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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quick Fix Recipe Ideas

Around this time of the college semester, my time is really limited. Mid-terms are going on, papers and projects are coming up on their due dates, and it seems like everything is happening at once. I'm still trying to get my writing time in, too. And now, the Texas Rangers have gone and gotten themselves into the World Series for the first time ever. I can't very well not watch that.

In order to make it all work, I'm having to come up with ways to save time. The first thing that usually goes is cooking. I'll often resort to eating out. For heath and monetary reasons, I'd prefer not to do that.

When things like this come up in the summer, a lot of times I'll make a big pasta salad and load it up with fresh vegetables and lean proteins, and then eat on it for a few days. But the weather is cooling off, and I'd rather eat something warm. I've got a crock pot, so I think I'm going to make a pot roast. I'm going to need more ideas than that, though.

Here's my favorite pot roast recipe. And be sure to use crock pot liners for easy clean up.

Put a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and put it on high heat. Generously salt and pepper your pot roast on all sides, then sear it. Transfer the roast to the crock pot. Add one package of dry onion soup mix and one can of cream of mushroom soup. Cook it on low heat for a minimum of eight hours, until it falls apart with a fork. If you want to add potatoes, carrots, etc., they can go in with about three hours left of cooking time.

What are your favorite crock pot recipes for this time of year? And do you have any other time saving meal tips?


  1. I love my crock pot! Thanks for this recipe. I am going to try it for dinner tonight.

    One good recipe I've tried is to put chicken breasts, one can of artichokes (drained), black olives, and spaghetti sauce all together. Cook on low for about 6 hours. It's great served over pasta or rice!

  2. Great recipes, Cat and Sarah. I love my crockpot too. I buy those little seasoning packets especially for crockpots, but I don't put in all the vegetables they say to add. My kids won't eat vegetables if they've been cooked to mush. So I add something fresh as a side dish, a salad or something steamed.

  3. Cat,

    Don't forget the crockpot liners. That will save time on clean up. Some other ways I've saved time is to brown my ground beef when I get home from the store then freeze it. When you're ready to make a chili, lasagna, etc. just thaw in the microwave and toss it in. I also put frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts in baggies, pour bottled marinade in the bag and freeze. In the morning, put the bag in the refrigerator and by dinner time you have a marinaded chicken breast ready to cook.

    Here's an easy crockpot recipe:

    Hot Beef Sandwiches
    3-5 pound Beef Roast
    2 cans Beer
    1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
    4-6 Beef Bouillon Cubes

    Add everything to the crockpot and cook all day on low. Shred beef with a fork and serve on buns.

    This would be good if you have a World Series party, too.

  4. Fun! I love my crock pot, too!

    One of my favorite recipes is Spanish Chicken...

    Chicken thighs or breasts
    1/2-1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
    2/3 Cup soy sauce
    1tsp garlic powder
    4 6-inch cinnamon sticks

    Toss it all in and cook on low 5-6 hours (or high 3-4 hours - that's what I do because I'm impatient :))

    Serve on bed of yellow rice with peas. YUM! The cinnamon makes the house smell wonderful!!!

  5. Ooh, thanks for all the ideas, ladies. The chicken recipes both sound great. I may be trying the Spanish Chicken tomorrow, because I've already got all the ingredients. And Samantha, we may have to make those sandwiches this weekend. I have a feeling we'll have a few extra people over Saturday and Sunday night.