few shakes, I didn’t use the full tablespoon)
  • Added at serving time: grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all of the ingredients, (except the cheese!), in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve with white rice, if desired, and top with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings

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This is a slow cooker recipe, but I adapted it (see option 2) to make it in the oven when I ran out of time one evening.  It really was great!  We don’t like spicy brown mustard (or many mustards) so we just quartered the mustard ingredient and the flavor still came through and worked well.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 T. spicy brown mustard (we reduced it to 1/2 T.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3-4 thin lemon slices (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat broiler.  Cut off wing tips, discard.  Cut each wing at joint to make 2 pieces.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on broiler pan.  Broil 4-5 inches from heat about 5 minutes per side.

SLOW COOKER OPTION 1)

  • Transfer wings to slow cooker.
  • Combine honey, BBQ sauce, mustard, and garlic in small bowl.  Mix well.  Pour sauce over chicken wings.  Top with lemon slices, optional.  Cover, cook on LOW 4-5 hours.
  • Before serving, remove and discard lemon slices.
  • Serve wings with sauce.

OR QUICK OPTION 2)

  • Transfer wings to large baking dish that has sides.
  • Combine honey, BBQ sauce, mustard, and garlic in small bowl.  Mix well.  Pour sauce over chicken wings.  Top with lemon slices, optional.  Cover, cook at about 375 degrees for about an hour, or until thermometer reads safe.
  • Before serving, remove and discard lemon slices.
  • Serve wings with sauce.

 

Marie’s Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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I found this recipe on allrecipes.com posted by Marie Thomas.  It’s really great!  It took only about five hours, but slow cookers vary considerably with temperatures and settings.  With my onion problem, I halved the dry onion soup mix amount and omitted the raw onion (and upped the other veggies).  We both think it turned out just spectacular even with those changes.  The veggies were insanely good, flavorful, and fork tender!  With the price of chuck roast, I used a 2# roast, but left the other ingredients mostly as is because we like a lot of juice.  The recipe below is for the full 4# recipe and ingredients – not halved.  It was a PERFECT Sunday meal and we will have many leftovers!  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pounds chuck roast

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 carrots, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat, about 4 minutes per side.
  2. Place the roast in the slow cooker and add the soup mix, water, carrots, onion, potatoes, and celery.
  3. Cover and cook on Low setting for 8 to 10 hours.  *Your time may vary; check after 5 hours, I’d say.
  4. Remove meat from cooker, loosely tent with foil, and let rest at least 10-15 minutes before slicing.  (While the meat was resting on the cutting board, I left the veggies and juice in slow cooker on the “warm” setting and let them remain heated.)

 

Healthy Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

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I plan to make this again soon.  It’s a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com.  It is super simple and can be altered any way you like.  I drizzled a little olive oil on the chicken.  The special thing about this recipe is using the wads of aluminum foil to keep the chicken from sitting in it’s own fat/oil/and juices.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 2-3 LB. whole chicken
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 large carrots, split lengthwise and cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1-2 medium onions, quartered (optional)
  • 2 T. fresh chopped parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil drizzle (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3-4″ balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water (optional).
  3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and place in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
  5. Optional: drizzle chicken with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Set the slow cooker to high for one hour.  (Set kitchen timer to one hour to remind yourself).
  7. **After the one hour on high, you can decide how long to cook the chicken and veggies, it’s up to you and the temp. of your slow cooker!
  8. Then, turn down to low for about 2-3 hours.
  9. Add the vegetables and then cook another 2 hours depending on doneness.  Make sure chicken is no longer pink and juices are clear (it’s best to use a digital thermometer!)
  10. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Savory Stuffing In The Slow Cooker

Crockpot stuffing

 

This is an awesome recipe for a very savory, flavored stuffing all made in your slow cooker!  No bland Stove Top stuffing here, this is very flavored and awesome.  If you like super plain stuffing, look elsewhere.  Easy and wonderful – give it a try when that boxed mix bores you!  From Food.com #49609.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup diced tart apple, peeled and cored (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 12 cups lightly toasted bread, cubes (For me this ended up being 16 slices, or a loaf, of wheat bread)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large fry pan saute onions, celery and apple in butter until onion is just translucent.
  2. Stir in sage, marjoram, salt, pepper, savory and thyme.
  3. Combine vegetable mixture with the bread cubes and parsley.
  4. Toss well.
  5. Pour stock over mixture, tossing well.
  6. Spoon into your crock-pot.
  7. Cover and cook on high for one hour.
  8. Reduce to low and continue cooking for 2-3 hours, stirring every hour.
  9. As stated, for Vegetarians you can use vegetable stock.