My all time favorite slow-cooker recipe and secrets for getting meals on the table when I’d rather be in the studio!
OK, we have already established that I have to work at being organized and Getting Things Done. An ongoing process that will only end when I do. Sigh.
One of the battles I have fought on and off, for many years, is getting dinner on the table every night. There are several problems that contribute to the issue;
- I can’t think about cooking, or make myself do it, if I’m not hungry.
- I don’t get hungry when I’m working on a project and concentrating.
- I can’t decide what to cook when I’m really hungry and… Want. Food. Now.
If I’m madly artifying and deep into it, I will go for hours without even thinking about food. Then, the phone rings, or DH comes home from work and my concentration is broken. I’m suddenly so hungry, crawling as far as the kitchen to decide what to make for dinner is not an option. DEATH is standing in the archway with his hood and his scythe. Drama aside, I have learned a lesson from my better organized, younger self. Back in ancient times, I worked a real job in engineering. I was semi-organized and better at managing my time.
Meal planning. Yep, I hate it too. But, it does get easier as the weeks go by. First thing on Monday morning, as I’m in muggle-mode, doing my domestic chores and planning my week, I review this week’s menu and plan the next week’s meals. That way, I also know what I need to pick up at the grocery store on the weekend. I save my weekly menus and keep them in my recipe binder. If I’m pressed for time and not in the mood for planning, I pull out an existing menu plan and run with it.
But my real secret solution is my slow-cooker. I heard that groan, stay with me here. I’m not a fan of traditional comfort foods. Why do most slow-cooker cook books have 22 variations of chili and 13 ways to make pot roast? Yuk! As a result, I used mine very little until discovering this book; The Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook by Kitty Broihier and Kimberly Mayone – it’s fabulous, you must have it, ’nuff said. The photo shows my copy with all my bookmarks. Those are the recipes I’ve tried and love enough to make them again. BTW, if you don’t do low-carb, just serve everything over pasta or rice.
Back to why I love the slow-cooker. I can make dinner in the morning (when I’m having breakfast and in the mood to cook) and when that 7 pm “I’m so hungry I’m going to die” thing happens, dinner is on the table in about 10 minutes – or less. And there is usually enough for a 2nd meal (2 of us) – bonus! This system is working so well for me that I decided to share. Here is my favorite – modified to be even easier because that is what I do – recipe from the afore mentioned book.
2 tablespoons EVOO (a splash of olive oil)
¼ cup white wine
⅓ cup of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 (or 2) tablespoons of onion flakes
1 teaspoon of roasted garlic
1 tablespoon of oregano
black pepper and salt to taste
2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 can (big) of stewed tomatoes, Italian style is good
1 can (small) of black or Greek olives
1 large zucchini cut into bite size chunks
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
I also throw in a handful of Italian seasoning
Combine everything except the chicken, zucchini and the feta cheese. Mix together. Add the chicken, cover and turn to low, cook for 4 to 6 hours (mine has it done in 4). About ½ hour before serving, stir in the zucchini. Just before serving, stir in the feta cheese.
I serve it with a salad or fresh fruit. Sometimes over a brown rice blend (cooked in the morning and re-heated).
This kind of thing has helped a lot when I decided it’s time to get serious about my Etsy Shop. I’ve been photographing like mad, trying to make glass buttons looks good in spite of the camera’s love for changing colors and emphasizing reflections (grrrrr). It’s time consuming and tedious but progress is being made. It’s also keeping me busy this summer.
Greek Chicken is definitely a family favorite. If you give it a try, let me know how you like it.